Federal Register Vol. 81, No.37,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 37 (February 25, 2016)

Page Range9331-9739
FR Document

81_FR_37
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 9737 - Modifying and Continuing the National Emergency With Respect to Cuba and Continuing To Authorize the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of VesselsPDF
81 FR 9517 - National Science Board: Sunshine Act Meetings; NoticePDF
81 FR 9576 - CSX Transportation, Inc.-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Hamilton County, OhioPDF
81 FR 9505 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 9481 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Continued Approval of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities Rural Health Clinic Accreditation ProgramPDF
81 FR 9483 - Health Insurance MarketplaceSMPDF
81 FR 9465 - Notification of a Public Meeting of the Science and Information SubcommitteePDF
81 FR 9515 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9516 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9514 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9515 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research MeetingPDF
81 FR 9516 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research MeetingPDF
81 FR 9339 - Air Quality: Revision to the Regulatory Definition of Volatile Organic Compounds-Requirements for t-Butyl AcetatePDF
81 FR 9493 - Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 9494 - Intent To Request Renewal From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Pipeline Operator Security InformationPDF
81 FR 9498 - Final Supplementary Rules for Public Lands Managed by the Moab and Monticello Field Offices in Grand and San Juan Counties, UTPDF
81 FR 9426 - Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires From India, the People's Republic of China, and Sri Lanka: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Countervailing Duty InvestigationsPDF
81 FR 9428 - Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
81 FR 9460 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9427 - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
81 FR 9434 - Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty InvestigationPDF
81 FR 9467 - Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 9462 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 9464 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9485 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9487 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9486 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9380 - Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port ZonePDF
81 FR 9491 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Impact of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at the NIH Clinical Center on Physician Careers in Academia and Clinical Research (CC)PDF
81 FR 9490 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; CareerTracPDF
81 FR 9575 - Notice of a Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 9583 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
81 FR 9464 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, NevadaPDF
81 FR 9580 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a Currently-Approved Information Collection Request: Transportation of Household Goods; Consumer ProtectionPDF
81 FR 9467 - Lupin Ltd., Gavis Pharmaceuticals LLC, and Novel Laboratories, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 9469 - Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC and C.H. Boehringer Sohn AG & Co. KG; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 9461 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 9459 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9582 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a Currently-Approved Information Collection Request: Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers of Passengers and Motor Carriers of PropertyPDF
81 FR 9413 - Standardized Bycatch Reporting MethodologyPDF
81 FR 9485 - Developing an Evidentiary Standards Framework for Safety Biomarkers Qualification; Public WorkshopPDF
81 FR 9519 - Nuclear Regulatory Commission Insider Threat Program Policy StatementPDF
81 FR 9419 - Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture MeetingPDF
81 FR 9505 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Law Enforcement Officers Killed or AssaultedPDF
81 FR 9518 - Clarification of Licensee Actions in Support of Enforcement Guidance for Tornado-Generated MissilesPDF
81 FR 9561 - Securities Investor Protection CorporationPDF
81 FR 9586 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 9588 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
81 FR 9517 - Stepan CompanyPDF
81 FR 9587 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 1045PDF
81 FR 9587 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9495 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 9576 - Grenada Railroad, LLC-Lease and Operation Exemption-Illinois Central Railroad CompanyPDF
81 FR 9474 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 9476 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 9475 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 9338 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mantua Creek, Paulsboro, NJPDF
81 FR 9458 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9440 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); MeetingPDF
81 FR 9338 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chester River, Chestertown, MDPDF
81 FR 9333 - Amendments to the Low-Income Housing Credit Compliance-Monitoring RegulationsPDF
81 FR 9379 - Amendments to the Low-Income Housing Credit Compliance-Monitoring RegulationsPDF
81 FR 9509 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 9507 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 9506 - Simpson Lumber Company LLC, John's Prairie Operations Division, Shelton, Washington; Simpson Lumber Company LLC Sawmill and Mill #5, Including On-Site Leased Workers of Express Employment Services, Shelton, Washington; Interfor Corporation, NW Region-Tacomas; F/K/A Simpson Lumber Company, Inc.; Including On-Site Leased Workers From Almond and Associates and Optistaff; Including Workers Whose Unemployment Insurance (UI) Wages Are Reported Through Simpson Lumber Company, Inc.; Tacoma Washington; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 9497 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
81 FR 9440 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; St. George Reef Light Station Restoration and Maintenance at Northwest Seal Rock, Del Norte County, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 9447 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Dock Replacement ProjectPDF
81 FR 9363 - Special Conditions: Lufthansa Technik AG; Boeing Model 747-8 Series Airplanes, Large Non-Structural Glass in the Passenger CompartmentPDF
81 FR 9365 - Special Conditions: L-3 Communications Integrated Systems; Boeing Model 747-8 Series Airplanes, Large Non-Structural Glass in the Passenger CompartmentPDF
81 FR 9491 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 9492 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9493 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 9488 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 9492 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 9491 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 9473 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
81 FR 9481 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
81 FR 9506 - 180th Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 9513 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Provider Enrollment FormPDF
81 FR 9513 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Health Insurance Claim FormPDF
81 FR 9578 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Liberty Mutual Insurance CompanyPDF
81 FR 9577 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; SEESPAN, Inc.PDF
81 FR 9422 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9579 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Helicopters West Aerospace LLCPDF
81 FR 9580 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Gulfstream Aerospace CorporationPDF
81 FR 9578 - Government/Industry Aeronautical Charting Forum MeetingPDF
81 FR 9520 - Product Change-First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 9420 - Office of the Chief Financial Officer; Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9423 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 9521 - Product Change-First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 9433 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Procedures for Considering Requests From the Public for Textile and Apparel Safeguard Actions on Imports From PanamaPDF
81 FR 9432 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Panama TPA)PDF
81 FR 9520 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 9577 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; M3 Consulting Group, LLCPDF
81 FR 9585 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Interagency Appraisal Complaint FormPDF
81 FR 9584 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Comment Request; Disclosure of Financial and Other Information by National BanksPDF
81 FR 9465 - Notice of Issuance of Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 48PDF
81 FR 9579 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Leading Edge Associates, Inc.PDF
81 FR 9472 - Federal Management Regulation; Redesignation of Federal BuildingPDF
81 FR 9563 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Listed Company Manual To Adopt a Requirement That Listed Foreign Private Issuers Must, at a Minimum, Submit a Form 6-K to the Securities and Exchange Commission Containing Semi-Annual Unaudited Financial InformationPDF
81 FR 9573 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 7.31P(a)(2)(C) Relating to Repricing EventsPDF
81 FR 9550 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Reduce the Synchronization Tolerance for Computer Clocks That Are Used To Record Events in NMS Securities and OTC Equity SecuritiesPDF
81 FR 9533 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 8.2PDF
81 FR 9424 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2017 Economic Census, Industry Classification ReportPDF
81 FR 9360 - Television Market Modification; Statutory ImplementationPDF
81 FR 9410 - Cost Standards and Procedures; Property Acquisition and Management ManualPDF
81 FR 9557 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee Schedule To Eliminate Certain Fees Which Relate to the Series 56 Examination and To Include Certain Fees Which Relate to Series 57 Examination and Continuing EducationPDF
81 FR 9575 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Europe ETF, First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Asia Pacific ETF, First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Emerging Markets ETF, and First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Developed International ETF of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IIIPDF
81 FR 9559 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Nasdaq Rule 5940 To Adopt Entry and Annual Fees for NextSharesPDF
81 FR 9570 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.6, Definitions, To Amend the Operation of Orders With a Non-Displayed Instruction and Orders With Reserve QuantityPDF
81 FR 9571 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.6, Definitions, To Amend the Operation of Orders With a Non-Displayed Instruction and Orders With Reserve QuantityPDF
81 FR 9568 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.13(b)(3)(H), Order Execution and Routing, To Amend the Operation of Non-Displayed Orders and Reserve OrdersPDF
81 FR 9556 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.13(b)(3)(H), Order Execution and Routing, To Amend the Operation of Non-Displayed Orders and Reserve OrdersPDF
81 FR 9531 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to PartnershipsPDF
81 FR 9532 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, To List and Trade of Shares of RiverFront Dynamic Unconstrained Income ETF and RiverFront Dynamic Core Income ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 9535 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of RiverFront Dynamic US Dividend Advantage ETF and RiverFront Dynamic US Flex-Cap ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 9543 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Rules 8.15, Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules, and 25.3, Penalty for Minor Rule Violations, To Amend the Minor Rule Violation PlanPDF
81 FR 9566 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Rules 8.15, Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules, and 25.3, Penalty for Minor Rule Violations, Amending the Exchange's Minor Rule Violation PlanPDF
81 FR 9545 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rules 7410 (Definitions) and 7440 (Recording of Order Information)PDF
81 FR 9521 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Listing and Trading of Shares of the JPMorgan Diversified Alternative ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 9466 - Order Declares Ocean Technology Limited's International Section 214 Authorization TerminatedPDF
81 FR 9425 - Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 9426 - President's Export Council; Subcommittee on Export Administration; Notice of Open MeetingPDF
81 FR 9472 - Request for Nominations of Candidates To Serve on the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (the STAC or the Committee), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human ServicesPDF
81 FR 9480 - World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (WTCHP STAC or Advisory Committee), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
81 FR 9479 - Request for Nominations of Candidates To Serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (BSC, OPHPR)PDF
81 FR 9477 - National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Classifications and Public Health Data Standards Staff, Announces the Following MeetingPDF
81 FR 9477 - Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)PDF
81 FR 9478 - Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)PDF
81 FR 9481 - Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
81 FR 9463 - Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 9494 - National Infrastructure Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 9482 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 9425 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; BIS Program EvaluationPDF
81 FR 9353 - Triclopyr; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
81 FR 9397 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Missouri; Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis MO-IL Ozone Nonattainment AreaPDF
81 FR 9346 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Missouri; Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis MO-IL Ozone Nonattainment AreaPDF
81 FR 9343 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; Revisions to the Utah Division of Administrative Rules, R307-300 Series; Area Source Rules for Attainment of Fine Particulate Matter StandardsPDF
81 FR 9398 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
81 FR 9391 - Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery RequirementsPDF
81 FR 9395 - Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Commissioner's Orders for A.B. Brown and Clifty CreekPDF
81 FR 9331 - Airworthiness Directives; MD Helicopters Inc., HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 9421 - Land Between The Lakes Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 9407 - Clarification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification TrainingPDF
81 FR 9350 - Clarification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification TrainingPDF
81 FR 9592 - Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal ContractorsPDF
81 FR 9374 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 9367 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 9370 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 9446 - National Sea Grant Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 9421 - Ketchikan Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 9674 - Resource Management PlanningPDF

Issue

81 37 Thursday, February 25, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9420-9421 2016-03975 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, 9419-9420 2016-04025
Army Army Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9458-9460 2016-04008 2016-04034 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2017 Economic Census, Industry Classification Report, 9424-9425 2016-03958 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9474-9477 2016-04012 2016-04013 2016-04014 Charter Renewals: Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee, 9481 2016-03927 Meetings: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 9478-9479 2016-03928 Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 9473-9474, 9481 2016-03988 2016-03989 Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 9477 2016-03929 National Center for Health Statistics, Classifications and Public Health Data Standards Staff, 9477-9478 2016-03930 World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 9480-9481 2016-03932 Requests for Nominations: Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, 9479-9480 2016-03931 World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, 9472-9473 2016-03933 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9482-9483 2016-03922 Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Continued Approval of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities Rural Health Clinic Accreditation Program, 9481-9482 2016-04092 Meetings: Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education, 9483-9485 2016-04091 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Chester River, Chestertown, MD, 9338 2016-04006 Mantua Creek, Paulsboro, NJ, 9338-9339 2016-04011 PROPOSED RULES Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones: Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone, 9380-9391 2016-04052 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Disclosure of Financial and Other Information by National Banks, 9584-9585 2016-03966 Interagency Appraisal Complaint Form, 9585-9586 2016-03968 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9460, 9464 2016-04057 2016-04062 Meetings: Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel, Judicial Proceedings Panel, 9463-9464 2016-03926 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 9461-9463 2016-04038 2016-04058
Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, 9506 2016-03987 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Worker Adjustment Assistance; Determinations, 9509-9513 2016-04003 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Investigations, 9507-9509 2016-04002 Worker and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance; Amended Certifications: Simpson Lumber Co., LLC, Shelton, WA; et al., 9506-9507 2016-04001 Energy Department Energy Department NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Nevada, 9464-9465 2016-04042 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Missouri -- Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis MO-IL Ozone Nonattainment Area, 9346-9350 2016-03901 Utah -- Area Source Rules for Attainment of Fine Particulate Matter Standards, 9343-9346 2016-03898 Air Quality: Revision to the Regulatory Definition of Volatile Organic Compounds Requirements for t-Butyl Acetate, 9339-9343 2016-04072 Certification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification Training, 9350-9353 2016-03757 Pesticide Tolerances: Triclopyr, 9353-9360 2016-03910 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Indiana -- Commissioner's Orders for A. B. Brown and Clifty Creek, 9395-9397 2016-03893 Indiana -- Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements, 9391-9395 2016-03894 Missouri -- Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis MO-IL Ozone Nonattainment Area, 9397-9398 2016-03903 North Carolina -- Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 9398-9407 2016-03897 Certification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification Training, 9407-9410 2016-03758 NOTICES Meetings: Science and Information Subcommittee of the Great Lakes Advisory Board, 9465 2016-04086 Federal Accounting Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board NOTICES Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 48, 9465-9466 2016-03965 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: MD Helicopters Inc., Helicopters, 9331-9333 2016-03881 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 9374-9379 2016-03699 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 9367-9374 2016-03690 2016-03693 2016-03698 Special Conditions: L-3 Communications Integrated Systems; Boeing Model 747-8 Series Airplanes, Large Non-Structural Glass in the Passenger Compartment, 9365-9367 2016-03996 Lufthansa Technik AG; Boeing Model 747-8 Series Airplanes, Large Non-Structural Glass in the Passenger Compartment, 9363-9365 2016-03997 NOTICES Meetings: Government/Industry Aeronautical Charting Forum, 9578-9579 2016-03977 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., 9580 2016-03978 Helicopters West Aerospace, LLC, 9579 2016-03980 Leading Edge Associates, Inc., 9579-9580 2016-03964 Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 9578 2016-03984 M3 Consulting Group, LLC, 9577-9578 2016-03969 SEESPAN, Inc., 9577 2016-03983 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Television Market Modification; Statutory Implementation, 9360-9362 2016-03957 NOTICES International Section 214 Authorization Orders; Terminations: Ocean Technology, Ltd., 9466-9467 2016-03939 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Interagency Appraisal Complaint Form, 9585-9586 2016-03968 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers of Passengers and Motor Carriers of Property, 9582 2016-04032 Transportation of Household Goods; Consumer Protection, 9580-9581 2016-04041 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 9583-9584 2016-04046 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities, 9467 2016-04059 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements: Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC and C.H. Boehringer Sohn AG and Co. KG, 9469-9472 2016-04039 Lupin, Ltd.; Gavis Pharmaceuticals, LLC; and Novel Laboratories, Inc., 9467-9469 2016-04040 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications, 9495-9497 2016-04016 Permits: Endangered Species, 9497-9498 2016-04000 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Meetings: Developing an Evidentiary Standards Framework for Safety Biomarkers Qualification; Public Workshop, 9485 2016-04027 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Ketchikan Resource Advisory Committee, 9421-9422 2016-03481 Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board, 9421 2016-03840 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Redesignations of Federal Buildings, 9472 2016-03963 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9485-9488 2016-04054 2016-04055 2016-04056
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Transportation Security Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, 9493-9494 2016-04068 National Infrastructure Advisory Council, 9494 2016-03925
Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: BIS Program Evaluation, 9425-9426 2016-03921 Meetings: President's Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration, 9426 2016-03935 Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee, 9425 2016-03937 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Low-Income Housing Credit Compliance-Monitoring Regulations, 9333-9338 2016-04005 PROPOSED RULES Low-Income Housing Credit Compliance-Monitoring Regulations, 9379-9380 2016-04004 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9586-9589 2016-04017 2016-04018 2016-04020 2016-04021 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Interim Procedures for Considering Requests from the Public for Textile and Apparel Safeguard Actions on Imports from Panama, 9433-9434 2016-03972 Interim Procedures for Considering Requests under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, 9432-9433 2016-03971 Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from India, the People's Republic of China, and Sri Lanka, 9426-9427 2016-04064 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China, 9427-9428 2016-04061 Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China, 9428-9432, 9434-9440 2016-04060 2016-04063 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 9505 2016-04122 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted, 9505-9506 2016-04024 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Employment and Training Administration

PROPOSED RULES Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, 9592-9671 2016-03722 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Health Insurance Claim Form, 9513-9514 2016-03985 Provider Enrollment Form, 9513 2016-03986
Land Land Management Bureau PROPOSED RULES Resource Management Planning, 9674-9734 2016-03232 NOTICES Final Supplementary Rules for Public Lands Managed by the Moab and Monticello Field Offices in Grand and San Juan Counties, UT, 9498-9505 2016-04065 Legal Legal Services Corporation PROPOSED RULES Cost Standards and Procedures; Property Acquisition and Management Manual, 9410-9412 2016-03954 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9422 2016-03981 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: CareerTrac, 9490-9491 2016-04050 Impact of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at the NIH Clinical Center on Physician Careers in Academia and Clinical Research, 9491-9492 2016-04051 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 9491 2016-03990 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 9488-9490 2016-03992 National Human Genome Research Institute, 9492 2016-03991 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 9491 2016-03995 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 9493 2016-03993 National Institute on Aging, 9492-9493 2016-03994 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology, 9413-9418 2016-04030 NOTICES Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 9440 2016-04007 National Sea Grant Advisory Board, 9446-9447 2016-03514 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Dock Replacement Project, 9447-9458 2016-03998 St. George Reef Light Station Restoration and Maintenance at Northwest Seal Rock, Del Norte County, CA, 9440-9446 2016-03999 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research, 9514-9517 2016-04073 2016-04074 2016-04075 2016-04076 2016-04077 2016-04078 2016-04079 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 9517 2016-04208 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Guidance: Clarification of Licensee Actions in Support of Enforcement Guidance for Tornado-Generated Missiles, 9518-9519 2016-04023 Insider Threat Program Policy Statement, 9519-9520 2016-04026 License Terminations: Stepan Co., 9517-9518 2016-04019 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 9520-9521 2016-03973 2016-03976 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 9520 2016-03967 2016-03970 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Cuba; Modification and Continuation of National Emergency Concerning Regulation of Anchorage and Movement of Vessels (Proc. 9398), 9735-9739 2016-04289 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9422-9423 2016-03979 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9423-9424 2016-03974 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Securities Investor Protection Corporation: Standard Maximum Cash Advance Amount, Beginning January 1, 2017; Determination, 9561-9563 2016-04022 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 9543-9545, 9568-9570 2016-03943 2016-03948 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 9556-9557 2016-03947 BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 9557-9559 2016-03953 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 9533-9535 2016-03959 EDGA Exchange, Inc., 9570-9571 2016-03950 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 9566-9568, 9571-9573 2016-03942 2016-03949 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 9545-9555 2016-03941 2016-03960 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 9531-9532 2016-03946 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 9559-9561, 9575 2016-03951 2016-03952 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 9563-9566 2016-03962 NYSE Arca, Inc., 9521-9543, 9573-9575 2016-03940 2016-03944 2016-03945 2016-03961 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: Preparations for International Maritime Organization'Facilitation Committee Meeting, 9575-9576 2016-04048 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Discontinuance of Service Exemptions: CSX Transportation, Inc., Hamilton County, OH, 9576-9577 2016-04168 Leases and Operation Exemptions: Grenada Railroad, LLC; Illinois Central Railroad Co., 9576 2016-04015 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pipeline Operator Security Information, 9494-9495 2016-04067 Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Labor Department, 9592-9671 2016-03722 Part III Interior Department, Land Management Bureau, 9674-9734 2016-03232 Part IV Presidential Documents, 9735-9739 2016-04289 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 37 Thursday, February 25, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3659; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-050-AD; Amendment 39-18409; AD 2016-04-15] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; MD Helicopters Inc., Helicopters AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), Model 369A, 369D, 369E, 369FF, 369HE, 369HM, 369HS, 500N, and 600N helicopters with a certain part-numbered main rotor blade attach pin (pin) installed. This AD requires ensuring the life limit of the pin as listed in the Airworthiness Limitations section of aircraft maintenance records and Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA). If the hours time-in-service (TIS) of a pin is unknown, or if a pin has exceeded its life limit, this AD requires removing the affected pin from service. This AD was prompted by a report from an operator who purchased pins that did not have life limit documentation. These actions are intended to document the life limit to prevent a pin remaining in service beyond its fatigue life, which could result in failure of a pin, failure of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD is effective March 31, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Aerometals, 3920 Sandstone Dr., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762, telephone (916) 939-6888, fax (916) 939-6555, www.aerometals.aero. You may review a copy of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3659; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Galib Abumeri, Aviation Safety Engineer, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5324; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On September 2, 2015, at 80 FR 53028, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to MDHI Model 369A, 369D, 369E, 369FF, 369HE, 369HM, 369HS, 500N, and 600N helicopters with a pin part-number (P/N) 369X1004-5 installed. The NPRM proposed to require determining the number of hours TIS of each pin and whether the aircraft maintenance records contain a pin life limit. If the hours TIS are unknown, NPRM proposed to require removing the pin from service. If the aircraft maintenance records do not contain a pin life limit, the NPRM proposed to require revising the records and establishing a life limit of 5,760 hours if the pin is installed on a Model 369A, 369HE, 369HM, or 369HS helicopter, or 7,600 hours if the pin is installed on a Model 369D, 369E, 369FF, 500N, or 600N helicopter. The NPRM also proposed to require revising the records to add a statement that if a pin is interchanged between different model helicopters, then its life limit must be restricted to the lower life limit even if it was originally installed on a helicopter model with a higher life limit. Lastly, the NPRM proposed to prohibit installing a pin on any helicopter before these proposed requirements have been accomplished.

Aerometals produces pin P/N 369X1004-5 under a parts manufacturer approval as a replacement pin for MDHI P/N 369A1004-5. The NPRM was prompted by a report from an operator who purchased Aerometals' pins P/N 369X1004-5 without life limit documentation. The FAA inadvertently approved the pins without a life limit in the Airworthiness Limitations section and without a restriction for parts that are interchanged between models with different life limits. A total of 5,133 affected pins were sold by Aerometals without any indication that the parts were life-limited. The proposed requirements were intended to correct the failure of these parts to have a documented life limit to prevent a pin remaining in service beyond its fatigue life, which could result in failure of a pin, failure of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Comments

After our NPRM (80 FR 53028, September 2, 2015) was published, we received a comment from one commenter supporting the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Related Service Information

Aerometals has issued Aero-ICA-1001 Supplemental Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, Revision NC, dated May 22, 2014, and Service Bulletin Aero-SB-1103, dated July 2, 2014. The service bulletin specifies determining whether the helicopter has pins P/N 369X1004-5 installed and then reviewing the aircraft maintenance records to determine if the pins have a life limit identified. If the life limit is not the same as that listed in the ICA, the service bulletin specifies revising the life limit in the maintenance records. The service bulletin states that the pins were approved by the FAA as parts manufacturer approval direct replacement parts with the same life limits as the parts they replace. However, they were sold without an FAA-approved supplemental ICA containing an Airworthiness Limitations Section specifically assigning these life limits to the pins.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 118 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. We estimate 1/2 work-hour to inspect and record any update for a total of $42.50 per helicopter and $5,015 for the U.S. fleet. If required, we estimate 1 work-hour per helicopter to replace 10 pins because each blade has 2 pins and each helicopter has 5 blades. Required parts are $445 for each pin. Based on these estimates, it will cost $4,535 per helicopter to replace 10 pins if the pins have exceeded their life limit.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-04-15 MD Helicopters Inc.: Amendment 39-18409; Docket No. FAA-2015-3659; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-050-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model 369A, 369D, 369E, 369FF, 369HE, 369HM, 369HS, 500N, and 600N helicopters with an Aerometals main rotor blade attach pin (pin) part number (P/N) 369X1004-5 installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as a pin remaining in service beyond its fatigue life. This condition could result in failure of a pin, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective March 31, 2016.

(d) Compliance

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

(e) Required Actions

(1) Within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) or during the next annual inspection, whichever occurs first:

(i) Review the maintenance records and determine the hours TIS of each pin P/N 369X1004-5 and whether there is a pin life limit listed in the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the applicable maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA). If the hours TIS on a pin is unknown, remove the pin from service.

(ii) For Model 369A, 369HE, 369HM, and 369HS helicopters, if there is no pin life limit, establish a new life limit of 5,760 hours TIS for each pin P/N 369X1004-5 by making pen-and-ink changes or by inserting a copy of this AD into the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the maintenance manual or the ICA. Remove from service any pin that has 5,760 or more hours TIS.

(iii) For Model 369D, 369E, 369FF, 500N, and 600N helicopters, if there is no pin life limit, establish a new life limit of 7,600 hours TIS for each pin P/N 369X1004-5 by making pen-and-ink changes or by inserting a copy of this AD into the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the maintenance manual or the ICA. Remove from service any pin that has 7,600 or more hours TIS.

(iv) For all model helicopters, add the following statement to the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the maintenance manual or the ICA by making pen-and-ink changes or by inserting a copy of this AD: If interchanged between different model helicopters, the life limit of pin P/N 369X1004-5 must be restricted to the lowest life limit indicated for the helicopter models and serial numbers affected.

(2) Do not install a pin P/N 369X1004-5 on any helicopter before the requirements of this AD have been accomplished.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Galib Abumeri, Aviation Safety Engineer, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5324 or email at [email protected]

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

(g) Additional Information

Aerometals Service Bulletin Aero-SB-1103, dated July 2, 2014, and Aerometals Aero-ICA-101 Supplemental Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, Revision NC, dated May 22, 2014, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this final rule. For service information identified in this final rule, contact Aerometals, 3920 Sandstone Dr., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762, telephone (916) 939-6888, fax (916) 939-6555, www.aerometals.aero. You may review a copy of this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(h) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6210 Main Rotor Blades.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 17, 2016. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-03881 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9753] RIN 1545-BL84 Amendments to the Low-Income Housing Credit Compliance-Monitoring Regulations AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final and temporary regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final and temporary regulations relating to the compliance-monitoring duties of a State or local housing credit agency for purposes of the low-income housing credit. The final and temporary regulations revise and clarify the requirement to conduct physical inspections and review low-income certifications and other documentation. The final and temporary regulations will affect State or local housing credit agencies. The text of these temporary regulations also serves as the text of the proposed regulations (REG-150349-12) set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register.

DATES:

Effective date: These regulations are effective on February 25, 2016.

Applicability date: For dates of applicability, see § 1.42-5T(h)(2).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jian H. Grant, (202) 317-4137, and Martha M. Garcia, (202) 317-6853 (not toll-free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This document amends 26 CFR part 1 to revise and clarify rules relating to section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). On March 5, 2012, the Treasury Department and the IRS published Notice 2012-18, 2012-10 IRB 438. Notice 2012-18 informed State and local housing credit agencies participating in a physical inspections pilot program of an alternative method for satisfying certain inspection and review responsibilities under § 1.42-5(c)(2) for projects for which the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) conducted physical inspections.1 Notice 2012-18 also requested comments on various issues relating to § 1.42-5. The Treasury Department and the IRS received written and electronic comments in response. After consideration of all of the comments received, the Treasury Department and the IRS are issuing these final and temporary regulations.

1 Notice 2014-15, 2014-12 IRB 661, extended permission through December 31, 2014, for State and local housing credit agencies to use the alternative method in Notice 2012-18.

This document also updates the authority citation of 26 CFR part 1. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (Pub. L. 101-239) re-designated section 42(m) of the Code as section 42(n). The updates in this document reflect that re-designation.

General Overview

Section 42 provides rules for determining the amount of the low-income housing credit, which section 38 allows as a credit against income tax. Section 42(a) provides that the amount of the low-income housing credit for any taxable year in the credit period is an amount equal to the applicable percentage of the qualified basis of each qualified low-income building. Section 42(c)(2) defines a qualified low-income building as any building that is part of a qualified low-income housing project at all times during the compliance period (the period of 15 taxable years beginning with the first taxable year of the credit period).

Section 42(g)(1) defines a qualified low-income housing project as any project for residential rental property if the project meets one of the following tests, as elected by the taxpayer:

(A) At least 20 percent of the residential units in the project are rent-restricted and occupied by individuals whose income is 50 percent or less of area median gross income; or

(B) At least 40 percent of the residential units in the project are rent-restricted and occupied by individuals whose income is 60 percent or less of area median gross income.

In general, under section 42(i)(3)(A), a low-income unit is a residential unit that is rent-restricted and the occupants of which meet the applicable income limit elected by the taxpayer as described in section 42(g)(1)(A) or (B).

Under section 42(i)(3)(B)(i), a unit is not treated as a low-income unit unless it is suitable for occupancy and used other than on a transient basis. Under section 42(i)(3)(B)(ii), the suitability of a unit for occupancy must be determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary taking into account local health, safety, and building codes. Failure of one or more units to qualify as low-income units may result in a project's ineligibility for the low-income housing credit, reduction in the amount of the credit, and/or recapture of previously allowed credits.

Under section 42(m)(1), the owners of an otherwise-qualifying building are not entitled to low-income housing credits that are allocated to the building unless, among other requirements, the allocation is pursuant to a qualified allocation plan (QAP). A QAP provides standards by which a State or local housing credit agency or its Authorized Delegate within the meaning of § 1.42-5(f)(1) (“Agency”) will make these allocations. A QAP also provides a procedure that an Agency must follow in monitoring for compliance with the provisions of section 42. A plan fails to be a QAP unless, in addition to other requirements, it—

provides a procedure that the agency (or an agent or other private contractor of such agency) will follow in monitoring for noncompliance with the provisions of [section 42] and in notifying the Internal Revenue Service of such noncompliance which such agency becomes aware of and in monitoring for noncompliance with habitability standards through regular site visits. Section 42(m)(1)(B)(iii).

Section 1.42-5 (the compliance-monitoring regulations) describes some of the provisions that must be part of any QAP. As part of its compliance-monitoring responsibilities, an Agency must perform physical inspections and low-income certification review.

The compliance-monitoring regulations specifically provide that, for each low-income housing project, an Agency must conduct on-site inspections of all buildings by the end of the second calendar year following the year the last building in the project is placed in service (the all-buildings requirement). In addition, prior to the amendments in this document, the regulations provided that, for at least 20 percent of the project's low-income units (the 20-percent rule), the Agency must both inspect the units and review the low-income certifications, the documentation supporting the certifications, and the rent records for the tenants in those same units (the same-units requirement). The regulations provide that the Agency must also conduct on-site inspections and low-income certification review at least once every 3 years after the initial on-site inspection. Further, the regulations require the Agency to randomly select which low-income units and tenant records to inspect and review (the random-selection rule). The regulations also require the Agency to choose the low-income units and tenant records in a manner that will not give owners of low-income housing projects advance notice that a unit and tenant records for a particular year will or will not be inspected and reviewed (the no-notice rule). However, an Agency may give an owner reasonable notice that an inspection of the building and low-income units or tenant record review will occur so that the owner may notify tenants of the inspection or assemble tenant records for review (for example, 30-day notice of inspection or review).

Summary of Comments and Explanation of Provisions Use of the REAC Protocol, Physical Inspections, and Low-Income Certification Reviews

Notice 2012-18 asked whether the 20-percent rule for both physical inspections and low-income certification review is appropriate, including whether this percentage appropriately balances the IRS's compliance concerns against the desirability of reducing the inspection burden on Agencies, tenants, and building owners; whether the percentage should vary depending on the type of inspection the Agencies are performing; and whether the percentage should vary with the number of units in a building.

Notice 2012-18 also asked whether the regulations should provide an exception from the inspection provisions of § 1.42-5(d) for inspections done under the HUD Real Estate Assessment Center protocol (REAC protocol) similar to the exception under § 1.42-5(d)(3) for inspections performed by the Rural Housing Service under the section 515 program. Notice 2012-18 had permitted use of the REAC protocol by participants in an inter-Departmental physical inspections pilot program that sought to align the section 42 physical inspection requirements with the physical inspection requirements under HUD programs.

Several commenters asserted that the 20-percent rule is appropriate. Others claimed that it is overly burdensome for larger properties (30 units or more). Several commenters suggested that the regulations permit an Agency to satisfy the physical inspection requirement by using the REAC protocol. These commenters generally suggested that availability of the REAC protocol for physical inspections would promote flexibility and lessen burden. Allowing an Agency to use the REAC protocol for purposes of the section 42 physical inspection requirements would eliminate the need for multiple Federal inspections on the same property if the property also benefits from HUD programs. Additionally, for larger properties, the minimum number of low-income units that an Agency must inspect under the REAC protocol may be fewer than under the 20-percent rule.

In response to the comments received, the final and temporary regulations authorize the IRS to specify in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin the minimum number of low-income units for which an Agency must conduct physical inspections and low-income certification review. Rev. Proc. 2016-15, which is being issued concurrently with these regulations, provides that, in a low-income housing project, the minimum number of low-income units that must undergo physical inspection is the lesser of 20 percent of the low-income units in the project, rounded up to the nearest whole number of units, or the number of low-income units set forth in the Low-Income Housing Credit Minimum Unit Sample Size Reference Chart in the revenue procedure. The revenue procedure applies the same rule to determine the minimum number of units that must undergo low-income certification review. An Agency is free to conduct physical inspections or low-income certification review on a larger number of low-income units if it believes that to be appropriate.

The Treasury Department and the IRS, however, are concerned about application of this 20 percent rule in some situations. For projects with a relatively smaller number of low-income units, physical inspection or low-income certification review of a randomly chosen 20 percent of those units may not produce a sufficiently accurate estimate of the remaining units' overall compliance with habitability or low-income requirements. Accordingly, not later than when these temporary regulations are finalized, the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to consider whether Rev. Proc. 2016-15 should be replaced with a revenue procedure that does not permit use of the 20 percent rule in those circumstances.

In response to Notice 2012-18's request for comments on whether the IRS should provide an exception from the inspection provisions of § 1.42-5(d) for inspections done under the REAC protocol, commenters generally supported creating such an exception. The final and temporary regulations, however, do not fully adopt this suggestion. Instead, the regulations authorize the IRS to provide in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin exceptions from, or alternative means of satisfying, the inspection provisions of § 1.42-5(d). Rev. Proc. 2016-15 provides that the REAC protocol is among the inspection protocols that satisfy both § 1.42-5(d) and the physical inspection requirements of § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(ii) and (iii). The revenue procedure contains a rigorous definition of which inspection regimes it will treat as being the REAC protocol for this purpose. Comments are requested on all aspects of the provisions in the revenue procedure that define “performed under the REAC protocol” for purposes of satisfying §§ 1.42-5(d) and 1.42-5T(c)(2)(ii) and (iii).

Because vacant low-income units contribute to a building's qualified basis, both occupied and vacant low-income units in a low-income housing project must be included in the population of units from which units are selected for inspection. This is the case even if the vacant unit or units may be temporarily unsuitable for occupancy as a result of work that is being done to repair or rehabilitate the unit or units. See § 1.42-5(e)(4). Potential inspection of vacant units is the rule for all compliance-monitoring inspections that do not use the REAC protocol, and Rev. Proc. 2016-15 therefore requires similar treatment when an Agency conducts a physical inspection under the REAC protocol.

Some commenters recommended using a risk-based assessment model in place of the 20-percent rule. Such a model would determine the frequency of inspections and the number of low-income units to inspect based on the probability of noncompliance of a low-income housing project. The probability of noncompliance would be determined for this purpose by the degree of compliance of the project over one or more prior years. The final and temporary regulations do not adopt this approach. However, in response to the request for comments on these temporary regulations, commenters wishing to renew this suggestion should provide both greater detail regarding the suggested risk-based procedure and a thorough justification for that procedure, including why a multi-year approach fits within the compliance requirements of section 42.

Several commenters suggested modifying the 20-percent rule by requiring more units for the initial physical inspection than for the subsequent physical inspections on the ground that a comprehensive initial physical inspection establishes a baseline of compliance for a low-income housing project. By contrast, some commenters suggested requiring more units for the subsequent physical inspections, asserting that the quality of compliance of a low-income housing project often decreases after the initial physical inspection. These comments, however, did not provide sufficient analysis to justify increasing the number of units to be inspected in either the initial or a subsequent inspection. Without a reasonable basis for doing so, requiring more units for either the initial or subsequent inspections would unreasonably increase the administrative burden on Agencies, owners, and tenants of low-income housing projects. The final and temporary regulations, therefore, do not adopt these suggestions. Commenters wishing to renew either of these suggestions should provide both greater detail and a thorough justification for the suggestion.

On the question of whether the required percentage of low-income units should vary depending on the type of compliance review (physical inspection or low-income certification review), one commenter recommended against a varying percentage, stating that there is no compelling reason for the required percentage to vary. A second commenter suggested that, in order to assess tenant eligibility, an Agency should review more than 20 percent of the low-income certifications because noncompliance relating to tenant eligibility may be harder to detect than noncompliance relating to habitability. The final and temporary regulations adopt the first commenter's suggestion. Just as an Agency may always physically inspect more than the minimum number of units, if an Agency deems it appropriate, the Agency may always review more than the minimum number of low-income certifications in a project to assess tenant eligibility. Commenters wishing to renew comments on this issue should provide both greater detail and a thorough justification for their suggestion.

Two commenters suggested that the regulations not impose an all-buildings requirement for physical inspection, but merely require an Agency to apply the physical inspection and low-income certification review requirements on a project-wide basis. According to these commenters, an all-buildings requirement can make the inspection process overly burdensome, particularly in rural areas where projects often consist of small buildings such as single-unit buildings, duplexes, or triplexes. The final and temporary regulations do not fully adopt this suggestion. The regulations continue to require that Agencies comply with the all-buildings requirement unless guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin pursuant to § 1.42-5T(a)(iii) provides otherwise.

Rev. Proc. 2016-15 does provide for such an exception. Under Rev. Proc. 2016-15, the all-buildings requirement does not apply to an Agency that uses the REAC protocol, under HUD oversight, to satisfy the physical inspection requirement (although the REAC protocol itself may require inspection of all buildings in certain cases). The rigor with which Rev. Proc. 2016-15 defines the REAC protocol justifies this exception. Among the requirements set forth in the revenue procedure is the requirement that a physical inspection performed under the REAC protocol utilize the standards adopted, and inspectors certified, by HUD. Inspections performed under the REAC protocol or by the Rural Housing Service under the section 515 program require federal agency oversight. Thus, such oversight substitutes for an all-buildings requirement for inspection. Similar to inspections performed by the Rural Housing Service under the section 515 program, inspections performed under the REAC protocol are not subject to an all-buildings requirement. A physical inspection that the revenue procedure treats as being performed under the REAC protocol also involves the use of the most recent REAC UPCS inspection software, which has a strong statistical basis. Therefore, under the revenue procedure, the REAC protocol is an acceptable method for satisfying both § 1.42-5(d) and the physical inspection requirement of § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(ii) and (iii). If, in the future, the Treasury Department and the IRS become persuaded that there are one or more additional suitable alternatives to the all-buildings requirement, they may provide one or more additional exceptions to that requirement.

A commenter suggested that the regulations permit an Agency to treat multiple buildings with a common owner and plan of financing as a single low-income housing project, regardless of whether the owner has elected this treatment under section 42(g)(3)(D). The final and temporary regulations do not adopt this suggestion. Section 42(c)(2)(A) defines a “qualified low-income building” as, in part, any building that is part of a qualified low-income housing project at all times throughout the compliance period. Section 42(g) defines a “qualified low-income housing project” as any project for residential rental property if the project meets the requirements of section 42(g)(1)(A) or (B), whichever is elected by the taxpayer. The scope of the term “qualified low-income housing project” for purposes of physical inspections should be the same as for other purposes under section 42.

Decoupling of the Physical Inspection and Low-Income Certification Review Requirements (Ending the Same-Units Requirement)

Notice 2012-18 asked for comments on whether permitting physical inspection and low-income certification review of different low-income units (that is, ending the same-units requirement) would simplify the inspection process. The notice also asked for comments on whether ending the requirement would impair the value of the data obtained. One commenter asserted that the current rule of requiring physical inspection and low-income certification review of the same low-income units is effective in finding noncompliance on a particular unit. Most commenters, however, believed that decoupling of the physical inspection and low-income certification review requirements would reduce the administrative burden, better preserve the surprise element, and likely increase the coverage of compliance-monitoring.

In response to these comments, the final and temporary regulations end the same-units requirement by decoupling the physical inspection and low-income certification review. Therefore, an Agency is no longer required to conduct physical inspection and low-income certification review on the same units. Because the units no longer need to be the same, an Agency may choose a different number of units for physical inspection and for low-income certification review, provided the Agency chooses at least the minimum number of low-income units in each case. If an Agency chooses to select different low-income units for physical inspections and low-income certification review, the Agency must select the units for physical inspection or low-income certification review separately and in a random manner.

Further, because the units no longer need to be the same, an Agency may choose to conduct physical inspection and low-income certification review at different times. For example, if HUD requires a physical inspection only two years after a joint HUD/low-income housing credit inspection, that second inspection may be used for both HUD and low-income housing credit purposes without accelerating the next low-income housing credit file review. (Thereafter, physical inspections performed every third year might take place a year before the every-three-year file reviews.) Also, an Agency may choose to conduct physical inspections in the summer but complete the low-income certification review in the winter when physical inspections may be difficult to conduct due to weather conditions. The inspections and reviews, however, must satisfy the applicable timeliness requirements of § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(ii)(A)(1) and (2).

In addition, to make meaningful the physical inspection and low-income certification review, the final and temporary regulations retain the random-selection rule and strengthen the no-notice rule. Accordingly, if an agency decides to decouple the physical inspection and low-income certification review, the Agency may not allow selection of a low-income unit for physical inspection (or low-income certification review) to influence the likelihood that the same unit will be selected (or will not be selected) for low-income certification review (or physical inspection).

Whether or not an Agency is selecting the same units for inspection and for low-income certification review, the Agency may give an owner reasonable notice that an inspection of the building and low-income units or review of low-income certifications will occur. This notice enables the owner to notify tenants of the inspection or to assemble low-income certifications for review. The regulations provide that reasonable notice is generally no more than 30 days, but they also provide a very limited extension for certain extraordinary circumstances beyond an Agency's control such as natural disasters and severe weather conditions.

Thus, under the final and temporary regulations, if an Agency chooses to select the same units for physical inspections and low-income certification review, the Agency may conduct physical inspections and low-income certification review either at the same time or separately. However, once the Agency informs the owner of the identity of the units for which physical inspections or low-income certification review will occur, the Agency must conduct the physical inspections and low-income certification review within the reasonable-notice time frame described in the preceding paragraph.

Comments are requested on these aspects of the regulations. For example, comments are requested on whether the same maximum amount of notice is reasonable for physical inspections and low-income certification review. Comments are also requested on whether, for physical inspections, the reasonable-notice time frame should be shortened. For example, under the REAC protocol, an inspector provides a 15-day notice of an upcoming HUD inspection to the owner and/or manager of the building and same-day notice of which units are to be inspected.

Possible Changes in the Minimum Size of Samples

The Treasury Department and the IRS believe the methods in Rev. Proc. 2016-15 reasonably balance the burden on Agencies, tenants, and building owners while adequately monitoring compliance. However, additional comments may be submitted on other possible methods, including stratified sampling procedures and estimation methodologies. To be useful, any such comments should include substantial detail regarding the procedures to be adopted and should provide thorough justification as to whether the suggested methods effectively reduce burden without negatively impacting the confidence that can be placed in the results obtained from the resulting samples.

Revision to Frequency and Form of Certification

The final and temporary regulations revise the rules currently in § 1.42-5(c)(3) to clarify that a monitoring procedure must require that the owner certifications in § 1.42-5(c)(1) be made to and reviewed by the Agency at least annually covering each year of the 15-year compliance period.

Effective/Applicability Dates

The temporary regulations apply on February 25, 2016 and expire on February 22, 2019. Agencies using the REAC protocol as part of the physical inspections pilot program may rely on the temporary regulations for on-site inspections and low-income certification review occurring between January 1, 2015 and February 25, 2016.

Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

IRS Revenue Procedures, Revenue Rulings notices, notices and other guidance cited in this document are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov.

Special Analyses

Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because these regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, these regulations have been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

Drafting Information

The principal authors of these regulations are Jian H. Grant and Martha M. Garcia, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

PART 1—INCOME TAXES

Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by removing the entries for §§ 1.42-1T and 1.42-2T and by adding and revising entries in numerical order to read as follows:

Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Section 1.42-1T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 42(n).

Section 1.42-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 42(n).

Section 1.42-5T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 42(n).

Par. 2. Section 1.42-5 is amended by: 1. Adding paragraph (a)(2)(iii). 2. Revising paragraphs (c)(2)(ii) and (iii) and (c)(3). 3. Revising the paragraph heading of paragraph (h), redesignating the text of paragraph (h) as paragraph (h)(1) and adding a paragraph (h)(1) heading, and adding paragraph (h)(2). 4. Adding paragraph (i).

The additions and revisions read as follows:

§ 1.42-5 Monitoring compliance with low-income housing credit requirements.

(a) * * *

(2) * * *

(iii) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5T(a)(2)(iii).

(c) * * *

(2) * * *

(ii) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(ii).

(iii) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(iii).

(3) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5T(c)(3).

(h) Effective/applicability dates—(1) In general.* * *

(2) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5T(h)(2).

(i) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5T(i).

Par. 3. Section 1.42-5T is added to read as follows:
§ 1.42-5T Monitoring compliance with low-income housing credit requirements (temporary).

(a)(1) through (a)(2)(ii) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5(a)(1) through (a)(2)(ii).

(iii) Effect of guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. Guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter) may provide—

(A) Exceptions to the requirements referred to in § 1.42-5(a)(2)(i) and the requirements described in this section; or

(B) Alternative means of satisfying those requirements.

(b) through (c)(2)(i) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5(b) through (c)(2)(i).

(ii) Require that, with respect to each low-income housing project, the Agency conduct on-site inspections and review low-income certifications (including in that term the documentation supporting the low-income certifications and the rent records for tenants).

(iii) Require that the on-site inspections that the Agency must conduct satisfy both the requirements of § 1.42-5(d) and the requirements in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(A) through (D) of this section, and require that the low-income certification review that the Agency must perform satisfies the requirements in paragraphs (c)(2)(iii)(A) through (D) of this section. Paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(A) through (D) of this section provides rules determining how these on-site inspection requirements and how these low-income certification review requirements may be satisfied by an inspection or review, as the case may be, that includes only a sample of the low-income units.

(A) Timing. The Agency must conduct on-site inspections of all buildings in the low-income housing project and must review low-income certifications of the low-income housing project—

(1) By the end of the second calendar year following the year the last building in the low-income housing project is placed in service; and

(2) At least once every 3 years thereafter.

(B) Number of low-income units. The Agency must conduct on-site inspections and low-income certification review of not fewer than the minimum number of low-income units required by guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. See § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter.

(C) Selection of low-income units for inspection and low-income certifications for review—(1) Random selection. The Agency must select in a random manner the low-income units to be inspected and the units whose low-income certifications are to be reviewed. The Agency is not required to select the same low-income units of a low-income housing project for on-site inspections and low-income certification review, and an Agency may choose a different number of units for on-site inspections and for low-income certification review, provided the Agency chooses at least the minimum number of low-income units in each case. If the Agency chooses to select different low-income units for on-site inspections and low-income certification review, the Agency must select the units for on-site inspections or low-income certification review separately and in a random manner.

(2) Advance notification limited to reasonable notice. The Agency must select the low-income units to inspect and low-income certifications to review in a manner that will not give advance notice that a particular low-income unit (or low-income certifications for a particular low-income unit) for a particular year will or will not be inspected (or reviewed). However, the Agency may give an owner reasonable notice that an inspection of the building and low-income units or review of low-income certifications will occur. The notice is to enable the owner to notify tenants of the inspection or to assemble low-income certifications for review.

(3) Meaning of reasonable notice. For purposes of paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(C)(ii) of this section, reasonable notice is generally no more than 30 days. The notice period begins on the date the Agency informs the owner of the identity of the units for which on-site inspections or low-income certification review will or will not occur. Notice of more than 30 days, however, may be reasonable in extraordinary circumstances that are beyond an Agency's control and that prevent an Agency from carrying out within 30 days an on-site inspection or low-income certification review. Extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to, natural disasters and severe weather conditions. In the event of extraordinary circumstances that result in a reasonable-notice period longer than 30 days, an Agency must conduct the on-site inspection or low-income certification review as soon as practicable.

(4) Applicability of reasonable notice limitation when the same units are chosen for inspection and file review. If the Agency chooses to select the same units for on-site inspections and low-income certification review, the Agency may conduct on-site inspections and low-income certification review either at the same time or separately. The Agency, however, must conduct both the inspections and review within the reasonable-notice period described in paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(C)(2) and (3) of this section.

(D) Method of low-income certification review. The Agency may review the low-income certifications wherever the owner maintains or stores the records (either on-site or off-site).

(3) Frequency and form of certification. A monitoring procedure must require that the certifications and reviews of § 1.42-5(c)(1) and (c)(2)(i) be made at least annually covering each year of the 15-year compliance period under section 42(i)(1). The certifications must be made under penalty of perjury. A monitoring procedure may require certifications and reviews more frequently than every 12 months, provided that all months within each 12-month period are subject to certification.

(c)(4) through (h)(1) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.42-5(c)(4) through (h)(1).

(2) Effective/applicability dates of the REAC inspection protocol. The requirements in paragraphs (a)(2)(iii), (c)(2)(ii) and (iii), and (c)(3) of this section apply beginning on February 25, 2016. Agencies using the REAC inspection protocol of the Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of the Physical Inspections Pilot Program may rely on these provisions for on-site inspections and low-income certification review occurring between January 1, 2015 and February 25, 2016. Otherwise, for the rules that apply before February 25, 2016, see § 1.42-5 as contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised as of April 1, 2015.

(i) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on February 22, 2019.

John Dalrymple. Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: January 29, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
[FR Doc. 2016-04005 Filed 2-23-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0112] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chester River, Chestertown, MD AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the S213 (MD213) Bridge across the Chester River, mile 26.8, at Chestertown, MD. This deviation is necessary to perform bridge maintenance and repairs. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

DATES:

This deviation is effective without actual notice from February 25, 2016 through 6 p.m. on June 1, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from February 22, 2016 at 9 a.m., until February 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0112] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6222, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, that owns and operates the S213 (MD213) Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to perform a bridge stringer replacement project. The bridge is a bascule draw bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 12 feet above mean high water.

The current operating schedule is open on signal if at least six hours notice is given as set out in 33 CFR 117.551. Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 6 a.m. on February 22, 2016 to 6 p.m. on June 1, 2016.

The Chester River is used by a variety of vessels including small U.S. government and public vessels, small commercial vessels, and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully considered the nature and volume of vessel traffic on the waterway in publishing this temporary deviation.

During the closure times there will be limited opportunity for vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position to do so. Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so, after receiving confirmation from the bridge tender that it is safe to transit through the bridge. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies if at least six hours notice is given and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transit to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

Dated: February 22, 2016. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-04006 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0114] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mantua Creek, Paulsboro, NJ AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the CONRAIL Railroad Bridge across the Mantua Creek, mile 1.4, at Paulsboro, NJ. This deviation is necessary to complete bridge construction. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from midnight on March 1, 2016 to midnight on April 1, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0114] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6222, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

CONRAIL, that owns and operates the CONRAIL Railroad Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to complete construction of the new bridge and the remote operating system. The bridge is a vertical lift drawbridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 2.5 feet above mean high water.

The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.729(a). Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will remain in the closed-to-navigation position from midnight on March 1, 2016 to midnight on April 1, 2016 and will open on signal if at least four hours notice is given by telephone at (856) 231-2282.

The Mantua Creek is used by a variety of vessels including small U. S. government and public vessels, small commercial vessels, tug and barge traffic and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully considered the nature and volume of vessel traffic on the waterway in publishing this temporary deviation.

Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies if at least four hours notice is given by telephone at (856) 231-2282 and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transit to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

Dated: February 22, 2016. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-04011 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 51 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0795; FRL-9942-80-OAR] RIN 2060-AR65 Air Quality: Revision to the Regulatory Definition of Volatile Organic Compounds—Requirements for t-Butyl Acetate AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the EPA's regulatory definition of volatile organic compounds (VOC) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The regulatory definition of VOC currently excludes t-butyl acetate (also known as tertiary butyl acetate or TBAC; CAS Number: 540-88-5) for purposes of VOC emissions limitations or VOC content requirements on the basis that it makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation. However, the current definition includes TBAC as a VOC for purposes of all recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements which apply to VOC. This final action removes the recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements related to the use of TBAC as a VOC.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on April 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0795. 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 (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Souad Benromdhane, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Health and Environmental Impacts Division, Mail Code C539-07, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone: (919) 541-4359; fax number: (919) 541-5315; email address: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information? C. Judicial Review II. Background A. The EPA's VOC Exemption Policy B. History of the VOC Exemption for TBAC Including the Unique Recordkeeping, Emissions Reporting, Photochemical Dispersion Modeling and Inventory Requirements C. Petition to Remove Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements from the TBAC Exemption III. The EPA's Assessment of the Petition IV. Public Comments V. Final Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Congressional Review Act I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

Entities affected by this final rule include, but are not necessarily limited to, state and local air pollution control agencies that prepare VOC emission inventories and ozone attainment demonstrations for state implementation plans (SIPs). These agencies are relieved of the requirements to separately inventory emissions of TBAC. This final action may also affect manufacturers, distributors and users of TBAC and TBAC-containing products, which may include paints, inks and adhesives. This action allows state air agencies to no longer require these entities to report emissions of TBAC.

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 Worldwide Web (WWW) through the Technology Transfer Network (TTN). Following the Administrator's signature, a copy of this final rule will be posted on the TTN's policy and guidance page for promulgated rules at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/ozonepollution/actions.html#impl. The TTN provides information and technology exchange in various areas of air pollution control. If more information regarding the TTN is needed, call the TTN HELP Line at (919) 541-4814.

C. 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 Court within 60 days from the date the final action is published in the Federal Register. Filing a petition for review by the Administrator of this final action 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 must be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such action. Thus, any petitions for review of this final action related to the elimination of recordkeeping of TBAC must be filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit within 60 days from the date this final action is published in the Federal Register.

II. Background A. The EPA's VOC Exemption Policy

Tropospheric ozone, commonly known as smog, is formed when VOC and nitrogen oxides (NOX) react in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. Because of the harmful health effects of ozone, the EPA and state governments limit the amount of VOC that can be released into the atmosphere. VOCs are organic compounds of carbon, many of which form ozone through atmospheric photochemical reactions. Different VOC have different levels of reactivity. That is, they do not react to form ozone at the same speed or to the same extent. Some VOC react slowly or form less ozone; therefore, changes in their emissions have limited effects on local or regional ozone pollution episodes. It has been the EPA's policy that organic compounds with a negligible level of reactivity should be excluded from the regulatory definition of VOC so as to focus control efforts on compounds that do significantly affect ozone concentrations. The EPA also believes that exempting such compounds creates an incentive for industry to use negligibly reactive compounds in place of more highly reactive compounds that are regulated as VOC. The EPA lists compounds that it has determined to be negligibly reactive in its regulations as being excluded from the regulatory definition of VOC (40 CFR 51.100(s)).

The CAA requires the regulation of VOC for various purposes. Section 302(s) of the CAA specifies that the EPA has the authority to define the meaning of “VOC,” and hence what compounds shall be treated as VOC for regulatory purposes. The policy of excluding negligibly reactive compounds from the regulatory definition of VOC was first laid out in the “Recommended Policy on Control of Volatile Organic Compounds” (42 FR 35314, July 8, 1977) and was supplemented subsequently with the “Interim Guidance on Control of Volatile Organic Compounds in Ozone State Implementation Plans” (70 FR 54046, September 13, 2005) (from here forward referred to as the 2005 Interim Guidance). The EPA uses the reactivity of ethane as the threshold for determining whether a compound has negligible reactivity. Compounds that are less reactive than, or equally reactive to, ethane under certain assumed conditions may be deemed negligibly reactive and, therefore, suitable for exemption by the EPA from the regulatory definition of VOC. Compounds that are more reactive than ethane continue to be considered VOC for regulatory purposes and, therefore, are subject to control requirements. The selection of ethane as the threshold compound was based on a series of smog chamber experiments that underlay the 1977 policy.

The EPA uses two different metrics to compare the reactivity of a specific compound to that of ethane: (1) The reaction rate constant (known as kOH) with the hydroxyl radical (OH); and (2) the maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) on ozone production per unit mass basis. Differences between these metrics and the rationale for their selection is discussed further in the 2005 Interim Guidance.

B. History of the VOC Exemption for TBAC Including the Unique Recordkeeping, Emissions Reporting, Photochemical Dispersion Modeling and Inventory Requirements

On January 17, 1997, ARCO Chemical Company (now known as and from here forward referred to as LyondellBasell) submitted a petition to the EPA, which requested that the EPA add TBAC to the list of compounds that are designated negligibly reactive in the regulatory definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s). The materials submitted in support of this petition are contained in Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0084. LyondellBasell's case for TBAC being less reactive than ethane was based primarily on the use of relative incremental reactivity factors set forth in a 1997 report by Carter, et al. 1 Although the kOH values for TBAC are higher than for ethane, Carter's results indicated that the MIR value for TBAC, expressed in units of grams of ozone per gram of TBAC, was between 0.43 and 0.48 times the MIR for ethane, depending on the chemical mechanism used to calculate the MIR. In other words, TBAC formed less than half as much ozone as an equal mass of ethane under the conditions assumed in the calculation of the MIR scale.

1 Carter, William P.L., Dongmin Luo, and Irina L. Malkina (1997). Investigation of the Atmospheric Ozone Formation Potential of T-Butyl Acetate, Report to ARCO Chemical Corporation, Riverside: College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, University of California, 97-AP-RT3E-001-FR, http://www.cert.ucr.edu/~carter/pubs/tbuacetr.pdf.

On September 30, 1999, the EPA proposed to revise the regulatory definition of VOC to exclude TBAC, relying on the comparison of MIR factors expressed on a mass basis to conclude that TBAC is negligibly reactive (64 FR 52731, September 30, 1999). However, in the final rule, the EPA concluded at that time that even “negligibly reactive” compounds may contribute significantly to ozone formation if present in sufficient quantities and that emissions of these compounds need to be represented accurately in photochemical modeling analyses. In addition to these general concerns about the potential cumulative impacts of negligibly reactive compounds, the need to maintain recordkeeping and reporting requirements for TBAC was further justified by the potential for widespread use of TBAC, the fact that its relative reactivity falls close to the borderline of what has been considered negligibly reactive, and continuing efforts to assess long-term health risks.2 Based on these conclusions, in 2004, the EPA promulgated a final rule that excluded TBAC from the definition of VOC for purposes of VOC emissions limitations or VOC content requirements, but continued to define TBAC as a VOC for purposes of all recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements that apply to VOC (69 FR 69298, November 29, 2004) (from here forward referred to as the 2004 Final Rule).

2 Between the EPA's proposed and final rule exempting TBAC as a VOC, the state of California raised concerns to the EPA about the potential carcinogenicity of tertiary-butanol, or TBA, the principal metabolite of TBAC. At the time, the EPA decided that there was insufficient evidence of health risks to affect the exemption decision, but persuaded LyondellBasell to voluntarily perform additional toxicity testing, use the testing results in a health risk assessment, and have the testing and assessment results reviewed in a peer consultation.

In the 2004 Final Rule, the EPA argued that the recordkeeping and reporting requirements were not new requirements for TBAC as industry and states were already subject to such requirements to report TBAC as a VOC prior to the exemption. However, in practice, the rule created a new, distinct recordkeeping and reporting burden by requiring that TBAC be “uniquely identified” in emission reports, rather than aggregated with other compounds as VOC. The final rule explained that the EPA was in the process of reviewing its overall VOC exemption policy and that the potential for retaining recordkeeping and reporting requirements for compounds exempted from the definition of VOC in the future would be considered in that process. That process led to the development of the 2005 Interim Guidance, which encouraged the development of speciated inventories for highly reactive compounds and identified the voluntary submission of emissions estimates for exempt compounds as an option for further consideration, but did not recommend mandatory reporting requirements associated with future exemptions. Thus, TBAC was the only compound that was excluded from the VOC definition for purposes of emission controls but was still considered a VOC for purposes of recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

C. Petition To Remove Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements From the TBAC Exemption

The EPA received a petition from LyondellBasell in December 2009, which was re-affirmed in November 2011, requesting the removal of recordkeeping and reporting requirements from the final rule to exempt TBAC from the regulatory VOC definition. LyondellBasell contends that the emissions reporting requirements are redundant and present an unnecessary burden. In 2015, the EPA issued a proposed rule (80 FR 6481, February 5, 2015) 3 in order to relieve manufacturers and users from recordkeeping and reporting requirements that were part of the 2004 Final Rule.

3 See http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-02-05/pdf/2015-02325.pdf.

III. The EPA's Assessment of the Petition

In most cases, when a negligibly reactive VOC is exempted from the definition of VOC, emissions of that compound are no longer recorded, collected, or reported to states or the EPA as part of VOC emissions. When the EPA exempted TBAC from the VOC definition for purposes of control requirements in the 2004 Final Rule, the EPA created a new category of compounds and a new reporting requirement that required that emissions of TBAC be reported separately by states and, in turn, by industry. However, the EPA did not issue any guidance on how TBAC emissions should be tracked and reported, and implementation of this requirement by states has been inconsistent. A few states have modified their rules and emissions inventory processes to track TBAC emissions separately and provide that information to the EPA. Others have included TBAC with other undifferentiated VOC in their emissions inventories. Thus, the data that have been reported to date as a result of these requirements are incomplete and inconsistent. In addition, the EPA has not established protocols for receiving and analyzing TBAC emissions data collected under the requirements of the 2004 Final Rule.

Although the reactivity of TBAC and other negligibly reactive compounds is low, if emitted in large quantities, they could still contribute significantly to ozone formation in some locations. However, without speciated emissions estimates or extensive speciated hydrocarbon measurements, it is difficult to assess the impacts of any one exempted compound or even the cumulative impact of all of the exempted compounds.

In the 2004 Final Rule, the EPA stated the primary objective of the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for TBAC was to address these cumulative impacts of “negligibly reactive” compounds and suggested that future exempt compounds may also be subject to such requirements. However, such requirements have not been included in any other proposed or final VOC exemptions since the TBAC decision. Having high quality data on TBAC emissions alone is unlikely to be very useful in assessing the cumulative impacts of these compounds on ozone formation. Thus, the requirements are not achieving their primary objective to inform more accurate photochemical modeling in support of SIP submissions.

In the 2004 Final Rule, EPA also noted that recordkeeping and reporting requirements were justified in light of the continuing efforts to characterize long-term health risks associated with TBAC and its metabolite tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA). Since the rule was finalized, those efforts have resulted in at least two studies regarding the long-term health risks associated with TBAC and TBA. LyondellBasell performed additional toxicity testing and a health risk assessment and submitted the peer-consultation results to the EPA in 2009.4 In addition, in 2006, the state of California published its own assessment of the potential health effects associated with TBA and TBAC.5 Also, the EPA is currently in the process of assessing the evidence for health risks from TBA through its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program.6 This is the first IRIS assessment for TBA. A draft of this assessment is expected to be released for public comment later this year. However, the existing toxicity information being examined in the IRIS assessment does not rely on any of the data collected through the recordkeeping and reporting requirements at issue in this rule, and, thus, continuation of those requirements does not appear relevant to any likely future determinations about the health risks associated with TBAC or TBA.

4 Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (2009). Report of the Peer Consultation of the Potential Risk of Health Effects from Exposure to Tertiary-Butyl Acetate, January 7-8, 2009, Northern Kentucky University METS Center, Erlanger, Kentucky, Volumes I and II, http://www.tera.org/Peer/TBAC/index.html.

5 Luo, Dongmin, et al. (2006) Environmental Impact Assessment of Tertiary-Butyl Acetate, Staff Report, Sacramento: California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board, January 2006, http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/reactivity/tbacf.pdf;http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/reactivity/tbaca1.pdf; http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/reactivity/tbaca2.pdf; and Budroe, John D., et al (2015) Tertiary Butyl Acetate Inhalation Cancer Unit Risk Factors, Appendix B, Public Review Draft August 2015. California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, http://oehha.ca.gov/air/hot_spots/pdf/PublicReviewDraftTBAc_URF081415.pdf.

6 See http://www.epa.gov/iris/publicmeeting/iris_bimonthly-dec2013/mtg_docs.htm#etbe.

IV. Public Comments

The EPA received five comments on the proposed rule referenced above from industry in support of this final action. No adverse comments were received.

V. Final Action

The EPA is removing the recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements for TBAC.

There is no evidence that TBAC is being used at levels that would cause concern for ozone formation. Additionally, the EPA believes these requirements, which are unique among all VOC-exempt compounds, are of limited utility because they do not provide sufficient information to judge the cumulative impacts of exempted compounds, and because the data have not been consistently collected and reported. Because these requirements are not addressing any of the concerns as they were intended, the EPA is removing the requirements for TBAC to relieve industry and states of the associated information collection burden.

This final action removes recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements related to the use of TBAC. This action does not affect the existing exclusion of TBAC from the regulatory definition of VOC for purposes of emission limits and control requirements.

We note that removal of the recordkeeping and reporting requirements does not indicate that the EPA has reached final conclusions about all aspects of the health effects posed by the use of TBAC or its metabolite TBA. The EPA is currently awaiting completion of the IRIS assessment on the potential risks involved with TBA and its toxicity. If it becomes clear that action is warranted due to the health risks of direct exposure to TBA or TBAC, the EPA will consider the range of authorities at its disposal to mitigate these risks appropriately.

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 an information collection burden under the PRA. It does not contain any new recordkeeping or reporting requirements. This action removes recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements related to use of TBAC.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

After considering the economic impacts of the TBAC final rule on small entities, 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. This action removes recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements related to use of TBAC. We have, therefore, concluded that this action will relieve 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.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This final action removes existing emission inventory reporting and other requirements that uniquely apply to TBAC among all VOC-exempt compounds. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. This action removes recordkeeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements related to use of TBAC. It does not affect the existing exclusion of TBAC from the regulatory definition of VOC for purposes of emission limits and control requirements.

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 and Low-Income Populations

The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. The EPA did not conduct an environmental analysis for this rule because the EPA does not believe that removing the unique reporting requirements will lead to substantial and predictable changes in the use of TBAC in and near particular communities.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 51

Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: February 17, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 40, chapter I, part 51 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 51—REQUIREMENTS FOR PREPARATION, ADOPTION, AND SUBMITTAL OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS Subpart F—Procedural Requirements 1. The authority citation for part 51, subpart F, continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401, 7411, 7412, 7413, 7414, 7470-7479, 7501-7508, 7601, and 7602.

2. Section 51.100 is amended by: a. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (s)(1); and b. Removing and reserving paragraph (s)(5).

The addition reads as follows:

§ 51.100 Definitions.

(s)(1) This includes any such organic compound other than the following, which have been determined to have negligible photochemical reactivity: methane; ethane; methylene chloride (dichloromethane); 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl chloroform); 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (CFC-113); trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11); dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC-12); chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-22); trifluoromethane (HFC-23); 1,2-dichloro 1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethane (CFC-114); chloropentafluoroethane (CFC-115); 1,1,1-trifluoro 2,2-dichloroethane (HCFC-123); 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFC-134a); 1,1-dichloro 1-fluoroethane (HCFC-141b); 1-chloro 1,1-difluoroethane (HCFC-142b); 2-chloro-1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (HCFC-124); pentafluoroethane (HFC-125); 1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethane (HFC-134); 1,1,1-trifluoroethane (HFC-143a); 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a); parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF); cyclic, branched, or linear completely methylated siloxanes; acetone; perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene); 3,3-dichloro-1,1,1,2,2-pentafluoropropane (HCFC-225ca); 1,3-dichloro-1,1,2,2,3-pentafluoropropane (HCFC-225cb); 1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,5-decafluoropentane (HFC 43-10mee); difluoromethane (HFC-32); ethylfluoride (HFC-161); 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoropropane (HFC-236fa); 1,1,2,2,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC-245ca); 1,1,2,3,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC-245ea); 1,1,1,2,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC-245eb); 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluoropropane (HFC-245fa); 1,1,1,2,3,3-hexafluoropropane (HFC-236ea); 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluorobutane (HFC-365mfc); chlorofluoromethane (HCFC-31); 1 chloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC-151a); 1,2-dichloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethane (HCFC-123a); 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4-nonafluoro-4-methoxy-butane (C4F9OCH3 or HFE-7100); 2-(difluoromethoxymethyl)-1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane ((CF3)2CFCF2OCH3); 1-ethoxy-1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,4-nonafluorobutane (C4F9OC2H5 or HFE-7200); 2-(ethoxydifluoromethyl)-1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane ((CF3)2CFCF2OC2H5); methyl acetate; 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy-propane (n-C3F7OCH3, HFE-7000); 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluoro-2-(trifluoromethyl) hexane (HFE-7500); 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane (HFC 227ea); methyl formate (HCOOCH3); 1,1,1,2,2,3,4,5,5,5-decafluoro-3-methoxy-4-trifluoromethyl-pentane (HFE-7300); propylene carbonate; dimethyl carbonate; trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene; HCF2OCF2H (HFE-134); HCF2OCF2OCF2H (HFE-236cal2); HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (HFE-338pcc13); HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H (H-Galden 1040x or H-Galden ZT 130 (or 150 or 180)); trans 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene; 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene; 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol; t-butyl acetate; and perfluorocarbon compounds which fall into these classes:

(5) [Reserved]

[FR Doc. 2016-04072 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2014-0369; FRL-9935-54-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; Revisions to the Utah Division of Administrative Rules, R307-300 Series; Area Source Rules for Attainment of Fine Particulate Matter Standards AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval and finalizing the conditional approval of portions of the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) State Implementation Plan (SIP) and other general rule revisions submitted by the State of Utah. The revisions affect the Utah Division of Administrative Rules (DAR), R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations. The revisions had submission dates of: February 2, 2012, May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014. These area source rules control emissions of direct PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursors, sulfur dioxides (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Our approval will make these rules federally enforceable. Additionally, EPA is finalizing approval of the State's reasonably available control measure (RACM) determinations for the rule revisions that pertain to the PM2.5 SIP. This action is being taken under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

DATES:

This final rule is effective on March 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2014-0369. 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, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Crystal Ostigaard, Air Program, EPA, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6602, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On October 17, 2006 (71 FR 61144), EPA strengthened the level of the 24-hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), lowering the primary and secondary standards from 65 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), the 1997 standard, to 35 µg/m3. On November 13, 2009 (74 FR 58688), EPA designated three nonattainment areas in Utah for the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS of 35 µg/m3. These are the Salt Lake City, UT; Provo, UT; and Logan, UT-ID nonattainment areas. The State of Utah has made a number of SIP submittals intended to address the requirements under part D of title I of the CAA for these PM2.5 nonattainment areas. Among those requirements are those in sections 172(c)(1) and 189(a)(1)(C) regarding reasonably available control measures (RACM) and reasonably available control technology (RACT).

On August 25, 2015 (80 FR 51499), EPA proposed to approve or conditionally approve a number of RACM components in the PM2.5 Moderate area SIP submitted by the State. Our proposed notice and associated technical support document (TSD) give details on EPA's interpretation of the RACM requirements under part D and our evaluation of the State's submittals. Specifically, the RACM components consist of area source rules found in Utah's submittals dated February 2, 2012, May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014. These submittals contained various revisions to the DAR, Title R307—Environmental Quality, set of rules, most of which are applicable to the Utah SIP for PM2.5 nonattainment areas. The new rules or revised rules we are addressing in this final rule were provided by Utah in the nine different submissions listed above, and these rules are: R307-101-2, General Requirements: Definitions; R307-303, Commercial Cooking; R307-307, Road Salting and Sanding; R307-312, Aggregate Processing Operations for PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas; R307-328, Gasoline Transfer and Storage; R307-335, Degreasing and Solvent Cleaning Operations; R307-342, Adhesives and Sealants; R307-343 Emissions Standards for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations; R307-344, Paper, Film, and Foil Coatings; R307-345, Fabric and Vinyl Coatings; R307-346, Metal Furniture Surface Coatings; R307-347, Large Appliance Surface Coatings; R307-348, Magnet Wire Coatings; R307-349, Flat Wood Panel Coatings; R307-350, Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coatings; R307-351, Graphic Arts; R307-352, Metal Container, Closure, and Coil Coatings; R307-353, Plastic Parts Coatings; R307-354, Automotive Refinishing Coatings; R307-355, Control of Emissions from Aerospace Manufacture and Rework Facilities; R307-356, Appliance Pilot Light; R307-357, Consumer Products; and R307-361, Architectural Coatings.

A previous rule, Rule R307-340 Surface Coating Processes, was replaced in these submittals by the specific rules for coatings listed above. Utah correspondingly repealed R307-340. In addition, Rule R307-342, Adhesives and Sealants, replaces an unrelated rule, R307-342 Qualifications of Contractors and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems for Gasoline Delivery Tanks. The removal of the previous version of R307-342 is addressed by the State's February 2, 2012 submittal, which repeals R307-342 and amends R307-328, Gasoline Transfer and Storage, to account for the repeal of R307-342.

These rule submissions, except for revisions to R307-101-2, R307-103, and R307-328, and the repeal of R307-342, were requested for approval as RACM components of the PM2.5 SIP submitted by the State of Utah. Two of the non-RACM rule revisions do not pertain at all to the Utah PM2.5 SIPs: revisions to R307-328 and the repeal of R307-342. At the request of the State, EPA is not finalizing our proposed approval of a third non-RACM rule; R307-103, Administrative Procedures.

For details of our evaluation of these rules, see the proposed notice and associated TSD.

II. Response to Comments

EPA did not receive any comments on our proposed action.

III. Final Action

For the reasons stated in our proposed notice and associated TSD, EPA is finalizing approval of revisions to Administrative Rule R307-101-2, along with the additions/revisions/repeals in R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations (Within Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas), R307-303, R307-307, R307-335, R307-340 (repealed), R307-342 (repealed and replaced), R307-343, R307-344, R307-345, R307-346, R307-347, R307-348, R307-349, R307-350, R307-351, R307-352, R307-353, R307-354, R307-355, R307-356, R307-357, and R307-361 for incorporation into the Utah SIP as submitted by the State of Utah on May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014. We are also finalizing approval of Utah's determination that the above rules in R307-300 Series; Requirements for Specific Locations (Within Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas) constitute RACM for the Utah PM2.5 SIP for the specific source categories addressed; however, we are not acting to determine that Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan has met all requirements regarding RACM under subparts 1 and 4 of Part D, title I of the Act. We intend to act separately on the remainder of Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan.

EPA is finalizing the conditional approval of revisions for R307-312 found in the May 9, 2013 submittal and for R307-328 found in the February 2, 2012 submittal. Additionally, EPA is finalizing the conditional approval of Utah's determination that R307-312 constitutes RACM for the Utah PM2.5 SIP for aggregate processing operations. As stated above, we are not determining, however, that Utah's PM2.5 attainment plan has met all requirements regarding RACM under subparts 1 and 4 of Part D, title I of the Act. Under section 110(k)(4) of the Act, EPA may approve a SIP revision based on a commitment by the State to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain, but not later than one year after the date of approval of the plan revision. On August 4, 2015, Utah submitted a commitment letter to adopt and submit specific revisions within one year of our final action on these submittals; specifically to remove the phrase “or equivalent method” in one rule and to specify three equivalent methods in the other rule. Since we are finalizing our conditional approval, Utah must adopt and submit the specific revisions it has committed to within one year of our finalization. If Utah does not submit these revisions within one year, or if we find Utah's revisions to be incomplete, or we disapprove Utah's revisions, this conditional approval will convert to a disapproval. If any of these occur and our conditional approvals convert to a disapproval, that will constitute a disapproval of a required plan element under part D of title I of the Act, which starts an 18-month clock for sanctions, see CAA section 179(a)(2), and the two-year clock for a federal implementation plan (FIP) to address the disapproved plan element, see CAA section 110(c)(1)(B).

EPA is not finalizing our proposed approval of R307-103, Administrative Procedures. The State informed us that they did not intend for R307-103 to be submitted for incorporation into the SIP. As the administrative procedures in R307-103 are unrelated to PM2.5 attainment plan requirements, this does not affect the remainder of our action. With the exception of provisions to meet the requirements of section 128 of the Act, which Utah plans to address separately, these administrative procedures are not required to be incorporated into the SIP.

Finally, EPA is finalizing approval of the repeal of R307-342, Qualification of Contractors and Test Procedures for Vapor Recovery Systems for Gasoline Delivery Tanks, submitted by DAQ on February 2, 2012.

IV. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Utah Department of Air Quality rules promulgated in the DAR, R307-300 Series as discussed in section III, Final Action, of this preamble. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by 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 in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organization compounds.

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Dated: September 28, 2015. Shaun L. McGrath, Regional Administrator, Region 8. Editorial note:

This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on February 19, 2016.

40 CFR part 52 is amended to read as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart TT—Utah
2. Section 52.2320 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(83) to read as follows:
§ 52.2320 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(83) On February 2, 2012, May 9, 2013, June 8, 2013, February 18, 2014, April 17, 2014, May 20, 2014, July 10, 2014, August 6, 2014, and December 9, 2014, the Governor submitted revisions to the Utah State Implementation Plan (SIP) rules. The EPA is approving the repeal of R307-340 and R307-342. The EPA is approving the submitted revisions and associated nonsubstantive changes to the following rules: R307-307, R307-351-2, R307-351-4, and R307-355-5. The EPA is conditionally approving the submitted revisions to the following rules: R307-101 (including nonsubstantive changes to R307-101-2), R307-312-5(2)(a), and R307-328-4(6). The EPA is approving the submitted revisions to the following rules: R307-303, R307-307, R307-312 (except R307-312-5(2)(a) which is conditionally approved), R307-328 (except R307-328-4(6) which is conditionally approved), R307-335, R307-342, R307-343, R307-344, R307-345, R307-346, R307-347, R307-348, R307-349, R307-350, R307-351 (except R307-351-2 which is approved with nonsubstantive changes), R307-352, R307-353, R307-354, R307-355 (except R307-355-5 which is approved with nonsubstantive changes), R307-356, R307-357, R307-357-4, and R307-361.

(i) Incorporation by reference.

(A) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-101, General Requirements, R307-101-2, Definitions; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(B) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-303, Commercial Cooking; effective April 10, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on August 1, 2012, December 1, 2012 and March 1, 2013 and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on May 1, 2013.

(C) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-328, Gasoline Transfer and Storage; effective June 7, 2011, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on February 1, 2011 and May 1, 2011, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on June 15, 2011.

(D) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-335, Degreasing and Solvent Cleaning Operations; effective January 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on August 1, 2012 and December 1, 2012, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on January 15, 2013.

(E)(1) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-342, Adhesives and Sealants; effective August 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on March 1, 2013 and July 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on August 15, 2013.

(2) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-357, Consumer Products (except R307-357-4, Standards); effective August 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on March 1, 2013 and July 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on August 15, 2013.

(F)(1) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-343, Emissions Standards for Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations; effective May 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012, January 1, 2013 and April 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on May 15, 2013.

(2) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-353, Plastic Parts Coatings; effective May 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012, January 1, 2013 and April 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on May 15, 2013.

(G)(1) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-312, Aggregate Processing Operations for PM 2.5 Nonattainment Areas; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(2) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-344, Paper, Film and Foil Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(3) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-345, Fabric and Vinyl Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(4) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-346, Metal Furniture Surface Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(5) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-347, Large Appliance Surface Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(6) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-348, Magnet Wire Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(7) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-349, Flat Wood Panel Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(8) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-352, Metal Container, Closure and Coil Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(9) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-354, Automotive Refinishing Coatings; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(H) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-350, Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coatings; effective December 3, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on August 1, 2013 and November 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on January 1, 2014.

(I) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-356, Appliance Pilot Light; effective January 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on August 15, 2012, and December 1, 2012, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on January 15, 2013.

(J) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-357, Consumer Products, R307-357-4, Consumer Products, Standards; effective May 8, 2014, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on April 1, 2014, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on June 1, 2014.

(K) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-361, Architectural Coatings; effective October 31, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on July 1, 2013 and October 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on November 15, 2013.

(L) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-307, Road Salting and Sanding; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(M) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-351, Graphic Arts; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

(N) Title R307 of the Utah Administrative Code, Environmental Quality, Air Quality, R307-355, Control of Emissions from Aerospace Manufacture and Rework Facilities; effective February 1, 2013, as proposed in the Utah State Bulletin on October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013, and published as effective in the Utah State Bulletin on February 15, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2016-03898 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0438; FRL-9942-76-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Missouri; Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis MO-IL Ozone Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the state of Missouri. The revisions address base year Emissions Inventory (EI) and emissions statement requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the Missouri portion of the St. Louis marginal ozone nonattainment area (“St. Louis area”). The Missouri counties comprising the St. Louis area are Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis along with the City of St. Louis. EPA is taking final action to approve the SIP revisions because they satisfy the CAA section 182 requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is approving the revisions pursuant to section 110 and part D of the CAA and EPA's regulations. EPA will consider and take action on the Illinois submission for its portion of the St. Louis area in a separate action.

DATES:

This direct final rule will be effective April 25, 2016, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by March 28, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0438, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lachala Kemp, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7214 or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

Table of Contents I. What is the background for this action? II. What is EPA's analysis of the State's submission? III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for this action?

Ground-level ozone is a gas that is formed by the reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. These precursor emissions are emitted by many types of pollution sources, including power plants and industrial emissions sources, on-road and off-road motor vehicles and engines, and smaller sources, collectively referred to as area sources.

On March 12, 2008, EPA promulgated a revised NAAQS for ozone based on 8-hour average concentrations. The level of the 2008 8-Hour ozone NAAQS (hereafter the 2008 O3 NAAQS) was revised from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm (73 FR 16436). EPA finalized designations for the 2008 O3 NAAQS on May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088). At the time of designations, the bi-state Missouri area was classified as Marginal nonattainment for the 2008 O3 NAAQS. Based on the nonattainment designations, Missouri was required to submit a SIP revision to EPA addressing certain CAA requirements.

CAA sections 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1) require states to develop and submit as a SIP revision a comprehensive, accurate, current emissions inventory (EI) for all areas designated as nonattainment for the O3 NAAQS. 42 U.S.C. 7502(c) and 7511a(a). An EI is an estimation of actual emissions of air pollutants in an area that provides data for a variety of air quality planning tasks including establishing baseline emission levels, calculating Federally required emission reduction targets, emission inputs into air quality simulation models, and tracking emissions over time. The total EI of VOC and NOX for a given area are summarized from the estimates developed for five general categories of emissions sources: Point, area, on-road mobile, non-road mobile, and biogenic. EPA's final 2008 ozone standard SIP requirements rule suggested that states use 2011 as a base year to address the EI requirements (80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015).

II. What is EPA's analysis of the State's submission?

The primary CAA requirements are found in sections 110(l), and 182(a). CAA section 110(l) requires that a SIP revision submitted to EPA be adopted after reasonable notice and public hearing. Section 110(l) also requires that EPA not approve a SIP if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. CAA section 182(a) requires states with areas designated nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS to submit a SIP revision that contains a comprehensive, accurate, current inventory of actual emissions from all sources.

On September 9, 2014, the State of Missouri submitted a SIP revision containing the base year emissions inventory and emissions statement requirements related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Missouri portion of the St. Louis area.1

1 As Missouri noted in its SIP revision, other required elements of Marginal nonattainment area plans in CAA Section 182(a) have already been addressed in state regulations or in prior SIP actions.

A. Base Year Emissions Inventory

Missouri selected 2011 as its base year inventory, as suggested by EPA in its final SIP requirements Rule which is the year corresponding with the first triennial inventory required under 40 CFR part 51, subpart A. This base year is one of the three years of ambient air quality data used to designate the area nonattainment. Missouri's emissions inventory for its portion of the St. Louis area provides 2011 actual emissions of the pollutants that contribute to ozone formation for the nonattainment area: VOCs, NOX, and Carbon Monoxide (CO). A detailed discussion of the inventory is located in appendix A to Missouri's submission which is provided in the docket for this action. The tables below provide a summary of the emissions inventory for the Missouri portion of the St. Louis nonattainment area.

Table 1 displays the 2011 anthropogenic emissions inventory summary for the Missouri portion of the 2008 St. Louis ozone nonattainment area in tons per ozone season day. The anthropogenic source categories include point, area, onroad mobile, and nonroad sources. Table 2 displays the 2011 emissions inventory summary for the biogenic and wildfire (event) source categories in the Missouri portion of the 2008 St. Louis ozone nonattainment area in tons per ozone season day. Event emissions include wild fire emissions, prescribed burning and agricultural burning; however, when annual emissions from these three event source categories are temporally allocated to ozone season day emissions, only wild fire emissions are projected to occur during the high ozone season.

Table 1—2011 Anthropogenic Emissions Inventory Summary for the Missouri Portion of the Nonattainment Area [Tons/ozone season day] County name Source category VOC NOX CO Franklin County Point Sources 2.52 27.75 7.55 Jefferson County 1.63 16.66 7.23 St. Charles County 3.34 25.04 2.82 St. Louis County 3.5 16.74 17.68 St. Louis City 3.59 4.49 7.36 Totals * 14.58 90.69 42.65 Franklin County Area Sources 3.36 0.49 3.03 Jefferson County 7.48 0.62 8.14 St. Charles County 11.21 0.68 1.35 St. Louis County 38.68 2.65 4.72 St. Louis City 12.04 1.16 1.76 Totals * 72.77 5.6 19.01 Franklin County Onroad Mobile Sources 2.40 7.83 21.18 Jefferson County 4.24 12.45 34.91 St. Charles County 6.73 21.04 56.63 St. Louis County 20.17 66.34 176.34 St. Louis City 4.46 16.55 42.14 Totals * 38.00 124.20 331.20 Franklin County Nonroad Sources 3.31 5.72 18.55 Jefferson County 3.12 3.33 28.68 St. Charles County 6.23 8.34 62.81 St. Louis County 22.99 23.85 315.24 St. Louis City 3.38 6.31 48.14 Totals * 39.03 47.55 473.42 Grand Total * 164.38 268.04 866.28 Note: Figures may not total exactly due to rounding. Table 2—2011 Wildfire and Biogenic Emissions Inventory Summary for the Missouri Portion of the Nonattainment Areas [Tons/ozone season day] County name Source category VOC NOX CO Franklin County Wild Fires (Event) 0.09 0.00 0.40 Jefferson County 0.07 0.00 0.28 St. Charles County 0.00 0.00 0.01 St. Louis County 0.00 0.00 0.01 St. Louis City 0.00 0.00 0.00 Totals * 0.16 0.01 0.69 Franklin County Biogenic Sources 126.84 1.09 11.58 Jefferson County 104.17 0.51 9.29 St. Charles County 65.94 1.05 7.09 St. Louis County 60.84 0.68 5.55 St. Louis City 10.93 0.13 1.03 Totals * 368.71 3.47 34.55 * Note: Figures may not total exactly due to rounding.

Missouri's inventory contains point sources, nonpoint, onroad mobile, and nonroad sources. The state developed the point source emissions inventory using actual emissions directly reported by electric generating unit (EGU) and non EGU sources in the area. Point sources are large, stationary, identifiable sources of emissions that release pollutants into the atmosphere. The point source emissions inventory for Missouri's portion of the St. Louis area was developed using facility-specific emissions data, and is included in the docket for this action.

Nonpoint sources are small emission stationary sources which due to their large number, collectively have significant emissions. Emissions from these sources were estimated by multiplying an emission factor by some known indicator of collective activity for each source category at the county level. Non-road mobile sources include vehicles, engines, and equipment used for construction, agriculture, recreation, and other purposes that do not use roadways. Missouri calculated emissions for its nonroad mobile sources using EPA's NONROAD2008a model. NONROAD2008a estimates fuel consumption and emissions for all nonroad mobile source categories except for aircraft, commercial marine vessels, and railroad locomotives. Onroad mobile sources include vehicles used on roads for transportation of passengers or freight. Missouri developed its inventory using the EPA's highway mobile source emissions model MOVES 2010a.

Biogenic emissions sources are emissions that come from natural sources. The biogenic source emissions were extracted from the EPA's 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) for the counties located in the nonattainment area. A detailed account of biogenic source emissions by county can be found in appendix A of the state's submission.

For the reasons discussed above, EPA has determined that Missouri's emissions inventory is complete, accurate, and comprehensive and meets the requirements under CAA section 182(a)(1) and the SIP Requirements Rule for the 2008 ozone NAAQs.

B. Emissions Statement

Pursuant to section 182(a)(3)(B), states with Marginal ozone nonattainment areas must require annual emission statements from owners or operators of each NOX and VOC stationary source within the nonattainment area. Missouri regulation 10 CSR 10-6.110 Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees, and Process Information requires permitted sources to file an annual report on air pollutant emissions to include emission data, process information, and annual emissions fees. The full emissions report identifying actual NOX and VOC emissions is due April 1 after each reporting year. However, if the full emissions report is filed electronically via Missouri's Emissions Inventory System (MoEIS), this due date is extended to May 1. EPA has reviewed the regulation and determined that it meets the requirements of section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA, and in addition EPA has approved this regulation into the SIP.

III. Final Action

EPA is approving the SIP revision submitted by Missouri on September 9, 2014, addressing the base year emissions inventory and emissions statement requirements for their portion of the St. Louis area. EPA has concluded that the state's submission meets the requirements of sections 110 and 182 of the CAA. We are publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by 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 in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: February 17, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart AA—Missouri 2. In § 52.1320, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding entry (69) at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.1320 Identification of Plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Missouri Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic area or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * (69) Marginal Plan for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis Ozone Nonattainment Area for the 2008 NAAQS Statewide 9/9/14 2/25/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0438; 9942-76-Region 7.
[FR Doc. 2016-03901 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0492; FRL-9940-76-OAR] RIN 2060-AR97 Clarification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification Training AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to better define the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses. Method 303 is an air pollution test method used to determine the presence of visible emissions (VE) from coke ovens. This action adds language that further clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of Method 303 training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method. These changes will help entities interested in conducting the required training courses by clearly defining the requirements necessary to do so.

DATES:

This rule is effective on April 25, 2016 without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comment by March 28, 2016. If the EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0492, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, Cloud, or other file sharing system).

For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Kim Garnett, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Assessment Division, Measurement Technology Group (Mail Code: E143-02), Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-1158; fax number: (919) 541-0516; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information A. Why is the EPA using a direct final rule? B. Does this action apply to me? C. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for the EPA? D. Where can I obtain a copy of this action? E. Judicial Review II. This Action III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Congressional Review Act (CRA) I. General Information A. Why is the EPA using a direct final rule?

The EPA is publishing this rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a non-controversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. This action better defines the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses. Method 303 is an air pollution test method used to determine the presence of VE from coke ovens.

However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to announce the EPA's intent to revise the Method 303 training requirements, if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

B. Does this action apply to me?

This action applies to you if you are a potential provider of Method 303 training services, someone seeking training to conduct Method 303, or a facility subject to Method 303.

C. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for the EPA?

(1) Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 2.

(2) Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

• Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

• Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a CFR part or section number.

• Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

• Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

• If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

• Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

• Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

• Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

D. Where can I obtain a copy of this action?

In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this rule will also be available on the Worldwide Web (www) through the Technology Transfer Network (TTN) Web site. Following publication, the EPA will post the Federal Register version of the promulgation and key technical documents at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/emc/promgate.html.

E. Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), judicial review of this direct final rule is available by filing a petition for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by April 25, 2016. Under section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA, only an objection to this direct final rule that was raised with reasonable specificity during the period for public comment can be raised during judicial review. Moreover, under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the requirements that are the subject of this direct final rule may not be challenged later in civil or criminal proceedings brought by the EPA to enforce these requirements.

II. This Action

On October 27, 1993, we published Method 303 for determining VE from coke ovens (58 FR 57898). Method 303 is applicable for the determination of VE from the following by-product coke oven battery sources: Charging systems during charging; doors, topside port lids and offtake systems on operating coke ovens; and collecting mains. Method 303 is also applicable to qualifying observers for visually determining the presence of VE from by-product coke ovens. The EPA received inquiries from state/local agencies seeking the specifics of the procedures used to qualify observers. As a result of these inquiries, the EPA is revising Method 303 to provide more detail to better explain the requirements necessary to qualify observers and, therefore, assist those entities who seek to understand what is needed in order to conduct and maintain an Administrator-approved training program. Additionally, we are removing the statement indicating that these courses be conducted by or under the sanction of the EPA. Instead, Administrator-approved training providers will be allowed to conduct Method 303 training and certification. We are, therefore, revising Method 303 to define the administrative and recordkeeping requirements that must be followed by Method 303 training providers. This action: (1) Defines Administrator approval of Method 303 training providers, clarifies the minimum training course requirements, and details the recordkeeping requirements that the training provider must follow in order to attain Administrator approval (section 10.1); (2) adds language to clarify that VE readers must demonstrate a perfect score on the recertification exam (section 10.1.2); (3) updates and expands the criteria used to determine who is qualified to participate on the proficiency test panel (section 10.1.3); (4) adds criteria for training certificates, submittal of this information, and recordkeeping (sections 10.1.4-10.1.6); and (5) defines conditions for suspension of the training provider's approval by the Administrator (section 10.1.7). There are no changes to the requirements for conducting the test method.

III. 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 an information collection burden under the PRA. These changes do not add information collection requirements beyond those currently required under the applicable regulations.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This action better defines the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses and does not impose additional regulatory requirements on sources.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

This action does not contain any unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments, or the private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action adds additional language that clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of Method 303 training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

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

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

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 does not relax the control measures on sources regulated by the rule and, therefore, will not cause emissions increases from these sources.

K. Congressional Review Act

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. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule will be effective April 25, 2016.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 63

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Test method.

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

For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 40, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 63—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for Part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

2. In Appendix A, amend Method 303: a. In section 5.0 by revising paragraph 5.2; and b. In section 10.0 by: i. Revising paragraphs 10.1, 10.1.1, 10.1.2, and 10.1.3; ii. Adding paragraphs 10.1.4, 10.1.5, 10.1.6, and 10.1.7; and iii. Revising paragraph 10.2.

The revisions and additions read as follows.

Appendix A to Part 63—Test Methods Method 303—Determination of Visible Emissions From By-Product Coke Oven Batteries 5.0 Safety

5.2 Safety Training. Because coke oven batteries have hazardous environments, the training materials and the field training (Section 10.0) shall cover the precautions required to address health and safety hazards.

10.0 Calibration and Standardization

10.1 Certification Procedures. This method requires only the determination of whether VE occur and does not require the determination of opacity levels; therefore, observer certification according to Method 9 in appendix A to Part 60 of this chapter is not required to obtain certification under this method. However, in order to receive Method 303 observer certification, the first-time observer (trainee) shall have attended the lecture portion of the Method 9 certification course. In addition, the trainee shall successfully complete the Method 303 training course, satisfy the field observation requirement, and demonstrate adequate performance and sufficient knowledge of Method 303. The Method 303 training provider and course shall be approved by the Administrator and shall consist of classroom instruction, field training, and a proficiency test. In order to apply for approval as a Method 303 training provider, an applicant must submit their credentials and the details of their Method 303 training course to Group Leader, Measurement Technology Group (E143-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. Those details should include, at a minimum:

(a) A detailed list of the provider's credentials.

(b) An outline of the classroom and the field portions of the class.

(c) Copies of the written training and lecture materials, to include:

(1) The classroom audio-visual presentation(s).

(2) A classroom course manual with instructional text and practice questions and problems for each of the elements of the Method 303 inspection (i.e., charging, doors, lids and offtakes, and collecting mains). A copy of Method 303 and any related guidance documents should be included as appendices.

(3) A copy of the Method 303 demonstration video, if not using the one available on the EPA Web site: http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/emc/methods/method303trainingvideo.mp4.

(4) Multiple-choice certification tests, with questions sufficient to demonstrate knowledge of the method, as follows: One (1) initial certification test and three (3) third-year recertification tests (the questions on any one recertification test must be at least 25 percent different from those on the other recertification tests).

(5) A field certification checklist and inspection forms for each of the elements of the Method 303 inspection (i.e., charging, doors, lids and offtakes, and collecting mains).

(6) The criteria used to determine proficiency.

(7) The panel members to be utilized (see Section 10.1.3) along with their qualifications.

(8) An example certificate of successful course completion.

10.1.1 A trainee must verify completion of at least 12 hours of field observation prior to attending the Method 303 certification course. Trainees shall observe the operation of a coke oven battery as it pertains to Method 303, including topside operations, and shall also practice conducting Method 303 or similar methods. During the field observations, trainees unfamiliar with coke battery operations shall receive instruction from an experienced coke oven observer who is familiar with Method 303 or similar methods and with the operation of coke batteries.

10.1.2 The classroom instruction shall familiarize the trainees with Method 303 through lecture, written training materials, and a Method 303 demonstration video. Successful completion of the classroom portion of the Method 303 training course shall be demonstrated by a perfect score on the initial certification test. Those attending the course for third-year recertification must complete one of the recertification tests selected at random.

10.1.3 All trainees must demonstrate proficiency in the application of Method 303 to a panel of three certified Method 303 observers, including an ability to differentiate coke oven emissions from condensing water vapor and smoldering coal. The panel members will be EPA, state or local agency personnel, or industry contractors listed in 59 FR 11960 (March 15, 1994) or qualified as part of the training provider approval process of Section 10.1 of this method.

Each panel member shall have at least 120 days experience in reading visible emissions from coke ovens. The visible emissions inspections that will satisfy the experience requirement must be inspections of coke oven battery fugitive emissions from the emission points subject to emission standards under subpart L of this part (i.e., coke oven doors, topside port lids, offtake system(s), and charging operations), using either Method 303 or predecessor state or local test methods. A “day's experience” for a particular inspection is a day on which one complete inspection was performed for that emission point under Method 303 or a predecessor state or local method. A “day's experience” does not mean 8 or 10 hours performing inspections, or any particular time expressed in minutes or hours that may have been spent performing them. Thus, it would be possible for an individual to qualify as a Method 303 panel member for some emission points, but not others (e.g., an individual might satisfy the experience requirement for coke oven doors, but not topside port lids). Until November 15, 1994, the EPA may waive the certification requirement (but not the experience requirement) for panel members. The composition of the panel shall be approved by the EPA.

The panel shall observe the trainee in a series of training runs and a series of certification runs. There shall be a minimum of 1 training run for doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems, and a minimum of 5 training runs (i.e., 5 charges) for charging. During training runs, the panel can advise the trainee on proper procedures. There shall be a minimum of 3 certification runs for doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems, and a minimum of 15 certification runs for charging (i.e., 15 charges). The certification runs shall be unassisted. Following the certification test runs, the panel shall approve or disapprove certification based on the trainee's performance during the certification runs. To obtain certification, the trainee shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the panel a high degree of proficiency in performing Method 303. To aid in evaluating the trainee's performance, a checklist, approved by the EPA, will be used by the panel members.

10.1.4 Those successfully completing the initial certification or third-year recertification requirements shall receive a certificate showing certification as a Method 303 observer and the beginning and ending dates of the certification period.

10.1.5 The training provider will submit to the EPA or its designee the following information for each trainee successfully completing initial certification or third-year recertification training: Name, employer, address, telephone, cell and/or fax numbers, email address, beginning and ending dates of certification, and whether training was for 3-year certification or 1-year recertification. This information must be submitted within 30 days of the course completion.

10.1.6 The training provider will maintain the following records, to be made available to EPA or its designee on request (within 30 days of a request):

(a) A file for each Method 303 observer containing the signed certification checklists, certification forms and test results for their initial certification, and any subsequent third-year recertifications. Initial certification records must also include documentation showing successful completion of the training prerequisites. Testing results from any interim recertifications must also be included, along with any relevant communications.

(b) A searchable master electronic database of all persons for whom initial certification, third-year recertification or interim recertification has been provided. Information contained therein must include: The observer's name, employer, address, telephone, cell and fax numbers and email address, along with the beginning and ending dates for each successfully completed initial, third-year and interim recertification.

10.1.7 Failure by the training provider to submit example training course materials and/or requested training records to the Administrator may result in suspension of the approval of the provider and course.

10.2 Observer Certification/Recertification. The coke oven observer certification is valid for 1 year. The observer shall recertify annually by reviewing the training material, viewing the training video and answering all of the questions on the recertification test correctly. Every 3 years, an observer shall be required to pass the proficiency test in Section 10.1.3 in order to be certified. The years between proficiency tests are referred to as interim years.

[FR Doc. 2016-03757 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489; FRL-9941-87] Triclopyr; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation amends the tolerances for residues of triclopyr in milk and livestock commodities which are identified and discussed later in this document, and amends the tolerance expressions to include triclopyr choline salt. Dow AgroSciences, LLC requested these tolerance changes under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective February 25, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 25, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

The dockets for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) numbers EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489, are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

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

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

• Crop production (NAICS code 111).

• Animal production (NAICS code 112).

• Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

• Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify by docket ID numbers EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before April 25, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID numbers EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489, by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

In the Federal Register of Wednesday, November 25, 2015 (80 FR 73695) (FRL-9937-14), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a revised pesticide petition (PP 4F8249) by Dow AgroSciences, LLC, 9330 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268-1054. The revised petition requested that 40 CFR part 180.417(a)(1) be amended by establishing a tolerance for residues of the herbicide triclopyr, [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy] acetic acid, in or on the raw agricultural commodity milk, fat at 0.7 parts per million (ppm); and increasing the tolerance in or on milk from 0.01 ppm to 0.6 ppm. The petition also requested that 40 CFR part 180.417(a)(2) be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of triclopyr, [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy] acetic acid and its metabolite 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCP), calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of triclopyr, in or on the raw agricultural commodities of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep meat byproducts at 0.7 ppm; by increasing tolerances in cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep fat from 0.05 ppm to 0.09 ppm; and increasing tolerances in cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep meat from 0.05 ppm to 0.08 ppm.

In the Federal Register of Friday, September 5, 2014 (79 FR 53009) (FRL-9914-98), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4F8279) by Dow AgroSciences, LLC, 9330 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268-1054. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180.417(a)(1) and 180.417(a)(2) be amended to include residues of the herbicide triclopyr choline salt as triclopyr, [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy] acetic acid, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the raw agricultural commodities listed.

The documents referenced summaries of the petitions prepared by Dow AgroSciences, LLC, the registrant, which are available in the dockets at http://www.regulations.gov. The petition summary for PP 4F8249 is located in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314, and the petition summary for PP 4F8279 is located in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489. Several comments were received on the notices of filing. EPA's response to those comments are discussed in Unit IV.D.

Based upon review of the data supporting the petitions, EPA has (1) determined that a tolerance for milk fat is not required; (2) increased the proposed tolerances for the fat and meat of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep; (3) decreased the proposed tolerances for the meat byproducts of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep; and (4) determined that the current tolerances for kidney, liver, and meat byproducts except kidney and liver of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep are not required.

EPA is also revising the tolerance expressions to correct the nomenclature of the chemical name, clarify the chemical moieties that are covered by the tolerances, and specify how compliance will be measured. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.C.

III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for triclopyr including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with triclopyr follows.

A. Toxicological Profile

EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

The bioequivalence of the three chemical forms of triclopyr (acid, triethylamine salt, and butoxyethyl ester) has been addressed through a variety of special studies with the salt and ester forms, including data on comparative disposition, plasma half-life, tissue distribution, and hydrolytic cleavage. Those studies were found to adequately address the issue of bioequivalence amongst these forms of triclopyr. Additionally, the currently available information supports the bioequivalence of triclopyr and triclopyr choline salt. Therefore, studies conducted with any one form of triclopyr have been used to support the toxicology database for triclopyr as a whole.

Triclopyr has been classified as having low acute toxicity via the oral, dermal, and inhalation routes. It is minimally-irritating (butoxyethyl ester) to corrosive (triethylamine salt) to the eye. It is a dermal sensitizer but not a dermal irritant.

Overall, effects in the triclopyr database were indicative of kidney and liver toxicity in rats and dogs, respectively. The primary effect observed in rats was degeneration of the proximal tubule of the kidney, which was seen at approximately the same dose in the subchronic oral and 2-generation reproduction toxicity studies. Body-weight decreases in rats were observed in the subchronic neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity studies at doses approximately ten times higher than doses resulting in kidney effects. In dogs, liver toxicity was evidenced by increased liver enzymes, increased liver weights, and liver histopathology at a similar dose as kidney effects in the rat. Changes in hematological parameters (decreased packed-cell volume, decreased hemoglobin, and decreased red blood cell count) were also observed in dogs at the same dose.

There is evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility to offspring from triclopyr exposure in the rat 2-generation reproduction study, based on increased incidence of rare pup malformations observed in the presence of parental toxicity. There is also potential qualitative susceptibility in the rat developmental toxicity study; however, the evidence was not as conclusive as the reproduction toxicity study. Concern is low since effects are well-characterized with clearly established no-observed adverse-effect level/lowest-observed adverse-effect level (NOAEL/LOAEL) values, effects were seen in the presence of parental toxicity, and selected endpoints are protective of the observed effects.

Triclopyr has been classified as a “Group D Chemical—unable to be classified as to human carcinogenicity.” Although there was marginal evidence of carcinogenicity in animal studies (adrenal tumors in male rats and mammary gland tumors in female rats and mice), EPA has determined that the chronic reference dose (cRfD) will adequately account for all chronic effects, including carcinogenicity, likely to result from exposure to triclopyr. The Agency reached this conclusion employing a weight-of-evidence (WOE) approach after considering the following factors: (1) A lack of statistical significance at the high dose in pair-wise tests for all the tumors of concern; (2) for the adrenal tumors, there was a lack of dose-response and any pre-neoplastic lesions in the adrenal glands, along with evidence that the tumors were mainly benign; (3) for the mammary gland tumors, incidence in the concurrent control mice was at the low end of the historical control range; and (4) the chronic RfD is approximately 700-fold lower than the dose that induced the mammary gland tumors in female rats.

Acceptable subchronic neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity studies have been submitted and show no evidence of neurotoxicity or immunotoxicity.

Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by triclopyr as well as the NOAEL and the LOAEL from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document, “Triclopyr. Human Health Risk Assessment for Petition to Amend Tolerance Expressions to Include Triclopyr Choline Salt; and Petition to Remove Grazing Restrictions for Dairy Cattle” on pp. 13-15 in docket ID numbers EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489.

B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for triclopyr used for human health risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Triclopyr for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/Scenario Point of departure and
  • uncertainty/safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk
  • assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (Females 13-49 years of age) NOAEL = 5 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.05 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.05 mg/kg/day
  • 2-Generation Rat Reproduction Study with Triclopyr Acid
  • LOAEL = 25 mg/kg/day based on increased incidence of rare malformations (exencephaly and ablepharia).
  • Acute dietary (General population including infants and children) NOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 1.0 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 1.0 mg/kg/day
  • Developmental Rat Toxicity Study with Triclopyr BEE
  • LOAEL = 300 mg/kg/day based on maternal mortality. Additional effects seen at this dose included clinical signs, necropsy findings, decreased food and water consumption, and increased kidney and liver weights.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL= 5 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.05 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.05 mg/kg/day
  • 2-Generation Rat Reproduction Study with Triclopyr Acid
  • LOAEL = 25 mg/kg/day based on degeneration of the proximal renal tubules.
  • Incidental oral short-term (1 to 30 days) and intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL= 5 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 Subchronic Oral Rat Toxicity Study with Triclopyr Acid
  • LOAEL = 20 mg/kg/day based on degeneration of the proximal renal tubules.
  • Inhalation short-term (1 to 30 days) and intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) Inhalation (or oral) study
  • NOAEL= 5 mg/kg/day (inhalation absorption rate = 100%)
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF/UFDB = 10x
  • LOC for MOE = 1000 Subchronic Oral Rat Toxicity Study with Triclopyr Acid
  • LOAEL = 20 mg/kg/day based on degeneration of the proximal renal tubules.
  • FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFDB = to account for the absence of data or other data deficiency. UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to triclopyr, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing triclopyr tolerances in 40 CFR 180.417. EPA assessed dietary exposures from triclopyr in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure. Such effects were identified for triclopyr. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed that triclopyr residues were present at tolerance levels in all commodities for which tolerances have been established or proposed, and that 100% of those crops were treated with triclopyr.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA 2003-2008 NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed that triclopyr residues were present at tolerance levels in all commodities for which tolerances have been established or proposed except milk, and that 100% of those crops were treated with triclopyr. An average anticipated residue (AR) calculated from a livestock feeding study was used for all milk commodities.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has determined that the chronic RfD will adequately account for all chronic effects, including carcinogenicity, that are likely to result from triclopyr exposure. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use PCT information in the dietary assessment for triclopyr. However, EPA did use anticipated residue information for milk commodities in the chronic dietary assessment. Tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all other food commodities.

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

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. EPA calculated and required setback distances from the application site to the functional potable water intake in order to maintain average drinking water concentration levels below 400 parts per billion (ppb). Since potable water intakes are required to be turned off until triclopyr concentration levels are below 400 ppb, EPA has determined that for acute and chronic dietary risk assessments, the water concentration value of 400 ppb is appropriate to use to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets).

    Triclopyr is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Aquatic and turf areas. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Handler inhalation exposure from spot applications to turf for adults, post-application inhalation and ingestion exposures of water from swimming for children 3 to <6 years old, and post-application incidental oral exposure to turf for children 1 to <2 years old. The dermal route of exposure is not quantitatively assessed because there is no dermal hazard. Short-term residential handler exposure, and short- and intermediate-term residential post-application exposures are expected. Chronic exposures are not expected. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.

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

    Unlike other pesticides for which EPA has followed a cumulative risk approach based on a common mechanism of toxicity, EPA has not made a common mechanism of toxicity finding as to triclopyr and any other substances.

    3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol, commonly known as TCP, is a metabolite of triclopyr, chlorpyrifos, and chlorpyrifos-methyl. Risk assessment of TCP was conducted in 2002, and the previous conclusions that the acute and chronic dietary aggregate exposure estimates are below EPA's level of concern (LOC) are still valid since the tolerances changes will not have a noticeable effect on dietary exposures to TCP. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. As summarized in Unit III.A., there is evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility to offspring from triclopyr exposure in the 2-generation reproduction toxicity study and potential qualitative susceptibility in the rat developmental toxicity study. However, the concern is low since effects are well-characterized with clearly established NOAEL/LOAEL values, effects were seen in the presence of parental toxicity, and selected endpoints, which are protective of the effects in adult animals, are protective of the observed effects.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X, with the exception for inhalation exposures where the FQPA SF is retained at 10X. These decisions are based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for triclopyr is adequate for characterizing triclopyr toxicity and quantification of hazard exposures. For assessing risks associated with inhalation exposures, the FQPA SF is retained at 10X to incorporate the database uncertainty factor (UFDB) to account for the lack of a subchronic inhalation toxicity study.

    ii. There is no indication that triclopyr is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

    iii. There is evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility to offspring from triclopyr exposure. However, the concern is low since effects are well-characterized with clearly established NOAEL/LOAEL values, effects were seen in the presence of parental toxicity, and selected endpoints, which are protective of the effects in adult animals, are protective of the observed effects.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues for all crops except milk commodities and drinking water in which anticipated residues were used. EPA used conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by triclopyr.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to triclopyr will occupy 53% of the aPAD for females 13-49 years old, and 8% of the aPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to triclopyr from food and water will utilize 46% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3. regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of triclopyr is not expected.

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

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in an aggregate MOE of 120 for children 1 to <2 years old (dietary exposure with post-application incidental oral exposure from turf use). Because EPA's level of concern for triclopyr is a MOE of 100 or below, this MOE is not of concern.

    For adults and children 3 to <6 years old, an aggregate risk index (ARI) is used since the POD for the oral and inhalation routes of exposure are the same, but the LOC values for oral (MOE<100) and inhalation (MOE<1000) exposures are different. The ARIs are 3.6 for children 3 to <6 years old (dietary exposure with post-application inhalation and ingestion from aquatic use), and 1.4 for adults (dietary exposure with handler inhalation exposure from turf use). Since EPA's level of concern is an ARI below 1, these ARIs are not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Although triclopyr is currently registered for uses that could result in intermediate-term residential exposure, EPA determined that a quantified intermediate-term aggregate assessment is unnecessary since the short- and intermediate-term PODs are the same and the short-term aggregate provides a worst-case estimate of residential exposure and is therefore protective of the longer-term exposures.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. As summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has determined that an aggregate exposure risk assessment for cancer risk is not required based on WOE conclusions on the marginal evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies and the use of the chronic RfD which will adequately account for any potential carcinogenic effects.

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodologies (Methods ACR 77.2 and ACR 77.4, using gas chromatography with electron-capture detection (GC/ECD); Method GRM 97.02 using gas chromatography with mass-spectrometry detection (GC/MS)) are available to enforce the tolerance expression. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) PESTDATA database dated 1/94 (Pesticide Analytical Manual (PAM) Vol. I, Appendix I) indicates that triclopyr is completely recovered (>80%) using multi-residue method PAM Vol. I Section 402. Data pertaining to multi-residue methods testing of triclopyr and its metabolites through Protocols B, C, D, and E have been submitted and forwarded to FDA.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. The Codex has not established any MRL for triclopyr.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

    Based on the available residue chemistry data, EPA has determined that a tolerance for milk fat is not required. Also, EPA is increasing the proposed tolerances for fat (0.09 ppm) and meat (0.08 ppm) of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep to 0.10 ppm, and decreasing the proposed tolerances for meat byproducts of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep from 0.7 ppm to 0.50 ppm in order to harmonize with established Canadian MRLs. The current tolerances for kidney (0.5 ppm), liver (0.5 ppm), and meat byproducts except kidney and liver (0.05 ppm) of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep are being removed and replaced by establishing tolerances for meat byproducts of cattle, goat, hog, horse, and sheep at 0.50 ppm.

    EPA is also revising the chemical name of triclopyr in the tolerance expressions to reflect the preferred Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) nomenclature. Lastly, in accordance with Agency guidance on tolerance expressions, the tolerance expressions for triclopyr are revised by clarifying that the tolerances cover “residues of the herbicide triclopyr, including its metabolites and degradates as well as how residues of triclopyr are to be measured.”

    D. Response to Comments

    Several comments were received in both dockets, EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0314 and EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0489, containing general comments disapproving of the use and EPA's approval of pesticides, and two similar comments stating that triclopyr should be banned due to its toxic effects on aquatic animals and its soil half-life. EPA understands these commenters' concerns and recognizes that some individuals believe that pesticides should be banned on agricultural crops. However, the existing legal framework provided by Section 408 of the FFDCA states that tolerances may be set when persons seeking such tolerances or exemptions have demonstrated that the pesticide meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. These comments appear to be directed at the underlying statute and not EPA's implementation of it; the commenters have made no contention that EPA has acted in violation of the statutory framework. In addition, some of the comments stated that triclopyr's negative effects are detrimental to human health. EPA has concluded that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to humans after considering the toxicological studies and the exposure levels of humans to triclopyr.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of triclopyr, 2-[(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy]acetic acid, in or on cattle, meat byproducts at 0.50 ppm; goat, meat byproducts at 0.50 ppm; hog, meat byproducts at 0.50 ppm; horse, meat byproducts at 0.50 ppm; sheep, meat byproducts at 0.50 ppm; amended for milk at 0.60 ppm; cattle, fat at 0.10 ppm; cattle, meat at 0.10 ppm; goat, fat at 0.10 ppm; goat, meat at 0.10 ppm; hog, fat at 0.10 ppm; hog, meat at 0.10 ppm; horse, fat at 0.10 ppm; horse, meat at 0.10 ppm; sheep, fat at 0.10 ppm; and sheep, meat at 0.10 ppm.

    The following livestock tolerances for “kidney,” “liver,” and “meat byproducts, except kidney and liver” are removed since these commodities will be combined under the “meat byproducts” tolerances: Cattle, kidney at 0.5 ppm; cattle, liver at 0.5 ppm; cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney and liver at 0.05 ppm; goat, kidney at 0.5 ppm; goat, liver at 0.5 ppm; goat, meat byproducts, except kidney and liver at 0.05 ppm; hog, kidney at 0.5 ppm; hog, liver at 0.5 ppm; hog, meat byproducts, except kidney and liver at 0.05 ppm; horse, kidney at 0.5 ppm; horse, liver at 0.5 ppm; horse, meat byproducts, except kidney and liver at 0.05 ppm; sheep, kidney at 0.5 ppm; sheep, liver at 0.5 ppm; and sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney and liver at 0.05 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: February 11, 2016. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    2. In § 180.417, revise paragraph (a)(1) introductory text, the commodity “Milk,” in the table in paragraph (a)(1) and paragraph (a) (2) to read as follows:
    § 180.417 Triclopyr; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. (1) Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide triclopyr, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below resulting from the application of the butoxyethyl ester of triclopyr, triethylamine salt of triclopyr, or choline salt of triclopyr. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only triclopyr, 2-[(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy]acetic acid.

    Commodity Parts per million *    *    *    *    * Milk 0.60 *    *    *    *    *

    (2) Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide triclopyr, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below resulting from the application of the butoxyethyl ester of triclopyr, triethylamine salt of triclopyr, or choline salt of triclopyr. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring the combined residues of triclopyr, 2-[(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy]acetic acid, and its metabolite 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCP), calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of triclopyr.

    Commodity Parts per million Cattle, fat 0.10 Cattle, meat 0.10 Cattle, meat byproducts 0.50 Goat, fat 0.10 Goat, meat 0.10 Goat, meat byproducts 0.50 Hog, fat 0.10 Hog, meat 0.10 Hog, meat byproducts 0.50 Horse, fat 0.10 Horse, meat 0.10 Horse, meat byproducts 0.50 Sheep, fat 0.10 Sheep, meat 0.10 Sheep, meat byproducts 0.50
    [FR Doc. 2016-03910 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 76 [MB Docket No. 15-71; FCC 15-111] Television Market Modification; Statutory Implementation AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collection associated with the Commission's Report and Order, Television Market Modification; Statutory Implementation. This document is consistent with the Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of the rules.

    DATES:

    The amendments to 47 CFR 76.59(a) and (b), published at 80 FR 59635, October 2, 2015, are effective February 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information contact Cathy Williams, [email protected], (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on February 18, 2016 and February 19, 2016, OMB approved the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 15-111, published at 80 FR 59635, October 2, 2015. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0546 and 3060-0980. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective date of the rules. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Numbers, 3060-0546 and 3060-0980, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the Internet if you send them to [email protected]

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on February 18, 2016 and February 19, 2016, for the new information collection requirements contained in the Commission's rules at 47 CFR 76.59(a)-(b) and 76.66(d)(6).

    Under 5 CFR 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0546 and 3060-0980.

    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0546.

    OMB Approval Date: February 18, 2016.

    OMB Expiration Date: February 28, 2019.

    Title: Section 76.59 Definition of Markets for Purposes of the Cable Television Mandatory Television Broadcast Signal Carriage Rules.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business and other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 180 respondents and 200 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 to 40 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement; Recordkeeping requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,486 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: $1,387,950.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 303(r), 338 and 534.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: On September 2, 2015, the Commission released a Report and Order (Order), FCC 15-111, in MB Docket No. 15-71, adopting satellite television market modification rules to implement Section 102 of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR). The STELAR amended the Communications Act and the Copyright Act to give the Commission authority to modify a commercial television broadcast station's local television market—defined by The Nielsen Company's Designated Market Area (DMA) in which it is located—to include additional communities or exclude communities for purposes of better effectuating satellite carriage rights. The Commission previously had the authority to modify a station's market only in the cable carriage context. Market modification allows the Commission to modify the local television market of a particular commercial television broadcast station to enable commercial television stations, cable operators and satellite carriers to better serve the interests of local communities. Market modification provides a means to avoid rigid adherence to DMA designations and to promote consumer access to in-state and other relevant television programming. Section 338(l) of the Communications Act (the satellite market modification provision) and Section 614(h)(1)(C) of the Communications Act (the corresponding cable provision) permit the Commission to add communities to or delete communities from a station's local television market following a written request. Furthermore, the Commission may determine that particular communities are part of more than one television market.

    Section 76.59(a) of the Commission's Rules authorizes the filing of market modification petitions and governs who may file such a petition. With respect to cable market modification petitions, a commercial TV broadcast station and cable system operator may file a market modification petition to modify the local television market of a particular commercial television broadcast station for purposes of cable carriage rights. With respect to satellite market modification petitions, a commercial TV broadcast stations, satellite carrier and county governmental entity (such as a county board, council, commission or other equivalent subdivision) may file a market modification petition to modify the local television market of a particular commercial television broadcast station for purposes of satellite carriage rights. Section 76.59(b) of the Commission's Rules requires that market modification petitions and responsive pleadings (e.g., oppositions, comments, reply comments) must be submitted in accordance with the procedures for filing Special Relief petitions in Section 76.7 of the rules. Section 76.59(b) of the Commission's Rules requires petitioners (e.g., commercial TV broadcast stations, cable system operators, satellite carriers and county governments) to include the specific evidence in support of market modification petitions.

    Section 338(l)(3) of the Communications Act provides that “[a] market determination . . . shall not create additional carriage obligations for a satellite carrier if it is not technically and economically feasible for such carrier to accomplish such carriage by means of its satellites in operation at the time of the determination.” If a satellite carrier opposes a market modification petition because the resulting carriage would be technically or economically infeasible pursuant to Section 338(l)(3), the carrier must provide specific evidence in its opposition or response to a pre-filing coordination request (see below) to demonstrate its claim of infeasibility. If the satellite carrier is claiming infeasibility based on insufficient spot beam coverage, then the carrier may instead provide a detailed certification submitted under penalty of perjury. Although the Commission will not require satellite carriers to provide supporting documentation as part of their certification, the Commission may decide to look behind any certification and require supporting documentation when it deems it appropriate, such as when there is evidence that the certification may be inaccurate. In the event that the Commission requires supporting documentation, it will require a satellite carrier to provide its “satellite link budget” calculations that were created for the new community. Because the Commission may determine in a given case that supporting documentation should be provided to support a detailed certification, satellite carriers are required to retain such “satellite link budget” information in the event that the Commission determines further review by the Commission is necessary. Satellite carriers must retain such information throughout the pendency of Commission or judicial proceedings involving the certification and any related market modification petition. If satellite carriers have concerns about providing proprietary and confidential information underlying their analysis, they may request confidentiality.

    The Report and Order establishes a “pre-filing coordination” process that will allow a prospective petitioner for market modification (i.e., broadcaster or county government), at its option, to request/obtain a certification from a satellite carrier about whether or not (and to what extent) carriage resulting from a contemplated market modification is technically and economically feasible for such carrier before the prospective petitioner undertakes the time and expense of preparing and filing a satellite market modification petition. To initiate this process, a prospective petitioner may make a request in writing to a satellite carrier for the carrier to provide the certification about the feasibility or infeasibility of carriage. A satellite carrier must respond to this request within a reasonable amount of time by providing a feasibility certification to the prospective petitioner. A satellite carrier must also file a copy of the correspondence and feasibility certification it provides to the prospective petitioner in this docket electronically via ECFS so that the Media Bureau can track these certifications and monitor carrier response time.

    If the carrier is claiming spot beam coverage infeasibility, then the certification provided by the carrier must be the same type of detailed certification that would be required in response to a market modification petition. For any other claim of infeasibility, the carrier's feasibility certification must explain in detail the basis of such infeasibility and must be prepared to provide documentation in support of its claim, in the event the prospective petitioner decides to seek a Commission determination about the validity of the carrier's claim. If carriage is feasible, a statement to that effect must be provided in the certification. To obtain a Commission determination about the validity of the carrier's claim of infeasibility, a prospective petitioner must either file a (separate) petition for special relief or its market modification petition.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0980.

    OMB Approval Date: February 24, 2016.

    OMB Expiration Date: February 28, 2019.

    Title: Implementation of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999: Local Broadcast Signal Carriage Issues and Retransmission Consent Issues, 47 CFR Section 76.66.

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 10,300 respondents; 11,978 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour to 5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Third party disclosure requirement; On occasion reporting requirement; Once every three years reporting requirement; Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 325, 338, 339 and 340.

    Total Annual Burden: 12,186 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $24,000.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: On September 2, 2015, the Commission released a Report and Order (Order), FCC 15-111, in MB Docket No. 15-71, adopting satellite television market modification rules to implement Section 102 of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR). With respect to this collection, the Order amended Section 76.66 of the Commission's Rules by adding a new paragraph (d)(6) that addresses satellite carriage after a market modification is granted by the Commission.

    47 CFR Section 76.66(d)(6) addresses satellite carriage after a market modification is granted by the Commission. The rule states that television broadcast stations that become eligible for mandatory carriage with respect to a satellite carrier (pursuant to § 76.66) due to a change in the market definition (by operation of a market modification pursuant to § 76.59) may, within 30 days of the effective date of the new definition, elect retransmission consent or mandatory carriage with respect to such carrier.

    A satellite carrier shall commence carriage within 90 days of receiving the carriage election from the television broadcast station. The election must be made in accordance with the requirements of 47 CFR Section 76.66(d)(1).

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03957 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 37 Thursday, February 25, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7689; Notice No. 25-16-03-SC] Special Conditions: Lufthansa Technik AG; Boeing Model 747-8 Series Airplanes, Large Non-Structural Glass in the Passenger Compartment AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes special conditions for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. This airplane, as modified by Lufthansa Technik AG, will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is large, non-structural glass panels in the passenger compartment. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    Send your comments on or before March 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-7689 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jayson Claar, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2194; facsimile 425-227-1320.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

    We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On March 8, 2012, Lufthansa Technik AG applied for a supplemental type certificate for large, non-structural glass panels in the passenger compartment in a Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. The Model 747-8 airplane is a derivative of the Boeing Model 747-400 airplane currently approved under type certificate no. A20WE. The airplane, as modified by Lufthansa Technik AG, is a four-engine, jet-transport airplane that will have a maximum takeoff weight of 970,000 lbs, capacity for 24 crewmembers, and taxi, takeoff, and landing seating for 143 passengers.

    Type Certification Basis

    The certification basis for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane, as defined in type certificate no. A20WE, is title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 25 as amended by amendments 25-1 through 25-120, with exceptions for structures and systems that were unchanged from the 747-400 design.

    Under the provisions of § 21.101, Lufthansa Technik AG must show that the Model 747-8 airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in type certificate no. A20WE, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

    The regulations listed in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.”

    In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable part that are not relevant to these special conditions.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model 747-8 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    Lufthansa Technik AG is modifying a Boeing Model 747-8 airplane to install a head-of-state interior arrangement. This airplane, as modified, will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with the installation of large, non-structural glass panels in the cabin area of an executive interior occupied by passengers and crew. The installation of these glass items in the passenger compartment, which can be occupied during taxi, takeoff, and landing, is a novel or unusual design feature with respect to the material being installed. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature.

    The use of glass has resulted in trade-offs between the one unique characteristic of glass—its capability for undistorted or controlled light transmittance, or transparency—and the negative aspects of the material, such as extreme notch-sensitivity, low fracture resistance, low modulus of elasticity, and highly variable properties. While reasonably strong, glass is nonetheless not a desirable material for traditional airplane applications because it is heavy (about the same density as aluminum), and when it fails, it breaks into extremely sharp fragments that have the potential for injury and have been known to be lethal. Thus the use of glass traditionally has been limited to windshields, and instrument and display transparencies. The regulations for certification of transport-category airplanes only address, thus only recognize, the use of glass in windshield or window applications. These regulations do address the adverse properties of glass, but even so, pilots are occasionally injured from shattered glass windshields. FAA policy allows glass on instruments and display transparencies.

    Other installations of large, non-structural glass items have included the following:

    • Glass panels integrated onto a stairway handrail closeout.

    • Glass panels mounted in doors to allow visibility through the door when desired.

    • Glass doors on some galley compartments containing small amounts of service items.

    Discussion

    No specific regulations address the design and installation of large glass components in airplane passenger cabins. Existing requirements, such as §§ 25.561, 25.562, 25.601, 25.603, 25.613, 25.775, and 25.789, in the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane certification basis applicable to this supplemental type certificate project, provide some design standards appropriate for large glass component installations. However, additional design standards for non-structural glass augmenting the existing design are needed to complement the existing requirements. The addition of glass involved in this installation, and the potentially unsafe conditions caused by damage to such components from external sources, necessitate assuring that adequate safety standards are applied to the design and installation of the feature in Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes.

    For purposes of these special conditions, a large glass component is defined as a glass component weighing 4 kg (9 lbs) or more. Groupings of glass items that individually weigh less than 4 kg, but collectively weigh 4 kg or more, also would need to be included. The proposed special conditions also apply when showing compliance with the applicable performance standards in the regulations for the installation of these components. For example, heat-release and smoke-density testing must not result in fragmentation of the component.

    These proposed special conditions will reduce the hazards from breakage, or from these panels' potential separation from the cabin interior. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Boeing Model 747-8 series airplanes. Should Lufthansa Technik AG apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on type certificate no. A20WE to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model series of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

    The Proposed Special Conditions

    For large glass components installed in a cabin occupied by passengers or crew who are not otherwise protected from the injurious effects of failure of the glass installations, the Lufthansa Technik AG glass installations on this Boeing 747-8 airplane must meet the following conditions:

    1. Material: The glass used must be tempered or otherwise treated to ensure that when fractured, it breaks into small pieces with relatively dull edges. This must be demonstrated by testing to failure.

    2. Fragmentation: The glass-component installation must control the fragmentation of the glass to minimize the danger from flying glass shards or pieces. This must be demonstrated by impact and puncture testing to failure.

    3. Component Strength: The glass component must be strong enough to meet the load requirements for all flight and landing loads, including any of the applicable emergency-landing conditions in subparts C & D of 14 CFR part 25. In addition, glass components that are located such that they are not protected from contact with cabin occupants must not fail due to abusive loading, such as impact from occupants stumbling into, leaning against, sitting on, or performing other intentional or unintentional forceful contact with the glass component. The effect of design details such as geometric discontinuities or surface finish, e.g., embossing, etching, etc., must be assessed.

    4. Component Retention: The glass component, as installed in the airplane, must not come free of its restraint or mounting system in the event of an emergency landing. Both the directional loading and rebound conditions must be assessed. The effect of design details such as geometric discontinuities or surface finish, e.g., embossing, etching, etc., must be assessed.

    5. Instructions for Continued Airworthiness: The instructions for continued airworthiness must reflect the method used to fasten the panel to the cabin interior and must ensure the reliability of the methods used, e.g., life limit of adhesives, or clamp connection. The applicant must define any inspection methods and intervals based upon adhesion data from the manufacturer of the adhesive, or upon actual adhesion-test data, if necessary.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 16, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03997 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3324; Notice No. 25-16-04-SC] Special Conditions: L-3 Communications Integrated Systems; Boeing Model 747-8 Series Airplanes, Large Non-Structural Glass in the Passenger Compartment AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes special conditions for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. This airplane, as modified by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is large, non-structural glass panels in the passenger compartment. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    Send your comments on or before March 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-3324 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jayson Claar, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2194; facsimile 425-227-1320.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

    We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On May 10, 2011, L-3 Communications Integrated Systems applied for a supplemental type certificate for large, non-structural glass panels in the passenger compartment in Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes. The Model 747-8 airplane is a derivative of the Boeing Model 747-400 airplane currently approved under type certificate no. A20WE. The airplane, as modified by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, is a four-engine, jet-transport airplane that will have a maximum takeoff weight of 970,000 lbs, capacity for 24 crewmembers, and taxi, takeoff, and landing seating for 143 passengers.

    Type Certification Basis

    The certification basis for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane, as defined in type certificate no. A20WE, is title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 25 as amended by amendments 25-1 through 25-120, with exceptions for structures and systems that were unchanged from the 747-400 design.

    Under the provisions of § 21.101, L-3 Communications Integrated Systems must show that the Model 747-8 airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in type certificate no. A20WE, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

    The regulations listed in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.”

    In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable part that are not relevant to these special conditions.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model 747-8 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    L-3 Communications Integrated Systems is modifying a Boeing Model 747-8 airplane to install a head-of-state interior arrangement. This airplane, as modified, will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with the installation of large, non-structural glass panels in the cabin area of an executive interior occupied by passengers and crew. The installation of these glass items in the passenger compartment, which can be occupied during taxi, takeoff, and landing, is a novel or unusual design feature with respect to the material being installed. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature.

    The use of glass has resulted in trade-offs between the one unique characteristic of glass—its capability for undistorted or controlled light transmittance, or transparency—and the negative aspects of the material, such as extreme notch-sensitivity, low fracture resistance, low modulus of elasticity, and highly variable properties. While reasonably strong, glass is nonetheless not a desirable material for traditional airplane applications because it is heavy (about the same density as aluminum), and when it fails, it breaks into extremely sharp fragments that have the potential for injury and have been known to be lethal. Thus the use of glass traditionally has been limited to windshields, and instrument or display transparencies. The regulations only address, and thus only recognize, the use of glass in windshield or window applications. These regulations do address the adverse properties of glass, but even so, pilots are occasionally injured from shattered glass windshields. FAA policy allows glass on instruments and display transparencies.

    Other installations of large, non-structural glass items have included the following:

    • Glass panels integrated onto a stairway handrail closeout.

    • Glass panels mounted in doors to allow visibility through the door when desired.

    • Glass doors on some galley compartments containing small amounts of service items.

    Discussion

    No specific regulations address the design and installation of large glass components in airplane passenger cabins. Existing requirements, such as §§ 25.561, 25.562, 25.601, 25.603, 25.613, 25.775, and 25.789, in the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane certification basis applicable to this supplemental type certificate project, provide some design standards appropriate for large glass component installations. However, additional design standards for non-structural glass augmenting the existing design are needed to complement the existing requirements. The addition of glass involved in this installation, and the potentially unsafe conditions caused by damage to such components from external sources, necessitate assuring that adequate safety standards are applied to the design and installation of the feature in Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes.

    For purposes of these special conditions, a large glass component is defined as a glass component weighing 4 kg (9 lbs) or more. Groupings of glass items that individually weigh less than 4 kg, but collectively weigh 4 kg or more, also would need to be included. The proposed special conditions also apply when showing compliance with the applicable performance standards in the regulations for the installation of these components. For example, heat-release and smoke-density testing must not result in fragmentation of the component.

    These proposed special conditions will reduce the hazards from breakage, or from these panels' potential separation from the cabin interior. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to Boeing Model 747-8 series airplanes. Should L-3 Communications Integrated Systems apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on type certificate no. A20WE to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model series of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

    The Proposed Special Conditions

    For large glass components installed in a cabin occupied by passengers or crew who are not otherwise protected from the injurious effects of failure of the glass installations, the L-3 Communications Integrated Systems glass installations on this Boeing 747-8 airplane must meet the following conditions:

    1. Material: The glass used must be tempered or otherwise treated to ensure that when fractured, it breaks into small pieces with relatively dull edges. This must be demonstrated by testing to failure.

    2. Fragmentation: The glass-component installation must control the fragmentation of the glass to minimize the danger from flying glass shards or pieces. This must be demonstrated by impact and puncture testing to failure.

    3. Component Strength: The glass component must be strong enough to meet the load requirements for all flight and landing loads, including any of the applicable emergency-landing conditions in subparts C & D of 14 CFR part 25. In addition, glass components that are located such that they are not protected from contact with cabin occupants must not fail due to abusive loading, such as impact from occupants stumbling into, leaning against, sitting on, or performing other intentional or unintentional forceful contact with the glass component. The effect of design details such as geometric discontinuities or surface finish, e.g., embossing, etching, etc., must be assessed.

    4. Component Retention: The glass component, as installed in the airplane, must not come free of its restraint or mounting system in the event of an emergency landing. Both the directional loading and rebound conditions must be assessed. The effect of design details such as geometric discontinuities or surface finish, e.g., embossing, etching, etc., must be assessed.

    5. Instructions for Continued Airworthiness: The instructions for continued airworthiness must reflect the method used to fasten the panel to the cabin interior and must ensure the reliability of the methods used, e.g., life limit of adhesives, or clamp connection. The applicant must define any inspection methods and intervals based upon adhesion data from the manufacturer of the adhesive, or upon actual adhesion-test data, if necessary.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 16, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03996 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2011-0254; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-180-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed a new airworthiness directive (AD), which would have applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. For certain airplanes, the NPRM would have required a one-time inspection for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reversers, and repair or replacement if necessary. For all airplanes, the NPRM would have required repetitive inspections for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends, attach bolts, and nuts; repetitive inspections for damage of fitting assemblies, wear spacers, and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reverser; repetitive measurements of the wear spacer; and corrective actions if necessary. Since the NPRM was issued, the manufacturer notified us that an assumption regarding a failure mode of the rod ends or attachment fittings for the thrust reverser actuator used in the original safety assessment was incorrect. A new safety analysis was conducted and we determined that this issue is no longer a safety concern. Accordingly, the NPRM is withdrawn.

    DATES:

    As of February 25, 2016, the proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2011 (76 FR 15864), is withdrawn.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2011-0254; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD action, the NPRM (76 FR 15864, March 22, 2011), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tak Kobayashi, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6499; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We proposed to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for a new AD for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2011 (76 FR 15864) (“the NPRM”). For certain airplanes, the NPRM would have required a one-time inspection for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reversers, and repair or replacement if necessary. For all airplanes, the NPRM would have required repetitive inspections for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends, attach bolts, and nuts; repetitive inspections for damage of fitting assemblies, wear spacers, and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reverser; repetitive measurements of the wear spacer; and corrective actions if necessary.

    The NPRM was prompted by reports of in-service damage of the attachment fittings for the thrust reverser actuator. The proposed actions were intended to detect and correct such damage, which could result in actuator attach fitting failure, loss of the thrust reverser auto restow function, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    Actions Since NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, the manufacturer has notified us that an assumption regarding a failure mode of the attachment fittings for the thrust reverser actuator used in the original safety assessment was incorrect. It was originally assumed that all hydraulic actuators attached to the thrust reverser have the failure mode (failure of the hydraulic actuator rod end or attach fitting due to severe wear-out) addressed in the NPRM. Based on field reports and design review, the manufacturer found that certain hydraulic actuators do not have this failure mode. Based on this new manufacturer finding, a new safety analysis was conducted and we determined that this issue is no longer a safety concern.

    FAA's Conclusions

    Upon further consideration, we have determined that the safety concern identified in the NPRM does not affect The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes identified in the NPRM. Accordingly, the NPRM is withdrawn.

    Withdrawal of the NPRM does not preclude the FAA from issuing another related action or commit the FAA to any course of action in the future.

    Regulatory Impact

    Since this action only withdraws an NPRM, it is neither a proposed nor a final rule and therefore is not covered under Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, or DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979).

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Withdrawal

    Accordingly, we withdraw the NPRM, Docket No. FAA-2011-0254, Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-180-AD, which was published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2011 (76 FR 15864).

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03693 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3703; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-115-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive external detailed and surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the outer skin for cracking around fastener heads common to the inboard fastener row of the skin lap splice. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the skin lap splice, which, if not detected, could grow and result in possible rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3703.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3703; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-3703; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-115-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as WFD. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by ADs through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    We have received an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to WFD. As a result of WFD analysis, the stringer S-2R skin lap splice from station (STA) 368 to STA 434 requires additional supplemental inspection beyond the inspections specified in the Boeing Model 767 airplane maintenance planning document. This condition, if not corrected, could result in cracking of the skin lap splice, which could grow and result in possible rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. The service information describes procedures for a detailed inspection and a surface HFEC inspection at section 41, stringer S-2R skin lap splice from STA 368 to STA 434, for any cracking, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3703.”

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 356 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 per inspection cycle $0 $255 per inspection cycle $90,780 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-3703; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-115-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 11, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of this skin lap splice, which, if not detected, could grow and result in possible rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Actions

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection and a surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection at section 41, stringer S-2R skin lap splice from body station (STA) 368 to STA 434, for any cracking, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. If any existing external repair is found in the inspection area, then the inspections in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, are not required in the area hidden by the repair, provided that the repair was previously approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), or by the Authorized Representative of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), or installed as specified in Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. Inspections in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, remain applicable in areas not hidden by the repair.

    (h) Exception to the Service Information

    Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03698 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3702; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-103-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-24-12, which applies to all The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F airplanes. AD 2013-24-12 currently requires repetitive ultrasonic or dye penetrant inspections for cracking of the barrel nuts and bolts on each forward engine mount, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued AD 2013-24-12, we have determined that it is necessary to mandate the installation of new barrel nuts or new inspections to adequately address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2013-24-12 and add requirements to install new barrel nuts at the forward engine mounts; or identify the part number of the barrel nuts, inspect affected barrel nuts for gaps of the strut bulkhead and forward engine mount, and do related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also remove airplanes from the applicability. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracked barrel nuts on a forward engine mount, which could result in reduced load capacity of the forward engine mount, separation of an engine under power from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3702.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3702; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-3702; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-103-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On November 19, 2013, we issued AD 2013-24-12, Amendment 39-17686 (78 FR 71989, December 2, 2013) (“AD 2013-24-12”), for all The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F airplanes. AD 2013-24-12 requires repetitive ultrasonic or dye penetrant inspections for cracking of the barrel nuts and bolts, as applicable, on each forward engine mount, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2013-24-12 resulted from a report of cracked barrel nuts found on a forward engine mount. We issued AD 2013-24-12 to detect and correct cracked barrel nuts on a forward engine mount, which could result in reduced load capacity of the forward engine mount, separation of an engine under power from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2013-24-12 Was Issued

    The preamble to AD 2013-24-12 explains that we considered the requirements “interim action” and were considering further rulemaking. We now have determined that further rulemaking is indeed necessary, and this proposed AD follows from that determination.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following service information:

    • Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015. The service information describes procedures for inspecting for cracked bolts and barrel nuts on the forward engine mounts, replacing cracked bolts and barrel nuts, and sending the inspection results and cracked parts to Boeing.

    • Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015. The service information describes procedures for installing new barrel nuts, inspecting the barrel nuts at the forward engine mount to determine the part number (P/N), inspecting for gaps of the strut bulkhead and forward engine mount, and doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions.

    • 747-8/-8F Airworthiness Limitation (AWL), Document Number D011U721-02-01, dated September 2015, which includes a limitation for Structurally Significant Item (SSI) 54-50-003c, which describes procedures for structural inspections.

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

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 2013-24-12. This proposed AD would also require accomplishing the actions specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between Proposed AD and Service Information.” For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3702.

    The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that (1) are related to the primary action, and (2) further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Differences Between Proposed AD and Service Information

    Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 7 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections (retained actions from AD 2013-24-12) Up to 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $2,040 per inspection cycle Up to $14,280 per inspection cycle. Installation (new proposed action) 17 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,445 6,384 $7,829 Up to $54,803. Inspections (new proposed alternative actions) 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 0 $340 Up to $2,380. Maintenance program revision (new proposed requirement) 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 $85 $595.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the bootstrap installation specified in this proposed AD. We estimate the following costs to do other necessary related investigative and corrective actions that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Ultrasonic inspection 5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 $0 $425

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-24-12, Amendment 39-17686 (78 FR 71989, December 2, 2013), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-3702; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-103-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by April 11, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-24-12, Amendment 39-17686 (78 FR 71989, December 2, 2013).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-8F and 747-8 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Powerplant.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of cracked barrel nuts found on a forward engine mount, and by the determination that additional actions are necessary to address the unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked barrel nuts on a forward engine mount, which could result in reduced load capacity of the forward engine mount, separation of an engine under power from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (g) of AD 2013-24-12, Amendment 39-17686 (78 FR 71989, December 2, 2013) (“AD 2013-24-12”), with revised service information: Except as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, at the time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013: Do the inspection specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013; or Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015.

    (1) Ultrasonic inspection for cracking of the barrel nuts on each forward engine mount, except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

    (2) Dye penetrant inspection for cracking of the bolts and barrel nuts. Whenever a dye penetrant inspection is done, all the bolts and barrel nuts on that engine mount must be removed and replaced with new or serviceable parts.

    (h) Retained Exceptions to Service Information Specifications, With Revised Service Information References

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013; or Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015; specify a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12).

    (2) Where Appendix B of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013, and Appendix B of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, state that alternate instruments and transducers can be used, this AD requires that only equivalent instruments and transducers can be used.

    (3) Where Appendix A of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013, and Appendix A of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, state to record flight hours and flight cycles, record the flight hours and flight cycles on the airplane and the flight hours and flight cycles for each engine since change or removal.

    (i) Retained Reporting and Sending Parts, With Revised Service Information

    After any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Submit a report of the inspection results (both positive and negative), and return all cracked bolts and barrel nuts, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD. The report must include the information requested in Appendix A of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013, or Appendix A of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, except as required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD. Both the report and all cracked bolts and barrel nuts must be sent to the address specified in Appendix A of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013, or Appendix A of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015.

    (1) For airplanes on which an ultrasonic inspection was done and no cracking was found, do the required actions at the time specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) or (i)(1)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) If the inspection was done on or after December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12): Submit the report within 10 days after the inspection.

    (ii) If the inspection was done before December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12): Submit the report within 10 days after December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12).

    (2) For airplanes on which a dye penetrant inspection was done, do the required actions at the time specified in paragraph (i)(2)(i) or (i)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) If the inspection was done on or after December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12): Submit the report and return all cracked bolts and barrel nuts within 10 days after replacing the bolts and barrel nuts with new or serviceable bolts and barrel nuts in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, dated September 27, 2013; or Boeing Service Bulletin 747-71A2329, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015.

    (ii) If the inspection was done before December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12): Submit the report and return all cracked bolts and barrel nuts within 10 days after December 17, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-24-12).

    (j) Retained Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement, With No Changes

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

    (k) New Installation or Inspections

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, except as required by paragraph (o)(1) of this AD: Do the actions specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, except as required by paragraph (o)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Install new barrel nuts using the bootstrap installation method identified in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015.

    (2) Do a general visual inspection to determine the part number (P/N) of the barrel nuts at the forward engine mount. If any barrel nut P/N SL4081C14SP1 is installed, before further flight, do a general visual inspection for gaps of the strut bulkhead and forward engine mount to determine if the nut-by-but method identified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, can be used, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight, including the nut-by-nut replacement identified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015. If the nut-by-nut replacement identified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015 cannot be accomplished, install new nuts, in accordance with paragraph (k)(1) of this AD.

    (l) Maintenance Program Revision

    Within 30 days after accomplishment of the actions required by paragraph (k) of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the 747-8/-8F Airworthiness Limitation (AWL), Document Number D011U721-02-01, Structurally Significant Item (SSI) 54-50-003c.

    (m) Terminating Action

    Accomplishment of the actions required by paragraphs (k) and (l) of this AD terminate the requirements of paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD.

    (n) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install or reinstall any barrel nut P/N SL4081C14SP1 at the forward engine mount assembly on any airplane, and only P/N SL4750NA may be installed.

    (o) New Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (r) of this AD.

    (p) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (l) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (r) of this AD.

    (q) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (k) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-71-2332, dated May 30, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (r) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2013-24-12 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (5) Except as required by paragraph (o)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (r)(5)(i) and (r)(5)(ii) of this AD apply.

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

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

    (s) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected].

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03690 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3701; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-015-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-25-08, for all Airbus Model A330-200, -200 Freighter, and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. AD 2013-25-08 currently requires a repetitive inspection program on certain check valves in the hydraulic systems that includes, among other things, inspections for lock wire presence and integrity, traces of seepage or black deposits, proper torque, alignment of the check valve and manifold, installation of new lock wire, and corrective actions if needed. Since we issued AD 2013-25-08, Airbus has developed an improved check valve. This proposed AD would add airplanes to the applicability, and require modifying the green, blue and yellow high pressure hydraulic manifolds by replacing certain check valves with improved check valves, which would terminate the repetitive inspections required by this proposed AD. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct hydraulic check valve loosening; loosened valves could result in hydraulic leaks, possibly leading to the loss of all three hydraulic systems and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS—Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3701; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-3701; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-015-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On November 26, 2013, we issued AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013) (“AD 2013-25-08”). AD 2013-25-08 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes.

    Since we issued AD 2013-25-08, which superseded AD 2009-24-09 Amendment 39-16068 (74 FR 62208, November 27, 2009), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0009, dated January 16, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition. The MCAI states:

    An A330 operator experienced a Yellow hydraulic circuit low level due to a loose check valve, Part Number (P/N) CAR401. During the inspection on the other two hydraulic systems, the other three check valves P/N CAR401 were also found to be loose with their lock wire broken in two instances. Airbus A340 aeroplanes are also equipped with P/N CAR401 high pressure manifold check valves. Additional cases of P/N CAR401 check valve loosening have been reported on aeroplanes having accumulated more than 1,000 flight cycles (FC). The check valve fitted on the Yellow hydraulic system is more affected, due to additional system cycles induced by cargo door operation. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in hydraulic leaks, possibly leading to the loss of all three hydraulic systems and consequent loss of control of the aeroplane. To address this unsafe condition, EASA issued Emergency AD 2009-0223-E (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2009_0223E_superseded.pdf/EAD_2009-0223-E_1) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2009-24-09, Amendment 39-16068 (74 FR 62208, November 27, 2009)] to require an inspection programme to detect any check valve loosening and, if necessary, to apply the applicable corrective actions. EASA AD 2010-0145 (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2010_0145_Superseded.pdf/AD_2010-0145_1), which superseded EASA EAD 2009-0223-E retaining its requirements, was issued to expand the applicability to the newly certified models A330-223F and A330-243F. Prompted by further reported in-service events of check valve P/N CAR401 loosening before reaching the threshold of 700 FC, EASA AD 2011-0139 (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2011_0139_superseded.pdf/AD_2011-0139_1), which superseded EASA AD 2010-0145, retaining its requirements, was issued to: —extend the requirement to identify the P/N CAR401 check valves to all aeroplanes, and —reduce the inspection threshold for aeroplanes fitted with check valve P/N CAR401, either installed in production through Airbus modification 54491, or installed in service through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A330-29-3101 or Airbus SB A340-29-4078. EASA AD 2012-0070 (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2012_0070_Correction_superseded.pdf/AD_2012-0070_1), which superseded EASA AD 2011-0139, retaining its requirements, was issued to require an increased torque value of the check valve tightening and High Pressure (HP) manifold re-identification. Since EASA AD 2012-0070 was issued, additional in-service events have been reported on aeroplanes fitted with check valves on which the increased torque value had been applied. Based on those events, it has been concluded that the action to re-torque the check valves with an increased value is not a satisfactory terminating action for addressing the issue of those check valves. To address that, EASA issued AD 2012-0244, which partially retained the requirements of EASA AD 2012-0070, which was superseded. Additionally, for aeroplanes equipped with P/N CAR401 on which the increased torque value had been applied, EASA AD 2012-0244 required repetitive inspections of the check valves and HP manifolds. Finally, EASA AD 2012-0244 also required application of a lower torque value when a check valve P/N CAR401 is installed on an aeroplane. Note: The reporting and the torque value increase requirements for check valves P/N CAR401 of EASA AD 2012-0070 were no longer part of EASA AD 2012-0244. EASA AD was revised to clarify which actions are required for P/N CAR401 check valves, depending on applied (or not) torque value. Since EASA AD 2012-0244R1 (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2012_0244_R1_superseded.pdf/AD_2012-0244R1_1) was issued, Airbus developed an improved check valve P/N CAR402, which is embodied in production through Airbus modification 203972, and in service through associated Airbus SB A330-29-3125, or Airbus SB A340-29-4096, as applicable to aeroplane type. In addition, these SBs provide instructions about the torque value (between 230 and 250 Nm) and re-identification of HP manifolds after check valve P/N CAR402 installation. For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2012-0244R1, which is superseded, and requires the installation of check valves P/N CAR402 as terminating action to the repetitive inspections [and adds airplanes to the applicability].

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3701.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A330-29-3125, Revision 01, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated July 30, 2015; and Service Bulletin A340-29-4096, Revision 01, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated July 30, 2015. This service information describes procedures for modifying the green, blue, and yellow high pressure hydraulic manifolds by replacing each check valve having part number (P/N) CAR401 with an improved check valve having P/N CAR402. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Explanation of a Certain Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC)

    Paragraph (t)(1)(iii) of this proposed AD states that AMOC ANM-116-14-429 is not approved as an AMOC for the corresponding provisions of this AD. This AMOC defines a terminating action when Airbus Modification 203972 is introduced in production or when the Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3125, dated August 8, 2014, is embodied in service. This proposed AD will exclude from the applicability airplanes with Airbus Modification 203972 and will mandate actions in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3125, Revision 01, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated July 30, 2015.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 88 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2013-25-08, and retained in this proposed AD take about 10 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2013-25-08 is $850 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take about 32 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $239,360, or $2,720 per product.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2016-3701; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-015-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 11, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; all manufacturer serial numbers except those on which Airbus modification 203972 has been embodied in production.

    (2) Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes; all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic power.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by multiple reports of hydraulic line check valves loosening. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct hydraulic check valve loosening, which could result in hydraulic leaks, possibly leading to the loss of all three hydraulic systems and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspections, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. Except for Model A330-223F and A330-243F airplanes: Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) For airplanes that do not have Airbus Modification 54491 embodied in production, or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3101 or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4078 embodied in service: Within 100 flight cycles or 28 days after December 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-24-09, Amendment 39-16068 (74 FR 62208, November 27, 2009)), whichever occurs first, inspect the check valves on the blue, green, and yellow hydraulic systems to identify their part numbers (P/Ns), in accordance with the instructions of Airbus All Operators Telex (AOT) A330-29A3111, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes); or AOT A340-29A4086, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Accomplishment of the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (i) If check valves having P/N CAR401 are installed on all three hydraulic systems, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD. After accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii) and (g)(2)(iii) of this AD at the applicable compliance times specified in those paragraphs. Accomplishment of the inspection required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (ii) If check valves having P/N CAR401 are not installed on all three hydraulic systems, no further action is required by this paragraph until any check valve having P/N CAR400 is replaced with a check valve having P/N CAR401. If any check valve having P/N CAR400 is replaced by a check valve having P/N CAR401, before further flight, do the inspection specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD to determine if all three hydraulic systems are equipped with check valves having P/N CAR401. Accomplishment of the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (2) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 54491 was embodied in production, or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3101; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4078 was embodied in service, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i), (g)(2)(ii), and (g)(2)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Except as required by paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A) and (g)(2)(i)(B) of this AD, as applicable: Do the inspection program (detailed inspection of the lock wire for presence and integrity, a detailed inspection for traces of seepage or black deposits, and an inspection for proper torque) on yellow and blue high pressure manifolds, install new lock wires, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the instructions of paragraph 4.1.1 of Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes); or AOT A340-29A4086, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Airbus Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Accomplishment of the inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (A) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 54491 has been embodied in production: At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A)(1) and (g)(2)(i)(A)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 1,000 total flight cycles since first flight but no earlier than the accumulation of 700 total flight cycles since first flight.

    (2) Within 100 flight cycles or 28 days after December 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-24-09, Amendment 39-16068 (74 FR 62208, November 27, 2009)), whichever occurs first.

    (B) For airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3101 or A340-29-4078 was embodied in service: At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(B)(1) and (g)(2)(i)(B)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Within 1,000 flight cycles since the embodiment of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3101 or A340-29-4078 but no earlier than 700 flight cycles after the embodiment of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3101 or A340-29-4078.

    (2) Within 100 flight cycles or 28 days after December 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-24-09, Amendment 39-16068 (74 FR 62208, November 27, 2009)), whichever occurs first.

    (ii) Within 900 flight hours after accomplishment of paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD, do the inspection program (detailed inspection of the lock wire for presence and integrity, a detailed inspection for traces of seepage or black deposits, and an inspection for proper torque) and install a new lock wire on the green high pressure manifold; and do an inspection (detailed inspection for traces of seepage or black deposits, and detailed inspection to determine alignment of the check valve and manifold) on the yellow and blue high pressure manifolds, and do all applicable corrective actions; in accordance with the instructions of paragraph 4.1.2 of Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes); or AOT A340-29A4086, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Accomplishment of the inspection program required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (iii) Within 900 flight hours after accomplishment of paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 900 flight hours, do the inspection program (detailed inspection for traces of seepage or black deposits, and detailed inspection to determine alignment of the check valve and manifold) on the green, yellow, and blue high pressure manifolds, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the instructions of paragraph 4.1.3 of Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes); or AOT A340-29A4086, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Accomplishment of the inspection program required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (h) Retained Inspection, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013, with no changes. For airplanes equipped with check valves having P/N CAR400; and for airplanes equipped with check valves having P/N CAR401, except for airplanes on which Airbus Modification 201384 has been embodied during production, or on which Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3119 (for Model A330-200, -200F, and -300 series airplanes) or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4091 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes) has been embodied in service: Within 900 flight hours after January 31, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013)), inspect the check valves on the blue, green, and yellow hydraulic systems to identify their part numbers, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3111, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011 (for Model A330-200, -200F and -300 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4086, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Accomplishment of the actions required by this paragraph terminates the requirements specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (1) If check valves having P/N CAR401 are installed on all three hydraulic systems: Before further flight, do the inspection program (detailed inspection for red mark presence and alignment integrity of the check valve and manifold, a detailed inspection for traces of seepage or black deposits, and an inspection for proper torque) on yellow and blue high pressure manifolds, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3111, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011 (for Model A330-200, -200F, and -300 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4086, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Accomplishment of the actions required by this paragraph terminates the requirements specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD.

    (2) If check valves having P/N CAR401 are not installed on all three hydraulic systems, no further action is required by this paragraph until any check valve having P/N CAR400 is replaced with a check valve having P/N CAR401. If any check valve having P/N CAR400 is replaced by a check valve having P/N CAR401: Before further flight after such replacement, do the actions specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, to determine if all three hydraulic systems are equipped with check valves having P/N CAR401. If check valves having P/N CAR401 are installed on all three hydraulic systems: Before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (i) of this AD.

    (i) Retained Repetitive Inspection Program and Corrective Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. Within 900 flight hours after accomplishment of paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, do the inspection program (detailed inspection for red mark presence and alignment integrity of the check valve and manifold, a detailed inspection for traces of seepage or black deposits, and an inspection for proper torque) on the green, yellow, and blue system check valves, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3111, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011 (for Model A330-200, -200F, and -300 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4086, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection program thereafter at intervals not to exceed 900 flight hours. Accomplishment of the actions required by this paragraph terminates the requirements specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(2)(ii), and (g)(2)(iii) of this AD.

    (j) Retained Repetitive Inspection for Certain Airplanes, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. For airplanes equipped with check valves having P/N CAR401 and on which Airbus Modification 201384 has been embodied during production, or on which Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3119 (for Model A330-200, -200F, and -300 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4091 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes) has been embodied in service: Within 1,000 flight hours after January 31, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013)), do a general visual inspection of the green, yellow, and blue high pressure manifolds and check valves having P/N CAR401 for any sign of rotation of the check valve head, and for any signs of hydraulic fluid leakage or seepage (including black deposits), in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A29L001-12, dated October 11, 2012. Repeat the inspection thereafter at interval not to exceed 900 flight hours.

    (k) Retained Corrective Action for Certain Airplanes, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (k) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. If, during any inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, any sign of rotation of the check valve head is found, or any sign of hydraulic fluid leakage or seepage (including black deposits) is found: Before further flight, do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A29L001-12, dated October 11, 2012.

    (l) Retained Provisions Regarding Terminating Action, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (l) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. Accomplishment of the corrective actions required by this AD does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by this AD.

    (m) Retained Replacement Check Valve Torque Value, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (m) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. As of January 31, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013)), at each replacement of a check valve with a check valve having P/N CAR401, apply a torque of 141 to 143 newton meter (N.m) (103.98 to 105.45 pounds-foot (lbf.ft)) during installation.

    (n) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (n) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes.

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before December 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-24-09, Amendment 39-16068 (74 FR 62208, November 27, 2009)), using the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (n)(1)(i) and (n)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, dated September 2, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes), which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (ii) Airbus AOT A340-29A4086, dated September 2, 2009 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes), which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before January 31, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013)) using the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (n)(2)(i) through (n)(2)(iv) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, dated September 2, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes), which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (ii) Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes).

    (iii) Airbus AOT A340-29A4086, dated September 2, 2009, (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes), which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (iv) Airbus AOT A340-29A4086, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes).

    (o) Retained Provisions for Reporting, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (o) of AD 2013-25-08, Amendment 39-17704 (78 FR 78694, December 27, 2013), with no changes. Although the service information specified in paragraphs (o)(1) through (o)(5) of this AD specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (1) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A29L001-12, dated October 11, 2012.

    (2) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A330-29-3111, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011.

    (3) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-29-4086, Revision 02, dated June 23, 2011.

    (4) Airbus AOT A330-29A3111, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009.

    (5) Airbus AOT A340-29A4086, Revision 1, dated October 8, 2009.

    (p) New Requirement of This AD: Modify Hydraulic Systems

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the green, blue, and yellow high pressure hydraulic manifolds by replacing each check valve having P/N CAR401 with an improved check valve having P/N CAR402, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3125, Revision 01, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated July 30, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4096, Revision 01, including Appendixes 01 and 02, dated July 30, 2015; as applicable.

    (q) New Requirement of This AD: Repetitive Inspection Terminating Action

    Modification of an airplane, as required by paragraph (p) of this AD, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by this AD.

    (r) New Requirement of This AD: Parts Installation Limitations

    (1) For an airplane that, as of the effective date of this AD, has a check valve having P/N CAR401 installed, after modification of an airplane as required by paragraph (p) of this AD, no person may install a check valve having P/N CAR401, on that airplane.

    (2) For an airplane that does not have a check valve having P/N CAR401 installed, as of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a check valve having P/N CAR401, on that airplane.

    (s) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (p) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29-3125, dated August 8, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-29-4096, dated August 8, 2014; as applicable; which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (t) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (i) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOC ANM-116-14-180 R1, dated February 21, 2014, is approved as an AMOC for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (iii) AMOC ANM-116-14-429, dated September 25, 2014, is not approved as an AMOC for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (u) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0009, dated January 16, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3701.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference may be obtained at Airbus SAS—Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS—Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03699 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-150349-12] RIN 1545-BL39 Amendments to the Low-Income Housing Credit Compliance-Monitoring Regulations AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register, the IRS is issuing final and temporary regulations concerning the compliance-monitoring duties of a State or local housing credit agency (Agency) for purposes of the low-income housing credit. The final and temporary regulations revise and clarify certain rules relating to the requirements to conduct physical inspections and review low-income certifications and other documentation. The text of the temporary regulations also serves as the text of these proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by May 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-150349-12), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-150349-12), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. Submissions may also be sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-150349-12).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the regulations, Jian H. Grant, (202) 317-4137, and Martha M. Garcia, (202) 317-6853 (not toll-free numbers); concerning submission of comments, the hearing, and/or to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, Oluwafunmilayo Taylor at (202) 317-6901 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Final and temporary regulations in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register amend the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) relating to section 42 and serve as the text for these proposed regulations.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking will be submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

    Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

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

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these regulations are Jian H. Grant and Martha M. Garcia, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.42-5 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2)(iii), (c)(2)(ii) and (iii), and (c)(3), and adding two sentences to paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 1.42-5 Monitoring compliance with low-income housing credit requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) [The text of proposed amendments to § 1.42-5(a)(2)(iii) is the same as the text of § 1.42-5T(a)(2)(iii) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) [The text of proposed amendments to § 1.42-5(c)(2)(ii) is the same as the text of § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(ii) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (iii) [The text of proposed amendments to § 1.42-5(c)(2)(iii) is the same as the text of § 1.42-5T(c)(2)(iii) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (3) [The text of proposed amendments to § 1.42-5(c)(3) is the same as the text of § 1.42-5T(c)(3) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (h) * * *

    [The text of the proposed addition to § 1.42-5(h) is the same as the text of the first two sentences of § 1.42-5T(h)(1) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04004 Filed 2-23-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 and 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-1052] RIN 1625-AA08; AA00 Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to update special local regulations and permanent safety zones in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone for annual recurring marine events. When enforced, these proposed special local regulations and safety zones would restrict vessels from portions of water areas during certain annually recurring events. The proposed special local regulations and safety zones are intended to expedite public notification and ensure the protection of the maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with certain maritime events. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-1052 the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Chief Marine Science Technician Chris Bains, Waterways Management Division at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, telephone (207) 347-5003, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    Swim events, fireworks displays, and marine events are held on an annual recurring basis on the navigable waters within the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England COTP Zone. In the past, the Coast Guard has established special local regulations, regulated areas, and safety zones for these annual recurring events on a case by case basis to ensure the protection of the maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with these events. As mentioned above, the Coast Guard has not received public comments or concerns regarding the impact to waterway traffic from the Coast Guard's regulations associated with these annually recurring events. In the past year, events were assessed for their likelihood to recur in subsequent years or to discontinue, and were added to or deleted from the tables accordingly. In addition, minor changes to existing events were made to ensure the accuracy of event details.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to reduce administrative overhead, expedite public notification of events, and ensure the protection of the maritime public during marine events in the Sector Northern New England area. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule would update the tables of annual recurring events in the existing regulation for the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England COTP Zone. The tables provide the event name, sponsor, and type, as well as approximate times, dates, and locations of the events. Advanced public notification of specific times, dates, regulated areas, and enforcement periods for each event will be provided through appropriate means, which may include, but are not limited to, the Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, or a Notice of Enforcement published in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to the event date. If an event does not have a date and time listed in this regulation, then the precise dates and times of the enforcement period for that event will be announced through a Local Notice to Mariners and, if time permits, a Notice of Enforcement in the Federal Register.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O.s 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be minimal. Although this regulation may have some impact on the public, the potential impact will be minimized for the following reason: the Coast Guard is only modifying an existing regulation to account for new information.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in E.O. 13132.

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves water activities including swimming events and fireworks displays and maybe categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) (Safety Zones) and (34)(h) (Special Local Regulations) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    List of Subjects 33 CFR Part 100

    Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and record-keeping requirements, Waterways.

    33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine Safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR parts 100 and 165 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for Part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. In § 100.120, revise the table to read as follows:
    § 100.120 Special Local Regulations; Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England COTP Zone. Table to § 100.120 5.0 May occur May through September 5.1 Tall Ships Visiting Portsmouth • Event Type: Regatta and Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Portsmouth Maritime Commission, Inc. • Date: A four day event from Friday through Monday.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire in the vicinity of Castle Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°03′11″ N., 070°42′26″ W. 43°03′18″ N., 070°41′51″ W. 43°04′42″ N., 070°42′11″ W. 43°04′28″ N., 070°44′12″ W. 43°05′36″ N., 070°45′56″ W. 43°05′29″ N., 070°46′09″ W. 43°04′19″ N., 070°44′16″ W. 43°04′22″ N., 070°42′33″ W. 6.0 JUNE 6.1 Bar Harbor Blessing of the Fleet • Event Type: Regatta and Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Town of Bar Harbor, Maine. • Date: A one day event between the 15th of May and the 15th of June.* • Time (Approximate): 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Bar Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°23′32″ N., 068°12′19″ W. 44°23′30″ N., 068°12′00″ W. 44°23′37″ N., 068°12′00″ W. 44°23′35″ N., 068°12′19″ W. 6.2 Charlie Begin Memorial Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Boothbay Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of John's Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°50′04″ N., 069°38′37″ W. 43°50′54″ N., 069°38′06″ W. 43°50′49″ N., 069°37′50″ W. 43°50′00″ N., 069°38′20″ W. 6.3 Rockland Harbor Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Rockland Harbor Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Rockland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of the Rockland Breakwater Light within the following points (NAD 83): 44°05′59″ N., 069°04′53″ W. 44°06′43″ N., 069°05′25″ W. 44°06′50″ N., 069°05′05″ W. 44°06′05″ N., 069°04′34″ W. 6.4 Windjammer Days Parade of Ships • Event Type: Tall Ship Parade. • Sponsor: Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Boothbay Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Tumbler′s Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°51′02″ N., 069°37′33″ W. 43°50′47″ N., 069°37′31″ W. 43°50′23″ N., 069°37′57″ W. 43°50′01″ N., 069°37′45″ W. 43°50′01″ N., 069°38′31″ W. 43°50′25″ N., 069°38′25″ W. 43°50′49″ N., 069°37′45″ W. 6.5 Bass Harbor Blessing of the Fleet Lobster Boat Race • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Tremont Congregational Church. • Date: A one day event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Bass Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Lopaus Point within the following points (NAD 83): 44°13′28″ N., 068°21′59″ W. 44°13′20″ N., 068°21′40″ W. 44°14′05″ N., 068°20′55″ W. 44°14′12″ N., 068°21′14″ W. 6.6 Long Island Lobster Boat Race • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Long Island Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Casco Bay, Maine in the vicinity of Great Ledge Cove and Dorseys Cove off the north west coast of Long Island, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°41′59″ N., 070°08′59″ W. 43°42′04″ N., 070°09′10″ W. 43°41′41″ N., 070°09′38″ W. 43°41′36″ N., 070°09′30″ W. 7.0 JULY 7.1 Burlington 3rd of July Air Show • Event Type: Air Show. • Sponsor: Dan Marcotte Airshows. • Date: A one day event held near July 4th.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT within the following points (NAD 83): 44°28′51″ N., 073°14′21″ W. 44°28′57″ N., 073°13′41″ W. 44°28′05″ N., 073°13′26″ W. 44°27′59″ N., 073°14′03″ W. 7.2 Moosabec Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Moosabec Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event held near July 4th.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 am to 12:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Jonesport, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°31′21″ N., 067°36′44″ W. 44°31′36″ N., 067°36′47″ W. 44°31′44″ N., 067°35′36″ W. 44°31′29″ N., 067°35′33″ W. 7.3 The Great Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event on a Sunday between the 15th of August and the 15th of September.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Saint Albans Bay within the following points (NAD 83): 44°47′18″ N., 073°10′27″ W. 44°47′10″ N., 073°08′51″ W. 7.4 Searsport Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Searsport Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day in July.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Searsport Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°26′50″ N., 068°55′20″ W. 44°27′04″ N., 068°55′26″ W. 44°27′12″ N., 068°54′35″ W. 44°26′59″ N., 068°54′29″ W. 7.5 Stonington Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Stonington Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Stonington, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°08′55″ N., 068°40′12″ W. 44°09′00″ N., 068°40′15″ W. 44°09′11″ N., 068°39′42″ W. 44°09′07″ N., 068°39′39″ W. 7.6 Mayor's Cup Regatta • Event Type: Sailboat Parade. • Sponsor: Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Cumberland Bay on Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Plattsburgh, New York within the following points (NAD 83): 44°41′26″ N., 073°23′46″ W. 44°40′19″ N., 073°24′40″ W. 44°42′01″ N., 073°25′22″ W. 7.7 The Challenge Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Button Bay State Park within the following points (NAD 83): 44°12′25″ N., 073°22′32″ W. 44°12′00″ N., 073°21′42″ W. 44°12′19″ N., 073°21′25″ W. 44°13′16″ N., 073°21′36″ W. 7.8 Yarmouth Clam Festival Paddle Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Maine Island Trail Association. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters in the vicinity of the Royal River outlet and Lane's Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°47′47″ N., 070°08′40″ W. 43°47′50″ N., 070°07′13″ W. 43°47′06″ N., 070°07′32″ W. 43°47′17″ N., 070°08′25″ W. 7.9 Maine Windjammer Lighthouse Parade • Event Type: Wooden Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Maine Windjammer Association. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Rockland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of the Rockland Harbor Breakwater within the following points (NAD 83): 44°06′14″ N., 069°03′48″ W. 44°05′50″ N., 069°03′47″ W. 44°06′14″ N., 069°05′37″ W. 44°05′50″ N., 069°05′37″ W. 7.10 Friendship Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Friendship Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event during a weekend between the 15th of July and the 15th of August.* • Time (Approximate): 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Friendship Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°57′51″ N., 069°20′46″ W. 43°58′14″ N., 069°19′53″ W. 43°58′19″ N., 069°20′01″ W. 43°58′00″ N., 069°20′46″ W. 7.11 Harpswell Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Harpswell Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event between the 15th of July and the 15th of August.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes waters of Middle Bay near Harpswell, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°44′15″ N., 070°02′06″ W. 43°44′59″ N., 070°01′21″ W. 43°44′51″ N., 070°01′05″ W. 43°44′06″ N., 070°01′49″ W. 8.0 AUGUST 8.1 Eggemoggin Reach Regatta • Event Type: Wooden Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Rockport Marine, Inc. and Brookline Boat Yard. • Date: A one day event on a Saturday between the 15th of July and the 15th of August.* • Time (Approximate): 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Eggemoggin Reach and Jericho Bay in the vicinity of Naskeag Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°15′16″ N., 068°36′26″ W. 44°12′41″ N., 068°29′26″ W. 44°07′38″ N., 068°31′30″ W. 44°12′54″ N., 068°33′46″ W. 8.2 Southport Rowgatta Rowing and Paddling Boat Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Boothbay Region YMCA. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Sheepscot Bay and Boothbay, on the shore side of Southport Island, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°50′26″ N., 069°39′10″ W. 43°49′10″ N., 069°38′35″ W. 43°46′53″ N., 069°39′06″ W. 43°46′50″ N., 069°39′32″ W. 43°49′07″ N., 069°41′43″ W. 43°50′19″ N., 069°41′14″ W. 43°51′11″ N., 069°40′06″ W. 8.3 Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Winter Harbor Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Winter Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°22′06″ N., 068°05′13″ W. 44°23′06″ N., 068°05′08″ W. 44°23′04″ N., 068°04′37″ W. 44°22′05″ N., 068°04′44″ W. 8.4 Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Dragonheart Vermont. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Burlington Bay within the following points (NAD 83): 44°28′49″ N., 073°13′22″ W. 44°28′41″ N., 073°13′36″ W. 44°28′28″ N., 073°13′31″ W. 44°28′38″ N., 073°13′18″ W. 8.5 Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Town of Bristol, Maine. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Pemaquid Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°52′16″ N., 069°32′10″ W. 43°52′41″ N., 069°31′43″ W. 43°52′35″ N., 069°31′29″ W. 43°52′09″ N., 069°31′56″ W. 8.6 Multiple Sclerosis Regatta • Event Type: Regatta and Sailboat Race. • Sponsor: Maine Chapter, Multiple Sclerosis Society. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area for the start of the race includes all waters of Casco Bay, Maine in the vicinity of Peaks Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°40′24″ N., 070°14′20″ W. 43°40′36″ N., 070°13′56″ W. 43°39′58″ N., 070°13′21″ W. 43°39′46″ N., 070°13′51″ W. 8.7 Multiple Sclerosis Harborfest Lobster Boat/Tugboat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Maine Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis Society. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Maine State Pier within the following points (NAD 83): 43°40′25″ N., 070°14′21″ W. 43°40′36″ N., 070°13′56″ W. 43°39′58″ N., 070°13′21″ W. 43°39′47″ N., 070°13′51″ W. 9.0 SEPTEMBER 9.1 Pirates Festival Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Eastport Pirates Festival. • Date: A one day event in September.* • Time (Approximate): 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters in the vicinity of Eastport Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°54′14″ N., 066°58′52″ W. 44°54′14″ N., 068°58′56″ W. 44°54′24″ N., 066°58′52″ W. 44°54′24″ N., 066°58′56″ W. * Date subject to change. Exact date will be posted in Notice of Enforcement and Local Notice to Mariners.
    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 3. The authority citation for Part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    4. In § 165.171, revise the table to read as follows:
    § 165.171 Safety Zones for fireworks displays and swim events held in Coast Guard Sector Northern New England COTP Zone. Table to § 165.171 5.0 MAY 5.1 Ride into Summer • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Gardiner Maine Street. • Date: One night event between the 15th of May and the 15th of June.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Gardiner Waterfront, Gardiner, Maine in approximate position: 44°13′52″ N., 069°46′08″ W. (NAD 83). 6.0 JUNE 6.1 Rotary Waterfront Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Gardiner Rotary. • Date: Two night event on a Wednesday and Saturday in June.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Gardiner Waterfront, Gardiner, Maine in approximate position: 44°13′52″ N., 069°46′08″ W. (NAD 83). 6.2 LaKermesse Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Ray Gagne. • Date: One night event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Biddeford, Maine in approximate position: 43°29′37″ N., 070°26′47″ W. (NAD 83). 6.3 Windjammer Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in June.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of McFarland Island, Boothbay Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 43°50′38″ N., 069°37′57″ W. (NAD 83). 7.0 JULY 7.1 Vinalhaven 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Firework Display. • Sponsor: Vinalhaven 4th of July Committee • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Grime′s Park, Vinalhaven, Maine in approximate position: 44°02′34″ N., 068°50′26″ W. (NAD 83). 7.2 Burlington Independence Day Fireworks • Event Type: Firework Display. • Sponsor: City of Burlington, Vermont. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of Burlington Harbor, Burlington, Vermont in approximate position: 44°28′31″ N., 073°13′31″ W. (NAD 83). 7.3 Camden 3rd of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Camden Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 44°12′32″ N., 069°02′58″ W. (NAD 83). 7.4 Bangor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Bangor 4th of July Fireworks. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Bangor Waterfront, Bangor, Maine in approximate position: 44°47′27″ N., 068°46′31″ W. (NAD 83). 7.5 Bar Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Bar Harbor Town Pier, Bar Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 44°23′31″ N., 068°12′15″ W. (NAD 83). 7.6 Boothbay Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Boothbay Harbor. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of McFarland Island, Boothbay Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 43°50′38″ N., 069°37′57″ W. (NAD 83). 7.7 Colchester 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Colchester, Recreation Department. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Bayside Beach and Mallets Bay in Colchester, Vermont in approximate position: 44°32′44″ N., 073°13′10″ W. (NAD 83). 7.8 Eastport 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display/ • Sponsor: Eastport 4th of July Committee/ • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. • Location: From the Waterfront Public Pier in Eastport, Maine in approximate position: 44°54′25″ N., 066°58′55″ W. (NAD 83). 7.9 Ellis Short Sand Park Trustee Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: William Burnham. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of York Beach, Maine in approximate position: 43°10′27″ N., 070°36′26″ W. (NAD 83). 7.10 Hampton Beach 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Hampton Beach Village District. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire in approximate position: 42°54′40″ N., 070°36′25″ W. (NAD 83). 7.11 Jonesport 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Jonesport 4th of July Committee. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Beals Island, Jonesport, Maine in approximate position: 44°31′18″ N., 067°36′43″ W. (NAD 83). 7.12 Lubec Bicentennial Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Lubec, Maine. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Lubec Public Boat Launch in approximate position: 44°51′52″ N., 066°59′06″ W. (NAD 83). 7.13 Main Street Heritage Days 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Main Street Inc. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Reed and Reed Boat Yard, Woolwich, Maine in approximate position: 43°54′56″ N., 069°48′16″ W. (NAD 83). 7.14 Portland Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Department of Parks and Recreation, Portland, Maine. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of East End Beach, Portland, Maine in approximate position: 43°40′16″ N., 070°14′44″ W. (NAD 83). 7.15 St. Albans Day Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: St. Albans Area Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: From the St. Albans Bay dock in St. Albans Bay, Vermont in approximate position: 44°48′25″ N., 073°08′23″ W. (NAD 83). 7.16 Stonington 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Deer Isle—Stonington Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Two Bush Island, Stonington, Maine in approximate position: 44°08′57″ N., 068°39′54″ W. (NAD 83). 7.17 Southwest Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Sharon Gilley. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Southwest Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 44°16′25″ N., 068°19′21″ W. (NAD 83). 7.18 Prentice Hospitality Group Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Prentice Hospitality Group. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Chebeague Island, Maine in approximate position: 43°45′12″ N., 070°06′27″ W. (NAD 83). 7.19 Shelburne Triathlons • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Race Vermont. • Date: Up to three Saturdays throughout July and August.* • Time (Approximate): 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Shelburne Beach in Shelburne, Vermont within a 400 yard radius of the following point: 44°21′45″ N., 075°15′58″ W. (NAD 83). 7.20 St. George Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks. • Sponsor: Town of St. George. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Inner Tenants Harbor, ME, in approximate position: 43°57′41.37″ N., 069°12′45″ W. (NAD 83). 7.21 Tri for a Cure Swim Clinics and Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Maine Cancer Foundation. • Date: A multi-day event held throughout July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Spring Point Light within the following points (NAD 83): 43°39′01″ N., 070°13′32″ W. 43°39′07″ N., 070°13′29″ W. 43°39′06″ N., 070°13′41″ W. 43°39′01″ N., 070°13′36″ W. 7.22 Richmond Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Richmond, Maine. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of the inner harbor, Tenants Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 44°08′42″ N., 068°27′06″ W. (NAD83) 7.23 Colchester Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Colchester Parks and Recreation Department. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Malletts Bay on Lake Champlain, Vermont within the following points (NAD 83): 44°32′18″ N., 073°12′35″ W. 44°32′28″ N., 073°12′56″ W. 44°32′57″ N., 073°12′38″ W. 7.24 Peaks to Portland Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Cumberland County YMCA. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portland Harbor between Peaks Island and East End Beach in Portland, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°39′20″ N., 070°11′58″ W. 43°39′45″ N., 070°13′19″ W. 43°40′11″ N., 070°14′13″ W. 43°40′08″ N., 070°14′29″ W. 43°40′00″ N., 070°14′23″ W. 43°39′34″ N., 070°13′31″ W. 43°39′13″ N., 070°11′59″ W. 7.25 Friendship Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Friendship. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Town Pier, Friendship Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 43°58′23″ N., 069°20′12″ W. (NAD83) 7.26 Bucksport Festival and Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Verona Island Boat Ramp, Verona, Maine, in approximate position: 44°34′9″ N., 068°47′28″ W. (NAD83) 7.27 Nubble Light Swim Challenge • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Nubble Light Challenge. • Date: A one day event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters around Cape Neddick, Maine and within the following coordinates: 43°10′28″ N., 070°36′26″ W. 43°10′34″ N., 070°36′06″ W. 43°10′30″ N., 070°35′45″ W. 43°10′17″ N., 070°35′24″ W. 43°09′54″ N., 070°35′18″ W. 43°09′42″ N., 070°35′37″ W. 43°09′51″ N., 070°37′05″ W. 7.28 Paul Coulombe Anniversary Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Paul Coulombe. • Date: A one day event in July. * • Time: 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Pratt Island, Southport, ME, in approximate position: 43°48′44″ N., 069°41′11″ W. (NAD83) 7.29 Castine 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Randy Sterns. • Date: One night event in July.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the town dock in the Castine Harbor, Castine, Maine in approximate position: 44°23′10″ N., 068°47′28″ W. (NAD 83). 8.0 AUGUST 8.1 Sprucewold Cabbage Island Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Sprucewold Association. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Linekin Bay between Cabbage Island and Sprucewold Beach in Boothbay Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°50′37″ N., 069°36′23″ W. 43°50′37″ N., 069°36′59″ W. 43°50′16″ N., 069°36′46″ W. 43°50′22″ N., 069°36′21″ W. 8.2 Westerlund's Landing Party Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Portside Marina. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Westerlund's Landing in South Gardiner, Maine in approximate position: 44°10′19″ N., 069°45′24″ W. (NAD 83). 8.3 Y-Tri Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Plattsburgh YMCA. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Treadwell Bay on Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh, New York within the following points (NAD 83): 44°46′30″ N., 073°23′26″ W. 44°46′17″ N., 073°23′26″ W. 44°46′17″ N., 073°23′46″ W. 44°46′29″ N., 073°23′46″ W. 8.4 York Beach Fire Department Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: York Beach Fire Department. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Short Sand Cove in York, Maine in approximate position: 43°10′27″ N., 070°36′25″ W. (NAD 83). 8.5 Rockland Breakwater Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Pen-Bay Masters. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Rockland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Jameson Point within the following points (NAD 83): 44°06′16″ N., 069°04′39″ W. 44°06′13″ N., 069°04′36″ W. 44°06′12″ N., 069°04′43″ W. 44°06′17″ N., 069°04′44″ W. 44°06′18″ N., 069°04′40″ W. 8.6 Tri for Preservation • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Tri-Maine Productions. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in approximate position: 43°33′46″ N., 070°13′48″ W. 43°33′41″ N., 070°13′46″ W. 43°33′44″ N., 070°13′40″ W. 43°33′47″ N., 070°13′46″ W. 8.7 North Hero Air Show • Event Type: Air Show. • Sponsor: North Hero Fire Department. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Shore Acres Dock, North Hero, Vermont in approximate position: 44°48′24″ N., 073°17′02″ W. 44°48′22″ N., 073°16′46″ W. 44°47′53″ N., 073°16′54″ W. 44°47′54″ N., 073°17′09″ W. 8.8 Islesboro Crossing Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Lifeflight Foundation. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time: (Approximate): 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: West Penobscot Bay from Ducktrap Beach, Lincolnville, ME to Grindel Point, Islesboro, ME, in approximate position: 44°17′44″ N., 069°00′11″ W. 44°16′58″ N., 068°56′35″ W. 8.9 Paul Columbe Party Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Paul Columbe. • Date: A one day event in August.* • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of Pratt Island, Southport, Maine in approximate position: 43°48′69″ N., 069°41′18″ W (NAD 83). 9.0 SEPTEMBER 9.1 Windjammer Weekend Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Camden, Maine. • Date: A one night event in September.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of Northeast Point, Camden Harbor, Maine in approximate position: 44°12′10″ N., 069°03′11″ W (NAD 83). 9.2 Eastport Pirate Festival Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Eastport Pirate Festival. • Date: A one night event in September.* • Time (Approximate): 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: From the Waterfront Public Pier in Eastport, Maine in approximate position: 44°54′17″ N., 066°58′58″ W (NAD 83). 9.3 The Lobsterman Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Tri-Maine Productions. • Date: A one day event in September.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters in the vicinity of Winslow Park in South Freeport, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°47′59″ N., 070°06′56″ W. 43°47′44″ N., 070°06′56″ W. 43°47′44″ N., 070°07′27″ W. 43°47′57″ N., 070°07′27″ W. 9.4 Eliot Festival Day Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Eliot Festival Day Committee. • Date: A one night event in September.* • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Eliot Town Boat Launch, Eliot, Maine in approximate position: 43°08′56″ N., 070°49′52″ W (NAD 83). 9.5 Lake Champlain Swimming Race • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Christopher Lizzaraque. • Date: A one day event in September. • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Location: Essex Beggs Point Park, Essex, NY, to Charlotte Beach, Charlotte, VT. 44°18′32″ N., 073°20′52″ W. 44°20′03″ N., 073°16′53″ W. * Date subject to change. Exact date will be posted in Notice of Enforcement and Local Notice to Mariners.
    Dated: January 22, 2016. M. A. Baroody, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Northern New England.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04052 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0315; FRL-9942-73-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Removal of Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve, as a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP), a submittal by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) on April 27, 2015 and September 10, 2015. The submittal concerns the state's Stage II vapor recovery (Stage II) program for Clark and Floyd counties in southern Indiana as part of the Louisville, Kentucky ozone nonattainment area, and Lake and Porter counties in northwest Indiana as part of the Chicago ozone nonattainment area. The submittal removes Stage II requirements from both nonattainment areas, as a component of the Indiana ozone SIP. The submittal also includes a demonstration under the Clean Air Act (CAA) that addresses emission impacts associated with the removal of the Stage II program.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0315 at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Francisco J. Acevedo, Mobile Source Program Manager, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6061, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Background II. What changes have been made to the Indiana Stage II Vapor Recovery Program? III. What is EPA's analysis of the state's submittal? IV. What action is EPA proposing to take? V. Incorporation by Reference VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    Stage II and onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) are two types of emission control systems that capture fuel vapors from vehicle gas tanks during refueling. Stage II systems are specifically installed at gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF) and capture the refueling fuel vapors at the gasoline pump nozzle. The system carries the vapors back to the underground storage tank at the GDF to prevent the vapors from escaping to the atmosphere. ORVR systems are carbon canisters installed directly on automobiles to capture the fuel vapors evacuated from the gasoline tank before they reach the nozzle. The fuel vapors captured in the carbon canisters are then combusted in the engine when the automobile is in operation.

    Both Stage II and ORVR were required by the 1990 Amendments to the CAA under sections 182(b)(3) and 202(a)(6), respectively. In some areas, Stage II has been in place for over 25 years. It was not, however, widely implemented by the states until the early to mid-1990s as a result of the CAA requirements for “moderate,” “serious,” “severe,” and “extreme” ozone nonattainment areas, classified under section 181 of the CAA, and for states in the Northeast Ozone Transport Region (OTR) under section 184(b)(2) of the CAA.

    Under section 202(a)(6) of the CAA, Congress required EPA to promulgate regulations for ORVR for light-duty vehicles (passenger cars). EPA adopted these requirements in 1994, at which point moderate ozone nonattainment areas were no longer subject to the section 182(b)(3) Stage II requirement. See 59 FR 16262 (April 6, 1994). However, some moderate areas retained Stage II requirements to provide a control method to comply with rate-of-progress emission reduction targets. ORVR equipment has been phased in for new passenger vehicles beginning with model year 1998, and starting in 2001 for light-duty trucks and most heavy-duty gasoline-powered vehicles. ORVR equipment has been installed on nearly all new gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles, light-duty trucks and heavy-duty vehicles since 2006. During the phase-in of ORVR controls, Stage II has provided volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions in ozone nonattainment areas and certain attainment areas of the OTR. Under section 202(a)(6) of the CAA, Congress recognized that ORVR and Stage II could eventually become largely redundant technologies, and provided authority to the EPA to allow states to remove Stage II from their SIPs after EPA finds that ORVR is in widespread use. On May 16, 2012, EPA determined that ORVR was in widespread nationwide use for control of gasoline emissions during refueling of vehicles at GDFs (77 FR 28772).

    In 2012, more than 75 percent of gasoline refueling nationwide occurred with ORVR-equipped vehicles, so Stage II programs have become largely redundant control systems and Stage II systems achieve an ever declining emissions benefit as more ORVR-equipped vehicles continue to enter the on-road motor vehicle fleet.1

    1 In areas where certain types of vacuum-assist Stage II systems are used, the differences in operational design characteristics between ORVR and some configurations of these Stage II systems result in the reduction of overall control system efficiency compared to what could have been achieved relative to the individual control efficiencies of either ORVR or Stage II emissions from the vehicle fuel tank.

    On that date, EPA also exercised its authority under section 202(a)(6) of the CAA to waive certain Federal statutory requirements for Stage II at GDFs. This decision exempted all new ozone nonattainment areas classified serious or above from the requirement to adopt Stage II control programs. Similarly, any state currently implementing Stage II programs was authorized to submit SIP revisions that, once approved by EPA, would allow for the phase-out of Stage II control systems.

    To assist states in the development of SIP revisions to remove Stage II requirements from their SIPs, EPA issued its “Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures” (EPA-457/B-12-001) on August 7, 2012. In that document, EPA provided both technical and policy recommendations to states and local areas on how to develop and submit and approvable SIP revision seeking to phase out an existing Stage II program.

    II. What changes have been made to the Indiana Stage II Vapor Recovery Program?

    Indiana originally submitted a SIP revision request to EPA on February 25, 1994, to satisfy the requirements of section 182(b)(3) of the CAA. The submission applied to Clark and Floyd counties Indiana as part of the Louisville, Kentucky ozone nonattainment area and Lake and Porter counties Indian as part of the Chicago ozone nonattainment area. EPA fully approved Indiana's Stage II program on April 28, 1994 (59 FR 10111), including the program's legal authority and administrative requirements found in Section 8-4-6 of Title 326 of the Indiana Administrative Code (326 IAC).

    In January 2013, IDEM issued a Nonrule Policy Document, Air-036 (NPD), addressing EPA's May 16, 2012 determination. In the NPD, IDEM stated that it would not enforce the requirements for Stage II at new and modified GDFs in Clark, Floyd, Lake and Porter counties. At the same time Indiana also initiated a rulemaking process to revise its SIP to remove Stage II requirements for all facilities in Clark, Floyd, Lake and Porter counties. As part of that process, Indiana completed a state-specific analysis following EPA's recommended methodology. In that analysis, Indiana concluded that, during calendar year 2016, ORVR would be in widespread use in Indiana and that there would no remaining emissions reduction benefit from Stage II requirements beyond the benefits from ORVR.

    On April 27, 2015 and September 10, 2015, IDEM submitted rules as SIP revision requests of amendments to 326 IAC 8-4-6 and 326 IAC 8-4-1. These amendments would remove Stage II requirements from the Indiana ozone SIP and allow GDFs currently implementing Stage II in the four program counties to decommission their systems. To support the removal of the Stage II requirements, the revised rules included copies of 326 IAC 8-4-1 and 326 IAC 8-4-6, as published in the Indiana Register on March 4, 2015; a summary of state-specific calculations based on EPA guidance used to calculate program benefits and demonstrate widespread use of ORVR in Indiana; and a section 110(l) demonstration that includes offset emission documentation that addresses the 2013-2015 period, when Stage II requirements were waived in Indiana but widespread use of ORVR had not yet occurred.

    III. What is EPA's analysis of the state's submittal?

    Revisions to SIP-approved control measures must meet the requirements of section 110(l) of the CAA in order to be approved by EPA. Section 110(l) states:

    “The Administrator shall not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of this Act.”

    EPA evaluates each section 110(l) non-interference demonstration on a case-by-case basis considering the circumstances of each SIP revision. EPA interprets section 110(l) to apply to all requirements of the CAA and to all areas of the country, whether attainment, nonattainment, unclassifiable, or maintenance for one or more of the six criteria pollutants. EPA also interprets section 110(l) to require a demonstration addressing all criteria pollutants whose emissions and/or ambient concentrations may change as a result of the SIP revision. The degree of analysis focused on any particular national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in a non-interference demonstration varies depending on the nature of the emissions associated with the proposed SIP revision.

    In the absence of an attainment demonstration, to demonstrate no interference with any applicable NAAQS or requirement of the CAA under section 110(l), EPA believes it is appropriate to allow states to substitute equivalent emissions reductions to compensate for any change to a SIP-approved program, as long as actual emissions in the air are not increased. “Equivalent” emissions reductions mean reductions which are equal to or greater than those reductions achieved by the control measure approved in the SIP. To show that compensating emissions reductions are equivalent, modeling or adequate justification must be provided. The compensating, equivalent reductions must represent actual, new emissions reductions achieved in a contemporaneous time frame to the change of the existing SIP control measure, in order to preserve the status quo level of emissions in the air. In addition to being contemporaneous, the equivalent emissions reductions must also be permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, and surplus to be approved into the SIP.

    The implementation of the Stage II program in Indiana has resulted in reductions of VOC emissions. VOCs contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Thus the potential increase in VOC needs to be offset with equivalent (or greater) emissions reductions from another control measure in order to demonstrate non-interference with the 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The Indiana Stage II SIP revision includes a 110(l) demonstration for both areas that uses equivalent emissions reductions to compensate for emission reduction losses between 2013 and 2015 resulting from the removal of Stage II systems at a number of GDFs before ORVR is in widespread use as allowed by Indiana's NPD. IDEM has calculated that by 2016, ORVR will be in widespread use in both areas and the absence of the Indiana Stage II program after 2016 would not result in a net VOC emissions increase compared to the continued utilization of this emissions control technology. The emission reduction losses resulting from removing Stage II before 2016 are transitional and relatively small since ORVR-equipped vehicles will continue to phase into the fleet over the coming years. IDEM's calculation indicates a maximum potential loss of 0.02317 tons per summer day (tpsd) in Lake and Porter counties and 0.00408 tpsd in Clark and Floyd counties from 2013 through 2015.

    For Lake and Porter Counties, IDEM is proposing the use of VOC emission reductions associated with the shutdown of the State Line Energy Generating Plant (State Line Energy) formerly located in Lake County, Indiana to offset the 0.02317 tpsd increase in those counties. State Line ceased operations in March 31, 2012 and its operating permit has been revoked. The expiration and revocation of this source's permit enables the state to use the VOC emission credits associated with this facility for other purposes under the SIP and makes such credits permanent and enforceable. Using the last three full years of operations (2009-2011) State Line Energy averaged 0.215 tpsd of VOC of emissions offsets. Table 1 shows the increase of emissions associated with the removal of Stage II systems at facilities in Lake and Porter counties, as well as offset emissions associated with State Line Energy. In the table, the number of facilities removing Stage II equipment for 2013 represents the actual number of facilities that sought an exemption from implementing the Stage II requirements. For 2014 and 2015, the number of facilities removing Stage II equipment is a conservative estimate.2

    2 The actual number of facilities expected to remove Stage II equipment during this timeframe believed to be less, thus resulting in lower emissions increase.

    Table 1—Lake and Porter Counties Offset Analysis Year Number of
  • facilities
  • removing
  • Stage II
  • Emissions
  • factor VOC
  • tons/
  • facility/
  • avg. summer
  • day
  • Emissions
  • increase VOC
  • tons/avg.
  • summer day
  • State Line
  • Energy
  • offsets VOC
  • tons/avg.
  • summer day
  • (avg. of
  • 2009-2011)
  • Offset greater than
  • increase?
  • 2013 6 0.000944006 0.005664035 0.215 Yes. 2014 12 0.000654335 0.007852014 0.215 Yes. 2015 24 0.000402349 0.009656365 0.215 Yes.

    As illustrated in Table 1, and documented in Indiana's SIP revision, for Lake and Porter counties, for each year prior to the widespread use of ORVR in Indiana (2016), the VOC emissions increase associated with the removal of Stage II systems is more than offset by the VOC emission reductions attributed to the permanent closure of the State Line Energy facility.

    For Clark and Floyd counties, IDEM is proposing the use of offsets generated by the Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) coatings rule adopted by Indiana at 326 IAC 8-14. Indiana's AIM coatings rule goes above and beyond the Federal AIM rule by adopting a rule that is similar to the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) model rule. According to a 2006 Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) white paper, the OTC model rule provides a 31% to 48.4% (depending on the AIM coatings category) reduction in VOC emissions compared to uncontrolled 2002 base case emissions while the Federal AIM rule alone only provides a 20% reduction compared to base case.

    The Indiana AIM rule was approved into the SIP on August 30, 2012 (77 FR 52606). Indiana was not required to adopt an AIM coatings rule but did so as a multi-state effort to help reduce ozone levels at the regional level. Indiana did not adopt the AIM rule to comply with any Indiana SIP planning requirements and has not taken credit for it in air quality plans, nor has it been included in maintenance year horizons or rate of further progress (RFP) inventories. Therefore, these SIP approved AIM limits can be used as offsets for other purposes, such as this SIP revision. Offsets of 0.234 tpsd of VOC are available based on calculations derived using the 2011 National Emissions Inventory data. Table 2 shows the increase of VOC emission associated with the removal of Stage II systems at facilities in Clark and Floyd between 2013 and 2015, as well as offset emissions associated with AIM coatings. In the table, the number of facilities removing Stage II equipment for 2013 represents the actual number of facilities that have sought an exemption from implementing the Stage II requirements. For 2014 and 2015, the number of facilities removing Stage II equipment is a conservative estimate.

    Table 2—Clark and Floyd Counties Offset Analysis Year Number of
  • facilities
  • removing
  • Stage II
  • Emissions
  • factor VOC
  • tons/
  • facility/
  • avg. summer
  • day
  • Emissions
  • increase VOC
  • tons/avg.
  • summer day
  • AIM Coatings
  • offsets VOC
  • tons/avg.
  • summer day
  • (avg. of
  • 2009-2011)
  • Offset greater than
  • increase?
  • 2013 0 0.000659923 0.0 0.292 Yes. 2014 4 0.000457424 0.001829695 0.292 Yes. 2015 8 0.000281269 0.002250149 0.292 Yes.

    As illustrated in Table 2, and documented in Indiana's SIP revision, for Clark and Floyd counties, for each year prior to the widespread use of ORVR in Indiana (2016), the VOC emissions increase associated with the removal of Stage II systems is more than offset by the VOC emission reductions attributed to reductions in AIM coatings emissions. For both the Clark and Floyd counties and Lake and Porter counties analyses, Indiana is requesting to use only the portion of the emissions offsets necessary to offset the emissions increase due to the removal of Stage II systems before Indiana's 2016 widespread use timeframe. Indiana retains the right to utilize any remaining emissions offsets in the future.

    Based on the use of permanent, enforceable, contemporaneous, surplus emissions reductions achieved through the shutdown of the previously permitted State Line Energy facility in Lake and Porter counties and the offsets from VOC reductions in AIM coatings emissions in Clark and Floyd counties, EPA believes that the removal of the Indiana Stage II program does not interfere with southeast Indiana's ability to demonstrate compliance with the 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    EPA also examined whether the removal of Stage II program requirements in both areas will interfere with attainment of other air quality standards. Lake and Porter counties are designated attainment for all standards other than ozone, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Clark and Floyd counties are designated attainment for all standards other than ozone and particulate matter.3 EPA has no reason to believe that the removal of the Stage II program in Indiana will cause the areas to become nonattainment for any of these pollutants. In addition, EPA believes that removing the Stage II program requirements in Indiana will not interfere with the areas' ability to meet any other CAA requirement.

    3 Clark and Floyd counties are currently designated nonattainment for the 1997 Annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standard. While VOC is one of the precursors for particulate matter (NAAQS) formation, studies have indicated that in the southeast which includes the Louisville, KY ozone nonattainment area, emissions of direct PM2.5 and the precursor sulfur oxides are more significant to ambient summertime PM2.5 concentrations than emissions of nitrogen oxides and anthropogenic VOC. See. E.g., Journal of Environmental Engineering—Quantifying the sources of ozone, fine particulate matter, and regional haze in the Southeastern United States (June 24, 2009), available at: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-ofenvironmental-management. Currently, Clark and Floyd counties are no designated nonattainment for any of the other criteria pollutants (i.e. sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead or carbon monoxide) and those pollutants are not affected by the removal of Stage II requirements.

    Based on the above discussion and the state's section 110(l) demonstration, EPA believes that removal of the Stage II program will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any of the NAAQS in both the Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky ozone nonattainment areas and would not interfere with any other applicable requirement of the CAA, and thus, are approvable under CAA section 110(l).

    IV. What action is EPA proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to approve, as a revision to the Indiana ozone SIP, regulations submitted by IDEM on April 27, 2015 and September 10, 2015. EPA finds that the revisions will not interfere with any applicable CAA requirement.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference Indiana rules 326 IAC 8-4-1 “Applicability” and 326 IAC 8-4-6 “Gasoline dispensing facilities”, effective March 5, 2015. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA 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 that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: February 11, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03894 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0075; EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0090; FRL-9942-72-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Commissioner's Orders for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Indiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to EPA on January 27, 2016, and February 5, 2016, for parallel processing. The submittal consists of orders issued by the Commissioner of IDEM that require more stringent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions limits than those currently contained in the SIP for Vectren's A. B. Brown Generating Station (“A.B. Brown”) and Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation's Clifty Creek Generating Station (“Clifty Creek”). IDEM submitted these limits to enable the areas near these generating stations to qualify for being designated “attainment” of the 2010 primary SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), a matter that will be addressed in a separate future rulemaking. EPA's approval of these revisions to the Indiana SIP would make the Commissioner's orders' SO2 emissions limits federally enforceable.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before March 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Nos. EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0075 for A.B. Brown or EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0090 for Clifty Creek at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jenny Liljegren, Physical Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6832, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. Why did IDEM issue these Commissioner's Orders? II. What are the SO2 limits in these Commissioner's Orders? III. By what criterion is EPA reviewing this SIP revision? IV. What action is EPA taking? V. Incorporation by Reference VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Why did IDEM issue these Commissioner's Orders?

    On January 27, 2016, and February 5, 2016, IDEM submitted for parallel processing draft revisions to its SIP consisting of orders issued by IDEM's Commissioner that establish more stringent SO2 emissions limits than those currently contained in the SIP for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek. IDEM established these SO2 emissions limits to enable the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek to qualify in the future for being designated “attainment” of the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS. Under a Federal consent decree, EPA is required to designate, under the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, certain areas in the United States including the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek by July 2, 2016. The history of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and the consent decree is explained below in order to provide a more detailed explanation of the context for IDEM's request for EPA approval of these SO2 limits into the SIP.

    On June 3, 2010, pursuant to section 109 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA revised the primary (health-based) SO2 NAAQS by establishing a new one-hour standard codified at 40 CFR 50.17 (75 FR 35520). Pursuant to section 107(d) of the CAA, EPA must designate areas as either “unclassifiable,” “attainment,” or “nonattainment” for the 2010 one-hour SO2 primary NAAQS. Under Section 107(d) of the CAA, a nonattainment area is any area that does not meet the NAAQS or that contributes to a violation in a nearby area. An attainment area is any area, other than a nonattainment area, that meets the NAAQS. Unclassifiable areas are those that cannot be classified on the basis of available information as meeting or not meeting the NAAQS.

    On August 5, 2013, EPA published a final rule establishing air quality designations for 29 areas in the United States for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, based on recorded air quality monitoring data from 2009-2011 that showed violations of the NAAQS (78 FR 47191). In that rulemaking, EPA committed to address, in separate future actions, the designations for all other areas for which EPA was not yet prepared to issue designations.

    Following the initial August 5, 2013, designations, three lawsuits were filed against EPA in different U.S. District Courts, alleging EPA had failed to perform a nondiscretionary duty under the CAA by not designating all portions of the country by the June 2013 deadline. In an effort intended to resolve the litigation in one of those cases, plaintiffs Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council and EPA filed a proposed consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. On March 2, 2015, the court entered the consent decree and issued an enforceable order for EPA to complete the area designations according to the court-ordered schedule.1

    1Sierra Club et al. v. EPA, No. 3:13-cv-3953-SI (N.D.Cal.)

    By no later than July 2, 2016, (16 months from the court's order), EPA must designate two groups of areas: (1) Areas that have newly monitored violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and (2) areas that contain any stationary sources that had not been announced as of March 2, 2015, for retirement and that according to the EPA's Air Markets Database emitted in 2012 either (i) more than 16,000 tons of SO2 or (ii) more than 2,600 tons of SO2 with an annual average emission rate of at least 0.45 pounds (lbs) of SO2 per million British thermal units (MMBTU). In the consent decree, “announced for retirement” means any stationary source with a coal-fired unit that as of January 1, 2010, had a capacity of over 5 megawatts and otherwise meets the emissions criteria is excluded from the July 2, 2016, deadline if it had announced through a company public announcement, public utilities commission filing, consent decree, public legal settlement, final state or federal permit filing, or other similar means of communication, by March 2, 2015, that it will cease burning coal at that unit.

    A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek each meet the second criterion for the July 2, 2016, deadline. That is, neither has been “announced for retirement” and both emitted in 2012 either (i) more than 16,000 tons of SO2 or (ii) more than 2,600 tons of SO2 with an annual average emission rate of at least 0.45 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU. Specifically, A.B. Brown emitted 7,091 tons of SO2 in 2012 and had an emissions rate of 0.521 lbs SO2/MMBTU in 2012. Clifty Creek emitted 52,839 tons of SO2 in 2012 and had an emissions rate of 1.767 lbs SO2/MMBTU in 2012. In absence of new SO2 emissions limits, A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek cannot demonstrate modeled attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in accordance with EPA's Draft SO 2 NAAQS Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document. 2 Therefore, IDEM conducted air dispersion modeling using the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) version 15181 in accordance with appendix W of part 51 of chapter 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to determine new, more stringent SO2 emissions limits for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek that should result in the areas near these generating stations showing modeled attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    2Draft SO 2 NAAQS Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document. December 2013. http://www3.epa.gov/airquality/sulfurdioxide/pdfs/SO2ModelingTAD.pdf.

    IDEM has requested that EPA approve Commissioner's Order 2016-01 for A.B. Brown and Commissioner's Order 2016-02 for Clifty Creek into Indiana's SIP. EPA's approval of the new SO2 emissions limits contained in these orders into Indiana's SIP would make these SO2 emissions limits federally enforceable. Once these SO2 emissions limits have become federally enforceable, IDEM intends to use them to demonstrate AERMOD-modeled attainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS for the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek. To be clear, the purpose of this rulemaking is to take action on IDEM's request to approve these SO2 emissions limits into the Indiana SIP and thereby make them federally enforceable. The purpose of this rulemaking is not to take action on whether these SO2 emissions limits are adequate for EPA to designate attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS for the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek. EPA intends to designate the areas near the sources that meet the criteria for the first phase of the consent decree designations, including the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, under a separate rulemaking.

    EPA cannot take final action to approve the orders into Indiana's SIP until the state completes its public comment process and submits the final orders to EPA as SIP revision requests. In the meantime, Indiana requested that EPA “parallel process” the SIP revision to expedite action on the Commissioner's orders. Under this procedure, the state submitted a copy of the proposed revisions to EPA before completing its public comment process. EPA is publishing this proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register and is soliciting public comment in approximately the same timeframe during which the state is soliciting public comment. After Indiana submits the final SIP revision request, EPA will prepare a final rulemaking for the SIP revision. If changes are made to the SIP revision after EPA's proposed rulemaking, such changes must be acknowledged in EPA's final rulemaking. If the changes are significant, then EPA may need to repropose the rulemaking.

    II. What are the SO2 limits in these Commissioner's Orders?

    For A.B. Brown, Indiana issued Commissioner's Order 2016-01 on January 11, 2016, with a compliance date of April 19, 2016. This order established two new limits for A.B. Brown: One limit for Unit 1 when running alone and one limit for Units 1 and 2 when running simultaneously. The emissions limits are 0.855 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU for coal-fired boiler Unit 1 operating alone and 0.426 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU for Units 1 and 2 operating simultaneously. These limits supplement a limit contained in a February 22, 1979, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit of 0.69 pounds per MMBTU for coal-fired boiler Unit 2. Note that the limit on Unit 1 emissions alone (0.855 lbs per MMBTU) is higher (less restrictive) than the limit on combined emissions from Units 1 and 2 (0.426 lbs per MMBTU). Because Unit 2 has more impact per pound of emissions than Unit 1 due to dispersion characteristics, the plant can emit more and still not cause violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS when only Unit 1 is operating than when both Units 1 and 2 are operating.

    For Clifty Creek, Indiana issued Commissioner's Order 2016-02 on February 1, 2016, with a compliance date of April 19, 2016. This order established a combined emission limit for the six coal-fired boilers (Units No. 1 through No. 6) located at Clifty Creek of 2,624.5 lbs of SO2 per hour as a 720 operating hour rolling average when any of Units No.1 through No. 6, or any combination thereof, is operating.

    III. By what criteria is EPA reviewing this SIP revision?

    EPA is evaluating this revision on the basis of whether it strengthens Indiana's SIP. Prior to Commissioner's Order 2016-01, A.B. Brown had an SO2 emissions limit in its operating permit of 6.0 lbs SO2 per MMBTU for coal-fired boiler Unit 1. Prior to Commissioner's Order 2016-02 Clifty Creek had an SO2 emissions limit in its operating permit for Units 1 through 6 not to exceed 7.52 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU on a thirty (30) day rolling weighted average. The new SO2 emissions limits established by IDEM in Commissioner's Order 2016-01 and Commissioner's Order 2016-02 for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, respectively, are more stringent than the previous limits and will therefore strengthen Indiana's SIP.

    The adequacy of these limits for providing for attainment is not a prerequisite for approval of these limits. Nevertheless, the purpose of these limits is to provide for attainment, and EPA is working with Indiana to assure a proper analysis of the adequacy of these limits for this purpose. If these limits become SIP-approved and thereby federally enforceable in a timely fashion, formal evaluation of the adequacy of these limits to provide for attainment will be conducted as part of the process of rulemaking on the 2010 SO2 NAAQS designation for these areas.

    IV. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve the SO2 emissions limits in Commissioner's Order 2016-01 and Commissioner's Order 2016-02 into the Indiana SIP. EPA confirms that the SO2 emissions limits for A. B. Brown (Commissioner's Order 2016-01) and Clifty Creek (Commissioner's Order 2016-02) are more stringent than the previous SO2 emissions limits for these sources. By approving these Commissioner's orders into the Indiana SIP, these SO2 emissions limits will become federally enforceable and strengthen the Indiana SIP.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference Commissioner's Order No. 2016-01 issued to Vectren's A. B. Brown Generating Station, effective January 11, 2016, and Commissioner's Order No. 2016-02 issued to Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation's Clifty Creek Generating Station, effective February 1, 2016. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA 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 that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: February 11, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03893 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0438; FRL 9942-75-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Missouri; Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement for the Missouri Portion of the St. Louis MO-IL Ozone Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the state of Missouri. The revisions address base year Emissions Inventory (EI) and emissions statement requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the Missouri portion of the St. Louis marginal ozone nonattainment area (“St. Louis area”). The Missouri counties comprising the St. Louis area are Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis along with the City of St. Louis. EPA is proposing to approve the SIP revisions because they satisfy the CAA section 182 requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is proposing the revisions pursuant to section 110 and part D of the CAA and EPA's regulations. EPA will consider and take action on the Illinois submission for its portion of the St. Louis area in a separate action.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed action must be received in writing by March 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0438, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lachala Kemp, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7214 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the state's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial revision amendment and anticipates no relevant adverse comments to this action. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated in relation to this action. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on part of this rule and if that part can be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those parts of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: February 17, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03903 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0150; FRL-9942-70-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR), Division of Air Quality (NC DAQ), on March 18, 2014, for inclusion into the North Carolina SIP. This proposal pertains to the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP submission. NC DAQ certified that the North Carolina SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in North Carolina. EPA is proposing to determine that portions of North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on March 18, 2014, satisfy certain infrastructure elements for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0150 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Notarianni, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Notarianni can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404) 562-9031.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background and Overview II. What Elements are Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's Approach to the Review of Infrastructure SIP Submissions? IV. What is EPA's Analysis of How North Carolina Addressed the Elements of the Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “Infrastructure” Provisions? V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background and Overview

    On June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520), EPA promulgated a revised primary SO2 NAAQS to an hourly standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) based on a 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than June 22, 2013.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions states generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the terms “regulation,” “rule,” or “15A NCAC” indicate that the cited regulation has been approved into North Carolina's federally-approved SIP. North Carolina's cited statutes, North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) are not approved into North Carolina's federally-approved SIP unless explicitly specified.

    Today's action is proposing to approve portions of North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the applicable requirements of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to provisions pertaining to the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C) and (J), the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1 through 4), and the state board requirements of section 110(E)(ii), EPA is not proposing any action at this time regarding these requirements. For the aspects of North Carolina's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that North Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking are summarized below and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 2

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. Today's proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System • 110(a)(2)(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned above, this element is not relevant to today's proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Visibility Protection • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from North Carolina that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    5 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6 See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOx SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8 See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007, submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and new source review (NSR) pollutants, including greenhouse gases. By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's implementation plan meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, inter alia, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor new source review program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17 See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how North Carolina addressed the elements of the sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    The North Carolina infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. These requirements are met through several North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) regulations. Specifically, 15A NCAC 2D .0500 Emission Control Standards establishes emission limits for SO2. The following State rules address additional control measures, means and techniques: 15A NCAC 2D .0600 Monitoring: Recordkeeping: Reporting, and 15A NCAC 2D .2600 Source Testing. In addition, NCGS 143-215.107(a)(5), Air quality standards and classifications, provides the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC) with the statutory authority, “To develop and adopt emission control standards as in the judgment of the Commission may be necessary to prohibit, abate, or control air pollution commensurate with established air quality standards.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these regulations, and North Carolina's statutory authority are adequate for Section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during start up, shut down, and malfunction (SSM) operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.18

    18 On June 12, 2015, EPA published a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” See 80 FR 33840.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to: (i) Monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. NCGS 143-215.107(a)(2), Air quality standards and classifications, provides the EMC with the statutory authority “To determine by means of field sampling and other studies, including the examination of available data collected by any local, State or federal agency or any person, the degree of air contamination and air pollution in the State and the several areas of the State.”

    Annually, states develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, and includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 The latest monitoring network plan for North Carolina was submitted to EPA on July 23, 2015, and on November 19, 2015, EPA approved this plan. North Carolina's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0150.

    19 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    NCGS 143-215.107(a)(2), EPA regulations, along with North Carolina's Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan, provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors, the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data, and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: This element consists of three sub-elements: enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources, and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). To meet these obligations, North Carolina cited the following State regulations: 15A NCAC 2D. 0500 Emissions Control Standards; 15A NCAC 2D. 0530 Prevention of Significant Deterioration; 15A NCAC 2D. 0531 Sources in Nonattainment Areas; 15A NCAC 2Q .0300 Construction Operation Permits; and 15A NCAC 2Q .0500 Title V Procedures. Collectively, these regulations enable North Carolina to regulate sources contributing to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS through enforceable permits. North Carolina also cited to the following statutory provisions as supporting this element: NCGS 143-215.108, Control of sources of air pollution; permits required; NCGS 143-215.107(a)(7), Air quality standards and classifications; and NCGS 143-215.6A, 6B, and 6C, Enforcement procedures: civil penalties, criminal penalties, and injunctive relief.

    In this action, EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP for enforcement of SO2 emissions controls and measures and the regulation of minor sources and modifications to assist in the protection of air quality in nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable areas.

    Enforcement: NC DAQ's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of SO2 emission limits and control measures through enforceable permits. In addition, North Carolina cited NCGS 143-215.6A, 6B, and 6C, Enforcement procedures: civil penalties, criminal penalties, and injunctive relief, which provides NC DENR with the statutory authority to enforce air quality rules that contain requirements for emissions limits and controls.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements and instead will act on this portion of the submission in a separate action.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Regulation 15A NCAC 2Q .0300 Construction Operation Permits governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP is adequate for enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components: 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components has two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”). EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prongs 1 through 4).

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. 15A NCAC 2D .0530 Prevention of Significant Deterioration and 15A NCAC 2D .0531 Sources of Nonattainment Areas provide how NC DAQ will notify neighboring states of potential impacts from new or modified sources consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.166. These regulations require NC DAQ to provide an opportunity for a public hearing to the public, which includes state or local air pollution control agencies, “whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification” in North Carolina. In addition, North Carolina does not have any pending obligation under sections 115 and 126 of the CAA. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP is adequate for ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide: (i) Necessary assurances that the state will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the state comply with the requirements respecting state boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the state has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's SIP as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii). EPA approved North Carolina's infrastructure submission for sub-element (E)(ii) on November 3, 2015. See 80 FR 67645. EPA's rationale for today's proposal respecting sub-elements (i) and (iii) is described in turn below.

    To satisfy the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission cites several regulations. Rule 15A NCAC 2Q. 0200 “Permit Fees,” provides the mechanism by which stationary sources that emit air pollutants pay a fee based on the quantity of emissions. State statutes NCGS 143-215.3, General powers of Commission and Department: auxiliary powers, and NCGS 143-215.107(a)(1), Air quality standards and classifications, provide the EMC with the statutory authority “[t]o prepare and develop, after proper study, a comprehensive plan or plans for the prevention, abatement and control of air pollution in the State or in any designated area of the State.” NCGS 143-215.112, Local air pollution control programs, provides the EMC with the statutory authority “to review and have general oversight and supervision over all local air pollution control programs.” North Carolina has three local air agencies located in Buncombe, Forsyth, and Mecklenburg Counties that implement the air program in these areas.

    In addition, the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) are met when EPA performs a completeness determination for each SIP submittal. This determination ensures that each submittal provides evidence that adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law has been used to carry out the state's implementation plan and related issues. NC DAQ's authority is included in all prehearings and final SIP submittal packages for approval by EPA. NC DAQ is responsible for submitting all revisions to the North Carolina SIP to EPA for approval.

    As further evidence of the adequacy of NC DAQ's resources, EPA submitted a letter to North Carolina on March 9, 2015, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2014. The letter EPA submitted to North Carolina can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0150. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. North Carolina satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2014, therefore North Carolina's grants were finalized and closed out. Collectively, these rules and commitments provide evidence that NC DAQ has adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority to carry out the State's implementation plan and related issues. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina has adequate resources and authority to satisfy sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is not proposing any action today as the Agency has already approved this portion of the submission in a separate action. See 80 FR 67645. 7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing: (i) The installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission describes how the State establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing and utilizes emissions sampling and analysis. NC DAQ uses these data to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, develop control and maintenance strategies, identify sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. North Carolina meets these requirements through 15A NCAC 2D .0604 Exceptions to Monitoring and Reporting Requirements; 15A NCAC 2D .0605 General Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements; 15A NCAC 2D .0611 Monitoring Emissions from Other Sources; 15A NCAC 2D .0612 Alternative Monitoring and Reporting Procedures; 15A NCAC 2D .0613 Quality Assurance Program; and 15A NCAC 2D .0614 Compliance Assurance Monitoring. In addition, 15A NCAC 2D .0605(c) General Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements allows for the use of credible evidence in the event that the NC DAQ Director has evidence that a source is violating an emission standard or permit condition, the Director may require that the owner or operator of any source submit to the Director any information necessary to determine the compliance status of the source. In addition, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the North Carolina SIP. Also, NCGS 143-215.107(a)(4), Air quality standards and classifications, provides the EMC with the statutory authority “To collect information or to require reporting from classes of sources which, in the judgment of the [EMC], may cause or contribute to air pollution.”

    Stationary sources are required to submit periodic emissions reports to the State by Rule 15A NCAC 2Q .0207 “Annual Emissions Reporting.” North Carolina is also required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data. See 73 FR 76539. The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—nitrogen oxides, SO2, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. North Carolina made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on June 3, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems obligations for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(F).

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency powers: This section requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission cites 15A NCAC 2D .0300 Air Pollution Emergencies as identifying air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies, and provides the means to implement emergency air pollution episode measures. Under NCGS 143-215.3(a)(12), General powers of Commission and Department; auxiliary powers, if NC DENR finds that such a “condition of . . . air pollution exists and that it creates an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health and safety or to protect fish and wildlife, the Secretary of the Department [NC DENR] with the concurrence of the Governor, shall order persons causing or contributing to the . . . air pollution in question to reduce or discontinue immediately the emission of air contaminants or the discharge of wastes.” In addition, NCGS 143-215.3(a)(12) provides NC DENR with the authority to declare an emergency when it finds that a generalized condition of water or air pollution which is causing imminent danger to the health or safety of the public. This statute also allows, in the absence of a generalized condition of air pollution, should the Secretary find “that the emissions from one or more air contaminant sources . . . is causing imminent danger to human health and safety or to fish and wildlife, he may with the concurrence of the Governor order the person or persons responsible for the operation or operations in question to immediately reduce or discontinue the emissions of air contaminants . . . or to take such other measures as are, in his judgment, necessary.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate to satisfy the emergency powers obligations of the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan (i) as may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. NC DAQ is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in North Carolina. NCGS 143-215.107(a)(1) and (a)(10) grant NC DAQ the authority to prepare and develop, after proper study, a comprehensive plan for the prevention of air pollution and implement the CAA, respectively. These provisions also provide NC DAQ the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and North Carolina has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. In addition, State regulation 15A NCAC 2D .2401(d) states that “The EMC may specify through rulemaking a specific emission limit lower than that established under this rule for a specific source if compliance with the lower emission limit is required to attain or maintain the ambient air quality standard for ozone or PM2.5 or any other ambient air quality standard in Section 15A NCAC 2D .0400.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, when necessary.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, and the public notification requirements of section 127. With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting, EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements and instead will act on these portions of the submission in a separate action. EPA's rationale for its proposed action regarding applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and visibility is described below.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. 15A NCAC 2D.1600 General Conformity, 15A NCAC 2D .2000 Transportation Conformity, and 15A NCAC 2D .0531 Sources in Nonattainment Areas, along with the State's Regional Haze Implementation Plan, provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. Specifically, North Carolina adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development. These consultation procedures were developed in coordination with the transportation partners in the State and are consistent with the approaches used for development of mobile inventories for SIPs. Implementation of transportation conformity as outlined in the consultation procedures requires NC DAQ to consult with Federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. The Regional Haze SIP provides for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLMs. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate that the State meets applicable requirements related to consultation with government officials for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary for the consultation with government officials element of section 110(a)(2)(J).

    Public notification (127 public notification): Rule 15A NCAC 2D .0300 Air Pollution Emergencies provides North Carolina with the authority to declare an emergency and notify the public accordingly when it finds a generalized condition of water or air pollution which is causing imminent danger to the health or safety of the public. Additionally, the NC DAQ has the North Carolina Air Awareness Program which is a program to educate the public on air quality issues and promote voluntary emission reduction measures. The NC DAQ also features a Web page providing ambient monitoring information regarding current and historical air quality across the State at http://www.ncair.org/monitor/. North Carolina participates in the EPA AirNOW program, which enhances public awareness of air quality in North Carolina and throughout the country. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary for the public notification element of section 110(a)(2)(J).

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. NC DENR referenced its regional haze program as germane to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals so NC DENR does not need to rely on its regional haze program to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission is approvable for the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS and that North Carolina does not need to rely on its regional haze program to satisfy this element.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. This infrastructure requirement is met through emissions data collected through 15A NCAC 2D .0600 Monitoring: Recordkeeping: Reporting (authorized under NCGS 143-215.107(a)(4)), which provides information to model potential impact of major and some minor sources. 15A NCAC 2D .0530 Prevention of Significant Deterioration and 15A NCAC 2D .0531 Sources in Nonattainment Areas require that air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W, Guideline on Air Quality Models. These regulations demonstrate that North Carolina has the authority to perform air quality modeling and to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The NC DAQ currently has personnel with training and experience to conduct source-oriented dispersion modeling that would likely be used in SO2 NAAQS applications with models approved by EPA. Additionally, North Carolina participates in a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, for the Southeastern states. Taken as a whole, North Carolina's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that NC DAQ has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any pollutant for which a NAAQS has been promulgated, and to provide such information to the EPA Administrator upon request. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting fees: This element necessitates that the SIP require the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover: (i) The reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V.

    To satisfy these requirements, North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission cites Regulation 15A NCAC 2Q .0200 Permit Fees, which requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a sufficient fee to cover the costs of the permitting program. The 15A NCAC 2D .0500 and 2Q .0500 rules contain the State's title V program which includes provisions to implement and enforce PSD and NNSR permits once these permits have been issued. The fees collected under 15A NCAC 2Q .0200 also support this activity. NCGS 143-215.3, General powers of Commission and Department; auxiliary Powers, provides the State the statutory authority for NC DAQ to require a processing fee in an amount sufficient for the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon PSD and NNSR permits. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, when necessary.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) of the Act requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. 15A NCAC 2D .0530 Prevention of Significant Deterioration requires that NC DENR notify the public, including affected local entities, of PSD permit applications and associated information related to PSD permits, and the opportunity for comment prior to making final permitting decisions. NCGS 150B-21.1 and 150B-21.2 authorize and require NC DAQ to advise, consult, cooperate and enter into agreements with other agencies of the state, the Federal Government, other states, interstate agencies, groups, political subdivisions, and industries affected by the provisions of this act, rules, or policies of the Department. Also, 15A NCAC 2D .2000 Transportation Conformity requires a consultation with all affected partners to be implemented for transportation conformity determinations. Furthermore, NC DAQ has demonstrated consultation with, and participation by, affected local entities through its work with local political subdivisions during the developing of its Transportation Conformity SIP, Regional Haze Implementation Plan, and the 8-Hour Ozone Attainment Demonstration for the North Carolina portion of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC nonattainment area. Additionally, the NC DAQ organizes stakeholder meetings to support SIP development and rulemakings. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve that portions of NC DAQ's infrastructure SIP submission, submitted March 18, 2014, for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, has met the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. The PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C) and (J), the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1 through 4), will not be addressed by EPA at this time. EPA has already taken action to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS because these aspects of the submission are consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the 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.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 11, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03897 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0492; FRL-9940-75-OAR] RIN 2060-AR97 Clarification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification Training AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing revisions to better define the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses. In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this issue of the Federal Register, we are approving the revisions to Method 303 as a direct final rule without a prior proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. Method 303 is an air pollution test method used to determine the presence of visible emissions (VE) from coke ovens. This action adds language that further clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of Method 303 training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method. These changes will help entities interested in conducting the required training courses by clearly defining the requirements necessary to do so.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by March 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0492, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, Cloud, or other file sharing system).

    For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Kim Garnett, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Assessment Division, Measurement Technology Group (Mail Code: E143-02), Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-1158; fax number: (919) 541-0516; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Why is the EPA issuing this proposed rule?

    This document proposes to take action on the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses. Method 303 is an air pollution test method used to determine the presence of visible emissions (VE) from coke ovens. We have published a direct final rule approving the revisions to Method 303 in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this issue of the Federal Register because we view this as a non-controversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble of the direct final rule.

    If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule, and it will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule.

    We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the information provided in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    II. Does this action apply to me?

    This action applies to you if you are a potential provider of Method 303 training services, someone seeking training to conduct Method 303, or a facility subject to Method 303.

    Method 303 is applicable for the determination of VE from the following by-product coke oven battery sources: Charging systems during charging; doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems on operating coke ovens; and collecting mains. This method is also applicable for qualifying observers for visually determining the presence of VE. This action adds language that further clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of Method 303 training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method.

    III. Environmental Justice

    The EPA has determined that this proposed rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. This rulemaking does not relax the control measures on sources regulated by the proposed rule and, therefore, will not cause emissions increases from these sources.

    IV. 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 an information collection burden under the PRA. This action better defines the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses and does not impose additional regulatory requirements on sources.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This action better defines the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 training courses and does not impose additional regulatory requirements on sources.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more for as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. This action adds additional language that clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. This action clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action clarifies the criteria used by the EPA to determine the competency of training providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

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

    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. The results of this evaluation are contained in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble titled “III. Environmental Justice.”

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 63

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Test methods.

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

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

    PART 63—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. In Appendix A, amend Method 303: a. In section 5.0 by revising paragraph 5.2; and b. In section 10.0 by: i. Revising paragraphs 10.1, 10.1.1, 10.1.2, and 10.1.3; ii. Adding paragraphs 10.1.4, 10.1.5, 10.1.6, and 10.1.7; and iii. Revising paragraph 10.2.

    The revisions and additions read as follows.

    Appendix A to Part 63—Test Methods Method 303—Determination Of Visible Emissions From By-Product Coke Oven Batteries 5.0 Safety

    5.2 Safety Training. Because coke oven batteries have hazardous environments, the training materials and the field training (section 10.0) shall cover the precautions required to address health and safety hazards.

    10.0 Calibration and Standardization

    10.1 Certification Procedures. This method requires only the determination of whether VE occur and does not require the determination of opacity levels; therefore, observer certification according to Method 9 in appendix A to part 60 of this chapter is not required to obtain certification under this method. However, in order to receive Method 303 observer certification, the first-time observer (trainee) shall have attended the lecture portion of the Method 9 certification course. In addition, the trainee shall successfully complete the Method 303 training course, satisfy the field observation requirement, and demonstrate adequate performance and sufficient knowledge of Method 303. The Method 303 training provider and course shall be approved by the Administrator and shall consist of classroom instruction, field training, and a proficiency test. In order to apply for approval as a Method 303 training provider, an applicant must submit their credentials and the details of their Method 303 training course to Group Leader, Measurement Technology Group (E143-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. Those details should include, at a minimum:

    (a) A detailed list of the provider's credentials.

    (b) An outline of the classroom and the field portions of the class.

    (c) Copies of the written training and lecture materials, to include:

    (1) The classroom audio-visual presentation(s).

    (2) A classroom course manual with instructional text and practice questions and problems for each of the elements of the Method 303 inspection (i.e., charging, doors, lids and offtakes, and collecting mains). A copy of Method 303 and any related guidance documents should be included as appendices.

    (3) A copy of the Method 303 demonstration video, if not using the one available on the EPA Web site: http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/emc/methods/method303trainingvideo.mp4.

    (4) Multiple-choice certification tests, with questions sufficient to demonstrate knowledge of the method, as follows: One (1) initial certification test and three (3) third-year recertification tests (the questions on any one recertification test must be at least 25 percent different from those on the other recertification tests).

    (5) A field certification checklist and inspection forms for each of the elements of the Method 303 inspection (i.e., charging, doors, lids and offtakes, and collecting mains).

    (6) The criteria used to determine proficiency.

    (7) The panel members to be utilized (see Section 10.1.3) along with their qualifications.

    (8) An example certificate of successful course completion.

    10.1.1 A trainee must verify completion of at least 12 hours of field observation prior to attending the Method 303 certification course. Trainees shall observe the operation of a coke oven battery as it pertains to Method 303, including topside operations, and shall also practice conducting Method 303 or similar methods. During the field observations, trainees unfamiliar with coke battery operations shall receive instruction from an experienced coke oven observer who is familiar with Method 303 or similar methods and with the operation of coke batteries.

    10.1.2 The classroom instruction shall familiarize the trainees with Method 303 through lecture, written training materials, and a Method 303 demonstration video. Successful completion of the classroom portion of the Method 303 training course shall be demonstrated by a perfect score on the initial certification test. Those attending the course for third-year recertification must complete one of the recertification tests selected at random.

    10.1.3 All trainees must demonstrate proficiency in the application of Method 303 to a panel of three certified Method 303 observers, including an ability to differentiate coke oven emissions from condensing water vapor and smoldering coal. The panel members will be EPA, state or local agency personnel, or industry contractors listed in 59 FR 11960 (March 15, 1994) or qualified as part of the training provider approval process of Section 10.1 of this method.

    Each panel member shall have at least 120 days experience in reading visible emissions from coke ovens. The visible emissions inspections that will satisfy the experience requirement must be inspections of coke oven battery fugitive emissions from the emission points subject to emission standards under subpart L of this part (i.e., coke oven doors, topside port lids, offtake system(s), and charging operations), using either Method 303 or predecessor state or local test methods. A “day's experience” for a particular inspection is a day on which one complete inspection was performed for that emission point under Method 303 or a predecessor state or local method. A “day's experience” does not mean 8 or 10 hours performing inspections, or any particular time expressed in minutes or hours that may have been spent performing them. Thus, it would be possible for an individual to qualify as a Method 303 panel member for some emission points, but not others (e.g., an individual might satisfy the experience requirement for coke oven doors, but not topside port lids). Until November 15, 1994, the EPA may waive the certification requirement (but not the experience requirement) for panel members. The composition of the panel shall be approved by the EPA.

    The panel shall observe the trainee in a series of training runs and a series of certification runs. There shall be a minimum of 1 training run for doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems, and a minimum of 5 training runs (i.e., 5 charges) for charging. During training runs, the panel can advise the trainee on proper procedures. There shall be a minimum of 3 certification runs for doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems, and a minimum of 15 certification runs for charging (i.e., 15 charges). The certification runs shall be unassisted. Following the certification test runs, the panel shall approve or disapprove certification based on the trainee's performance during the certification runs. To obtain certification, the trainee shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the panel a high degree of proficiency in performing Method 303. To aid in evaluating the trainee's performance, a checklist, approved by the EPA, will be used by the panel members.

    10.1.4 Those successfully completing the initial certification or third-year recertification requirements shall receive a certificate showing certification as a Method 303 observer and the beginning and ending dates of the certification period.

    10.1.5 The training provider will submit to the EPA or its designee the following information for each trainee successfully completing initial certification or third-year recertification training: Name, employer, address, telephone, cell and/or fax numbers, email address, beginning and ending dates of certification, and whether training was for 3-year certification or 1-year recertification. This information must be submitted within 30 days of the course completion.

    10.1.6 The training provider will maintain the following records, to be made available to EPA or its designee on request (within 30 days of a request):

    (a) A file for each Method 303 observer containing the signed certification checklists, certification forms and test results for their initial certification, and any subsequent third-year recertifications. Initial certification records must also include documentation showing successful completion of the training prerequisites. Testing results from any interim recertifications must also be included, along with any relevant communications.

    (b) A searchable master electronic database of all persons for whom initial certification, third-year recertification or interim recertification has been provided. Information contained therein must include: The observer's name, employer, address, telephone, cell and fax numbers and email address, along with the beginning and ending dates for each successfully completed initial, third-year and interim recertification.

    10.1.7 Failure by the training provider to submit example training course materials and/or requested training records to the Administrator may result in suspension of the approval of the provider and course.

    10.2 Observer Certification/Recertification. The coke oven observer certification is valid for 1 year. The observer shall recertify annually by reviewing the training material, viewing the training video and answering all of the questions on the recertification test correctly. Every 3 years, an observer shall be required to pass the proficiency test in Section 10.1.3 in order to be certified. The years between proficiency tests are referred to as interim years.

    [FR Doc. 2016-03758 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION 45 CFR Part 1630 Cost Standards and Procedures; Property Acquisition and Management Manual AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of rulemaking workshops, request for expressions of interest in participating in the rulemaking workshops, initiation of open comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Operations and Regulations Committee (Committee) of the Board of Directors for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is conducting three rulemaking workshops (Workshops) and is requesting public comments on revising LSC's Cost Standards and Procedures rule, 45 CFR part 1630, and LSC's Property Acquisition and Management Manual (PAMM). The discussions in the Workshops and the other comments received will be considered in connection with rulemaking by LSC. LSC is soliciting expressions of interest in participating as a panelist in the Workshops from LSC grantees and other interested stakeholders with relevant experience, such as other funders of civil legal aid programs.

    DATES:

    Expressions of interest in participating in the Rulemaking Workshops for Part 1630 and the PAMM must be received by 5:30 p.m. EST on March 17, 2016. The dates of the Workshops are:

    1. April 20, 2016, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Washington, DC.

    2. May 18, 2016, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Washington, DC.

    3. June 15, 2016, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Washington, DC.

    See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for additional relevant dates.

    ADDRESSES:

    Expressions of interest may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]. Include “1630/PAMM Workshops” in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 202-337-6519.

    Mail: Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20007.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20007.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the subject “1630/PAMM Workshops. For detailed instructions on submitting expressions of interest in participating as a panelist in the Workshops or on submitting comments about the topics to be discussed in the Workshops, please see Sections VI. and VII. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 295-1563 (phone); 202-337-6519 (fax); or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On July 16, 2015, LSC management (Management) presented the Committee with a Justification Memorandum recommending publication of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek public comment on possible revisions to 45 CFR part 1630—Cost Standards and Procedures, and LSC's Property Acquisition and Management Manual (PAMM). Management stated that collecting input from LSC funding recipients through an ANPRM would aid LSC significantly in determining the scope of the rulemaking and in developing a more accurate understanding of the potential costs and benefits of certain revisions. The Committee voted to recommend that the Board approve Management's recommendation and authorize LSC to open rulemaking for Part 1630 and the PAMM. On July 18, 2015, the LSC Board authorized rulemaking and approved the preparation of an ANPRM to revise Part 1630 and the PAMM. On October 9, 2015, LSC published an ANPRM seeking public comment on the proposed changes to Part 1630 and the PAMM. 80 FR 61142, Oct. 9, 2015. The comment period closed on December 8, 2015.

    LSC received comments from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), Colorado Legal Services (CLS), and the Northwest Justice Project (NJP). The comments generally expressed concerns about the following: The disparity and potential conflict between LSC's proposed changes and the requirements imposed by recipients' other funders; expanding the prior approval requirements of 45 CFR 1630.5 and Section 3 of the PAMM to include aggregate purchases exceeding a certain dollar threshold; and the proposal to regulate the awarding of service contracts and the disposition of real and personal property by organizations that receive LSC funds. Additionally, NLADA recommended that LSC engage its grantees in additional discussions about the impact that the proposed changes would have on the grantees' operations before drafting a proposed rule.

    LSC's Rulemaking Protocol contemplates using rulemaking workshops or negotiated rulemaking when one of those vehicles is appropriate to help LSC gather additional information before drafting a proposed rule. LSC believes that rulemaking workshops will provide an opportunity for LSC funding recipients to more effectively share their views on LSC's proposed changes to part 1630 and the PAMM and to elaborate on the comments received in response to the ANPRM. On January 28, 2016, the Committee voted to approve rulemaking workshops for LSC's rulemaking on Part 1630 and the PAMM.

    IV. Topics for Discussion

    The following three topics will be addressed during the Workshops. Each Workshop will focus on one of the topics and may use any or all of the potential items for discussion to direct the discussion.

    Topic 1: Requirements of Other Funders. How do LSC's proposed changes to its cost standards and procedures and property acquisition and disposition requirements interact with the requirements imposed by recipients' other funders, including the requirements governing intellectual property created using various sources of funding?

    Potential Items for Discussion on Topic 1:

    • Generally, do other funders require recipients to provide notice and/or seek prior approval for the acquisition and disposition of real property and personal property? If so, what processes and documentation do the funders require?

    • Do LSC's proposed changes to Part 1630 and the PAMM directly conflict with the requirements of other funders? If so, how?

    • Do other funders require recipients to seek prior approval for procurements of goods and services? If so, what procedures must recipients follow to seek approval?

    • Do other funders require recipients to seek prior approval for purchases of single items above a certain threshold amount? If so, what is that threshold amount?

    • Do other funders require recipients to seek prior approval for purchases of multiple items when the aggregate cost of the items exceeds a certain dollar threshold? If so, what is that threshold amount?

    • How can LSC structure its prior approval process to more closely align with the requirements imposed by other funders?

    • What are the requirements of other funders with respect to the use and ownership of products, data, or intellectual property developed with their funds? For example, do other funders reserve rights in intellectual property developed with their funds, or require recipients to display the funder's identity on products such as Web sites or brochures?

    • How do LSC's cost standards compare and interact with cost standards imposed by recipients' other funders?

    Topic 2: LSC's Proposals. In the ANPRM, LSC proposed to regulate services contracts. LSC also proposed to require recipients to seek prior approval of aggregate purchases of personal property, acquisitions of personal and real property purchased or leased using LSC funds, and disposal of real or personal property purchased or leased using LSC funds.

    Potential Items for Discussion on Topic 2:

    • What are the administrative costs (in terms of dollars, time, and resources) of obtaining prior approval from LSC with respect to property acquisition and disposition? How can LSC revise its prior approval process to lessen these administrative costs?

    • How can LSC clarify when recipients must seek prior approval to acquire and dispose of real and personal property?

    • If LSC raises the threshold amount at which single purchases of personal property require prior approval, what other changes, if any, should LSC make to part 1630 to accompany this increase?

    • Should LSC adopt a separate and distinct prior approval threshold amount for aggregate purchases of personal property?

    • If LSC proposes to require prior approval for purchases of multiple items whose aggregate value exceeds a certain dollar amount threshold, should LSC limit the types of purchases subject to this prior approval requirement? For example, should LSC require recipients to seek prior approval for purchases of multiple computers, printers, or pieces of furniture exceeding a certain dollar amount, but not require recipients to seek prior approval for multiple purchases of units of printer paper or similar office supplies?

    • Should LSC require recipients to seek instructions for disposition of real or personal property if the fair market value of the property exceeds a certain dollar threshold? If so, what should the threshold be?

    • Should LSC require recipients to seek disposition instructions from LSC before disposing of personal or real property acquired with LSC funds? If so, what factors should LSC consider when establishing such instructions?

    Topic 3: Establishing Standards based on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Uniform Guidance. LSC proposed to establish minimum standards for recipients' procurement policies based on the OMB Uniform Guidance. LSC also proposed to revise part 1630 for consistency with the Uniform Guidance, where appropriate.

    Potential Items for Discussion on Topic 3:

    • Generally, what are the existing procurement policies that recipients currently have in place to maintain internal controls regarding purchases and compliance with LSC's rules in part 1630 and the PAMM?

    • Do recipients have different procurement policies for real property, personal property, and services?

    • Should LSC establish minimum standards for procurement policies for recipients to use for acquisitions of personal property when the acquisition costs exceed a certain threshold amount?

    • What changes would recipients have to make to their policies if LSC adopted minimum standards for recipients' procurement policies based on OMB's Uniform Guidance in 2 CFR part 200? If LSC were to model its revised procurement standards based on the standards in the OMB Uniform Guidance, would LSC's policy conflict with the requirements of other funders?

    V. Nature of the Workshops

    Rulemaking workshops enable LSC to meet with interested parties to discuss, but not negotiate, proposed LSC rules and regulations. Workshops for part 1630 and the PAMM will consist of three publicly noticed meetings of the Committee with the participation of Management, invited stakeholder representatives, and other interested and well-informed parties to discuss the three topics outlined above. During the Workshops, the panelists and participants will hold open discussions, moderated by a member of the Committee (or other person designated by the Committee chair), to share ideas regarding how to revise Part 1630 and the PAMM.

    LSC will host three Rulemaking Workshops at its headquarters, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007. The first Workshop will be held on April 20, 2016, and will focus on the first topic for discussion. The second workshop will be held on May 18, 2016 and will focus on the second topic for discussion. The third Workshop will be held on June 15, 2016 and will focus on the third topic for discussion. LSC will consider accommodating panelists who are unable to attend in person electronically via telephone or webinar. LSC will publish additional details regarding the time, webinar and call-in information, and agenda for each Workshop at least one week prior to the scheduled date of the Workshop.

    VI. Composition of Workshops

    The Workshops will be in the form of a panel discussion consisting of Committee members, LSC staff members, Office of Inspector General (OIG) staff members, and a select number of interested stakeholders selected by LSC. LSC will select participants for each workshop to participate as members of the Workshop panel. LSC will seek to select panelists to create diversity in terms of organizational size, service area and geographic location, funding sources, and percentage of funding received from LSC. Some participants may be selected to participate in more than one workshop. Interested persons should submit an expression of interest according to the instructions outlined below.

    LSC is inviting expressions of interest in participating on Workshop panels from its grantees and other stakeholders with relevant experience. LSC is particularly interested receiving expressions of interest from Executive Directors and accounting and finance personnel of LSC funding recipients. Panelists should have experience in handling procurements for LSC funding recipients and applying LSC's cost standards and procedures. Additionally, LSC is interested in receiving expressions of interest from other funders of civil legal aid programs, including private foundations and federal, state, and local governments, to participate in the first workshop. Persons interested in participating as panelists should submit expressions of interest including, at a minimum: (1) A brief biographical statement, (2) a brief statement of relevant experience in applying and/or implementing the requirements of part 1630 and the PAMM, and (3) the specific workshop(s) in which the prospective panelist is interested in attending.

    Expressions of interest in participating as a panelist should be submitted, in writing, to Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation; via email to [email protected]; via fax to 202-337-6519; or by mail or courier/hand delivery 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007. Expressions of interest must be received by LSC by 5:30 p.m. EST on the date provided in the DATES section. LSC will select panelists shortly after the deadline and will inform all those who expressed interest whether or not they have been selected.

    Prior to each meeting, those selected as panelists will be asked to register with LSC to ensure that sufficient arrangements can be made for their participation. Panelists are expected to cover their own expenses (travel, lodging, etc.). LSC may consider providing financial assistance to a panelist for whom travel costs would represent a significant hardship and barrier to participation. Any such person should so note in his/her expression of interest for LSC's consideration. LSC will also consider allowing interested applicants who cannot attend the Workshops in person to participate on the panel remotely.

    VII. Public Participation: Panelists and Open Comment

    In addition to the panel, LSC encourages observation and participation by all interested individuals and organizations. The Workshops will be open to public observation, and portions of the Workshop will be open for public comment from in-person, webinar, and telephone participants. The meeting agenda will include opportunities for individuals in attendance who are not members of the panel to participate in person, by webinar, or via telephone, as well as incorporating previously submitted written comments by those unable to attend. LSC will transcribe the meetings and make the webinar available on its Web site.

    Through this notice, LSC is also opening a written comment period. LSC welcomes written comments during the comment period and will consider the comments received in the rulemaking process. Written comments received prior to the Workshops may be addressed in the Workshops. Written comments are requested by the following dates:

    1. April 8, 2016 for LSC to consider including in the first Workshop discussion.

    2. May 6, 2016 for LSC to consider including in the second Workshop discussion.

    3. June 3, 2016 for LSC to consider including in the third Workshop discussion. All other written comments must be received by July 15, 2016. Written comments submitted to LSC must be in .pdf format (if submitted electronically) and sent to [email protected]. If delivered via facsimile, mail, or courier/hand delivery, please address the comments to: Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 337-6519 (fax). LSC will not consider comments sent by any method or received after the end of the comment period.

    VIII. Important Notes

    Information received in response to this Notice of Rulemaking Workshops and Request for Expressions of Interest in Participation in the Rulemaking Workshops may be published or summarized by LSC without acknowledgement of or permission from you or your organization. Furthermore, your responses may be releasable to the public under the LSC's adoption of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 42 U.S.C. 2996d, and the LSC FOIA regulation, 45 CFR part 1602. LSC, at its discretion, may request individual commenters to elaborate on information in their written comments.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03954 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 [Docket No. 151201999-6115-01] RIN 0648-BF51 Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service proposes a rule to implement the requirement under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act that all fishery management plans (FMPs) establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in a fishery. The proposed rule provides guidance to regional fishery management councils and the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development, documentation, and review of such methodologies, commonly referred to as Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodologies (SBRMs).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0002, 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-2016-0002 click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Send written comments to Karen Abrams, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East West Highway, SSMC3-OSF-SF3, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    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), and will accept attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Abrams 301-427-8508.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 303(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) (16 U.S.C. 1853(a)) describes 15 required provisions of any fishery management plan (FMP) prepared by a regional fishery management council or the Secretary of Commerce with respect to any fishery (hereafter “Council” includes the regional fishery management councils and the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate (see 16 U.S.C. 1854(c) and (g)). This proposed rule focuses on section 303(a)(11), which requires that all FMPs establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery, and include conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality. The section 303(a)(11) standardized reporting methodology is commonly referred to as a “Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology” (SBRM), and this proposed rule defines, interprets, and provides guidance on the basic requirements for the SBRM.

    Section 303(a)(11) was added to the MSA by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (SFA). All FMPs have been amended to reflect the SBRM requirement. The SFA also added a definition for “bycatch” (section 3(2), 16 U.S.C. 1802(2)) and National Standard 9 (section 301(a)(9), 16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(9)). The MSA defines “bycatch” as fish which are harvested in a fishery, but which are not sold or kept for personal use, and as including economic discards and regulatory discards. The definition of bycatch does not include fish released alive under a recreational catch and release fishery management program. The MSA does not define “standardized reporting methodology” or any of the words contained within the phrase. Similar to section 303(a)(11), National Standard 9 (16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(9)) requires that conservation and management measures “shall, to the extent practicable, (A) minimize bycatch and (B) to the extent bycatch cannot be avoided, minimize the mortality of such bycatch.” However, National Standard 9 does not address SBRM. NMFS has never issued regulations that set forth the agency's interpretation of the SBRM provision.

    To implement the 1996 SFA Amendments, NMFS developed advisory guidelines for National Standard 9 (guidelines) in 1998, and further amended the guidelines in 2008. The guidelines provide several clarifications about bycatch requirements under the MSA, but do not directly address SBRM. For example, the guidelines explain that “bycatch” includes the discard of whole fish at sea but does not include legally-retained fish kept for personal, tribal or cultural use (50 CFR 600.350(c)). In addition, to facilitate the evaluation of conservation and management measures consistent with National Standard 9, the guidelines call for the development of a database on bycatch and bycatch mortality in the fishery to the extent practicable. The guidelines note that, to comply with National Standard 9 and MSA sections 303(a)(11) (SBRM) and (12) (catch and release), a review and, where necessary, improvement of data collection methods, data sources and applications must be initiated for each fishery to assess bycatch and bycatch mortality. See 50 CFR 600.350(d)(1).

    In 2004, NMFS published Evaluating Bycatch: A National Approach to Standardized Bycatch Monitoring Programs (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-66, October 2004, hereafter referred to as Evaluating Bycatch), a report that was prepared by the agency's National Working Group on Bycatch (available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/by_catch/SPO_final_rev_12204.pdf). The report discusses regional bycatch and fisheries issues, the advantages and disadvantages of different reporting/monitoring measures, and precision goals for bycatch estimates. See Evaluating Bycatch at Chapters 3, 4, and 5. However, Evaluating Bycatch addresses more than bycatch as defined under the MSA; it also addresses interactions with species protected under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The report also acknowledges that its goals “may in some instances exceed minimum statutory requirements.” See Evaluating Bycatch at Appendix 5. In summary, the report does not provide the agency's interpretation of the basic requirements of complying with MSA section 303(a)(11).

    Purpose and Scope

    This proposed rule, which is promulgated pursuant to MSA section 305(d) (16 U.S.C. 1855(d)), is intended to establish national requirements and guidance for establishing and reviewing SBRMs under section 303(a)(11) of the MSA. This rule solely addresses reporting methodology requirements pertaining to “bycatch” as defined under the MSA. (See the Background subheading for a definition.) The Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act create additional, important bycatch-related responsibilities for NOAA Fisheries, but discussion of such responsibilities is beyond the scope of this proposed rule. As explained below, there are several reasons why NMFS is undertaking this rulemaking.

    NMFS has never issued regulations that set forth the basic requirements of the SBRM provision of section 303(a)(11). Although the National Standard 9 guidelines and Evaluating Bycatch discuss the SBRM provision, neither provides an interpretation of, or purports to set forth the basic requirements for complying with, the provision. In the absence of a national SBRM regulation, some Councils appear to have adopted the recommendations in Evaluating Bycatch as though they set forth mandatory requirements for a bycatch reporting methodology. Others have not followed the recommendations in Evaluating Bycatch, or have adopted only some of them. NMFS believes that the apparent confusion regarding the applicability of the recommendations in Evaluating Bycatch necessitates clear guidance regarding what the SBRM provision requires, what is needed for fishery conservation and management, and what is feasible to implement.

    In addition, since the 1996 SFA amendments, there have been legal challenges to the SBRMs established in some FMPs. Court decisions have focused largely on the specific allegations and records before the courts, and have addressed only certain aspects of the SBRM provision and the agency's implementation of that provision. Therefore, NMFS believes that a comprehensive analysis of the MSA requirements in section 303(a)(11) through a rulemaking action is necessary in order to prevent inconsistent implementation of the provision, on a region-by-region basis in response to fact-specific litigation.

    Finally, public concern about bycatch and public expectations for accessing bycatch information and estimates continues to grow, while concerns from the regulated community about the costs for fishery monitoring and reporting requirements also continues to increase. NMFS intends to address some of these concerns in this action.

    Overview of the Proposed Rule

    As described in detail below, this proposed rule explains the purpose of a standardized bycatch reporting methodology (SBRM), and clarifies the activities associated with the phrase “standardized reporting methodology” and the meaning of the term “standardized.” This action would require that a standardized reporting methodology be appropriate for a particular fishery, and would provide required and discretionary factors for the Councils to consider when establishing or reviewing a methodology. Recognizing that there may be a future need to adjust how an SBRM is implemented, NMFS also proposes requirements for an adjustment process, if a Council is interested in exploring such a process. Finally, this proposed rule would provide for periodic review of existing SBRMs.

    Purpose of an SBRM

    Proposed section 600.1600 states that the purpose of a standardized reporting methodology is to inform the assessment of the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery for use in developing conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality. See 16 U.S.C. 1853(a)(11). The text refers to “inform[ing]” assessment of bycatch, as the data resulting from an SBRM are used along with other information for bycatch assessment and estimation purposes. (See Activities Associated with an SBRM, below, for further explanation.) Proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(i) requires that the data resulting from the methodology be useful, in conjunction with other relevant sources of data, in meeting the purpose of the methodology as described in section 600.1600 and fishery-specific bycatch objectives. (See Considerations for Establishing or Reviewing an SBRM, below, for an explanation of other required and discretionary factors.)

    Activities Associated With an SBRM

    An SBRM could include one or a combination of data collection and reporting programs, such as observer programs, electronic monitoring and reporting technologies, and self-reported mechanisms (e.g., recreational sampling, and industry-reported catch and discards). Proposed section 600.1605(a) defines “standardized reporting methodology” with reference to the collection, recording, and reporting of bycatch data in a fishery, which is connected to, but distinct from the methods used to assess bycatch and the development of measures to minimize bycatch or bycatch mortality. NMFS believes that it is important to distinguish between methods to collect and report bycatch data in a fishery with actions to assess and minimize bycatch. This distinction will help clarify the key policy choices and objectives associated with establishing a reporting methodology, so as not to confuse those choices with statistical and technical approaches for estimating bycatch that are inherently scientific and data dependent or the policy choices associated with developing measures to minimize bycatch.

    The distinction between data collecting, reporting, etc., and developing management measures is reflected in part in the fact that section 303(a)(11) requires the establishment of SBRMs, and separately, section 303(a)(11) and National Standard 9 requires that FMPs include conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality. As a practical matter, there are multiple steps leading to the development of conservation and management measures that address bycatch. First, bycatch data are collected, recorded, and reported pursuant to an SBRM. The 2011 U.S. National Bycatch Report (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-117E) describes how data from SBRMs are used in combination with other information, such as fishing effort, fishery independent data, and other data (pages 90, 155, 219, 319, 350, and 373), to develop total estimates of bycatch by fishery. Second, bycatch data from an SBRM, as well as other information about the fishery, are used to assess (e.g. evaluate or estimate) the amount and type of bycatch in a fishery. A variety of different models can be used to estimate bycatch. The models and combination of data used to estimate bycatch vary from region to region and across fisheries, depending on a variety of factors, including the characteristics of the fishery and the data available to manage the fishery. The resulting estimates are often provided in Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports. Finally, bycatch data and estimates are used to inform a Council in the development of conservation and management measures to minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality to the extent practicable. (This information may also be used by Councils for other purposes, such as for in-season or post-season management of a fishery, and for stock assessments.)

    One source of confusion in Evaluating Bycatch is that the report conflates the collection and reporting of bycatch data with the assessment of such data when the report states that “the combination of data collection and analyses that is used to estimate bycatch in a fishery constitutes the SBRM for the fishery” (Appendix 5). NMFS does not believe that the estimation methods must be included in an FMP as part of the standardized reporting methodology. However, neither this rule nor the statute precludes discussion of those estimation methods in an FMP.

    While defining “standardized reporting methodology” as something different than bycatch assessment and management measures, NMFS recognizes the interconnectedness of these steps. This proposed rule addresses the interrelation between these steps by explaining the purpose of SBRM (proposed section 600.1600) and requiring that data resulting from the methodology be useful, in conjunction with other relevant sources of data, in meeting the purpose of the SBRM and fishery-specific bycatch objectives (proposed section 600.1610((a)(2)(i)). (See Purpose of an SBRM, above.)

    Meaning of “Standardized”

    The proposed rule also clarifies that “standardized” does not mean that reporting methodologies must be standardized at a regional or national level. Proposed section 600.1605(a) explains that a standardized reporting methodology may vary from one fishery to another (including among fisheries managed in the same FMP). However, the methodology must provide a consistent approach for collecting, recording, and reporting bycatch data within a fishery. For example, a reporting methodology that relies on self-reported logbook data may be appropriate for one fishery, while at-sea observer coverage may be more appropriate for other fisheries. As long as the reporting methodology for a fishery provides for a consistent approach for collecting, recording, and reporting bycatch data for all the participants in that fishery, then the methodology would be considered “standardized” under the proposed rule's definition.

    Considerations for Establishing or Reviewing an SBRM

    This proposed rule acknowledges that whether a methodology is appropriate for a fishery will depend on the specific circumstances of the fishery. This proposed rule frames policy choices associated with establishing an SBRM by providing “required factors” for establishing or reviewing an SBRM (proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(i)), and by recommending additional factors that may be considered by the Councils (proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(ii)).

    Proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(i) states that data resulting from the methodology must be useful, in conjunction with other relevant sources of data, in meeting the purpose of the methodology as described in section 600.1600 and fishery-specific bycatch objectives. This requies a Council, when establishing or reviewing a methodology, to consider the conservation and management objectives of the fishery with respect to bycatch, the data quality associated with the methodology, and information about the characteristics of bycatch in the fishery, when available (such as the amount of bycatch occurring in the fishery, the importance or bycatch in estimating the total mortality of fish stocks, and the importance of bycatch to related ecosystems). Because data resulting from an SBRM will be used, along with other relevant information, to inform the assessment of the amount and type of bycatch occurring in a fishery, a Council should consult with its scientific and statistical committee, advisory panels, and the NOAA science centers, as appropriate, on data elements, reporting frequency, and other design and methodology factors (proposed section 600.1610(b)). Another required consideration when establishing or reviewing a methodology is its feasibility, from cost, technical, and operational perspectives. In addition, the proposed rule requires that each SBRM be designed to be implemented within available funding.

    The proposed rule also recognizes that other factors may be relevant to establishing an SBRM. Therefore, proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(ii) provides that Councils may also consider the overall magnitude and/or economic impact of the fishery, and the scientific methods and techniques available to collect and report bycatch data that could improve the quality of the bycatch estimates.

    NMFS recognizes that a court decision held that operational constraints (such as funding) are not an excuse for failing to “establish” an SBRM. (See Oceana v. Locke, 670 F.3d 1238 (D.C. Cir. 2011).) However, NMFS does not believe that this court decision stands for the proposition that costs cannot be taken into consideration at all when developing or revising an SBRM. The case did not discuss National Standard 7, which explicitly requires that conservation and management measures (which would include data collection, recording, and reporting requirements employed under an SBRM) “where practicable, minimize costs and unnecessary duplication” (section 301(a)(7), 16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(7)). If the Council proposes an FMP or FMP amendment with an SBRM that is not designed to be implemented within available funding or that is not feasible, NMFS may need to disapprove or partially disapprove that FMP amendment. Therefore, this proposed rule provides that Councils must consider feasibility when establishing or reviewing an SBRM.

    Proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(i) requires that data resulting from the methodology be useful, in conjunction with other relevant sources of data, in meeting the purpose of the methodology as described in section 600.1600 and fishery-specific bycatch objectives. However, proposed section 600.1610(a)(2)(i) does not include specific standards regarding the precision or accuracy of bycatch estimates, as NMFS does not believe that section 303(a)(11) requires that an SBRM produce data that will generate estimates to a particular standard of statistical accuracy or precision. (See also 50 CFR 600.350(d)(2), recognizing under National Standard 9 Guidelines that “[d]ue to limitations on the information available, fishery managers may not be able to generate precise estimates of bycatch and bycatch mortality or other effects” for measures under consideration.) As explained above, other sources of data—beyond data from an SBRM—are used in bycatch assessments. In addition, different fisheries have different bycatch issues and concerns. This proposed rule recognizes the diversity of fisheries across the country and provides for a fishery-specific evaluation of the factors outlined in proposed section 600.1610(a)(2), while still ensuring that SBRMs will produce data that will be useful in meeting the statutory purpose of SBRMs. Based on its evaluation of the factors, a Council may determine that different levels of uncertainty are acceptable for different fisheries. For example, although an increase in observer coverage levels in a fishery would reduce uncertainty of bycatch estimates, such an increase may not be feasible from a cost or safety standpoint, may not be necessary to assess bycatch in the fishery, or may not be useful in developing conservation and management measures for bycatch in that fishery. The proposed rule would allow a Council to evaluate whether an incremental improvement in data quality is justified in light of the purpose of SBRM and other factors outlined in sections 600.1610(a)(2)(i) and (ii).

    Some courts have addressed bycatch estimates or the quality of data in the context of particular FMPs or amendments. (See, e.g., NRDC v. Evans, 168 F.Supp.2d 1149, 1154 (N.D. Cal. 2001), asserting that NMFS failed to address the SBRM requirement and its “duty to obtain accurate bycatch data”; and Oceana v. Evans, 384 F.Supp.2d 203, 234-235 (D.D.C. 2005), finding that NMFS failed to analyze what type of program would “succeed in producing the statistically reliable estimates of bycatch needed to better manage the fishery” and to address an accuracy concern in a scientific study.) However, these opinions were based on the specific records before the courts, and did not engage in comprehensive statutory construction of the SBRM provision. NMFS believes that the approach of this proposed rule is consistent with MSA section 303(a)(11) and will ensure that SBRMs are developed consistent with the statutory purpose for SBRMs (proposed section 600.1600), while allowing Councils to address the unique circumstances of particular fisheries.

    NMFS clarifies that the Evaluating Bycatch report should not be treated as the agency's interpretation of the SRBM provision; that is the purpose of this proposed rule. A Council may continue to use the Evaluating Bycatch report, as explained below. NMFS notes that the Evaluating Bycatch report discusses accuracy and precision in the context of bycatch estimates from observer data. (See Evaluating Bycatch at 35-39.) The report describes the accuracy of an estimate as “the difference between the mean of the sample and the true population value,” and the precision of an estimate as “essentially how repeatable an observation would be if a number of independent trials were to be conducted.” (Id. at 38.) To address these issues, the Evaluating Bycatch report provided “precision goals” expressed as “coefficient of variation” (CV), which is the ratio of the square root of the variance of the bycatch estimate (i.e. the standard error) to the estimate itself. The lower the CV, the more precise (and less uncertain) is the bycatch estimate. (Id. at 35.) The report makes clear that there are a variety of situations in which precision goals for bycatch estimates may not be useful to consider when designing bycatch data collection and reporting methods, and in which achieving such goals may not be feasible. The report lists numerous caveats for using precision goals in the context of bycatch reporting/monitoring programs. (Id. at Executive Summary, 58.)

    While observer programs may be included as part of an SBRM, the MSA does not require their inclusion in every SBRM. (See 16 U.S.C. 1853(a)(11), (b)(8).) Moreover, under this proposed rule, bycatch estimation is not included in the definition of standardized reporting methodology. If a Council finds that it would be helpful to consider CV goals for bycatch estimates when it designs an SBRM, this proposed rule would not preclude that. A Council may continue to use the Evaluating Bycatch report for information on CV goals, considerations for observer programs, etc., as appropriate, although NMFS advises Councils to take into consideration that Evaluating Bycatch is over a decade old, and that technologies and science have evolved considerably since its publication in 2004.

    Documenting the Establishment of an SBRM

    To document that an SBRM is “established,” proposed section 1600.1610(a)(1) requires that every FMP contain a description of the required bycatch data collection, recording, and reporting procedures that constitute the SBRM for each fishery managed under it. The description must also provide a statement explaining why the methodology is appropriate for the fishery as guided by mandatory and discretionary factors described in proposed section 1600.1610(a)(2). The explanation required by proposed section 1600.1610(a)(1) must be based on a thorough analysis of all the factors evaluated in establishing a standardized reporting methodology. The explanation must be contained in the FMP, but it may incorporate by reference analyses in FMPs, FMP amendments, Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports or other documents. The description and explanation of the SBRM will clarify for the public and interested stakeholders the policy choices that the Council considered in establishing the SBRM.

    Adaptable Implementation of an SBRM

    With this proposed rule, NMFS also seeks to ensure that the Councils have sufficient flexibility to adjust implementation of an established SBRM in a way that is clear to the public, but that does not necessarily require an FMP amendment. This proposed rule provides that, if a Council anticipates that adjustments will be necessary to implement the methodology, the Council may, consistent with the requirements of the MSA and other applicable law, consider adopting a process in an FMP to adjust implementation of the methodology. A Council may consider adopting such a process based on factors, which include, but are not limited to, available funding, management contingencies, or scientific priorities. If such a process is adopted, the FMP must describe the process by which the Councils or NMFS plan to implement the desired adjustments to an SBRM. (See proposed section 600.1610(c)). Such adjustments may include fine tuning the intensity, focus, or frequency of the required data collection procedures specified in the FMP. Such a process could reflect existing annual or multi-year processes already in use by a Council, such as framework adjustments or annual specifications. The process must clearly describe considerations that will drive those adjustments. The need for such a process may be particularly relevant to SBRMs that are heavily dependent on the use of observers to collect bycatch data. NMFS also believes that there may be instances in which changes to the underlying conservation and management objectives for the fishery, funding, available technology, or other factors may trigger a complete review and possible revision of the SBRM. It is important that the public understands, upfront, the limits of applying such adjustments under an established SBRM and how the Council will determine that a reevaluation of the established methodology is warranted. With this proposed rule, NMFS seeks to clarify how an SBRM can be “established” and “standardized” while still providing necessary flexibility to implement the SBRM.

    Review of SBRMs

    Proposed section 600.1610(d) provides that all FMPs must be consistent with this rule within 5 years of finalizing the rule. To verify consistency with this rule, Councils should conduct a review of their existing SBRMs. The review should provide information to determine whether or not an FMP needs to be amended. The analysis and conclusions from the review should be documented but do not need to be contained in an FMP.

    There are several potential outcomes of the review. A review could find that there are FMPs with existing SBRMs that are consistent with this rule, in which case no FMP amendments are necessary. Other FMPs may define SBRMs more expansively than the definition in this proposed rule. For example, they may contain components that are consistent with this proposed rule, along with additional components that are not precluded by this rule, but are not minimally required. Those FMPs may not require further amendments. Still other FMPs may describe procedures or activities that comprise an SBRM but do not explain them in a manner consistent with this rule. In such cases, an FMP amendment may be warranted.

    After the initial review, Councils should periodically review standardized reporting methodologies to verify continued compliance with the MSA and this rule. Such a review should be conducted at least once every 5 years. Proposed section 600.1610(d) is consistent with the review and improvement of data collection methods, data sources, and applications described under the National Standard 9 guidelines at 50 CFR 600.350(d)(1).

    National Environmental Policy Act

    NMFS has made a preliminary determination to apply a Categorical Exclusion to this action under the National Environmental Policy Act due to the procedural nature of this action. If and when the provisions of this proposed rule are applied to specific FMPs, the Councils and/or the Secretary would prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA), as appropriate. NMFS solicits comments on this preliminary determination to use a categorical exclusion.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1855(d)), the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows.

    The purpose of the action is to articulate an interpretation of the basic requirements of the SBRM provision of section 303(a)(11) of the MSA through a rulemaking to promote transparency and consistency. Key components of the proposed rule include:

    (1) A definition of “standardized reporting methodology” as applicable only to the definition of “bycatch” in the MSA and pertaining only to data collection, reporting and recording activities (not bycatch assessment and estimation);

    (2) clarified procedures for establishing, documenting, and reviewing SBRMs under the MSA; and

    (3) an option for adaptable implementation to allow for operational flexibility.

    The proposed rule defines a standardized reporting methodology as an established procedure or procedures used to collect, record, and report bycatch data in a fishery or subset of a fishery. It would clarify that the purpose of the methodology is to provide data that will inform the assessment of the amount and type of bycatch occurring in a fishery for use in developing conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality. However, the phrase “standardized reporting methodology” in section 303(a)(11) refers only to bycatch data collection, recording, and reporting procedures.

    The action proposes a set of factors to help frame policy choices in establishing or reviewing an SBRM. Data resulting from the methodology must be useful, in conjunction with other relevant sources of data, in meeting the purpose of the SBRM and fishery-specific bycatch objectives. This would require Councils to consider conservation and management objectives related to bycatch for a fishery, the quality of the data associated with the methodology, and information about the characteristics of bycatch in the fishery, when available (such as the amount of bycatch occurring in the fishery, the importance of bycatch in estimating the total mortality of fish stocks, and the importance of bycatch to related ecosystems). The proposed rule also would require that an SBRM be feasible and designed to be implemented with available funding, and addresses the need for an SBRM to be adaptable in response to changes in funding levels or other circumstances. Finally, the proposed rule provides that existing SBRMs should be reviewed at least once every five years. The proposed rule does not require that an SBRM be designed to achieve a particular performance standard or precision goal.

    Small entities include “small businesses,” “small organizations,” and “small governmental jurisdictions.” The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size standards for all major industry sectors in the United States, including commercial finfish harvesters (NAICS code 114111), commercial shellfish harvesters (NAICS code 114112), other commercial marine harvesters (NAICS code 114119), for-hire businesses (NAICS code 487210), marinas (NAICS code 713930), seafood dealers/wholesalers (NAICS code 424460), and seafood processors (NAICS code 311710). A business primarily involved in finfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. For commercial shellfish harvesters, the other qualifiers apply, and the receipts threshold is $5.5 million. For other commercial marine harvesters, for-hire businesses, and marinas, the other qualifiers apply, and the receipts threshold is $7.5 million. A business primarily involved in seafood processing is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual employment not in excess of 500 employees for all its affiliated operations worldwide. For seafood dealers/wholesalers, the other qualifiers apply, and the employment threshold is 100 employees. A small organization is any not-for-profit enterprise that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. Small governmental jurisdictions are governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with populations of less than 50,000.

    All FMPs have established SBRMs according to the requirements in 303(a)(11). This proposed rule would provide national guidance and improved clarity about implementing the existing requirements. The proposed rule would provide the Councils and the Secretary a five-year period within which to review FMPs to make any necessary amendments.

    Because the proposed rule would clarify existing requirements for FMPs and is procedural in nature, it would not directly regulate a particular fishery and will not directly alter the behavior of any entities operating in federally managed fisheries. Thus, no direct economic effects on commercial harvesting businesses, for-hire businesses, marinas, seafood dealers/wholesalers, or seafood processors are expected to result from this action. Therefore, no small entities would be directly affected by this rule.

    As a result of the information above, a reduction in profits for a substantial number of small entities is not expected. Because this action, if implemented, is not expected to have a significant adverse economic effect on the profits of a substantial number of small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. This rule would not establish any new reporting or record-keeping requirements.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 600

    Administrative practice and procedure, Bycatch, Fisheries, Standardized Reporting Methodology.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 600 as follows:

    PART 600—MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 600 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    2. Add a subpart R to read as follows: SUBPART R—STANDARDIZED BYCATCH REPORTING METHODOLOGY Sec. 600.1600 Purpose and scope. 600.1605 Definitions and word usage. 600.1610 Establishing and reviewing standardized bycatch reporting methodologies in fishery management plans.
    § 600.1600 Purpose and scope.

    Section 303(a)(11) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires any fishery management plan to establish a standardized bycatch reporting methodology. 16 U.S.C. 1853(a)(11). The purpose of a standardized reporting methodology is to inform the assessment of the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery for use in developing conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality. This subpart sets forth requirements for and guidance on establishing and reviewing a standardized reporting methodology.

    § 600.1605 Definitions and word usage.

    (a) Definitions. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act and § 600.10, standardized reporting methodology means an established procedure or procedures used to collect, record, and report bycatch data in a fishery or subset of a fishery (hereafter referred to as “fishery”). “Standardized” procedures may vary from one fishery to another, but must provide a consistent approach for collecting, recording, and reporting bycatch data within a fishery.

    (b) Word usage. The terms “must”, “should”, “may”, “will”, “could”, and “can” are used in the same manner as in § 600.305(c). The term “Council” is used in the same manner as in § 600.305(c), and includes the regional fishery management Councils and the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate (16 U.S.C. 1854(c)and (g)).

    § 600.1610 Establishing and reviewing standardized bycatch reporting methodologies in fishery management plans.

    (a) Establishing a standardized reporting methodology—(1) Fishery management plan contents. All fishery management plans (FMPs) must clearly describe a standardized reporting methodology for each fishery managed under it. The description must state the required bycatch data collection, recording, and reporting procedures for each fishery, which may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: Observer programs, electronic monitoring and reporting technologies, and self-reported mechanisms (e.g., recreational sampling, industry-reported catch and discard data). In addition, the description must provide an explanation of why the methodology is appropriate for the fishery. The explanation must be based on a thorough analysis of the factors specified in paragraph (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section. The explanation may incorporate by reference analyses in FMPs, FMP amendments, Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports, or other documents.

    (2) Factors in establishing or reviewing a standardized reporting methodology. Whether a methodology is appropriate will depend on the specific circumstances of the fishery, as guided by the following factors:

    (i) Required factors. Data resulting from the methodology must be useful, in conjunction with other relevant sources of data, in meeting the purpose described in § 600.1600 and fishery-specific bycatch objectives. This requires Councils, when establishing or reviewing a methodology, to consider the conservation and management objectives regarding bycatch in the fishery and the quality of the data associated with the methodology. Councils must also consider information about the characteristics of bycatch in the fishery, when available, such as the amount of bycatch occurring in the fishery, the importance of bycatch in estimating the total mortality of fish stocks, and the importance of bycatch to related ecosystems. In addition, the methodology must be feasible from cost, technical, and operational perspectives, and must be designed to be implemented with available funding.

    (ii) Additional factors. When establishing or reviewing a standardized reporting methodology, a Council may also consider the overall magnitude and/or economic impact of the fishery, and the scientific methods and techniques available to collect and report bycatch data that could improve the quality of the bycatch estimates.

    (b) Consultation. A Council should consult with its scientific and statistical committee, advisory panels, and the NOAA science centers as appropriate on data elements, reporting frequency, and other design and methodology factors.

    (c) Adaptable implementation. If a Council anticipates that adjustments will be necessary to implement the methodology, the Council may, consistent with the requirements of the MSA and other applicable law, consider adopting a process in an FMP to adjust implementation of the methodology. The Council may consider adopting such a process based on factors, which include, but are not limited to, available funding, management contingencies, or scientific priorities. If such a process is adopted, the FMP must:

    (1) Describe the process under which the implementation of a methodology will be adjusted;

    (2) Specify what adjustments (e.g., changes in the intensity, focus, or frequency of required bycatch data collection, recording, and reporting procedures) are authorized under the process;

    (3) Explain why the adjustments may be needed;

    (4) Describe how and when the adjustments will be made;

    (5) Describe the limits to the adjustments; and

    (6) Describe how the Council will determine that a reevaluation of the established methodology is warranted.

    (d) Review of FMPs. All FMPs must be consistent with this rule within 5 years of the effective date of this rule. Thereafter, Councils should conduct a review of standardized reporting methodologies at least once every five years in order to verify continued compliance with the MSA and this rule.

    [FR Doc. 2016-04030 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 37 Thursday, February 25, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the United States Department of Agriculture announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). The committee is being convened to: Consider work of the three ad hoc subgroups on the progress of their analyses relevant to the new AC21 charge; listen to presentations from outside experts on topics relevant to the work of the AC21; and continue overall discussions on the committee charge and planning subsequent work.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday-Tuesday, March 14-15, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. This meeting is open to the public. On March 14, 2016, if time permits, reasonable provision will be made for oral presentations of no more than five minutes each in duration, starting at 3:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements should also inform Dr. Schechtman in writing or via Email at the indicated addresses below at least three business days before the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Room 107A, USDA Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 12th and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    General information about the committee can also be found at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=BIOTECH_AC21&navtype=RT&parentnav=BIOTECH. However, Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, 202B Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 12th and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; Telephone (202) 720-3817; Fax (202) 690-4265; Email [email protected] may be contacted for specific questions about the committee or this meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The AC21 has been established to provide information and advice to the Secretary of Agriculture on the broad array of issues related to the expanding dimensions and importance of agricultural biotechnology. The committee is charged with examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system and USDA, and providing guidance to USDA on pressing individual issues, identified by the Office of the Secretary, related to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. In recent years, the work of the AC21 has centered on the issue of coexistence among different types of agricultural production systems. The AC21 consists of members representing the biotechnology industry, the organic food industry, farming communities, the seed industry, food manufacturers, state government, consumer and community development groups, as well as academic researchers and a medical doctor. In addition, representatives from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative serve as “ex officio” members.

    In its last report, issued on November 17, 2012, entitled “Enhancing Coexistence: A Report to the Secretary of Agriculture,” and available on the Web site listed below, the AC21 offered a diverse package of recommendations, among which was a recommendation that “. . . USDA should facilitate development of joint coexistence plans by neighboring farmers,” and that in a pilot program, USDA should, among other things, offer incentives for the development of such plans.

    At its last meeting, on December 14-15, 2015, USDA offered a specific new charge to the AC21 building on its previous work. Recognizing that USDA currently lacks the legal authority to offer any such incentives, the committee has been charged with considering the following two questions: Is there an approach by which farmers could be encouraged to work with their neighbors to develop joint coexistence plans at the State or local level? If so, how might the Federal government assist in that process?

    In devising an approach to respond to this charge, the AC21 has established 3 ad hoc subgroups to gather and analyze information and options for the full committee's consideration. These address: Development of a guidance document which could be made available to farmers and other stakeholders; potential models for facilitating conversations around coexistence and potential available incentives; and potential venues and conveners of coexistence conversations.

    The three objectives for the meeting are:

    • To consider work of the three ad hoc subgroups on the progress of their analyses relevant to the new AC21 charge;

    • to listen to presentations from outside experts on topics relevant to the work of the AC21; and

    • to continue overall discussions on the committee charge and planning subsequent work.

    Background information regarding the work and membership of the AC21 is available on the USDA Web site at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=AC21Main.xml&contentidonly=true.

    Register for the Meeting: The public is asked to pre-register for the meeting at least 10 business days prior to the meeting. Your pre-registration must state: The names of each person in your group; organization or interest represented; the number of people planning to give oral comments, if any; and whether anyone in your group requires special accommodations. Submit registrations to Ms. Dianne Fowler at (202) 720-4074 or by Email at [email protected] by February 26, 2016. The Agricultural Research Service will also accept walk-in registrations. Members of the public who request to give oral comments to the Committee, must arrive by 8:45 a.m. on March 14, 2016 and will be given their allotted time limit and turn at the check-in table.

    Public Comments: Written public comments may be mailed to Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, 202B Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 12th and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; via fax to (202) 690-4265 or email to [email protected]. All written comments must arrive by March 9, 2016. Oral comments are also accepted. To request to give oral comments, see instructions under `Register for the Meeting' above.

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: All written public comments will be compiled into a binder and available for review at the meeting. Duplicate comments from multiple individuals will appear as one comment, with a notation that multiple copies of the comment were received. Please visit the Web site listed above to learn more about the agenda for or reports resulting from this meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: The meeting will be open to the public, but space is limited. USDA is committed to ensuring that all employees are included in our work environment, programs and events. If you are a person with a disability and request reasonable accommodations to participate in this meeting, please note the request in your registration. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Issued at Washington, DC, this 16th day of February 2016. Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary, Research, Education and Economics.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04025 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Chief Financial Officer; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 19, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 28, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such person are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Office of the Chief Financial Officer

    Title: Information Collection Request; Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants and Awardees.

    OMB Control Number: 0505-0025.

    Summary of Collection: The appropriations restrictions contained in all of the respective appropriations acts since fiscal year (FY) 2012 regarding financial transactions with corporations that have tax delinquencies or felony convictions were continued in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Public Law 114-113. The restrictions are located in Division E, Title VII, sections 745 and 746, respectively. The restrictions apply to transactions with corporations that (1) have any “unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability and (2) were “convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction. The restricted transactions include contracts, grants, loans, loan guarantees, cooperative agreements, and memoranda of understanding/agreement). The restrictions may not apply if a Federal agency considers suspension or debarment of the corporation and determines that such action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) agencies and staff offices must comply with the restrictions.

    During fiscal years 2012-2014, similar provisions were not uniform across the government. For USDA, one set of provisions applied to all agencies and staff offices except the Forest Service and a second set of slightly different provisions applied only to the Forest Service. To facilitate compliance with the appropriations restrictions, USDA created two sets of forms—one for use by all USDA agencies and staff offices (Forms AD-3030-Y and AD-3031-Y and one for use only by the Forest Service (Forms AD-3030 FS and AD-3031 FS). In FY 2015 Congress enacted slightly different government-wide provisions for all agencies and departments. In response, USDA created a new set of forms that adhered to the change for use by all of its agencies and staff offices including the Forest Service (Forms AD-3030 and AD-3031).

    USDA must also comply with prior year provisions issued between FY 2012-2014 to the extent that carry over/no year funds provided by those years' appropriations were used in awards or award adjustments.

    Need and Use of the Information: To comply with the appropriations restrictions, the information collection requires corporate applicants and awardees for USDA programs to represent accurately whether they have or do not have qualifying tax delinquencies or convictions which would prevent USDA from entering into a proposed business transaction with the corporate applicant. For non-procurement programs and transactions, these representations will be submitted on the proposed information collection Forms AD-3030, AD-3031, AD-3030-Y, AD-3031-Y, AD-3030-FS and AD-3031-FS. This information collection, deals only with USDA non-procurement transactions. The categories of non-procurement transactions covered by this information collection are: non-procurement contracts, grants, loans, loan guarantees, cooperative agreements, and some memoranda of understanding/agreement. Accordingly, this information collection is not intended for use with USDA procurement transactions. . For more specific information about whether a particular non-procurement program or transaction is included in this list please contact the USDA agency or staff office responsible for the program or transaction in question.

    Forms AD-3030, AD-3030-Y and AD-3030-FS will effectuate compliance with the appropriations restrictions by requiring all corporate applicants to represent, at the time of application for a non-procurement program, whether they have tax delinquencies or felony convictions that would prevent USDA from doing business with them. Corporations include, but are not limited to, any entity that has filed articles of incorporation in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the various territories of the United States. Corporations include both for profit and non-profit entities. Forms AD-3031, AD-3031-Y and AD-3031-FS require an affirmative representation, at the time of the award, that corporate awardees for non-procurement transactions do not have tax delinquencies or felony convictions that would prevent USDA from doing business with them. If the application and award process are a single step, the agency or staff office may require both forms to be filed simultaneously. Collection of this information is necessary to ensure that USDA agencies and staff offices comply with the appropriations restrictions prohibiting the Government from doing business with corporations with tax delinquencies or felony convictions.

    The burden for each form will be accounted for within the individual USDA agency and staff office collection packages using the forms. The time required to complete this information collection is estimated to average 0.25 minutes per response, per form, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    USDA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) is requesting approval for one respondent and a one hour place holder for the forms. The total estimated burden for the OCFO's use of the forms is thus one hour, which will allow it to distribute the approved forms to USDA agencies and staff offices. USDA agencies and staff offices using the forms will reflect the approved OMB control number of the package and account for the burden within their individual collection packages when they seek Office of Management and Budget approval or re-authorization.

    Respondents: Corporate applicants and awardees for USDA non-procurement programs, including grants, cooperative agreements, loans, loan guarantees, some memoranda of understanding/agreement, and non-procurement contracts.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 1.

    Frequency of Collection: Other: Corporations—each time they apply to participate in a multitude of USDA non-procurement programs; Awardees each time they receive an award.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 1.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03975 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Golden Pond, Kentucky. The Board is authorized under Section 450 of the Land Between The Lakes Protection Act of 1998 (Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the Board is to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the means of promoting public participation for the land and resource management plan for the recreation area; and environmental education. Board information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. on March 17, 2016.

    All Board 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 Land Between The Lakes Administration Building, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, Kentucky.

    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 Land Between The Lakes Adminstrative Building. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Bombard, Board Coordinator, by phone at 270-924-2002 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. Discuss Environmental Education; and

    2. Effectively communicate future land management plan activities.

    The meeting is open to the public. Board discussion is limited to Forest Service staff and Board members. Written comments are invited and should be sent to Tina Tilley, Area Supervisor, Land Between The Lakes, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, Kentucky 42211; and must be received by March 1, 2016, in order for copies to be provided to the members for this meeting. Board members will review written comments received, and at their request, oral clarification may be requested for a future 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 18, 2016. Tina R. Tilley, Area Supervisor, Land Between The Lakes.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03840 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ketchikan Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Ketchikan Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Ketchikan, Alaska. 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: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on March 16, 2016, at 3:00 p.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 Ketchikan Misty Fiords Ranger District, 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska. A conference line is set up for those who would like to listen in by telephone. For the conference call number, please contact the person listed under 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 are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Ketchikan Misty Fiords Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diane L. Olson, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 907-228-4105 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. Update members on past RAC projects, and

    2. Propose new RAC projects.

    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 4, 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 to make oral comments must be sent to Diane L. Olson, RAC Coordinator, Ketchikan Misty Fiords Ranger District, 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 907-225-8738.

    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 12, 2016. Jon Hyde, Acting District Ranger.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03481 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-M
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 19, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 28, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681. An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Generic Clearance of Survey Improvement Projects

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0248

    Summary of Collection: The primary objectives of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, economic and environmental statistics related to agriculture and to conduct the Census of Agriculture under the general authority of Title 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2204. The purpose of this generic clearance is to allow NASS to respond quickly to emerging issues and data collection needs. NASS will continue to develop, test, evaluate, adopt, and use state-of-the-art techniques to cover a broad range of topics designed to improve NASS' data collection on agriculture.

    Need and Use of the Information: NASS will use a number of survey improvement techniques, as appropriate to the individual project under investigation. These include focus groups, cognitive and usability laboratory and field techniques, exploratory interviews, behavior coding, respondent debriefing, pilot surveys and split-panel tests. The information gathered will be used mainly for questionnaire development and other research and evaluation. Additionally, NASS anticipates the benefit of increased response rates through improved survey design, a goal tied directly to addressing OMB requirements for higher response rates and measurement of non-response bias.

    Description of Respondents: Farms.

    Number of Respondents: 25,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 15,000.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03981 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business Cooperative Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 19, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 28, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Business Service

    Title: Intermediary Re-lending Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0570-0021.

    Summary of Collection: The objective of the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) is to improve community facilities and employment opportunities and increase economic activity in rural areas by financing business facilities and community development. This purpose is achieved through loans made by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) to intermediaries that establish programs for the purpose of providing loans to ultimate recipients for business facilities and community development. The Community Economic Development Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 9812(a), section 623(a)) provides for the Secretary the authority to make loans to nonprofit entities who will in turn provide financial assistance to rural businesses to improve business, industry and employment opportunities as well as provide a diversification of the economy in rural areas.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information requested is necessary for RBS to process applications in a responsible manner, make prudent credit and program decisions, and effectively monitor the intermediaries' activities to protect the Government's financial interest and ensure that funds obtained from the Government are used appropriately. Various forms are used to include information to identify the intermediary, describe the intermediary's experience and expertise, describe how the intermediary will operate its revolving loan fund, provide for debt instruments, loan agreements, and security, and other material necessary for prudent credit decisions and reasonable program monitoring.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 240.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 24,580.

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service

    Title: Agriculture Innovation Centers.

    OMB Control Number: 0570-0045.

    Summary of Collection: The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-171, signed May 13, 2002) authorized the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to award grant funds to Agriculture Innovation Centers (Centers). The Agricultural Act of 2014 reauthorized the program through 2018. The Centers provide a demonstration program under which agricultural producers are to be provided with technical and business development assistance enabling them to establish businesses producing and marketing value-added products. This program is administered by Cooperative Programs within USDA's Rural Development.

    Need and Use of the Information: Information is collected by Rural Development State and Area office staff, as delegated, from applicants and grantees. Cooperative Programs uses the collected information to confirm that the applicant and use of funds meet the eligibility requirements for the program as well as to assess the quality of the proposed project. Grantees are required to submit financial status and performance reports to confirm that progress is being made toward achieving the stated goals of the project. A final report is submitted at the completion of the grant agreement. Centers may be non-profit corporations, for-profit corporations, institutions of higher learning, and consortia of the aforementioned entities.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit Institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Semi-annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 30.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03979 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utility Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 19, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 28, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1728, Electric Standards and Specifications for Materials and Construction.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0131.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, (RE Act) in Sec. 4 (7 U.S.C. 904) authorizes and empowers the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make loans in the several States and Territories of the United States for rural electrification and the furnishing and improving of electric energy to persons in rural areas. RUS' Administrator is authorized to provide financial assistance to borrowers for purposes provided in the RE Act by guaranteeing loans made by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, and other lending agencies. These loans are for a term of up to 35 years and are secured by a first mortgage on the borrower's electric system. Manufacturers, wishing to sell their products to RUS electric borrowers, request RUS consideration for acceptance of their products and submit letters of request with certifications as to the origin of manufacture of the products and include certified data demonstrating their products' compliance with RUS specifications.

    Need and Use of the Information: Manufacturers submit certified data demonstrating product compliance with RUS specifications, usually in the form of laboratory test results, catalog pages, or drawings. RUS will evaluate the data to determine that the quality of the products are acceptable and that their use will not jeopardize loan security. The information is closely reviewed to be certain that test data; product dimensions and product material compositions fully comply with RUS technical standards and specifications that have been established for the particular product. Without this information, RUS has no means of determining the acceptability of products for use in the rural environment.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 38.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: on occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 2,000.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03974 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U.S. Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2017 Economic Census, Industry Classification Report AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Scott Handmaker, Chief, Classifications Processing Branch, U.S. Census Bureau, 8K149, Washington, DC 20233, Telephone: 301-763-7107; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    It is important to have a complete North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) based code for each establishment in the Census Bureau's business register prior to the economic census. The economic census, conducted under authority of Title 13 U.S.C., Section 131 is the primary source of facts about the structure and functioning of the Nation's economy and features unique industry and geographic detail. Economic census statistics serve as part of the framework for the national accounts and provide essential information for government, business, and the general public.

    The Industry Classification Report collects data from establishments in all NAICS sectors that are covered by the economic census with the purpose of assigning an accurate 8-digit NAICS based code for use in the 2017 Economic Census. The Industry Classification Report collects data about businesses in such areas as: Primary business activity, class of customer (if the establishment is a wholesaler or retailer), and primary goods sold or services provided. This survey, conducted in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, samples approximately 120,000 businesses each year.

    The Census Bureau will select establishments to receive this survey from the Census Bureau's business register. The Census Bureau will mail a letter to establishments that have been assigned a partial NAICS code by administrative records or are unclassified in the business register. Additionally, other categories of administrative records may be identified.

    Collecting this classification information will ensure the mailing list for the targeted sectors is complete and accurate prior to the mailing of the 2017 Economic Census. The information gathered will also be used to determine whether an establishment will be included in the data collection for the 2017 Economic Census, and if so, what are the appropriate North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) product lines to be displayed for that establishment on their 2017 Economic Census questionnaire. Many businesses are small and will not be asked to participate in the 2017 Economic Census. This survey is the only way to obtain an accurate 8-digit NAICS-based code for these small businesses, represented in the census through the use of administrative data only. In other cases, the Census Bureau produces sample estimates. The results of this collection will be used to select a statistically reliable and efficient sample, minimizing the reporting burden on sampled sectors. Proper NAICS classification data ensures high quality economic statistics while reducing respondent burden and overall processing costs. Failure to collect this data will have an adverse effect on the quality and usefulness of economic information provided by the Census Bureau.

    There are no new questions on this survey since it was last conducted in preparation for the 2012 Economic Census. However, there will no longer be a paper form on which to report. Respondents can report over the Internet or by telephone. We will work with individual respondents if reporting on the Internet or by telephone presents difficulties.

    Minimal changes will be made to the wording and organization of existing questions and instructions.

    II. Method of Collection

    We will collect this information over the Internet and by telephone. Respondents will receive a letter directing them to the Internet to report their information. Follow up letters will be mailed for establishments that have not responded by a certain date. Throughout the survey, telephone assistance will be available for respondents with questions and for those that cannot report over the Internet.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: None.

    Form Number: None. The information will be gathered electronically.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Businesses and Organizations (both profit and non-profit); State and Local Governments; Small Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 125,000 business firms annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 7 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 14,583 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 131 and 193.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, <E T="03">Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.</E>
    [FR Doc. 2016-03958 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Partially Closed Meeting

    The Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee (RPTAC) will meet March 23, 2016, 9:00 a.m., Room 3884, in the Herbert C. Hoover Building, 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues NW., Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration on implementation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and provides for continuing review to update the EAR as needed.

    Agenda:

    Public Session 1. Opening remarks by the Chairman 2. Opening remarks by the Bureau of Industry and Security 3. Presentation of papers or comments by the Public 4. Export Enforcement update 5. Regulations update 6. Working group reports 7. Automated Export System update Closed Session 8. Discussion of matters determined to be exempt from the provisions relating to public meetings found in 5 U.S.C. app. 2 §§ 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(3).

    The open session will be accessible via teleconference to 25 participants on a first come, first serve basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at [email protected] no later than March 16, 2016.

    A limited number of seats will be available for the public session. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent that time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. The public may submit written statements at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate the distribution of public presentation materials to the Committee members, the Committee suggests that presenters forward the public presentation materials prior to the meeting to Ms. Springer via email.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202) 482-2813.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03937 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; BIS Program Evaluation AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Mark Crace, BIS ICB Liaison, (202) 482-8093, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This collection of information is necessary to obtain feedback from seminar participants. This information helps BIS determine the effectiveness of its programs and identifies areas for improvement. The gathering of performance measures on the BIS seminar program is also essential in meeting the agency's responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).

    II. Method of Collection Paper questionnaires III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0125.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,000.

    Estimated Time Per Response: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 500 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03921 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security President's Export Council; Subcommittee on Export Administration; Notice of Open Meeting

    The President's Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA) will meet on March 16, 2016, 10:00 a.m., at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Herbert C. Hoover Building, Room 3884, 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues NW., Washington, DC. The PECSEA provides advice on matters pertinent to those portions of the Export Administration Act, as amended, that deal with United States policies of encouraging trade with all countries with which the United States has diplomatic or trading relations and of controlling trade for national security and foreign policy reasons.

    Agenda 1. Opening remarks by the Chairman and Vice Chairman. 2. Export Control Reform Update. 3. Presentation of papers or comments by the Public. 4. Data Transmission and Security Subcommittee Update. 5. Process Improvements and Trusted Trader Subcommittee Update. 6. Outreach Subcommittee Update. 7. Discussion of Topics for Presentation to the Secretary of Commerce.

    The open session will be accessible via teleconference to 20 participants on a first come, first served basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at [email protected], no later than, March 9, 2016.

    A limited number of seats will be available for the public session. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the PECSEA. Written statements may be submitted at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation materials to PECSEA members, the PECSEA suggests that public presentation materials or comments be forwarded before the meeting to Ms. Yvette Springer.

    For more information, contact Yvette Springer on 202-482-2813.

    Dated: February 17, 2016. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03935 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-870, C-570-035, C-542-801] Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires From India, the People's Republic of China, and Sri Lanka: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Countervailing Duty Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective: February 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Spencer Toubia at (202) 482-0123 (India); Laurel LaCivita at (202) 482-4243 (the People's Republic of China (PRC)); and Elizabeth Eastwood at (202) 482-3874 (Sri Lanka), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 3, 2016, the Department of Commerce (Department) initiated countervailing duty investigations (CVD) on certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires from India, the PRC, and Sri Lanka.1 Currently, the preliminary determinations of these investigations are due no later than April 8, 2016.

    1See Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from India, the People's Republic of China, and Sri Lanka: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 81 FR 7067 (February 10, 2016).

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a CVD investigation within 65 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, if the petitioner makes a timely request for a postponement, section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act allows the Department to postpone making the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation.

    On February 12, 2016, the petitioners 2 submitted timely requests pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e) to postpone the preliminary determinations.3 For the reasons stated above and because there are no compelling reasons to deny the requests, the Department, in accordance with section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determinations to no later than 130 days after the day on which the investigations were initiated. Accordingly, the Department will issue the preliminary determinations no later than June 12, 2016. However, because June 12, 2016, falls on a Sunday, the preliminary determinations are now due no later than June 13, 2016.4 In accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determinations of these investigations will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determinations, unless postponed at a later date.

    2 Titan Tire Corporation and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC (collectively, the petitioners).

    3See letters from the petitioners entitled “Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from India—Petitioners' Request to Extend the Deadline for the Preliminary Determinations,” “Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Request to Extend the Deadline for the Preliminary Determination,” and “Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from Sri Lanka—Petitioners' Request to Extend the Deadline for the Preliminary Determinations,” each dated February 12, 2016.

    4See Notice of Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04064 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-979] Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 21, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) published a notice of preliminary results of a changed circumstance review (“CCR”) of the antidumping duty (“AD”) order on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (“solar cells”), from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”).1 Based on our analysis of the comments from interested parties, we continue to find that Neo Solar Power Corporation (“Neo Solar”) is not the successor-in-interest to DelSolar Co., Ltd. (“DelSolar Taiwan”) for purposes of determining AD liability in this proceeding for these final results and, as such, is subject to the PRC-wide entity cash deposit rate with respect to entries of subject merchandise.

    1See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Changed Circumstances Review, 80 FR 63743 (October 21, 2015) (“Preliminary Results”). We note that although the request was submitted on behalf of DelSolar Taiwan, the purported predecessor company, the request also states that DelSolar Taiwan no longer exists as a legal entity.

    DATES:

    Effective: February 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Kearney, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0167.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department initiated this CCR on March 18, 2015, and published the Preliminary Results on October 21, 2015.2 For a description of events that have occurred since the Preliminary Results, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.3 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    2See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review, 80 FR 15568 (March 24, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”); see also Preliminary Results.

    3See “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Neo Solar Power Corporation and DelSolar Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted in this notice.

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the final results of this review is now February 18, 2016.4

    4See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials. Merchandise covered by this order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (“HTSUS”) under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive. A complete description of the scope of the order is contained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.5

    5See “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Neo Solar Power Corporation and DelSolar Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted in this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised by interested parties in the case briefs are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is appended to this notice.

    Final Results of the Changed Circumstances Review

    Upon review of the comments received, the Department continues to find based upon the totality of the circumstances that material changes occurred after DelSolar Taiwan merged with, and became part of, Neo Solar, including significant changes in management, the board of directors, and ownership and, further, that Neo Solar did not demonstrate that its operations, with respect to the subject merchandise, were materially similar to the operations of DelSolar Taiwan pertaining to supplier relationships and customer base, as discussed in the Preliminary Results and the Issues and Decision Memorandum. Therefore, in these final results, the Department continues to find that Neo Solar is not the successor-in-interest to DelSolar Taiwan for purposes of antidumping duty liability in this proceeding.

    Instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    As a result of this determination, the Department finds that Neo Solar is subject to the cash deposit rate currently assigned to the PRC-wide entity with respect to the subject merchandise (i.e., 238.95 percent).6 Consequently, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue suspension of liquidation and to collect estimated antidumping duties for all shipments of subject merchandise produced by DelSolar Wujiang and exported by Neo Solar at the current cash deposit rate currently applicable to such entries, i.e., the cash deposit rate of 238.95 percent assigned to the PRC-wide entity.7 This cash deposit requirement shall remain in effect until further notice.

    6See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2012-2013, 80 FR 40998 (July 14, 2015).

    7Id.

    Notification to Parties

    This notice is the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    The Department is issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.216 and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(i).

    Dated: February 17, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of Issues V. Summary of Findings VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-04061 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-041] Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective: February 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Shore or Mark Kennedy, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-2778, or (202) 482-1293, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On January 29, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of certain truck and bus tires from the People's Republic of China (the PRC), filed in proper form by the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC (USW) (USW or the petitioner).1 The CVD petition was accompanied by an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC. The petitioner is a recognized union, which represents the domestic industry engaged in the manufacture of truck and bus tires in the United States. On February 3 and February 5, 2016, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition 2 and on February 5 and February 9, 2016, the petitioner filed supplements to the Petition.3

    1See “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China” dated January 29, 2016 (the Petition).

    2See Letters to the petitioner, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” dated February 3, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questions) and “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Certain Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” dated February 5, 2016 (CVD Supplemental Questions).

    3See “Petitioner's Response to the Department's February 3, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding General Issues” dated February 5, 2016 (General Issues Supplement); see also “Petitioner's Response to the Department's February 5 Supplemental Questions Regarding the Countervailing Duty Petition,” dated February 9, 2016.

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that producers/exporters of truck and bus tires in the PRC received countervailable subsidies within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, and that imports from these producers/exporters are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner in support of its allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(D) of the Act, and has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigation that it is requesting.4

    4See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below.

    Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation (POI) is calendar year 2015, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is truck and bus tires from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of the investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation” at the Appendix of this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the petition, we issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope in order to ensure that the language of the scope is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.5 As discussed in the Preamble to our regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).6 The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,7 all such factual information should be limited to public information. All such comments must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, March 21, 2016, because 10 calendar days after the initial comments falls on Saturday, March 19, 2016.8 The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of the CVD investigation, as well as the concurrent AD investigation.

    5See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement at 2 and Exhibit I-SQ-1, and the memorandum to the File entitled “Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner” dated February 12, 2016.

    6See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties (Final Rule); 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    7See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    8See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (“For both electronically filed and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed on the next business day.”)

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date specified by the Department. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadline.9

    9See 19 CFR 351.303(b); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), as amended in Enforcement and Compliance: Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014), for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China (GOC) of the receipt of the Petition. Also, in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department provided representatives of the GOC the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD petition. The GOC provided a document titled “Consultations Points of the GOC,” in lieu of holding consultations.10

    10See Memorandum to the File, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Certain Truck and Bus Tires from The People's Republic of China: Consultations Comments from the Government of China,” (February 16, 2016).

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that truck and bus tires constitute a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China (CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner estimated the 2015 production for each U.S. producer of truck and bus tires, by plant. The petitioner based its estimates of 2015 truck and bus tire production by plant on daily plant-specific production capacity data published in Modern Tire Dealer. The petitioner multiplied the daily production capacity data by 360 (to estimate annual capacity). The petitioner estimated 2015 truck and bus tire production in the United States using data on U.S. shipments, imports, and exports of truck and bus tires in 2015. To calculate a capacity utilization rate for the U.S. truck and bus tire industry in 2015, the petitioner compared estimated U.S. production of truck and bus tires in 2015 to the 2015 U.S. capacity to produce truck and bus tires. To calculate total 2015 production of the domestic like product by the petitioning plants, the petitioner applied the estimated capacity utilization rate to the total annualized capacity of those plants represented by the USW. In order to provide a conservative calculation of total 2015 production of the domestic like product by the U.S. truck and bus tire industry, the petitioner assumed that all non-petitioning truck and bus tire plants (i.e., those not represented by the USW) operated at full capacity in 2015 and added the full production capacity of the non-petitioning plants to the estimated 2015 production of the plants represented by the USW. To calculate industry support, the petitioner divided the estimated 2015 production of the domestic like product for those plants represented by the USW by the estimated production of the domestic like product in 2015 for the entire U.S. truck and bus tires industry based on the conservative utilization assumption.14 We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.15

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at I-6—I-8 and Exhibits I-1 and I-11; see also General Issues Supplement, at 2-9 and Exhibits I-SQ-2—I-SQ-18.

    15Id. For further discussion, see CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support.16 First, the Petition established support from workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).17 Second, the workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the workers who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.18 Finally, the workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the workers who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.19 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    16See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(D) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting the Department initiate.20

    20Id.

    Injury Test

    Because the PRC is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to these investigations. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from the PRC materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.21

    21See Volume I of the Petition, at I-15 and Exhibit I-17.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; decline in shipments; shift in the domestic industry's sales from the U.S. market to lower priced export markets; potential declines in capacity utilization, employment, and profitability; lost sales and revenues; and adverse impact on union contract negotiations.22 We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.23

    22Id., at I-12, I-15 through I-32 and Exhibits I-2, I-10, I-17 through I-30.

    23See CVD Initiation Checklist at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China.

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges the elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting the allegations.

    The petitioner alleges that producers/exporters of truck and bus tires in the PRC benefit from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOC. The Department examined the Petition on truck and bus tires from the PRC and finds that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether producers/exporters of truck and bus tires in the PRC receive countervailable subsidies. For a discussion of evidence supporting our initiation determination, see the CVD Initiation Checklist which accompanies this notice.

    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law.24 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.25 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this CVD investigation.26

    24See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    25See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015).

    26Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation of 38 of the 39 alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis of our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    Following standard practice in CVD investigations, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of truck and bus tires during the period of investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. numbers listed in the scope of Appendix I, below. We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of publication of this Federal Register notice.

    Interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data and/or respondent selection must do so within seven calendar days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this investigation. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five calendar days after the deadline for the initial comments. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. ET by the date noted above. We intend to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the petition, which is publicly available in its entirety, has been provided to the Government of the PRC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.27 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.28 Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    27See section 703(a) of the Act.

    28Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 29 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.30 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    29See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    30See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extension of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits.31

    31See 19 FR 351.302(c). See also Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.32 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.33 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    32See section 782(b) of the Act.

    33See 19 CFR 351.303(g). See also Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at the following: http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers truck and bus tires. Truck and bus tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a truck or bus size designation. Truck and bus tires covered by this investigation may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial.

    Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also have one of the following suffixes in their tire size designation, which also appear on the sidewall of the tire:

    TR—Identifies tires for service on trucks or buses to differentiate them from similarly sized passenger car and light truck tires;

    MH—Identifies tires for mobile homes; and

    HC—Identifies a 17.5 inch rim diameter code for use on low platform trailers.

    All tires with a “TR,” “MH,” or “HC” suffix in their size designations are covered by this investigation regardless of their intended use.

    In addition, all tires that lack one of the above suffix markings are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the “Truck-Bus” section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set out below.

    Truck and bus tires, whether or not mounted on wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope. Subject merchandise includes truck and bus tires produced in the subject country whether mounted on wheels or rims in the subject country or in a third country. Truck and bus tires are covered whether or not they are accompanied by other parts, e.g., a wheel, rim, axle parts, bolts, nuts, etc. Truck and bus tires that enter attached to a vehicle are not covered by the scope.

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are the following types of tires: (1) Pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires; and (2) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires.

    The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.20.1015 and 4011.20.5020. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.4520, 4011.99.4590, 4011.99.8520, 4011.99.8590, 8708.70.4530, 8708.70.6030, and 8708.70.6060.

    While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-04063 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Panama TPA) AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On behalf of the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), the Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Laurie Mease, Office of Textiles and Apparel, Telephone: 202-482-2043, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    Title II, Section 203(o) of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (the “Act”) [Pub. L. 112-43] implements the commercial availability provision provided for in Article 3.25 of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (the “Agreement”). The Agreement entered into force on October 31, 2012. Subject to the rules of origin in Annex 4.1 of the Agreement, pursuant to the textile provisions of the Agreement, fabric, yarn, and fiber produced in Panama or the United States and traded between the two countries are entitled to duty-free tariff treatment. Annex 3.25 of the Agreement also lists specific fabrics, yarns, and fibers that the two countries agreed are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from producers in Panama or the United States. The items listed in Annex 3.25 are commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers. Articles containing these items are entitled to duty-free or preferential treatment despite containing inputs not produced in Panama or the United States.

    The list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers may be changed pursuant to the commercial availability provision in Chapter 3, Article 3.25, Paragraphs 4-6 of the Agreement. Under this provision, interested entities from Panama or the United States have the right to request that a specific fabric, yarn, or fiber be added to, or removed from, the list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers in Annex 3.25 of the Agreement.

    Pursuant to Chapter 3, Article 3.25, paragraph 6 of the Agreement, which requires that the President publish procedures for parties to exercise the right to make these requests, Section 203(o)(4) of the Act authorizes the President to establish procedures to modify the list of fabrics, yarns, or fibers not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in either the United States or Panama as set out in Annex 3.25 of the Agreement. The President delegated the responsibility for publishing the procedures and administering commercial availability requests to the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (“CITA”), which issues procedures and acts on requests through the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel (“OTEXA”) (See Proclamation No. 8894, 77 FR 66507, November 5, 2012).

    The intent of the U.S.-Panama TPA Commercial Availability Procedures is to foster the use of U.S. and regional products by implementing procedures that allow products to be placed on or removed from a product list, on a timely basis, and in a manner that is consistent with normal business practice. The procedures are intended to facilitate the transmission of requests; allow the market to indicate the availability of the supply of products that are the subject of requests; make available promptly, to interested entities and the public, information regarding the requests for products and offers received for those products; ensure wide participation by interested entities and parties; allow for careful review and consideration of information provided to substantiate requests and responses; and provide timely public dissemination of information used by CITA in making commercial availability determinations.

    CITA must collect certain information about fabric, yarn, or fiber technical specifications and the production capabilities of Panamanian and U.S. textile producers to determine whether certain fabrics, yarns, or fibers are available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the United States or Panama, subject to Section 203(o) of the Act.

    II. Method of Collection

    Participants in a commercial availability proceeding must submit public versions of their Requests, Responses or Rebuttals electronically (via email) for posting on OTEXA's Web site. Confidential versions of those submissions which contain business confidential information must be delivered in hard copy to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0273.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 16.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours per Request, 2 hours per Response, and 1 hour per Rebuttal.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 89.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $5,340.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03971 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Procedures for Considering Requests From the Public for Textile and Apparel Safeguard Actions on Imports From Panama AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration (ITA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On behalf of the Committee for the Implementation for Textile Agreements (CITA), the Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Laurie Mease, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, Telephone: 202-482-2043, Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    Title III, Subtitle B, Section 321 through Section 328 of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (the “Act”) [Pub. L. 112-43] implements the textile and apparel safeguard provisions, provided for in Article 3.24 of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (the “Agreement”). This safeguard mechanism applies when, as a result of the elimination of a customs duty under the Agreement, a Panamanian textile or apparel article is being imported into the United States in such increased quantities, in absolute terms or relative to the domestic market for that article, and under such conditions as to cause serious damage or actual threat thereof to a U.S. industry producing a like or directly competitive article. In these circumstances, Article 3.24 permits the United States to increase duties on the imported article from Panama to a level that does not exceed the lesser of the prevailing U.S. normal trade relations (NTR)/most-favored-nation (MFN) duty rate for the article or the U.S. NTR/MFN duty rate in effect on the day the Agreement entered into force.

    The Statement of Administrative Action accompanying the Act provides that the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) will issue procedures for requesting such safeguard measures, for making its determinations under Section 322(a) of the Act, and for providing relief under section 322(b) of the Act.

    In Proclamation No. 8894 (77 FR 66507, November 5, 2012), the President delegated to CITA his authority under Subtitle B of Title III of the Act with respect to textile and apparel safeguard measures.

    CITA must collect information in order to determine whether a domestic textile or apparel industry is being adversely impacted by imports of these products from Panama, thereby allowing CITA to take corrective action to protect the viability of the domestic textile industry, subject to section 322(b) of the Act.

    Pursuant to Section 321(a) of the Act and Paragraph (7) of Presidential Proclamation 8894, an interested party in the U.S. domestic textile and apparel industry may file a request for a textile and apparel safeguard action with CITA. Consistent with longstanding CITA practice in considering textile safeguard actions, CITA will consider an interested party to be an entity (which may be a trade association, firm, certified or recognized union, or group of workers) that is representative of either: (A) A domestic producer or producers of an article that is like or directly competitive with the subject Panamanian textile or apparel article; or (B) a domestic producer or producers of a component used in the production of an article that is like or directly competitive with the subject Panamanian textile or apparel article.

    In order for a request to be considered, the requestor must provide the following information in support of a claim that a textile or apparel article from Panama is being imported into the United States in such increased quantities, in absolute terms or relative to the domestic market for that article, and under such conditions as to cause serious damage or actual threat thereof, to a U.S. industry producing an article that is like or directly competitive with the imported article: (1) Name and description of the imported article concerned; (2) import data demonstrating that imports of a Panamanian origin textile or apparel article that are like or directly competitive with the articles produced by the domestic industry concerned are increasing in absolute terms or relative to the domestic market for that article; (3) U.S. domestic production of the like or directly competitive articles of U.S. origin indicating the nature and extent of the serious damage or actual threat thereof, along with an affirmation that to the best of the requestor's knowledge, the data represent substantially all of the domestic production of the like or directly competitive article(s) of U.S. origin; (4) imports from Panama as a percentage of the domestic market of the like or directly competitive article; and (5) all data available to the requestor showing changes in productivity, utilization of capacity, inventories, exports, wages, employment, domestic prices, profits, and investment, and any other information, relating to the existence of serious damage or actual threat thereof caused by imports from Panama to the industry producing the like or directly competitive article that is the subject of the request. To the extent that such information is not available, the requestor should provide best estimates and the basis therefore.

    If CITA determines that the request provides the information necessary for it to be considered, CITA will publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments regarding the request. The comment period shall be 30 calendar days. The notice will include a summary of the request. Any interested party may submit information to rebut, clarify, or correct public comments submitted by any interested party.

    CITA will make a determination on any request it considers within 60 calendar days of the close of the comment period. If CITA is unable to make a determination within 60 calendar days, it will publish a notice in the Federal Register, including the date it will make a determination.

    If a determination under Section 322(a) of the Act is affirmative, CITA may provide tariff relief to a U.S. industry to the extent necessary to remedy or prevent serious damage or actual threat thereof and to facilitate adjustment by the domestic industry to import competition. The import tariff relief is effective beginning on the date that CITA's affirmative determination is published in the Federal Register.

    Entities submitting requests, responses or rebuttals to CITA may submit both a public and confidential version of their submissions. If the request is accepted, the public version will be posted on the dedicated U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement textile safeguards section of the Office of Textile and Apparel (OTEXA) Web site. The confidential version of the request, responses or rebuttals will not be shared with the public as it may contain business confidential information. Entities submitting responses or rebuttals may use the public version of the request as a basis for responses.

    II. Method of Collection

    When an interested party files a request for a textile and apparel safeguard action with CITA, ten copies of any such request must be provided in a paper format. If business confidential information is provided, two copies of a non-confidential version must also be provided. If CITA determines that the request provides the necessary information to be considered, it will publish a Federal Register notice seeking public comments on the request.

    To the extent business confidential information is provided, a non-confidential version must also be provided. Any interested party may submit information to rebut, clarify, or correct public comments submitted by any interested party.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0274.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 6 (1 for Request; 5 for Comments).

    Estimated Time per Response: 4 hours for a Request; and 4 hours for each Comment.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 24.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $960.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03972 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-040] Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective: February 18, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yang Jin Chun or Andre Gziryan, AD/CVD Operations Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5760 and (202) 482-2201, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Petition

    On January 29, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) received an antidumping duty (AD) petition concerning imports of truck and bus tires from the People's Republic of China (the PRC) officially filed in proper form on behalf of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC (USW or the petitioner).1 The AD petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC. The petitioner is a recognized union, which represents the domestic industry engaged in the manufacture of truck and bus tires in the United States. On February 3, 2016, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition 2 and on February 5, 2016, the petitioner filed supplements to the Petition.3

    1See “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China” dated January 29, 2016 (the Petition).

    2See Letters to the petitioner, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” dated February 3, 2016 (General Issues Supplemental Questions) and “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China: Supplemental Questions” dated February 3, 2016 (AD Supplemental Questions).

    3See Letter from the petitioner “Petitioner's Response to the Department's February 3, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding the Antidumping Petition on China (A-570-040)” dated February 5, 2016 (AD Supplement); see also “Petitioner's Response to the Department's February 3, 2016 Supplemental Questions Regarding General Issues” dated February 5, 2016 (General Issues Supplement).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner in support of its allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(D) of the Act, and has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that it is requesting.4

    4See “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the petition was filed on January 29, 2016, the period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.5

    5See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is truck and bus tires from the PRC. For a full description of the scope of the investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation” at the Appendix of this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the petition, we issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope in order to ensure that the language of the scope is an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.6 As discussed in the Preamble to our regulations, we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).7 The period for scope comments is intended to provide the Department with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information,8 all such factual information should be limited to public information. All such comments must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, March 21, 2016, because 10 calendar days after the initial comments falls on Saturday, March 19, 2016.9 The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of the AD investigation, as well as the concurrent CVD investigation.

    6See General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire; see also General Issues Supplement at 2 and Exhibit I-SQ-1, and the memorandum to the File entitled “Phone Call with Counsel to the Petitioner” dated February 12, 2016.

    7See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties (Final Rule); 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    8See 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21).

    9See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1) (“For both electronically filed and manually filed documents, if the applicable due date falls on a non-business day, the Secretary will accept documents that are filed on the next business day.”)

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on the date specified by the Department. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadline.10

    10See 19 CFR 351.303(b); see also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), as amended in Enforcement and Compliance: Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014), for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on the Product Characteristics for the AD Questionnaire

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of truck and bus tires to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors of production accurately, as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they believe are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, interested parties may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. It is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, while there may be some physical product characteristics manufacturers used to describe truck and bus tires, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, we must receive comments on product characteristics no later than March 9, 2016. Rebuttal comments must be received no later than March 16, 2016. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (ITC), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that truck and bus tires constitute a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China (AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China (Attachment II). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix of this notice. To establish industry support, the petitioner estimated the 2015 production for each U.S. producer of truck and bus tires, by plant. The petitioner based its estimates of 2015 off truck and bus tire production by plant on daily plant-specific production capacity data published in Modern Tire Dealer. The petitioner multiplied the daily production capacity data by 360 (to estimate annual capacity). The petitioner estimated 2015 truck and bus tire production in the United States using data on U.S. shipments, imports, and exports of truck and bus tires in 2015. To calculate a capacity utilization rate for the U.S. truck and bus tire industry in 2015, the petitioner compared estimated U.S. production of truck and bus tires in 2015 to the 2015 U.S. capacity to produce truck and bus tires. To calculate total 2015 production of the domestic like product by the petitioning plants, the petitioner applied the estimated capacity utilization rate to the total annualized capacity of those plants represented by the USW. In order to provide a conservative calculation of total 2015 production of the domestic like product by the U.S. truck and bus tire industry, the petitioner assumed that all non-petitioning truck and bus tire plants (i.e., those not represented by the USW) operated at full capacity in 2015 and added the full production capacity of the non-petitioning plants to the estimated 2015 production of the plants represented by the USW. To calculate industry support, the petitioner divided the estimated 2015 production of the domestic like product for those plants represented by the USW by the estimated production of the domestic like product in 2015 for the entire U.S. truck and bus tires industry.14 We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.15

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at I-6—I-8 and Exhibits I-1 and I-11; see also General Issues Supplement, at 2-9 and Exhibits I-SQ-2—I-SQ-18.

    15Id. For further discussion, see AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support.16 First, the Petition established support from workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).17 Second, the workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the workers who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.18 Finally, the workers have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the workers who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.19 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    16See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(D) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting the Department initiate.20

    20Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.21

    21See Volume I of the Petition, at I-15 and Exhibit I-17.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price depression or suppression; decline in shipments; shift in the domestic industry's sales from the U.S. market to lower priced export markets; potential declines in capacity utilization, employment, and profitability; lost sales and revenues; and adverse impact on union contract negotiations.22 We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.23

    22See Volume I of the Petition, at I-12, I-15 through I-32 and Exhibits I-2, I-10, I-17 through I-30.

    23See AD Initiation Checklist at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Truck and Bus Tires from the People's Republic of China.

    Allegation of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an investigation of imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the AD Initiation Checklist.

    Export Price

    The petitioner based export price (EP) on import data obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Division Merchandise Imports database and the ITC Dataweb (collectively import database) for truck and bus tires. The petitioner calculated the average unit values (AUVs) per tire for U.S. imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC entered during the POI under two Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings that cover truck and bus tires.24 As the values of imports in the import database reflect customs values and therefore exclude U.S. import duties, freight, and insurance, the petitioner made adjustments to deduct unrebated value-added tax, foreign inland freight expenses, and brokerage and handling expenses at port of exportation to derive a U.S. net price.25

    24See the AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-2 for the two HTSUS subheadings, 4011.20.1015: New Radial Tires, On-The-Highway, Of A Kind Used On Buses Or Trucks, Excluding Light Trucks, and 4011.20.5020: New Tires, Excluding Radials, On-The-Highway, Of A Kind Used On Buses Or Trucks, Excluding Light Trucks.

    25See Volume II of the Petition at II-6 through II-9 and Exhibits II-13 and II-14; AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-8; and AD Initiation Checklist.

    Normal Value

    The petitioner states that the Department has treated the PRC as a non-market economy (NME) country in every proceeding in which the PRC has been involved.26 The presumption of NME status for the PRC has not been revoked by the Department and, therefore, in accordance with section 771(18)(C)(i) of the Act, remains in effect for purposes of the initiation of this investigation. Accordingly, the NV of the product for the investigation is appropriately based on factors of production (FOPs) valued in a surrogate market-economy country in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. In the course of this investigation, all parties will have the opportunity to provide relevant information related to the issues of the PRC's NME status and granting of separate rates to individual exporters.

    26See Volume II of the Petition at II-2.

    The petitioner contends that Thailand is the appropriate surrogate country for the PRC because: (1) It is at a level of economic development comparable to that of the PRC; (2) it is a significant producer of comparable merchandise; and (3) the data for Thailand for valuing factors of production are available and reliable.27 Based on the information the petitioner provided, we conclude that it is appropriate to use Thailand as a surrogate country for initiation purposes.28 After initiation of this investigation, interested parties will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding surrogate country selection and will be provided an opportunity to submit publicly available information to value FOPs within 30 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.29

    27Id. at II-2 through II-6 and Exhibits II-1 through II-4; AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-1.

    28See AD Initiation Checklist.

    29See 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(i).

    The petitioner calculated NV using the Department's NME methodology as required by 19 CFR 351.202(b)(7)(i)(C) and 19 CFR 351.408. As the petitioner is a union representing workers in the domestic industry producing truck and bus tires and is not a domestic producer, the petitioner contends it does not have access to the proprietary information on the FOPs necessary to make truck and bus tires. Therefore, the petitioner based NV on publicly available information regarding the standard direct materials used to manufacture truck and bus tires from a number of publications.30 The petitioner asserts that the publicly available raw material models it provided are representative, to the best of its knowledge, of the average makeup of truck and bus tires.31 Using this information, the petitioner calculated the average percentage of total tire weight represented by direct materials for truck and bus tires. The information regarding the percentages of direct materials used to make a subject tire were applied to the average tire weight for each of the two HTSUS categories of truck and bus tires obtained from the imports database to calculate the average amount of each direct material used in the manufacture of the subject merchandise.32

    30See Volume II of the Petition at II-9 through II-15 and Exhibits II-5, II-9, II-10, II-16, II-19 through II-24, II-28; see also AD Supplement at Exhibits II-SQ-3 and II-SQ-8.

    31Id.

    32Id.

    The petitioner valued the FOPs for direct materials (except natural rubber) using reasonably available, public surrogate country data, specifically, Thai import data from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) for the period July through December 2015.33 The petitioner excluded from these GTA import statistics imports from countries previously determined by the Department to be NME countries, countries previously determined by the Department to maintain broadly available, non-industry-specific export subsidies, and, in accordance with the Department's practice, any imports that were labeled as originating from an “unspecified” country.34 The petitioner valued natural rubber using information from the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.35 The Department determines that the surrogate values used by the petitioner are reasonably available and, thus, are acceptable for purposes of initiation.

    33See Volume II of the Petition at II-10 through II-16; see also AD Supplement at 3 and Exhibits II-SQ-3 and II-SQ-8.

    34See Volume II of the Petition at II-13; see also AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-3.

    35See Volume II of the Petition at II-14 and Exhibit II-29; see also AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-8.

    The petitioner calculated the average labor hours required to make one tire using the employment and production information from the financial statements of three PRC tire manufacturers (GITI Tire, Doublestar Tyre, and Guizhou Tyre Co., Ltd.).36 The petitioner then used the weight-averaged amount of the three labor rates to determine an overall average of labor hours required to make one subject tire. The petitioner calculated the average hourly labor rate for an employee producing tires using the wage rate for manufacturers in Thai National Statistics Office's Labor Force Survey for the third quarter of 2015.37

    36See Volume II of the Petition at II-16 through II-18 and Exhibits II-30 through II-33; see also AD Supplement at 3-6 and Exhibit II-SQ-5 and II-SQ-6.

    37See Volume II of the Petition at II-16 through II-18 and Exhibits II-30 through II-33; see also AD Supplement at 3-6 and Exhibits II-SQ-5 and II-SQ-6.

    The petitioner calculated financial ratios (i.e., factory overhead expenses, selling, general, and administrative expenses, and profit) based on the 2014 year-end financial statements of Goodyear (Thailand) Public Company Limited and the 2013 year-end financial statements of Hihero Co., Ltd.38 The petitioner included the energy costs in the factory overhead expenses because it was unable to obtain publicly available information on the energy costs.39 Information the petitioner provided indicate that both Thai companies are producers of truck and bus tires.40

    38See Volume II of the Petition at II-19 and II—20 and Exhibits II-34 and II-36; see also AD Supplement at 6.

    39See Volume II of the Petition at II-19.

    40Id. at II-15 and II-16 and Exhibit II-16.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data the petitioner provided, there is reason to believe that imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on the comparison of net U.S. price to NV for the same or similar truck and bus tires in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act, the petitioner's estimated margins for truck and bus tires are 19.91 percent and 22.57 percent.41

    41See AD Supplement at Exhibit II-SQ-8.

    Initiation of Less Than Fair Value Investigation

    Based on our examination of the petition on truck and bus tires from the PRC, the Department finds that the petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are being, or likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation. For a discussion of evidence supporting our initiation determination, see the AD Initiation Checklist dated concurrently with this notice.

    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law.42 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.43 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.44

    42See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    43See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015).

    44Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Respondent Selection

    In accordance with our standard practice for respondent selection in AD investigations involving NME countries, we intend to issue quantity and value questionnaires to producers/exporters of merchandise subject to this investigation 45 and base respondent selection on the responses received. In addition, the Department will post the quantity and value questionnaire along with the filing instructions on the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp.

    45See Volume I of the Petition at Exhibit I-15, as amended in General Supplement Response at Exhibit I-SQ-19.

    Exporters and producers of truck and bus tires from the PRC that do not receive quantity and value questionnaires via mail may still submit a response to the quantity and value questionnaire available at the Enforcement and Compliance Web site. The Department will establish an exact deadline by which quantity and value responses must be submitted in the questionnaire itself, as subsequently released to potential respondents and posted to the Enforcement and Compliance Web site. All quantity and value responses must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

    Separate Rates

    In order to obtain separate rate status in an NME AD investigation, exporters and producers must submit a separate rate application.46 The specific requirements for submitting the separate rate application in this PRC investigation are outlined in detail in the application itself, which will be available on the Department's Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/news.asp on the date of publication of this initiation notice in the Federal Register. The separate rate application will be due 30 days after the publication of this initiation notice. Exporters and producers who submit a separate rate application and have been selected as mandatory respondents will be eligible for consideration for separate rate status only if they respond to all parts of the Department's AD questionnaires as mandatory respondents. The Department requires that respondents submit a response to both the quantity and value questionnaire and the separate rate application by their respective deadlines in order to receive consideration for separate rate status.

    46See Policy Bulletin 05.1: Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigation involving Non-Market Economy Countries (April 5, 2005) (Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin), available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/).

    Use of Combination Rates

    The Department will calculate combination rates for certain respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in an NME investigation. The Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin states:

    {w}hile continuing the practice of assigning separate rates only to exporters, all separate rates that the Department will now assign in its NME investigations will be specific to those producers that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation. Note, however, that one rate is calculated for the exporter and all of the producers which supplied subject merchandise to it during the period of investigation. This practice applies both to mandatory respondents receiving an individually calculated separate rate as well as the pool of non-investigated firms receiving the weighted-average of the individually calculated rates. This practice is referred to as the application of “combination rates” because such rates apply to specific combinations of exporters and one or more producers. The cash-deposit rate assigned to an exporter will apply only to merchandise both exported by the firm in question and produced by a firm that supplied the exporter during the period of investigation.47

    47See Separate Rates and Combination Rates Bulletin at 6 (emphasis added).

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the petition, which is publicly available in its entirety, has been provided to the Government of the PRC via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of truck and bus tires from the PRC are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.48 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated.49 Otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    48See section 733(a) of the Act.

    49Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 50 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.51 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    50See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    51See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extension of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR part 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits.52

    52See 19 FR 351.302(c). See also Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.53 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.54 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    53See section 782(b) of the Act.

    54See 19 CFR 351.303(g). See also Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at the following: http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order (APO) in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: February 18, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of the investigation covers truck and bus tires. Truck and bus tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a truck or bus size designation. Truck and bus tires covered by this investigation may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial.

    Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also have one of the following suffixes in their tire size designation, which also appear on the sidewall of the tire:

    TR—Identifies tires for service on trucks or buses to differentiate them from similarly sized passenger car and light truck tires;

    MH—Identifies tires for mobile homes; and

    HC—Identifies a 17.5 inch rim diameter code for use on low platform trailers.

    All tires with a “TR,” “MH,” or “HC” suffix in their size designations are covered by this investigation regardless of their intended use.

    In addition, all tires that lack one of the above suffix markings are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the “Truck-Bus” section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set out below.

    Truck and bus tires, whether or not mounted on wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope. Subject merchandise includes truck and bus tires produced in the subject country whether mounted on wheels or rims in the subject country or in a third country. Truck and bus tires are covered whether or not they are accompanied by other parts, e.g., a wheel, rim, axle parts, bolts, nuts, etc. Truck and bus tires that enter attached to a vehicle are not covered by the scope.

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are the following types of tires: (1) Pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires; and (2) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires.

    The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.20.1015 and 4011.20.5020. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.4520, 4011.99.4590, 4011.99.8520, 4011.99.8590, 8708.70.4530, 8708.70.6030, and 8708.70.6060. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-04060 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE465 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15-16, 2016, beginning at 10 a.m. on March 15 and conclude by 3 p.m. on March 16. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, 550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: 410-234-0550.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    Agenda items to be discussed at the SSC meeting include: Review fishery performance reports and multi-year ABC specifications for Golden Tilefish; discuss MAFMC risk policy and assignment of CVs for Mid-Atlantic assessments; discuss SSC membership needs; receive a report from the Black Sea Bass Review Subgroup on specification of spatial structure within the BSB assessment; review Blueline Tilefish fishery information and discuss ABC specifications.

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 22, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04007 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE233 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; St. George Reef Light Station Restoration and Maintenance at Northwest Seal Rock, Del Norte County, California AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) implementing regulations, NMFS, we, hereby give notice that we have issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society (Society) to take four species of marine mammals, by harassment incidental to conducting aircraft operations, lighthouse renovation, and light maintenance activities on the St. George Reef Light Station on Northwest Seal Rock in the northeast Pacific Ocean from February 19, 2016 through February 18, 2017.

    DATES:

    Effective February 19, 2016, through February 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    An electronic copy of the final Authorization, the Society's application, and NMFS' environmental assessment are available by writing to Jolie Harrison, Division Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; by telephoning the contacts listed here, or by visiting the Internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeannine Cody, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals of a species or population stock, by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if, after NMFS provides a notice of a proposed authorization to the public for review and comment: (1) NMFS makes certain findings; and (2) the taking is limited to harassment.

    An Authorization for incidental takings for marine mammals shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting of such taking are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    Summary of Request

    On October 1, 2015, the Society requested that we issue an Authorization for the take of marine mammals, incidental to conducting restoration activities on the St. George Reef Light Station (Station) located on Northwest Seal Rock offshore of Crescent City, California in the northeast Pacific Ocean. NMFS determined the application complete and adequate on October 7, 2015 and published a notice of proposed Authorization on October 26, 2015 (80 FR 65201). The notice afforded the public a 30-day comment period on the proposed MMPA Authorization.

    The Society proposes to conduct aircraft operations, lighthouse renovation, and periodic maintenance on the Station's optical light system on a monthly basis. The proposed activity would occur on a monthly basis over one weekend, February 2016 through February 2017. The Society would not conduct the proposed activities between May 1 and October 31, 2016. The following specific aspects of the proposed activities would likely to result in the take of marine mammals: (1) Helicopter landings/takeoffs; (2) noise generated during restoration activities (e.g., painting, plastering, welding, and glazing); (3) maintenance activities (e.g., bulb replacement and automation of the light system); and (4) human presence. Thus, NMFS anticipates that take, by Level B harassment only, of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus); Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina); Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) of the eastern U.S. Stock; and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) could result from the specified activity.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    To date, NMFS has issued four Authorizations to the Society for the conduct of the same activities from 2010 to 2015 (75 FR 4774, January 29, 2010; 76 FR 10564, February 25, 2011; 77 FR 8811, February 15, 2012; and 79 FR 6179, February 3, 2014). This is the Society's fifth request for an annual Authorization as their last Authorization expired on April 10, 2015.

    The Station, listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, is located on Northwest Seal Rock offshore of Crescent City, California in the northeast Pacific Ocean. The Station, built in 1892, rises 45.7 meters (m) (150 feet (ft)) above sea level. The structure consists of hundreds of granite blocks topped with a cast iron lantern room and covers much of the surface of the islet. The purpose of the project is to restore the lighthouse and to conduct annual and emergency maintenance on the Station's optical light system.

    Dates and Duration

    The Society proposes to conduct the activities (aircraft operations, lighthouse restoration, and maintenance activities) at a maximum frequency of one session per month. The proposed duration for each session would last no more than three days (e.g., Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). The Authorization would be effective from February 19, 2016 through February 17, 2017 with restrictions on the Society conducting activities from May 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016.

    Specified Geographic Region

    The Station is located on Northwest Seal Rock, a small rocky islet (41°50′24″ N., 124°22′06″ W.) approximately nine kilometers (km) (6.0 miles (mi)) in the northeast Pacific Ocean, offshore of Crescent City, California (Latitude: 41°46′48″ N.; Longitude: 124°14′11″ W.). Northwest Seal Rock is approximately 91.4 m (300 ft) in diameter that peaks at 5.18 m (17 ft) above mean sea level.

    Description of Activities

    We outlined the purpose of the Society's activities in a previous notice for the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015). The proposed activities have not changed between the notice for the proposed Authorization and this notice announcing the issuance of the Authorization. For a more detailed description of the authorized action, we refer the reader to the Detailed Description of Activities section in the notice for the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015).

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of receipt of the Society's application and NMFS' proposal to issue an Authorization to the Society published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2015 (80 FR 65201). During the 30-day public comment period, we received one comment from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) which recommended that we issue the requested Authorization, provided that the Society carries out the required monitoring and mitigation measures as described in the notice for the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015) and the application. We have included all measures described in the notice for the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015) in the issued Authorization.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    The marine mammals most likely to be harassed incidental to the Society's helicopter operations, lighthouse restoration, and lighthouse maintenance on Northwest Seal Rock are primarily Steller and California sea lions and to a lesser extent the Pacific harbor seal and the eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seal.

    Table 1 provides the following information: All marine mammal species with possible or confirmed occurrence in the proposed activity area; information on those species' regulatory status under the MMPA and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); abundance; occurrence and seasonality in the activity area.

    Table 1—General Information on Marine Mammals That Could Potentially Haul Out on Northwest Seal Rock Species Stock Regulatory status 1 2 Stock
  • abundance 3
  • Occurrence and seasonality
    California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) U.S. MMPA—NC, ESA—NL 296,750 Year-round presence. Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) California Breeding MMPA—D, ESA—NL 14,050 Rare. Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) California MMPA—NC, ESA—NL 30,968 Occasional, spring. Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Eastern Distinct Population Segment MMPA—D, ESA—DL 60,131-74,448 Year-round presence. 1 MMPA: D = Depleted, S = Strategic, NC = Not Classified. 2 ESA: EN = Endangered, T = Threatened, DL = Delisted, NL = Not listed. 3 2015 draft NMFS Stock Assessment Reports: Carretta et al. (2015) and Muto and Angliss (2015).

    NMFS refers the public to the 2015 draft NMFS Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report available online at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/ for general information on the biology and distribution of these species which we presented in the notice of the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015).

    Other Marine Mammals in the Proposed Action Area

    California (southern) sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), listed as threatened under the ESA and categorized as depleted under the MMPA, usually range in coastal waters within two km (1.2 mi) of the mainland shoreline. Neither CCR nor the Society has encountered California sea otters on Northwest Seal Rock during the course of the four-year wildlife study (CCR, 2001; SGRLPS, 2010; 2011; 2012)) nor has the Society encountered this species during the course of the previously issued Authorizations for the same activities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the sea otter and NMFS will not consider this species further in this notice.

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section of the notice for the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015) included a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity (e.g., visual and acoustic disturbance) may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that NMFS expects the Society to take during this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis” section will include the analysis of how this specific activity would impact marine mammals. NMFS will consider the content of the following sections: “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment,” “Mitigation,” and “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat,” to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of this activity on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals—and from that consideration—the likely impacts of this activity on the affected marine mammal populations or stocks.

    Acoustic and visual stimuli generated by: (1) Helicopter landings/takeoffs; (2) noise generated during restoration activities (e.g., painting, plastering, welding, and glazing); and (3) maintenance activities (e.g., bulb replacement and automation of the light system) may have the potential to cause the following: Temporary or permanent hearing impairment and/or behavioral disturbance.

    We provided detailed information on these potential effects notice for the proposed Authorization (80 FR 65201, October 26, 2015). The information presented in that notice has not changed.

    Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The only habitat modification associated with the proposed activity is the restoration of a light station which would occur on the upper levels of Northwest Seal Rock which are not used by marine mammals. Thus, NMFS does not expect that the authorized activity would have any effect on marine mammal habitat and NMFS expects that there will be no long- or short-term physical impacts to pinniped habitat on Northwest Seal Rock.

    The Society would remove all waste, discarded materials and equipment from the island after each visit. The proposed activities will not result in any permanent impact on habitats used by marine mammals, including prey species and foraging habitat. The main impact associated with the proposed activity will be temporarily elevated noise levels and the associated direct effects on marine mammals (i.e., the potential for temporary abandonment of the site), previously discussed in this notice. Based on the preceding discussion, NMFS does not anticipate that the proposed activity would have any habitat-related effects that could cause significant or long-term consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations.

    Mitigation

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses (where relevant).

    Time and Frequency: The Society would conduct restoration activities at maximum of once per month between February 19, 2016, through February 18, 2017. Each restoration session would last no more than three days. Maintenance of the light beacon would occur only in conjunction with restoration activities. The Society would not conduct restoration activities between the period of May 1, 2016, and October 31, 2016.

    Helicopter Approach and Timing Techniques: The Society would ensure that its helicopter approach patterns to the Station and timing techniques do not disturb marine mammals as most practicable. To the extent possible, the helicopter should approach Northwest Seal Rock when the tide is too high for the marine mammals to haul-out on Northwest Seal Rock.

    Since the most severe impacts (stampede) precede rapid and direct helicopter approaches, the Society's initial approach to the Station must be offshore from the island at a relatively high altitude (e.g., 800-1,000 ft, or 244-305 m). Before the final approach, the helicopter shall circle lower, and approach from area with the lowest pinniped density. If for any safety reasons (e.g., wind condition) the Society cannot conduct these types of helicopter approach and timing techniques, they must postpone the restoration and maintenance activities for that day.

    Avoidance of Visual and Acoustic Contact with People on Island: The Society would instruct its members and restoration crews to avoid making unnecessary noise and not expose themselves visually to pinnipeds around the base of the Station. The door to the lower platform (which pinnipeds occasionally use at times) shall remain closed and barricaded to all tourists and other personnel.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    NMFS has carefully evaluated the Society's proposed mitigation measures in the context of ensuring that we prescribe the means of affecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. The evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed here:

    1. Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    2. A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to vessel or visual presence that NMFS expects to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    3. A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals exposed to vessel or visual presence that NMFS expects to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    4. A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to vessel or visual presence that NMFS expects to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to a, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    5. Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    6. For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on the evaluation of the Society's proposed measures, NMFS has determined that the mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for Authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that NMFS expects to be present in the proposed action area.

    Monitoring measures prescribed by NMFS should accomplish one or more of the following general goals:

    1. An increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals within the mitigation zone (thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation) in order to generate more data to contribute to the analyses mentioned later;

    2. An increase in our understanding of the nature, scope, or context of the likely exposure of marine mammal species to any of the potential stressor(s) associated with the action (e.g., sound or visual stimuli) and the likelihood of associating those exposures with specific adverse effects, such as behavioral harassment, temporary or permanent threshold shift;

    3. An increase in our understanding of how marine mammals respond to stimuli that we expect to result in take and how those anticipated adverse effects on individuals (in different ways and to varying degrees) may impact the population, species, or stock (specifically through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival) through any of the following methods:

    a. Behavioral observations in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli;

    b. Physiological measurements in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli;

    c. Distribution and/or abundance comparisons in times or areas with concentrated stimuli versus times or areas without stimuli;

    4. An increased knowledge of the affected species; and

    5. An increase in our understanding of the effectiveness of certain mitigation and monitoring measures.

    The Society proposes to sponsor marine mammal monitoring in order to implement the mitigation measures that require real-time monitoring and to satisfy the monitoring requirements of the Authorization. These include:

    At least once during the period between February 19, 2016, and February 18, 2017, a qualified biologist shall be present during all three workdays at the Station. The qualified biologist hired will be subject to approval by us and they shall document use of the island by the pinnipeds, frequency, (i.e., dates, time, tidal height, species, numbers present, and any disturbances), and note any responses to potential disturbances.

    Aerial photographic surveys may provide the most accurate means of documenting species composition, age and sex class of pinnipeds using the project site during human activity periods. The Society should complete aerial photo coverage of Northwest Seal Rock from the same helicopter used to transport the Society's personnel during restoration trips. The Society would take photographs of all hauled out marine mammals at an altitude greater than 300 m (984 ft) by a skilled photographer, prior to the first landing on each visit included in the monitoring program. Photographic documentation of marine mammals present at the end of each three-day work session shall also be made for a before and after comparison. These photographs will be forwarded to a biologist capable of discerning marine mammal species. Data shall be provided to us in the form of a report with a data table, any other significant observations related to marine mammals, and a report of restoration activities (see Reporting). The original photographs can be made available to us or other marine mammal experts for inspection and further analysis.

    The monitoring requirements in relation to the Society's proposed activities would include species counts, numbers of observed disturbances, and descriptions of the disturbance behaviors during the restoration activities, including location, date, and time of the event. In addition, the Society would record observations regarding the number and species of any marine mammals either observed in the water or hauled out.

    The Society can add to the knowledge of pinnipeds in the proposed action area by noting observations of: (1) Unusual behaviors, numbers, or distributions of pinnipeds, such that any potential follow-up research can be conducted by the appropriate personnel; (2) tag-bearing carcasses of pinnipeds, allowing transmittal of the information to appropriate agencies and personnel; and (3) rare or unusual species of marine mammals for agency follow-up.

    Summary of Previous Monitoring

    The Society complied with the mitigation and monitoring required under the previous authorizations (2010-2014). They did not conduct any operations for the 2013 or 2014 season. However, in compliance with the 2012 Authorization, the Society submitted a final report on the activities at the Station, covering the period of February 15, 2012 through April 30, 2012. During the effective dates of the 2012 Authorization, the Society conducted one work session in March, 2012. The Society's aircraft operations and restoration activities on Northwest Seal Rock did not exceed the activity levels analyzed under the 2012 Authorization. During the March 2012 work session, the Society observed two harbor seals hauled out on Northwest Seal Rock. Both animals (a juvenile and an adult) departed the rock, entered the water, and did not return to the Station during the duration of the activities.

    Reporting

    The Society would submit a draft report to NMFS' Office of Protected Resources no later than 90 days after the expiration of the Authorization. The report will include a summary of the information gathered pursuant to the monitoring requirements set forth in the Authorization. The Society will submit a final report to the NMFS Director, Office of Protected Resources within 30 days after receiving comments from NMFS on the draft report. If the Society receives no comments from NMFS on the report, NMFS will consider the draft report to be the final report.

    The report will describe the operations conducted and sightings of marine mammals near the proposed project. The report will provide full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring. The report will provide:

    1. A summary and table of the dates, times, and weather during all research activities.

    2. Species, number, location, and behavior of any marine mammals observed throughout all monitoring activities.

    3. An estimate of the number (by species) of marine mammals exposed to human presence associated with the Society's activities.

    4. A description of the implementation and effectiveness of the monitoring and mitigation measures of the Authorization and full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring.

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the authorization, such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality (e.g., stampede), Society personnel shall immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, at 301-427-8401 and the Assistant Western Regional Stranding Coordinator at (562) 980-3264. The report must include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Description and location of the incident (including water depth, if applicable);

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    The Society shall not resume its activities until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. We will work with the Society to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. The Society may not resume their activities until notified by us via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that the Society discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the marine mammal observer determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as we describe in the next paragraph), the Society will immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, at 301-427-8401 and the Assistant Western Regional Stranding Coordinator at (562) 980-3264. The report must include the same information identified in the paragraph above this section. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with the Society to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that the Society discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead visual observer determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the authorized activities (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), the Society will report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, at 301-427-8401 and the Assistant Western Regional Stranding Coordinator at (562) 980-3264 within 24 hours of the discovery. Society personnel will provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to us. The Society can continue their survey activities while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    All anticipated takes would be by Level B harassment, involving temporary changes in behavior. NMFS expects that the mitigation and monitoring measures would minimize the possibility of injurious or lethal takes. NMFS considers the potential for take by injury, serious injury, or mortality as remote. NMFS expects that the presence of Society personnel could disturb of animals hauled out on Northwest Seal Rock and that the animals may alter their behavior or attempt to move away from the Society's personnel.

    As discussed earlier, NMFS considers an animal to have been harassed if it moved greater than 1 m (3.3 ft) in response to the Society's presence or if the animal was already moving and changed direction and/or speed, or if the animal flushed into the water. NMFS does not consider animals that became alert without such movements as harassed.

    Based on the Society's previous monitoring reports, NMFS estimates that approximately 1,120 California sea lions (calculated by multiplying the maximum number of California sea lions observed on Northwest Seal Rock [160] by 7 months: February-April, November-February) of the restoration and maintenance activities), 1,085 Steller sea lions (calculated by multiplying the maximum number of Steller sea lions observed on Northwest Seal Rock [155] by 7 months, 42 Pacific harbor seals (calculated by multiplying the maximum number of harbor seals observed on Northwest Seal Rock [6] by 7 months), and 7 northern fur seals (calculated by multiplying the maximum number of northern fur seals observed on Northwest Seal Rock [1] by 7 months) could be potentially affected by Level B behavioral harassment over the course of the Authorization. NMFS bases these estimates of the numbers of marine mammals that might be affected on consideration of the number of marine mammals that could be disturbed appreciably by approximately 51 hours of aircraft operations during the course of the activity. These incidental harassment take numbers represent approximately 0.38 percent of the U.S. stock of California sea lion, 1.80 percent of the eastern U.S. stock of Steller sea lion, 0.14 percent of the California stock of Pacific harbor seals, and 0.05 percent of the San Miguel Island stock of northern fur seal. However, actual take may be slightly less if animals decide to haul out at a different location for the day or if animals are foraging at locations away from Northwest Seal Rock at the time of the Societies proposed activities.

    Because of the required mitigation measures and the likelihood that some pinnipeds will avoid the area, NMFS does not expect any injury or mortality to pinnipeds to occur and NMFS has not authorized take by Level A harassment for this proposed activity.

    Encouraging and Coordinating Research

    The Society would share observations and counts of marine mammals and all observed disturbances to the appropriate state and federal agencies at the conclusion of the activities.

    Analysis and Preliminary Determinations Negligible Impact

    Negligible impact is “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival” (50 CFR 216.103). The lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population level effects) forms the basis of a negligible impact finding. Thus, an estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, NMFS must consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (their intensity, duration, etc.), the context of any responses (critical reproductive time or location, migration, etc.), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, effects on habitat, and the status of the species.

    In making a negligible impact determination, NMFS considers:

    • The number of anticipated injuries, serious injuries, or mortalities;

    • The number, nature, and intensity, and duration of harassment;

    • The context in which the takes occur (e.g., impacts to areas of significance, impacts to local populations, and cumulative impacts when taking into account successive/contemporaneous actions when added to baseline data);

    • The status of stock or species of marine mammals (i.e., depleted, not depleted, decreasing, increasing, stable, impact relative to the size of the population);

    • Impacts on habitat affecting rates of recruitment/survival; and

    • The effectiveness of monitoring and mitigation measures to reduce the number or severity of incidental takes

    To avoid repetition, our analysis applies to all the species listed in Table 1, given that NMFS expects the anticipated effects of the Society's activities to be similar in nature.

    Although the Society's survey activities may disturb a small number of marine mammals hauled out on Northwest Seal Rock, NMFS expects those impacts to occur to a small, localized group of animals for a limited duration (e.g., six hours in one day). Marine mammals would likely become alert or, at most, flush into the water in reaction to the presence of the Society's personnel during the proposed activities. Disturbance will be limited to a short duration, allowing marine mammals to reoccupy Northwest Seal Rock within a short amount of time. Thus, the proposed action is unlikely to result in long-term impacts such as permanent abandonment of the area because of the availability of alternate areas for pinnipeds to avoid the resultant acoustic and visual disturbances from the restoration activities and helicopter operations. Results from previous monitoring reports also show that the pinnipeds returned Northwest Seal Rock and did not permanently abandon haul-out sites after the Society conducted their activities.

    The Society's activities would occur during the least sensitive time (e.g., November through April, outside of the pupping season) for hauled out pinnipeds on Northwest Seal Rock. Thus, pups or breeding adults would not be present during the proposed activity periods.

    Moreover, the Society's mitigation measures regarding helicopter approaches and restoration site ingress and egress would minimize the potential for stampedes and large-scale movements. Thus, the potential for large-scale movements and stampede leading to injury, serious injury, or mortality is low.

    Any noise attributed to the Society's proposed helicopter operations on Northwest Seal Rock would be short-term (approximately 5 minutes per trip). We would expect the ambient noise levels to return to a baseline state when helicopter operations have ceased for the day. As the helicopter landings take place 15 m (48 ft) above the surface of the rocks on Northwest Seal Rock, NMFS presumes that the received sound levels would increase above 81-81.9 dB re: 20 μPa (A-weighted) at the landing pad. However, we do not expect that the increased received levels of sound from the helicopter would cause threshold shifts in hearing because the pinnipeds would flush before the helicopter approached Northwest Seal Rock; thus increasing the distance between the pinnipeds and the received sound levels on Northwest Seal Rock during the proposed action.

    If pinnipeds are present on Northwest Seal Rock, Level B behavioral harassment of pinnipeds may occur during helicopter landing and takeoff from Northwest Seal Rock due to the pinnipeds temporarily moving from the rocks and lower structure of the Station into the sea due to the noise and appearance of helicopter during approaches and departures. It is expected that all or a portion of the marine mammals hauled out on the island will depart the rock and slowly move into the water upon initial helicopter approaches. The movement to the water would be gradual due to the required controlled helicopter approaches (see “Mitigation” for more details), the small size of the aircraft, the use of noise-attenuating blade tip caps on the rotors, and behavioral habituation on the part of the animals as helicopter trips continue throughout the day. During the sessions of helicopter activity, if present on Northwest Seal Rock, some animals may be temporarily displaced from the island and either raft in the water or relocate to other haul-outs.

    Sea lions have shown habituation to helicopter flights within a day at the project site and most animals are expected to return soon after helicopter activities cease for that day. By clustering helicopter arrival/departures within a short time period, we expect animals present to show less response to subsequent landings. NMFS anticipates no impact on the population size or breeding stock of Steller sea lions, California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, or northern fur seals.

    In summary, NMFS anticipates that impacts to hauled-out pinnipeds during the Society's proposed helicopter operations and restoration/maintenance activities would be behavioral harassment of limited duration (i.e., less than three days a month) and limited intensity (i.e., temporary flushing at most). NMFS does not expect stampeding, and therefore injury or mortality to occur (see “Mitigation” for more details). Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS finds that the total marine mammal take from the Society's proposed survey activities will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    As mentioned previously, NMFS estimates that the Society's proposed activities could potentially affect, by Level B harassment only, four species of marine mammal under our jurisdiction. For each species, these estimates are small numbers (each, less than or equal to one percent) relative to the population size. These incidental harassment take numbers represent approximately 0.32 percent of the U.S. stock of California sea lion, 0.42 percent of the eastern U.S. stock of Steller sea lion, 0.11 percent of the California stock of Pacific harbor seals, and 0.05 percent of the San Miguel Island stock of northern fur seal.

    Based on the analysis contained in this notice of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS finds that the Society's proposed activities would be limited to small numbers of marine mammals relative to the populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species or Stock for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    NMFS does not expect that the Society's proposed helicopter operations and restoration/maintenance activities would affect any species listed under the ESA. Therefore, NMFS has determined that a section 7 consultation under the ESA is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    To meet our NEPA requirements for the issuance of an Authorization to the Society, NMFS has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2010 that was specific to conducting aircraft operations and restoration and maintenance work on the St. George Reef Light Station. The EA, titled “Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Take Marine Mammals by Harassment Incidental to Conducting Aircraft Operations, Lighthouse Restoration and Maintenance Activities on St. George Reef Lighthouse Station in Del Norte County, California,” evaluated the impacts on the human environment of our authorization of incidental Level B harassment resulting from the specified activity in the specified geographic region. At that time, NMFS concluded that issuance of an annual Authorization would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the 2010 EA regarding the Society's activities. In conjunction with the Society's 2015 application, NMFS has again reviewed the 2010 EA and determined that there are no new direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts to the human and natural environment associated with the Authorization requiring evaluation in a supplemental EA and NMFS, therefore, reaffirms the 2010 FONSI. An electronic copy of the EA and the FONSI for this activity is available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    Authorization

    NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society for conducting helicopter operations and restoration activities on the St. George Light Station in the northeast Pacific Ocean, February 19, 2016, through February 18, 2017, provided they incorporate the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03999 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of solicitation for nominations for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB) and notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice also sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the NSGAB. NSGAB members will discuss and provide advice on the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP)in the areas of program evaluation, strategic planning, education and extension, science and technology programs, and other matters as described in the agenda found on the NSGCP Web site at http://seagrant.noaa.gov/WhoWeAre/Leadership/NationalSeaGrantAdvisoryBoard/UpcomingAdvisoryBoardMeetings.aspx.

    DATES:

    The announced meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 7, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT and Tuesday, March 8, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, Northwest, Washington, DC 20005.

    Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 8:45 a.m. EDT. (Check agenda using link in the Summary section to confirm time.)

    The NSGAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of three (3) minutes. Written comments should be received by Mrs. Jennifer Hinden by Friday, February 24, 2016 to provide sufficient time for NSGAB review. Written comments received after the deadline will be distributed to the NSGAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Contact Information: For any questions concerning the meeting, please contact Mrs. Jennifer Hinden, National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 11717, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, 301-734-1088, [email protected]

    Special Accomodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mrs. Jennifer Hinden by Friday, February 19, 2016.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NSGAB, which consists of a balanced representation from academia, industry, state government and citizens groups, was established in 1976 by Section 209 of the Sea Grant Improvement Act (Public Law 94-461, 33 U.S.C. 1128).

    The NSGAB advises the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the NSGCP with respect to operations under the Act, and such other matters as the Secretary refers to them for review and advice.

    Dated: February 10, 2016. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-03514 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KA-M
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE340 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Dock Replacement Project AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to UniSea, Inc. (UniSea) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of marine mammals during construction activities associated with a dock replacement project in Iliuliuk Harbor, Unalaska, AK.

    DATES:

    This authorization is effective from March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jordan Carduner, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability

    An electronic copy of UniSea's application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified area, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals, providing that certain findings are made and the necessary prescriptions are established.

    The incidental taking of small numbers of marine mammals may be allowed only if NMFS (through authority delegated by the Secretary) finds that the total taking by the specified activity during the specified time period will (i) have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and (ii) not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). Further, the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking must be set forth.

    The allowance of such incidental taking under section 101(a)(5)(A), by harassment, serious injury, death, or a combination thereof, requires that regulations be established. Subsequently, a Letter of Authorization may be issued pursuant to the prescriptions established in such regulations, providing that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under the specific regulations. Under section 101(a)(5)(D), NMFS may authorize such incidental taking by harassment only, for periods of not more than one year, pursuant to requirements and conditions contained within an IHA. The establishment of these prescriptions requires notice and opportunity for public comment.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    Summary of Request

    On June 10, 2015, we received a request from UniSea for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving and pile removal associated with construction of a commercial fishing dock in Iliuliuk Harbor, a small harbor in the Aleutian Islands. UniSea submitted revised versions of the request on September 28, 2015, and December 2, 2015. The latter of these was deemed adequate and complete. UniSea proposed to replace the existing dock with an 80 foot by 400 foot open cell sheet pile dock, between March 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017.

    The use of both vibratory and impact pile driving is expected to produce underwater sound at levels that have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals. Species with the expected potential to be present during all or a portion of the in-water work window include the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) and harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). These species may occur year-round in Iliuliuk Harbor.

    Description of the Specified Activity

    A detailed description of the proposed G1 dock construction project is provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 79822; December 23, 2015). Since that time, no changes have been made to the proposed dock construction activities. Therefore, a detailed description is not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for the description of the specific activity.

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of NMFS' proposal to issue an IHA to UniSea was published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79822). That notice described, in detail, UniSea's activity, the marine mammal species that may be affected by the activity, and the anticipated effects on marine mammals. During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received comments from the Marine Mammal Commission. The Marine Mammal Commission recommended that NMFS issue the IHA, subject to inclusion of the proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    Marine waters near Unalaska Island support many species of marine mammals, including pinnipeds and cetaceans; however, the number of species regularly occurring near the project location is limited. There are three marine mammal species under NMFS' jurisdiction with recorded occurrence in Iliuliuk Harbor during the past 15 years, including one cetacean and two pinnipeds. Steller sea lions are the most common marine mammals in the project area and are part of the western Distinct Population Segment (DPS) that is listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) may also occur in the project area, though less frequently and in lower abundance than Steller sea lions. The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), although seasonally abundant in Unalaska Bay, is not typically present in Iliuliuk Harbor. A single humpback whale was observed beneath the bridge that connects Amaknak Island and Unalaska Island, moving in the direction of Iliuliuk Harbor, in September 2015 (pers. comm., L. Baughman, PND Engineers, to J. Carduner, NMFS, Oct. 12, 2015); no other sightings of humpback whales in Iliuliuk Harbor have been recorded and no records are found in the literature. In the summer months, the majority of humpback whales from the central North Pacific stock are found in the feeding grounds of the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Southeast Alaska/northern British Columbia, with high densities of whales found in the eastern Aleutian Islands, including along the north side of Unalaska Island (Allen and Angliss 2014). Despite their relatively high abundance in Unalaska Bay during summer months, their presence within Iliuliuk Harbor is sufficiently rare that we do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood of their occurrence in the project area during the period of validity for the IHA. Thus the incidental harassment of humpback whales as a result of the G1 dock construction project is not authorized in the IHA; as such, the humpback whale is not carried forward for further analysis beyond this section.

    We have reviewed UniSea's detailed species descriptions, including life history information, for accuracy and completeness and refer the reader to Sections 3 and 4 of UniSea's application, rather than reprinting the information here. In addition, a detailed description of the species likely to be affected by the UniSea G1 dock construction project, including brief introductions to the species and relevant stocks as well as available information regarding population trends and threats, and information regarding local occurrence, were provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 79822; December 23, 2015); since that time, we are not aware of any changes in the status of these species and stocks; therefore, detailed descriptions are not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for these descriptions. Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/) for generalized species accounts.

    Table 1 lists the marine mammal species with expected potential for occurrence in the vicinity of the project during the project timeframe and summarizes key information regarding stock status and abundance. Taxonomically, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2015). Please see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of these stocks' status and abundance. The harbor seal and Steller sea lion are addressed in the Alaska SARs (e.g., Allen and Angliss, 2012, 2014).

    Table 1—Marine Mammals Potentially Present in the Vicinity of the Project Location Species Stock ESA/MMPA status; strategic (Y/N) 1 Stock abundance (CV; Nmin; most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • PBR 3 Annual M/SI 4 Relative occurrence in Iliuliuk Harbor; season of occurrence
    Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions) Steller sea lion Western U.S. E/D; N 55,422 (n/a; 48,676; 2008-11) 292 234.7 common; year-round (greater abundance in summer). Family Phocidae (earless seals) Harbor seal Aleutian Islands -; N 5 3,579 (0.092; 3,313; 2004) 99 93.1 occasional; year-round. 1 ESA status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR (see footnote 3) or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable. For killer whales, the abundance values represent direct counts of individually identifiable animals; therefore there is only a single abundance estimate with no associated CV. For certain stocks of pinnipeds, abundance estimates are based upon observations of animals (often pups) ashore multiplied by some correction factor derived from knowledge of the species (or similar species) life history to arrive at a best abundance estimate; therefore, there is no associated CV. In these cases, the minimum abundance may represent actual counts of all animals ashore. 3 Potential biological removal, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population size (OSP). 4 These values, found in NMFS' SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, subsistence hunting, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value. 5 Abundance estimate for this stock is greater than ten years old and is therefore not considered current. We nevertheless present the most recent abundance estimate, as this represents the best available information for use in this document.
    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    The effects of underwater noise from in-water construction activities for the UniSea G1 dock construction project have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals in the vicinity of the action area. The Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 79822; December 23, 2015) included a discussion of the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals, therefore that information is not repeated here; please refer to that Federal Register notice for that information. No instances of hearing threshold shifts, injury, serious injury, or mortality are expected as a result of the in-water construction activities.

    Anticipated Effects on Habitat

    The main impact associated with the UniSea G1 dock construction project would be temporarily elevated sound levels and the associated direct effects on marine mammals. The project would not result in permanent impacts to habitats used directly by marine mammals, such as haul-out sites, but may have potential short-term impacts to food sources such as forage fish and salmonids, and minor impacts to the immediate substrate during installation and removal of piles during the dock construction project. These potential effects are discussed in detail in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 79822; December 23, 2015), therefore that information is not repeated here; please refer to that Federal Register notice for that information.

    Mitigation Measures

    In order to issue an IHA under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    For the G1 dock construction project, NMFS is requiring UniSea to implement the following mitigation measures to minimize potential impacts to marine mammals in the project vicinity as a result of in-water construction activities.

    Monitoring and Shutdown for Pile Driving

    Measurements from similar pile driving events were coupled with practical spreading loss to estimate Level A and Level B harassment zones (see “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment”). These values were then used to develop mitigation measures for pile driving activities. The Level A zone effectively represents the mitigation zone that would be established around each pile to prevent Level A harassment to marine mammals, while the Level B zone provides estimates of the areas within which Level B harassment might occur as a result of noise associated with in-water construction. While the Level A and Level B harassment zones vary between different types of construction methods, UniSea will establish mitigation zones for the maximum possible Level A and Level B zones for all construction activities conducted in support of the project. Note that in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 79822; December 23, 2015), the mitigation and monitoring zones were referred to as the “exclusion zone” and “zone of influence”; we have since changed the names of the zones for clarity.

    The following measures would apply to UniSea's mitigation through the Level A and Level B harassment zones:

    Level A Zone—For all pile driving activities, UniSea will establish a Level A zone intended to contain the area in which SPLs equal or exceed the 190 dB rms acoustic injury criteria for pinnipeds. The purpose of the Level A zone is to define an area within which shutdown of construction activity would occur upon sighting of a marine mammal within that area (or in anticipation of an animal entering that area), thus preventing potential injury of marine mammals. Modeled distances to the Level A threshold are shown in Table 3. UniSea would implement a minimum 10 m radius Level A zone for all pile driving and down-the-hole drilling activities. See Appendix B in the IHA application for figures showing the Level A zones overlaid on satellite images of the project area.

    Level B Zones—The Level B zones refer to the areas in which SPLs equal or exceed 160 and 120 dB rms (for pulsed and non-pulsed continuous sound, respectively). Level B zones provide utility for monitoring that is conducted for mitigation purposes (i.e., shutdown monitoring) by establishing monitoring protocols for areas adjacent to the Level A zone. Monitoring of the Level B zones enable observers to be aware of, and communicate about, the presence of marine mammals within the project area but outside the Level A zone, and thus prepare for potential shutdowns of activity should those marine mammals approach the Level A zone. However, the primary purpose of monitoring in the Level B zones is to allow documentation of incidents of Level B harassment; monitoring of Level B zones is discussed in greater detail in the Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan which, available at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/. The modeled radial distances for Level B zones for impact and vibratory pile driving and removal (not taking into account landmasses which are expected to limit the actual Level B zone radii) are shown in Table 3.

    In order to document observed incidents of harassment, monitors will record all marine mammals observed within the modeled Level B zones. Modeling was performed to estimate the Level B zone for impact pile driving (the areas in which SPLs are expected to equal or exceed 160 dB rms during impact driving) and for vibratory pile driving (the areas in which SPLs are expected to equal or exceed 120 dB rms during vibratory driving and removal). Results of this modeling showed the Level B zone for impact driving would extend to a radius of 900 m from the pile being driven, the Level B zone for vibratory pile driving and down-the-hole drilling (if it occurs) would extend to a radius of 10,000 m from the pile being driven, and the Level B zone for vibratory pile removal would extend to a radius of 7,400 m from the pile being removed. However, due to the geography of the project area, landmasses surrounding Iliuliuk Harbor are expected to limit the propagation of sound from construction activities such that the actual distances to the extents of the Level B zones for all construction activities will be substantially smaller than those described above. Modeling results of the ensonified areas, taking into account the attenuation provided by landmasses, suggest the actual Level B zones will extend to a maximum distance of 1,300 m from the G1 dock, at the furthest point (for vibratory driving). Due to this relatively small modeled Level B zones, and due to the monitoring locations chosen by UniSea, we expect that monitors will be able to observe the entire modeled Level B zones for both impact and vibratory pile driving, and thus we expect data collected on incidents of Level B harassment to be relatively accurate. The modeled areas of the Level B zones for impact and vibratory driving, taking into account the attenuation provided by landmasses in attenuating sound from the construction project, and the monitoring locations, are shown in Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan, available at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/.

    Shutdown Measures

    UniSea will implement shutdown measures if a Steller sea lion or harbor seal is sighted in, or approaching, the Level A zone. In-water construction activities would be suspended until the Steller sea lion or harbor seal is observed leaving the Level A zone voluntarily and has been visually confirmed beyond the Level A zone, or 15 minutes has elapsed without re-detection of the animal in the Level A zone. Shutdown of construction operations will also occur if a species for which authorization has not been granted (including humpback whales) approaches or is observed within the Level B harassment zone; in-water construction activities would be suspended until the animal is observed leaving the Level B zone voluntarily and has been visually confirmed beyond the Level B harassment zone, or 15 minutes (in the case of pinnipeds) or 30 minutes (in the case of cetaceans) has elapsed without re-detection of the animal in the Level B harassment zone. In addition, shutdown of construction operations will also occur if the number of takes authorized for Steller sea lions or harbor seals have been met, and a Steller sea lion or harbor seal approaches, or is observed within, the Level B harassment zone; in-water construction activities would be suspended until the Steller sea lion or harbor seal is observed leaving the Level B zone voluntarily and has been visually confirmed beyond the Level B harassment zone, or 15 minutes has elapsed without re-detection of the animal in the Level B harassment zone.

    Observations of Steller sea lions and harbor seals outside the Level A zone will not result in shutdown of construction operations, unless the Steller sea lion or harbor seal approaches or enters the Level A zone, or unless authorized take numbers for Steller sea lions or harbor seals has already been exceeded as described above, at which point all pile driving activities will be halted.

    Monitoring Protocols—Monitoring will be conducted before, during, and after pile driving activities. Monitoring will take place from 30 minutes prior to initiation of pile driving or pile removal through 30 minutes post-completion of pile driving or removal activities. Pile driving and removal activities include the time to remove a single pile or series of piles, as long as the time elapsed between uses of the pile driving equipment is no more than thirty minutes. Please see the Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan (available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/), for full details of the monitoring protocols.

    The following additional measures apply to visual monitoring:

    (1) Monitoring will be conducted by qualified observers, who will be placed at the best vantage point(s) practicable to monitor for marine mammals and implement shutdown procedures when applicable by calling for the shutdown to the hammer operator. Qualified observers are will have the following minimum qualifications:

    • Visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient for discernment of moving targets at the water's surface with ability to estimate target size and distance;

    • Experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols;

    • Experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals, including the identification of behaviors, with ability to accurately identify marine mammals in Alaskan waters to species;

    • Sufficient training, orientation or experience with the construction operation to provide for personal safety during observations;

    • Writing skills sufficient to prepare a report of observations; and

    • Ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real-time information on marine mammals observed in the area as necessary.

    (2) Prior to the start of pile driving activity, the Level A and Level B zone will be monitored for thirty minutes to ensure that the Level A zone is clear of all marine mammals and the Level B zone is clear of marine mammals other than Steller sea lions and harbor seals. Pile driving will only commence once observers have declared the Level A zone is clear of all marine mammals and the Level B zone is clear of all marine mammals under NMFS jurisdiction with the exception of Steller sea lions and harbor seals; animals will be allowed to remain in the respective exclusion zones (i.e., must leave of their own volition) and their behavior will be monitored and documented. The respective exclusion zones may only be declared clear, and pile driving started, when the entire Level B zone is visible (i.e., when not obscured by dark, rain, fog, etc.). In addition, if such conditions should arise during impact pile driving that is already underway, the activity will be halted.

    (3) If a Steller sea lion or harbor seal enters or approaches the Level A zone, or, if a marine mammal other than Steller sea lion or harbor seal enters or approaches the Level B zone, during the course of pile driving operations, activity will be halted and delayed until either the animal has voluntarily left the respective zone and been visually confirmed beyond the respective zone, or fifteen minutes have passed without re-detection of the animal in the case of pinnipeds, or thirty minutes have passed without re-detection of the animal in the case of cetaceans. Monitoring will be conducted throughout the time required to drive a pile.

    Sound Attenuation Devices

    UniSea will use bubble curtains, which create a column of air bubbles rising around a pile from the substrate to the water's surface, as a sound attenuation device. The air bubbles absorb and scatter sound waves emanating from the pile, thereby reducing the sound energy. Unconfined bubble curtains will be used during all impact pile driving associated with the G1 dock construction project. A discussion of bubble curtains and their anticipated effectiveness is included in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 79822; December 23, 2015), therefore that information is not repeated here; please refer to that Federal Register notice for that information.

    Soft Start

    The use of a “soft-start” procedure is believed to provide additional protection to marine mammals by providing a warning and an opportunity to leave the area prior to the hammer operating at full capacity. For vibratory hammers, the soft start technique will initiate noise from the hammer for 15 seconds at a reduced energy level, followed by 1-minute waiting period and repeat the procedure two additional times. For impact hammers, the soft start technique will initiate three strikes at a reduced energy level, followed by a 30-second waiting period. This procedure would also be repeated two additional times. The actual number of strikes at reduced energy will vary because operating the hammer at less than full power results in “bouncing” of the hammer as it strikes the pile, resulting in multiple “strikes.” Soft start for impact driving will be required at the beginning of each day's pile driving work and at any time following a cessation of impact pile driving of thirty minutes or longer.

    We have carefully evaluated UniSea's proposed mitigation measures and considered their likely effectiveness relative to implementation of similar mitigation measures in previously issued IHAs to determine whether they are likely to affect the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    (2) The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    (3) The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) we prescribe should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    (1) Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    (2) A reduction in the number (total number or number at biologically important time or location) of individual marine mammals exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    (3) A reduction in the number (total number or number at biologically important time or location) of times any individual marine mammal would be exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    (4) A reduction in the intensity of exposure to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing the severity of behavioral harassment only).

    (5) Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying particular attention to the prey base, blockage or limitation of passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    (6) For monitoring directly related to mitigation, an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of UniSea's proposed measures, we have determined that the mitigation measures provide the means of affecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for incidental take authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the project area.

    Any monitoring requirement we prescribe should accomplish one or more of the following general goals:

    1. An increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, both within defined zones of effect (thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation) and in general to generate more data to contribute to the analyses mentioned below;

    2. An increase in our understanding of how many marine mammals are likely to be exposed to stimuli that we associate with specific adverse effects, such as behavioral harassment or hearing threshold shifts;

    3. An increase in our understanding of how marine mammals respond to stimuli expected to result in incidental take and how anticipated adverse effects on individuals may impact the population, stock, or species (specifically through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival) through any of the following methods:

    • Behavioral observations in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict pertinent information, e.g., received level, distance from source);

    • Physiological measurements in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict pertinent information, e.g., received level, distance from source); and

    • Distribution and/or abundance comparisons in times or areas with concentrated stimuli versus times or areas without stimuli.

    4. An increased knowledge of the affected species; or

    5. An increase in our understanding of the effectiveness of certain mitigation and monitoring measures.

    UniSea submitted a marine mammal monitoring plan as part of their IHA application (the monitoring plan can be viewed online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/). UniSea's marine mammal monitoring plan was created with input from NMFS and was based on similar plans that have been successfully implemented by other action proponents under previous IHAs for pile driving projects.

    Visual Marine Mammal Observations

    UniSea will collect sighting data and will record behavioral responses to construction activities for marine mammal species observed in the project location during the period of activity. All marine mammal observers (MMOs) will be trained in marine mammal identification and behaviors and are required to have no other construction-related tasks while conducting monitoring. UniSea will monitor the Level A and Level B harassment zones before, during, and after pile driving, with observers located at the best practicable vantage points. See Figure 2 in the Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan for the observer locations planned for use during construction. Based on our requirements, the Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan would implement the following procedures for pile driving:

    • Observers will report directly to the monitoring coordinator if/when a shutdown is deemed necessary due to marine mammals approaching the Level A or Level B harassment zones. An employee of the construction contractor will be identified as the monitoring coordinator at the start of each construction day. Shutdowns will be implemented immediately upon an observer reporting a marine mammal in, or approaching, the Level A zone; or, upon an observer reporting a marine mammal under NMFS's jurisdiction other than a Steller sea lion or harbor seal in, or approaching, the Level B zone.

    • MMOs will be located at the best vantage point(s) in order to properly observe the entire Level A and Level B zones. A minimum of two MMOs will be on duty during all pile driving activity, with one of these MMOs having full time responsibility for monitoring the Level A zone.

    • During all observation periods, observers will use binoculars and the naked eye to search continuously for marine mammals.

    • If the Level A or Level B zones are obscured by fog or poor lighting conditions, pile driving will not be initiated until the Level A and Level B zones are clearly visible. Should such conditions arise while impact driving is underway, the activity would be halted.

    • The Level A or Level B zones will be monitored for the presence of marine mammals before, during, and after any pile driving or removal activity.

    Individuals implementing the monitoring protocol will assess its effectiveness using an adaptive approach. MMOs will use their best professional judgment throughout implementation and seek improvements to these methods when deemed appropriate. Any modifications to protocol will be coordinated between NMFS and UniSea.

    Data Collection

    We require that observers use approved data forms. Among other pieces of information, UniSea will record detailed information about any implementation of shutdowns, including the distance of animals to the pile being driven, a description of specific actions that ensued, and resulting behavior of the animal, if any. In addition, UniSea will attempt to distinguish between the number of individual animals taken and the number of incidents of take, when possible. We require that, at a minimum, the following information be collected on sighting forms:

    • Date and time that monitored activity begins or ends;

    • Construction activities occurring during each observation period;

    • Weather parameters (e.g., percent cover, visibility);

    • Water conditions (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    • Species, numbers, and (if possible) sex and age class of marine mammals;

    • Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel and distance from pile driving activity;

    • Distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from marine mammal(s) to the observation point;

    • Locations of all marine mammal observations; and

    • Other human activity in the area.

    Reporting

    A draft report will be submitted within 90 calendar days of the completion of the activity, or within 45 calendar days prior to the effective date of a subsequent IHA (if applicable). The report will include information on marine mammal observations pre-activity, during-activity, and post-activity during pile driving days, and will provide descriptions of any behavioral responses to construction activities by marine mammals and a complete description of any mitigation shutdowns and results of those actions, as well as an estimate of total take based on the number of marine mammals observed during the course of construction. A final report must be submitted within 30 days following resolution of comments from NMFS on the draft report.

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner not authorized by the IHA, such as a Level A harassment, or a take of a marine mammal species other than those authorized, UniSea will immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources. The report would include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Description of the incident;

    • Status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Activities would not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS would work with UniSea to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. UniSea would not be able to resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that UniSea discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead MMO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition), UniSea would immediately report the incident to mail to: The Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator.

    The report would include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Construction related activities would be able to continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with UniSea to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that UniSea discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead MMO determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), UniSea would report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator, within 24 hours of the discovery. UniSea would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    All anticipated takes would be by Level B harassment, resulting from vibratory and impact pile driving and involving temporary changes in behavior. Based on the best available information, the activities—vibratory and impact pile driving—would not result in serious injuries or mortalities to marine mammals even in the absence of the mitigation and monitoring measures. However, the mitigation and monitoring measures are expected to minimize the potential for injury, such that take by Level A harassment is considered discountable.

    If a marine mammal responds to a stimulus by changing its behavior (e.g., through relatively minor changes in locomotion direction/speed or vocalization behavior), the response may or may not constitute taking at the individual level, and is unlikely to affect the stock or the species as a whole. However, if a sound source displaces marine mammals from an important feeding or breeding area for a prolonged period, impacts on animals or on the stock or species could potentially be significant (e.g., Lusseau and Bejder, 2007; Weilgart, 2007). Given the many uncertainties in predicting the quantity and types of impacts of sound on marine mammals, it is common practice to estimate how many animals are likely to be present within a particular distance of a given activity, or exposed to a particular level of sound.

    This practice potentially overestimates the numbers of marine mammals taken, as it is often difficult to distinguish between the individual animals harassed and incidences of harassment. In particular, for stationary activities, it is more likely that some smaller number of individuals may accrue a number of incidences of harassment per individual than for each incidence to accrue to a new individual, especially if those individuals display some degree of residency or site fidelity and the impetus to use the site (e.g., because of foraging opportunities) is stronger than the deterrence presented by the harassing activity. The Steller sea lions and harbor seals expected to occur in the project area are not branded, thus we expect that the identification of individual animals, even by experienced MMOs, would be extremely difficult. This would further increase the likelihood that repeated exposures of an individual, even within the same day, could be recorded as multiple takes.

    UniSea requested authorization for the incidental taking of small numbers of Steller sea lions and harbor seals that may result from pile driving activities associated with the dock construction project described previously in this document. In order to estimate the incidents of take that may occur incidental to the specified activity, we must first estimate the extent of the sound field that may be produced by the activity and then incorporate information about marine mammal density or abundance in the project area. We first provide information on applicable sound thresholds for determining effects to marine mammals before describing the information used in estimating the sound fields, the available marine mammal density or abundance information, and the method of estimating incidences of take.

    Sound Thresholds

    We use generic sound exposure thresholds to determine when an activity that produces sound might result in impacts to a marine mammal such that a “take” by harassment might occur. To date, no studies have been conducted that explicitly examine impacts to marine mammals from pile driving sounds or from which empirical sound thresholds have been established. These thresholds should be considered guidelines for estimating when harassment may occur (i.e., when an animal is exposed to levels equal to or exceeding the relevant criterion) in specific contexts; however, useful contextual information that may inform our assessment of effects is typically lacking and we consider these thresholds as step functions. NMFS is currently revising these acoustic guidelines; for more information on that process, please see: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm.

    Table 2—Current NMFS Acoustic Exposure Criteria Criterion Definition Threshold Level A harassment (underwater) Injury (PTS—any level above that which is known to cause TTS) 180 dB (cetaceans)/190 dB (pinnipeds) (rms). Level B harassment (underwater) Behavioral disruption 160 dB (impulsive source *)/120 dB (continuous source *) (rms). Level B harassment (airborne) ** Behavioral disruption 90 dB (harbor seals)/100 dB (other pinnipeds) (unweighted). * Impact pile driving produces impulsive noise; vibratory pile driving produces non-pulsed (continuous) noise. ** NMFS has not established any formal criteria for harassment resulting from exposure to airborne sound. However, these thresholds represent the best available information regarding the effects of pinniped exposure to such sound and NMFS' practice is to associate exposure at these levels with Level B harassment. Distance to Sound Thresholds

    Underwater Sound Propagation Formula—Pile driving generates underwater noise that can potentially result in disturbance to marine mammals in the project area. Transmission loss (TL) is the decrease in acoustic intensity as an acoustic pressure wave propagates out from a source. TL parameters vary with frequency, temperature, sea conditions, current, source and receiver depth, water depth, water chemistry, and bottom composition and topography. The general formula for underwater TL is:

    TL = B * log10(R1/R2), Where R1 = the distance of the modeled SPL from the driven pile, and R2 = the distance from the driven pile of the initial measurement

    This formula neglects loss due to scattering and absorption, which is assumed to be zero here. The degree to which underwater sound propagates away from a sound source is dependent on a variety of factors, most notably the water bathymetry and presence or absence of reflective or absorptive conditions including in-water structures and sediments. Spherical spreading occurs in a perfectly unobstructed (free-field) environment not limited by depth or water surface, resulting in a 6 dB reduction in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source (20*log[range]). Cylindrical spreading occurs in an environment in which sound propagation is bounded by the water surface and sea bottom, resulting in a reduction of 3 dB in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source (10*log[range]). A practical spreading value of fifteen is often used under conditions, such as Iliuliuk Harbor, where water depth increases as the receiver moves away from the shoreline, resulting in an expected propagation environment that would lie between spherical and cylindrical spreading loss conditions. Practical spreading loss (4.5 dB reduction in sound level for each doubling of distance) is assumed here.

    Underwater Sound—The intensity of pile driving sounds is greatly influenced by factors such as the type of piles, hammers, and the physical environment in which the activity occurs. A large quantity of literature regarding SPLs recorded from pile driving projects is available for consideration. In order to determine reasonable SPLs and their associated effects on marine mammals that are likely to result from pile driving at the UniSea dock, studies with similar properties to the specified activity were evaluated. See Section 5 of UniSea's IHA application for a detailed description of the information considered in determining reasonable proxy source level values. UniSea used representative source levels of 165 dB rms for installation of steel sheet piles using a vibratory hammer (CalTrans 2012), 163 dB rms for vibratory removal and installation of a 24-inch steel pile (Rodkin 2013), 189 dB rms for impact pile driving of a 24-inch steel pile (CalTrans 2012), and 165 dB (re: 1 μPa at 1m) at 200 Hz for down-the-hole drilling (URS 2011). The representative source level of 189 dB rms for impact pile driving of a 24-inch steel pile represents a change from the proposed IHA published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79822), in which a representative source level of 184 dB rms was proposed as a proxy source level; during the 30 day public comment period, NMFS determined that the best available information suggested 189 dB represented a more accurate source level for impact pile driving (CalTrans 2012).

    Table 3—Modeled Distances From G1 Dock to NMFS Level A and Level B Harassment Thresholds (Isopleths) During Pile Installation and Removal Threshold Distance
  • (meters) *
  • Impact driving, pinniped injury (190 dB) ** 8.6 Impact driving, pinniped disturbance (160 dB) 900 Vibratory driving, pinniped injury (190 dB) ** 0.215 Vibratory driving or down-the-hole drilling, pinniped disturbance (120 dB) 10,000 Vibratory removal, pinniped injury (160 dB) ** 0.158 Vibratory removal, pinniped disturbance (120 dB) 7,400 * Distances shown are modeled maximum distances and do not account for landmasses which are expected to reduce the actual distances to sound thresholds. ** These are modeled distances to the Level A harassment threshold, however the Level A zone will conservatively extend to 10 m radius, thus any marine mammal within, or approaching, a 10 m radius of the pile being driven would trigger a shutdown of construction.

    Iliuliuk Harbor does not represent open water, or free field, conditions. Therefore, sounds would attenuate as they encounter land masses. As a result, and as described above, pile driving noise in the project area is not expected to propagate to the calculated distances for the 160 dB or 120 dB thresholds as shown in Table 3. See Appendix B of UniSea's IHA application for figures depicting the actual extents of areas in which each underwater sound threshold is predicted to occur at the project area due to pile driving, taking into account the attenuation provided by landmasses.

    Airborne Sound—Pile driving can generate airborne sound that could potentially result in disturbance to pinnipeds that are hauled out or at the water's surface. As a result, UniSea analyzed the potential for pinnipeds hauled out or swimming at the surface near the G1 dock to be exposed to airborne SPLs that could result in Level B behavioral harassment. A spherical spreading loss model (i.e., 6 dB reduction in sound level for each doubling of distance from the source), in which there is a perfectly unobstructed (free-field) environment not limited by depth or water surface, is appropriate for use with airborne sound and was used to estimate the distance to the airborne thresholds.

    As discussed above regarding underwater sound from pile driving, the intensity of pile driving sounds is greatly influenced by factors such as the type of piles, hammers, and the physical environment in which the activity occurs. In order to determine reasonable airborne SPLs and their associated effects on marine mammals that are likely to result from pile driving at Iliuliuk Harbor, studies with similar properties to the UniSea G1 dock construction project, as described previously, were evaluated. UniSea used representative source levels of 100 dB Leq/rms at 22 m for vibratory removal and installation of a 24-inch steel pile and 100 dB Leq/rms at 26 m for impact driven 24-inch steel piles. Please see Section 5 of UniSea's IHA application for details of the information considered. These values result in a disturbance zone (radial distance) of 3.16 m for harbor seals and 1.0 m for Steller sea lions. No data was found for the airborne sound levels expected from the installation of steel sheet piles or 18-inch steel piles, but sound levels from the installation of steel sheet piles and 18-inch steel piles are likely to be within a similar range as sound levels mentioned above.

    Despite the modeled distances described above, no incidents of incidental take resulting solely from airborne sound are likely, as distances to the harassment thresholds would not reach areas where pinnipeds are known to haul out in the area of the project. Harbor seal haulout locations may change slightly depending on weather patterns, human disturbance, or prey availability, but the closest known harbor seal haulout to the project location is on the north side of Hog island, located west of Amaknak Island in Unalaska Bay, approximately 3 km from the G1 dock (pers. comm., L. Fritz, NMML, to J. Carduner, NMFS, Oct 30, 2015). Steller sea lions have greater site fidelity than harbor seals; the closest known Steller sea lion haulout is at Priest Rock, a point that juts into the Bering Sea on the northeastern corner of Unalaska Bay, approximately 20 km from the project site (pers. comm., L. Fritz, NMML, to J. Carduner, NMFS, Oct 30, 2015).

    We recognize that pinnipeds in the water could be exposed to airborne sound that may result in behavioral harassment when their heads are above the water's surface. However, these animals would previously have been “taken” as a result of exposure to underwater sound above the behavioral harassment thresholds, which are in all cases larger than those associated with airborne sound. Thus, the behavioral harassment of these animals is already accounted for in these estimates of potential take. Multiple incidents of exposure to sound above NMFS' thresholds for behavioral harassment are not believed to result in increased behavioral disturbance, in either nature or intensity of disturbance reaction. Therefore, authorization of incidental take resulting from airborne sound for pinnipeds is not warranted, and airborne sound is not discussed further.

    Marine Mammal Occurrence

    The most appropriate information available was used to estimate the number of potential incidences of take. Density estimates for Steller sea lions and harbor seals in Iliuliuk Harbor, and more broadly in the waters surrounding Unalaska Island, are not readily available. Likewise, we were not able to find any published literature or reports describing densities or estimating abundance of either species in the project area. As such, data collected from marine mammal surveys represent the best available information on the occurrence of both species in the project area.

    Beginning in April 2015, UniSea personnel began conducting marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor under the direction of an ecological consultant. Observers recorded data on all marine mammals that were observed, including Steller sea lions, whales, and harbor seals. Both stationary and roving observations occurred within a 1,000 m radius of the project site (see Figure 9 in the IHA application for a depiction of survey points and marine mammal observations). A combination of two of the stationary observation points were surveyed each day, for a total of 15 minutes at each point, and the roving route was checked once per day over a time span of 15 minutes, covering areas between the docks that were too difficult to see from the stationary points. The survey recorded the number of animals observed, the species, their primary activity, and any additional notes. From January through October 2015, a total of 323 Steller sea lions and 33 harbor seals were observed during 1,432 separate observations over the course of 358 hours of surveys. These surveys represent the most recent data on marine mammal occurrence in the harbor, and represent the only targeted marine mammal surveys of the project area that we are aware of.

    Data from bird surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from 2001-2007, which included observations of marine mammals in the harbor, were also available; however, we determined that these data were unreliable as a basis for prediction of marine mammal abundance in the project location as the goal of the USACE surveys was to develop a snapshot of waterfowl and seabird location and abundance in the harbor, thus the surveys would have been designed and carried out differently if the goal had been to document marine mammal use of the harbor (pers. comm., C. Hoffman, USACE, to J. Carduner, NMFS, October 26, 2015). Additionally, USACE surveys occurred only in winter; as Steller sea lion abundance is expected to vary significantly between the breeding and the non-breeding season in the project location, data that were collected only during the non-breeding season have limited utility in predicting year-round abundance. As such, we determined that the data from the surveys commissioned by UniSea in 2015 represents the best available information on marine mammals in the project location.

    Description of Take Calculation

    The take calculations presented here rely on the best data currently available for marine mammal populations in the project location. Density data for marine mammal species in the project location is not available. Therefore the data collected from marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor in 2015 represent the best available information on marine mammal populations in the project location, and this data was used to estimate take. As such, the zones that have been calculated to contain the areas ensonified to the Level A and Level B thresholds for pinnipeds have been calculated for mitigation and monitoring purposes and were not used in the calculation of take. See Table 4 for total estimated incidents of take. Estimates were based on the following assumptions:

    • All marine mammals estimated to be in areas ensonified by noise exceeding the Level B harassment threshold for impact and vibratory driving (as shown in Appendix B of the IHA application) are assumed to be in the water 100% of the time. This assumption is based on the fact that there are no haulouts or rookeries within the area predicted to be ensonified to the Level B harassment threshold based on modeling.

    • Predicted exposures were based on total estimated total duration of pile driving/removal hours, which are estimated at 1,080 hours over the entire project. This estimate is based on a 180 day project time frame, an average work day of 12 hours (work days may be longer than 12 hours in summer and shorter than 12 hours in winter), and an estimate that approximately 50% of time during those work days will include pile driving and removal activities (with the other 50% of work days spent on non-pile driving activities which will not result in marine mammal take, such as installing templating and bracing, moving equipment, etc.).

    • Vibratory or impact driving could occur at any time during the “duration” and our approach to take calculation assumes a rate of occurrence that is the same for any of the calculated zones.

    • The hourly marine mammal observation rate recorded during marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor in 2015 is reflective of the hourly rate that will be observed during the construction project.

    • Takes were calculated based on estimated rates of occurrence for each species in the project area and this rate was assumed to be the same regardless of the size of the zone (for impact or vibratory driving/removal).

    • Activities that may be accomplished by either impact driving or down-the-hole drilling (i.e. fender support/pin piles, miscellaneous support piles, and temporary support piles) were assumed to be accomplished via impact driving. If any of these activities are ultimately accomplished via down-the-hole drilling instead of impact driving, this would not result in a change in the amount of overall effort (as they will be accomplished via down-the-hole drilling instead of, and not in addition to, impact driving). As take estimates are calculated based on effort and not marine mammal densities, this would not change the take estimate.

    Take estimates for Steller sea lions and harbor seals were calculated using the following series of steps:

    1. The average hourly rate of animals observed during 2015 marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor was calculated separately for both species (“Observation Rate”). Thus “Observation Rate” (OR) = No. of individuals observed/hours of observation;

    2. The 95% confidence interval was calculated for the data set, and the upper bound of the 95% confidence interval was added to the Observation Rate to account for variability of the small data set (“Exposure Rate”). Thus “Exposure Rate” (XR) = μOR + CI95 (where μOR = average of monthly observation rates and CI95 = 95% confidence interval (normal distribution);

    3. The total estimated hours of pile driving work over the entire project was calculated, as described above (“Duration”); Thus “Duration” = total number of work days (180) * average work hours per day (12) * percentage of pile driving time during work days (0.5) = total work hours for the project (1,080); and

    4. The estimated number of exposures was calculated by multiplying the “Duration” by the estimated “Exposure Rate” for each species. Thus, estimated takes = Duration * XR.

    Please refer to Appendix G of the IHA application for a more thorough description of the statistical analysis of the observation data from marine mammal surveys.

    Steller Sea Lion—Steller sea lion density data for the project area is not available. Steller sea lions occur year-round in the Aleutian Islands and within Unalaska Bay and Iliuliuk Harbor. As described above, local abundance in the non-breeding season (winter months) is generally lower overall; data from surveys conducted by UniSea in 2015 revealed Steller sea lions were present in Iliuliuk Harbor in all months that surveys occurred. We assume, based on marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor, and based on the best available information on seasonal abundance patterns of the species including over 20 years of NMML survey data collected in Unalaska, that Steller sea lions will be regularly observed in the project area during all months of construction. As described above, all Steller sea lions in the project area at a given time are assumed to be in the water, thus any sea lion within the modeled area of ensonification exceeding the Level B harassment threshold would be recorded as taken by Level B harassment.

    Estimated take of Steller sea lions was calculated using the equations described above, as follows:

    μOR = 1.219 individuals/hr CI95 = 0.798 XR = 2.016 Estimated exposures (Level B harassment) = 2.016 * 1,080 = 2,177

    Thus we estimate that a total of 2,177 Steller sea lion takes will occur as a result of the UniSea G1 dock construction project (Table 4).

    Harbor Seal—Harbor seal density data for the project location is not available. We assume, based on the best on the best available information, that harbor seals will be encountered in low numbers throughout the duration of the project. We relied on the best available information to estimate take of harbor seals, which in this case was survey data collected from the 2015 marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor as described above. That survey data showed harbor seals are present in the harbor only occasionally, with only 33 seals observed over the entire survey. NMML surveys have not been performed in Iliuliuk Harbor, but the most recent NMML surveys of Unalaska Bay confirm that harbor seals are present in the area in relatively small numbers, with the most recent haulout counts in Unalaska Bay (2008-11) recording no more than 19 individuals at the three known haulouts there. NMML surveys have been limited to the months of July and August, so it is not known whether harbor seal abundance in the project area varies seasonally. The 2015 marine mammal surveys of Iliuliuk Harbor showed numbers of harbor seals in the harbor increasing from July through October, but the sample size for those months was extremely small (n=30). As described above, all harbor seals in the project area at a given time are assumed to be in the water, thus any harbor seals within the modeled area of ensonification exceeding the Level B harassment threshold would be recorded as taken by Level B harassment.

    Estimated take of harbor seals was calculated using the equations described above, as follows:

    μOR = 0.171 individuals/hr CI95 = 0.185 XR = 0.356 Estimated exposures (Level B harassment) = 0.356 * 1,080 hours = 385

    Thus we estimate that a total of 385 harbor seal takes will occur as a result of the UniSea G1 dock construction project (Table 4).

    We therefore authorize the take, by Level B harassment only, of a total of 2,177 Steller sea lions (western DPS) and 385 harbor seals (Aleutian Islands stock) as a result of the UniSea G1 dock construction project. These take estimates are considered reasonable estimates of the number of marine mammal exposures to sound above the Level B harassment threshold that are likely to occur over the course of the project, and not the number of individual animals exposed. For instance, for pinnipeds that associate fishing boats in Iliuliuk Harbor with reliable sources of food, there will almost certainly be some overlap in individuals present day-to-day depending on the number of vessels entering the harbor, however each instance of exposure for these individuals will be recorded as a separate, additional take. Moreover, because we anticipate that marine mammal observers will typically be unable to determine from field observations whether the same or different individuals are being exposed over the course of a workday, each observation of a marine mammal will be recorded as a new take, although an individual theoretically would only be considered as taken once in a given day.

    Table 4—Number of Authorized Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals, and Percentage of Stock Abundance, as a Result of the G1 Dock Construction Project Species Underwater * Level A Level B
  • (120 dB)
  • Percentage of
  • stock
  • abundance
  • Steller sea lion 0 2,177 4 Harbor seal 0 385 11 * We assume, for reasons described earlier, that no takes would occur as a result of airborne noise.
    Analyses and Determinations Negligible Impact Analysis

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, we consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    Pile driving activities associated with the UniSea G1 dock construction project, as outlined previously, have the potential to disturb or displace marine mammals. Specifically, the specified activities may result in take, in the form of Level B harassment (behavioral disturbance) only, from underwater sounds generated from pile driving. Takes could occur if marine mammals are present in the Level B harassment zone when pile driving is happening, which is likely to occur because: (1) Steller sea lions have established haulouts near Iliuliuk Harbor and are frequently observed in Iliuliuk Harbor, in varying numbers depending on season and prey availability, and probably associate fishing boats entering the harbor with reliable food sources; and (2) harbor seals are observed in Iliuliuk Harbor occasionally and are known to haulout at sites outside the harbor, including one site approximately 3 km from the project location.

    No serious injury or mortality of marine mammals would be anticipated as a result of vibratory and impact pile driving, regardless of mitigation and monitoring measures. Vibratory hammers do not have significant potential to cause injury to marine mammals due to the relatively low source levels produced (less than 180 dB rms) and the lack of potentially injurious source characteristics. Impact pile driving produces short, sharp pulses with higher peak levels than vibratory driving and much sharper rise time to reach those peaks. The potential for injury that may otherwise result from exposure to noise associated with impact pile driving will effectively be minimized through the implementation of the planned mitigation measures. These measures include: The implementation of a Level A “exclusion zone”, which is expected to eliminate the likelihood of marine mammal exposure to noise at received levels that could result in injury; the use of “soft start” before pile driving, which is expected to provide marine mammals near or within the zone of potential injury with sufficient time to vacate the area; and the use of a sound attenuation system which is expected to dampen the sharp, potentially injurious peaks associated with impact driving and to reduce the overall source level to some extent (it is difficult to predict the extent of attenuation provided as underwater recordings have not been performed for the type of bubble curtain proposed for use). We believe the required mitigation measures, which have been successfully implemented in similar pile driving projects, will minimize the possibility of injury that may otherwise exist as a result of impact pile driving.

    Effects on individuals that are taken by Level B harassment, on the basis of reports in the literature as well as monitoring from similar pile driving projects that have received incidental take authorizations from NMFS, will likely be limited to reactions such as increased swimming speeds, increased surfacing time, or decreased foraging. Most likely, individuals will simply move away from the sound source and be temporarily displaced from the area of pile driving (though even this reaction has been observed primarily in association with impact pile driving). In response to vibratory driving, harbor seals have been observed to orient towards and sometimes move towards the sound. Repeated exposures of individuals to levels of sound that may cause Level B harassment are unlikely to result in hearing impairment or to significantly disrupt foraging behavior. Thus, even repeated Level B harassment of some small subset of the overall stock is unlikely to result in any significant realized decrease in fitness to those individuals, and thus would not result in any adverse impact to the stock as a whole. Level B harassment will be reduced to the level of least practicable impact through use of mitigation measures described herein and, if sound produced by project activities is sufficiently disturbing, animals are likely to simply avoid the project area while the activity is occurring.

    No pinniped rookeries or haul-outs are present within the project area, and the project area is not known to provide foraging habitat of any special importance to either Steller sea lions or harbor seals (other than is afforded by the migration of salmonids to and from Iliuliuk Stream and the occasional availability of discarded fish from commercial fishing boats and fish processing facilities in the project area). No cetaceans are expected within the project area. While we are not aware of comparable construction projects in the project location, the pile driving activities analyzed here are similar to other in-water construction activities that have received incidental harassment authorizations previously, including projects at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor in Hood Canal, Washington, and at the Port of Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, which have occurred with no reported injuries or mortalities to marine mammals, and no known long-term adverse consequences to marine mammals from behavioral harassment.

    In summary, this negligible impact analysis is founded on the following factors: (1) The possibility of injury, serious injury, or mortality may reasonably be considered discountable; (2) the anticipated incidences of Level B harassment consist of, at worst, temporary modifications in behavior; (3) the absence of any major rookeries and only a few isolated haulout areas near the project site; (4) the absence of any other known areas or features of special significance for foraging or reproduction within the project area; and (5) the presumed efficacy of planned mitigation measures in reducing the effects of the specified activity to the level of least practicable impact. In combination, we believe that these factors, as well as the available body of evidence from other similar activities, demonstrate that the potential effects of the specified activity will have only short-term effects on individual animals. The specified activity is not expected to impact rates of recruitment or survival and will therefore not result in population-level impacts. Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the monitoring and mitigation measures, we find that the total marine mammal take from UniSea's dock construction activities in Iliuliuk Harbor will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers Analysis

    The numbers of animals authorized to be taken would be considered small relative to the relevant stocks or populations (4 percent and 11 percent for Steller sea lions and harbor seals, respectively) even if each estimated taking occurred to a new individual. However, the likelihood that each take would occur to a new individual is extremely low. As described above, for those sea lions that associate fishing boats with reliable sources of food, there will almost certainly be some overlap in individuals present day-to-day depending on the number of vessels entering the harbor. It is expected that operations at a separate, nearby UniSea dock and the associated UniSea processing facilities, as well as at seafood processing facilities owned by other companies based in Iliuliuk Harbor, will continue as usual during construction on the G1 dock, so it is likely that sea lions accustomed to seeking food at th