Federal Register Vol. 81, No.44,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 44 (March 7, 2016)

Page Range11659-11999
FR Document

81_FR_44
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 11999 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to VenezuelaPDF
81 FR 11997 - Limiting the Use of Restrictive Housing by the Federal GovernmentPDF
81 FR 11844 - Sunshine Act Cancellation Notice-OPIC March 9, 2016 Public HearingPDF
81 FR 11874 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics From the R. Albuquerque Collection” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 11844 - Committee Management; RenewalsPDF
81 FR 11801 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 11834 - Information Collection Activities: Oil and Gas Production Measurement, Surface Commingling, and Security; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11791 - Imidacloprid Registration Review; Draft Pollinator Ecological Risk Assessment; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 11706 - Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones UpdatePDF
81 FR 11681 - Environmental Qualification of Electrical EquipmentPDF
81 FR 11770 - Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Model Demonstration Projects To Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners With Disabilities in Grades Three Through Five or Three Through SixPDF
81 FR 11763 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11741 - Authorization of Production Activity; Foreign-Trade Subzone 38A; BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC; (Motor Vehicle Body Parts and Lithium-Ion Batteries); Spartanburg, South CarolinaPDF
81 FR 11754 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional MeasuresPDF
81 FR 11744 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional MeasuresPDF
81 FR 11757 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
81 FR 11747 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
81 FR 11741 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From India: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional MeasuresPDF
81 FR 11751 - Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
81 FR 11762 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection 3038-0104, Exemption for Swaps Between AffiliatesPDF
81 FR 11837 - Certain Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From ChinaPDF
81 FR 11764 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 11668 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJPDF
81 FR 11739 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11738 - Environmental Impact Statement; Introduction of the Products of BiotechnologyPDF
81 FR 11760 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 11762 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 11833 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lands in the Northeast Region; Draft Long Range Transportation PlanPDF
81 FR 11686 - Coordination of Federal Authorizations for Electric Transmission Facilities; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 11769 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11815 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11665 - TRICARE; Revision of Nonparticipating Providers Reimbursement Rate; Removal of Cost Share for Dental Sealants; TRICARE Dental ProgramPDF
81 FR 11764 - U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 11845 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 11779 - Agency Information Collection ExtensionPDF
81 FR 11778 - International Energy Agency MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11791 - Defense Programs Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 11763 - Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11876 - Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; HearingPDF
81 FR 11875 - Notification of Changes to the Definition of a High Risk Motor Carrier and Associated Investigation ProceduresPDF
81 FR 11902 - Columbia Body Manufacturing Co.; Grant of Petition for Temporary Exemption From FMVSS No. 224PDF
81 FR 11698 - Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military ChildrenPDF
81 FR 11739 - Dixie Resource Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 11874 - Railroad Cost of Capital-2015PDF
81 FR 11804 - Mechanistic Oral Absorption Modeling and Simulation for Formulation Development and Bioequivalence Evaluation; Public Workshop; Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 11811 - Environmental Assessment: Questions and Answers Regarding Drugs With Estrogenic, Androgenic, or Thyroid Activity; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 11832 - Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 11790 - South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 11789 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
81 FR 11788 - Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC; Notice of Request for WaiverPDF
81 FR 11788 - General Electric Company, Aclara Meters LLC; Notice of Application for Transfer of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 11780 - Colonial Pipeline Company; Notice of Extension and Amendment of SettlementPDF
81 FR 11781 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-538, FERC-740, FERC-729, FERC-715, FERC-592, FERC-60, FERC-61, and FERC-555A); Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11789 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 11785 - Port Barre Investments, LLC (d/b/a Bobcat Gas Storage); Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 11779 - Constitution Pipeline; Company, LLC; Notice Rejecting Request for Emergency Motion for Suspension of Non-Mechanical Tree FellingPDF
81 FR 11786 - Stephen Kohlhase, v. Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P., Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of ComplaintPDF
81 FR 11786 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 11780 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 11788 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 11813 - A Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide: Chapter II. Identity Statement; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 11807 - Clinical Considerations for Investigational Device Exemptions for Neurological Devices Targeting Disease Progression and Clinical Outcomes; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 11810 - Medical Devices and Clinical Trial Design for the Treatment or Improvement in the Appearance of Fungally-Infected Nails; Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 11664 - New Animal Drugs for Use in Animal Feeds; Removal of Obsolete and Redundant RegulationsPDF
81 FR 11813 - Canned Tuna Deviating From Identity Standard: Temporary Permit for Market TestingPDF
81 FR 11796 - Submission for OMB Review; Price RedeterminationPDF
81 FR 11795 - Information Collection; Prompt PaymentPDF
81 FR 11794 - Information Collection; Quality Assurance RequirementsPDF
81 FR 11663 - Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 11800 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 11796 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 11839 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Gamma Radiation SurveysPDF
81 FR 11839 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Work-Study Program of the Child Labor RegulationsPDF
81 FR 11838 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Young Offenders GrantsPDF
81 FR 11840 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Unemployment Insurance Call Center Final Assessment GuidePDF
81 FR 11798 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 11841 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
81 FR 11815 - Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 11837 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; FEL Out of Business RecordsPDF
81 FR 11804 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program Outcome MeasurementPDF
81 FR 11803 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program Standardized Data CollectionPDF
81 FR 11846 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 11818 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 11819 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11817 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 11818 - National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11820 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11819 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 11816 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11817 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 11846 - Advisors Asset Management, Inc. and AAM ETF Trust; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 11851 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt FINRA Rule 4554 (Alternative Trading Systems-Recording and Reporting Requirements of Order and Execution Information for NMS Stocks)PDF
81 FR 11870 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 7.21, Obligations of Market Maker Authorized TradersPDF
81 FR 11856 - Order Granting Exemptions From Certain Provisions of Rule 613 Pursuant to Section 36(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934PDF
81 FR 11872 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Limit Order Protection and Market Order ProtectionPDF
81 FR 11872 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Limit Order Protection and Market Order ProtectionPDF
81 FR 11850 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Rule Change to Adopt Limit Order Protection and Market Order ProtectionPDF
81 FR 11872 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees as They Apply to the Equity Options PlatformPDF
81 FR 11819 - Workshop on Shift Work at Night, Artificial Light at Night, and Circadian Disruption; Notice of Public Meeting; Registration Information; Amended NoticePDF
81 FR 11727 - Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Redesignation Request and Associated Maintenance Plan for Billings, MT 2010 SO2PDF
81 FR 11844 - Information Collection Request Submission for OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 11844 - Information Collection Request; Submission for OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 11673 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone StandardPDF
81 FR 11904 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Revision; Submission for OMB Review; Domestic First Lien Residential Mortgage DataPDF
81 FR 11716 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone StandardPDF
81 FR 11908 - Great Lakes Pilotage Rates-2016 Annual Review and Changes to MethodologyPDF
81 FR 11808 - Donor Screening Recommendations To Reduce the Risk of Transmission of Zika Virus by Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 11738 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 11830 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 11826 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 11761 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Pacific Coast Groundfish Rationalization Sociocultural StudyPDF
81 FR 11824 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 11822 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 11821 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 11792 - Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 11697 - Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter IndustriesPDF
81 FR 11878 - Agency Request for Emergency Processing of Collection of Information by the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 11769 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)PDF
81 FR 11671 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 20088-Hour Ozone StandardPDF
81 FR 11828 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 11726 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone StandardPDF
81 FR 11766 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
81 FR 11659 - IFR Altitudes; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 11695 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Taos, NMPDF
81 FR 11734 - Use of Locomotive Horns at Public Highway-Rail Grade Crossings; Notice of Safety InquiryPDF
81 FR 11686 - Energy Conservation Program: Certification and Enforcement-Import Data Collection; Notice of Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 11993 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Small Entity Compliance GuidePDF
81 FR 11992 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Technical AmendmentPDF
81 FR 11988 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information on Corporate Contractor Performance and IntegrityPDF
81 FR 11988 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; IntroductionPDF
81 FR 11711 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 11668 - Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Revision to Visibility Federal Implementation PlanPDF
81 FR 11692 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Little Rock, ARPDF
81 FR 11694 - Proposed Modification of Federal Airway V-506; Kotzebue, AKPDF
81 FR 11717 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; South Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
81 FR 11687 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 11678 - Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order 989 and Referendum OrderPDF
81 FR 11690 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 11944 - Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle OperatorsPDF

Issue

81 44 Monday, March 7, 2016 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Marketing Orders: Raisins Produced from Grapes Grown in California, 11678-11681 2016-04623 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, 11764 2016-04980 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11738-11739 2016-04892 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Introduction of the Products of Biotechnology, 11738 2016-04992 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Oil and Gas Production Measurement, Surface Commingling, and Security, 11834-11837 2016-05052 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11796-11803 2016-04933 2016-04938 2016-04939 2016-05073 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ, 11668 2016-04994 Great Lakes Pilotage Rates, 11908-11942 2016-04894 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update, 11706-11711 2016-05032 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11739-11741 2016-04993
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Exemption for Swaps between Affiliates, 11762-11763 2016-04999 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 11763 2016-05016 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program Standardized Data Collection, 11803-11804 2016-04924 Senior Medicare Patrol Program Outcome Measurement, 11804 2016-04925 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Domestic First Lien Residential Mortgage Data, 11904-11905 2016-04896 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11763-11764 2016-04974 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Navy Department

RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Introduction, 11988 2016-04772 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 11993 2016-04775 Information on Corporate Contractor Performance and Integrity, 11988-11991 2016-04773 Technical Amendment, 11992-11993 2016-04774 TRICARE: Revision of Nonparticipating Providers Reimbursement Rate; Removal of Cost Share for Dental Sealants; TRICARE Dental Program, 11665-11668 2016-04983 PROPOSED RULES Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, 11698-11706 2016-04970 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Price Redetermination, 11796 2016-04943 Prompt Payment, 11795 2016-04942 Quality Assurance Requirements, 11794-11795 2016-04941 Arms Sales, 11766-11769 2016-04873 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 11764-11766 2016-04995
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Student Loan Data System, 11769-11770 2016-04881 Applications for New Awards: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities, etc., 11770-11778 2016-05026 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

National Nuclear Security Administration

PROPOSED RULES Coordination of Federal Authorizations for Electric Transmission Facilities: Meetings; Public Workshops, 11686-11687 2016-04986 Energy Conservation Program: Certification and Enforcement—Import Data Collection, 11686 2016-04829 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11779 2016-04978 Meetings: International Energy Agency, 11778-11779 2016-04976
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Illinois; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard, 11671-11673 2016-04879 Minnesota; Revision to Visibility Federal Implementation Plan, 11668-11670 2016-04751 Wisconsin; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard, 11673-11677 2016-04897 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Illinois; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard, 11726-11727 2016-04877 Redesignation Request and Associated Maintenance Plan for Billings, MT 2010 SO2 Nonattainment Area, 11727-11734 2016-04900 South Carolina, 11717-11726 2016-04728 Virginia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 11711-11716 2016-04755 Wisconsin; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard, 11716-11717 2016-04895 NOTICES Draft Pollinator Ecological Risk Assessments: Imidacloprid Registration Review, 11791-11792 2016-05033 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES IFR Altitudes; Miscellaneous Amendments, 11659-11663 2016-04855 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 11690-11692 2016-04562 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 11687-11689 2016-04679 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Little Rock, AR, 11692-11694 2016-04742 Taos, NM, 11695-11697 2016-04848 Modification of Federal Airway V-506: Kotzebue, AK, 11694-11695 2016-04738 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations, 11826-11828 2016-04890 Final Flood Hazard Determinations, 11821-11824, 11828-11832 2016-04878 2016-04885 2016-04886 2016-04891 Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations, 11824-11826 2016-04887 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11781-11785 2016-04956 Applications: Port Barre Investments, LLC d/b/a Bobcat Gas Storage, 11785-11786 2016-04954 South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., 11790-11791 2016-04961 Combined Filings, 11780, 11786-11788 2016-04949 2016-04950 2016-04951 Complaints: Stephen Kohlhase v. Iroquois Gas Transmission System, LP and Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC, 11786 2016-04952 License Transfer Applications: General Electric Co., Aclara Meters, LLC, 11788 2016-04958 Requests for Emergency Motions: Constitution Pipeline Co., LLC; Suspension of Non-Mechanical Tree Felling; Denial, 11779 2016-04953 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 11789 2016-04955 Settlement Agreements: Colonial Pipeline Co.; Extension and Amendment, 11780 2016-04957 Staff Attendances, 11789-11790 2016-04960 Waivers: Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC, 11788-11789 2016-04959 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators, 11944-11986 2016-03869 NOTICES Changes to the Definition of a High Risk Motor Carrier and Associated Investigation Procedures, 11875-11876 2016-04972 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Hearing, 11876-11878 2016-04973 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration PROPOSED RULES Safety Inquiries: Use of Locomotive Horns at Public Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, 11734-11737 2016-04831 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11878-11901 2016-04882 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, 11697-11698 2016-04883 NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreement: Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC; Analysis to Aid Public Comment, 11792-11794 2016-04884 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Draft Long Range Transportation Plans: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lands in the Northeast Region, 11833-11834 2016-04987 Meetings: Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, 11832-11833 2016-04962 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES New Animal Drugs; Use in Animal Feeds: Removal of Obsolete and Redundant Regulations, 11664-11665 2016-04945 Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee, 11663 2016-04940 NOTICES Guidance: Clinical Considerations for Investigational Device Exemptions for Neurological Devices Targeting Disease Progression and Clinical Outcomes, 11807-11808 2016-04947 Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide, Chapter II Identity Statement; Availability, 11813-11814 2016-04948 Donor Screening Recommendations to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of Zika Virus by Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products, 11808-11810 2016-04893 Environmental Assessment, Questions and Answers Regarding Drugs With Estrogenic, Androgenic, or Thyroid Activity, 11811-11812 2016-04964 Medical Devices and Clinical Trial Design for the Treatment or Improvement in the Appearance of Fungally-Infected Nails, 11810-11811 2016-04946 Meetings: Mechanistic Oral Absorption Modeling and Simulation for Formulation Development and Bioequivalence Evaluation; Public Workshop, 11804-11806 2016-04965 Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 11815 2016-04927 Permits: Canned Tuna Deviating from Identity Standard--Temporary Permit for Market Testing, 11813 2016-04944 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities; Authorizations: BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, Foreign-Trade Subzone 38A, Spartanburg, SC, 11741 2016-05012 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Dixie Resource Advisory Committee, 11739 2016-04969 General Services General Services Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Introduction, 11988 2016-04772 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 11993 2016-04775 Information on Corporate Contractor Performance and Integrity, 11988-11991 2016-04773 Technical Amendment, 11992-11993 2016-04774 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Price Redetermination, 11796 2016-04943 Prompt Payment, 11795 2016-04942 Quality Assurance Requirements, 11794-11795 2016-04941 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11815-11816 2016-04984 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Fish and Wildlife Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, etc.: Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China, 11751-11754 2016-05001 Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from India, 11741-11744 2016-05003 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, etc.: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, 11754-11757 2016-05008 Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan, 11747-11751 2016-05005 Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea, 11757-11760 2016-05006 Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the United Kingdom, 11744-11747 2016-05007 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from China, 11837 2016-04998 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FEL Out of Business Records, 11837-11838 2016-04926 Labor Department Labor Department See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Young Offenders Grants, 11838-11839 2016-04935 Gamma Radiation Surveys, 11839-11840 2016-04937 Unemployment Insurance Call Center Final Assessment Guide, 11840-11841 2016-04934 Work-Study Program of the Child Labor Regulations, 11839 2016-04936
Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 11841-11844 2016-04930 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Introduction, 11988 2016-04772 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-87; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 11993 2016-04775 Information on Corporate Contractor Performance and Integrity, 11988-11991 2016-04773 Technical Amendment, 11992-11993 2016-04774 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Price Redetermination, 11796 2016-04943 Prompt Payment, 11795 2016-04942 Quality Assurance Requirements, 11794-11795 2016-04941 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Temporary Exemption; Approvals: Columbia Body Manufacturing Co., 11902-11904 2016-04971 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 11817-11818 2016-04914 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 11819-11821 2016-04916 2016-04917 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 11816 2016-04915 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 11818 2016-04918 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 11817 2016-04919 2016-04920 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 11818-11819 2016-04921 2016-04922 Workshop on Shift Work at Night, Artificial Light at Night, and Circadian Disruption, 11819 2016-04902 National Nuclear National Nuclear Security Administration NOTICES Meetings: Defense Programs Advisory Committee, 11791 2016-04975 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pacific Coast Groundfish Rationalization Sociocultural Study, 11761-11762 2016-04888 Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 11762 2016-04989 New England Fishery Management Council, 11760-11761 2016-04988 2016-04990 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Committee Management Renewals, 11844 2016-05075 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11769 2016-04985 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Environmental Qualification of Electrical Equipment, 11681-11686 2016-05028 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 11844 2016-05166 Peace Peace Corps NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 11844-11845 2016-04898 2016-04899 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 11845-11846 2016-04923 2016-04979 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Restrictive Housing; Limitations of Federal Government Use (Memorandum of March 1, 2016), 11995-11998 2016-05232 Venezuela; Continuation of National Emergency (Notice of March 3, 3016), 11999 2016-05234 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Advisors Asset Management, Inc. and AAM ETF Trust, 11846-11850 2016-04913 Orders Granting Exemptions from Certain Provisions, 11856-11870 2016-04910 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 11872-11874 2016-04906 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 11851-11856 2016-04912 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 11872 2016-04908 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 11850-11851 2016-04907 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 11872 2016-04909 NYSE Arca, Inc., 11870-11872 2016-04911 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Global by Design--Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection, 11874 2016-05128 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Railroad Cost of Capital, 11874 2016-04967 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Homeland Security Department, Coast Guard, 11908-11942 2016-04894 Part III Transportation Department, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 11944-11986 2016-03869 Part IV Defense Department, 11988-11993 2016-04772 2016-04775 2016-04773 2016-04774 General Services Administration, 11988-11993 2016-04772 2016-04775 2016-04773 2016-04774 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 11988-11993 2016-04772 2016-04775 2016-04773 2016-04774 Part V Presidential Documents, 11995-11999 2016-05232 2016-05234 Reader Aids

Consult the Reader Aids section at the end of this issue for phone numbers, online resources, finding aids, and notice of recently enacted public laws.

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81 44 Monday, March 7, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 95 [Docket No. 31066; Amdt. No. 525] IFR Altitudes; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts miscellaneous amendments to the required IFR (instrument flight rules) altitudes and changeover points for certain Federal airways, jet routes, or direct routes for which a minimum or maximum en route authorized IFR altitude is prescribed. This regulatory action is needed because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace under instrument conditions in the affected areas.

DATES:

Effective Date: 0901 UTC, March 31, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard A. Dunham, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AMCAFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK. 73125) telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This amendment to part 95 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 95) amends, suspends, or revokes IFR altitudes governing the operation of all aircraft in flight over a specified route or any portion of that route, as well as the changeover points (COPs) for Federal airways, jet routes, or direct routes as prescribed in part 95.

The Rule

The specified IFR altitudes, when used in conjunction with the prescribed changeover points for those routes, ensure navigation aid coverage that is adequate for safe flight operations and free of frequency interference. The reasons and circumstances that create the need for this amendment involve matters of flight safety and operational efficiency in the National Airspace System, are related to published aeronautical charts that are essential to the user, and provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace. In addition, those various reasons or circumstances require making this amendment effective before the next scheduled charting and publication date of the flight information to assure its timely availability to the user. The effective date of this amendment reflects those considerations. In view of the close and immediate relationship between these regulatory changes and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure before adopting this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that good cause exists for making the amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Conclusion

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore—(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. For the same reason, the FAA certifies that this amendment will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 95

Airspace, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 26, 2016. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, part 95 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 95) is amended as follows effective at 0901 UTC, March 10, 2016.

1. The authority citation for part 95 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44719, 44721.

2. Part 95 is amended to read as follows: Revisions to IFR Altitudes & Changeover Point Amendment 525 Effective Date March 31, 2016 From To MEA MAA § 95.4000 High Altitude RNAV Routes § 95.4070 RNAV Route Q70 Is Added To Read Hailo, CA WP Las Vegas, NV VORTAC *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Las Vegas, NV VORTAC Ifeye, NV WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Ifeye, NV WP Blipp, NV WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Blipp, NV WP Eevun, UT WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Eevun, UT WP Blobb, UT WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Blobb, UT WP Bawer, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Bawer, UT WP Sakes, UT FIX *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4073 RNAV Route Q73 Is Added To Read Momar, CA FIX Cabic, CA WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Cabic, CA WP Chadt, CA WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Chadt, CA WP Lvell, CA WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Lvell, CA WP Hakmn, NV WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Hakmn, NV WP Zzyzx, NV WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required ZZYZX, NV WP Lakrr, NV WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Lakrr, NV WP Guntr, AZ WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Guntr, AZ WP Zainy, AZ WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Zainy, AZ WP Eevun, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Eevun, UT WP Winen, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Winen, UT WP Crito, NV WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Crito, NV WP Broph, ID WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Broph, ID WP Derso, ID FIX *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Derso, ID FIX Sawtt, ID WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Sawtt, ID WP Zatip, ID FIX *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Zatip, ID FIX Cordu, ID FIX *18000 45000 *GNSS Required § 95.4074 RNAV Route Q74 Is Added To Read Natee, NV WP Boulder City, NV VORTAC *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Boulder City, NV VORTAC Zainy, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Zainy, AZ WP Fizzl, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Fizzl, AZ WP Gardd, UT WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Gardd, UT WP Deann, UT WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4078 RNAV Route Q78 Is Added To Read Marue, NV WP Duggn, AZ WP *24000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Duggn, AZ WP Toadd, AZ WP *24000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4086 RNAV Route Q86 Is Added To Read Ttrue, AZ WP Yorrk, AZ WP *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Yorrk, AZ WP Schls, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Schls, AZ WP Cutro, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Cutro, AZ WP Valeq, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Valeq, AZ WP Plndl, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4088 RNAV Route Q88 Is Added To Read Hakmn, NV WP Zzyzx, NV WP *19000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Zzyzx, NV WP Lakrr, NV WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Lakrr, NV WP Nootn, AZ FIX *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Nootn, AZ Fix Gardd, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Gardd, UT WP Verkn, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Verkn, UT WP Promt, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Promt, UT WP Chesz, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4090 RNAV Route Q90 Is Added To Read Dnero, CA WP Esgee, NV WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Esgee, NV WP Areaf, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Areaf, AZ WP Jasse, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4094 RNAV Route Q94 Is Added To Read Welum, NV WP Mnggo, AZ WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Mnggo, AZ WP Rooll, AZ WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4096 RNAV Route Q96 Is Added To Read Purse, NV WP Doddl, NV WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Doddl, NV WP Bfune, AZ WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Bfune, AZ WP Guntr, AZ WP *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Guntr, AZ WP Piixr, AZ WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Piixr, AZ WP Fizzl, AZ WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Fizzl, AZ WP Bawer, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Bawer, UT WP Roccy, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Roccy, UT WP Saraf, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Saraf, UT WP Kimmr, UT WP *22000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4098 RNAV Route Q98 Is Added To Read Hakmn, NV WP Zzyzx, NV WP *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Zzyzx, NV WP Lakrr, NV WP *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Lakrr, NV WP Duzit, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Duzit, AZ WP Eeezy, AZ WP *24000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Eeezy, AZ WP Peewe, AZ WP *24000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4114 RNAV Route Q114 Is Added To Read Natee, NV WP Boulder City, NV Vortac *18000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Boulder City, NV Vortac Zainy, AZ WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Zainy, AZ WP Ahoww, UT WP *20000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Ahoww, UT WP Bawer, UT WP *24000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Bawer, UT WP Buggg, UT WP *24000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4168 RNAV Route Q168 Is Added To Read Fnnda, CA WP Shiva, AZ WP *21000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Shiva, AZ WP Krina, AZ WP *21000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA Krina, AZ WP Jasse, AZ WP *21000 45000 *18000-GNSS MEA § 95.4842 RNAV Route Q842 Is Added To Read Beale, NV WP Blipp, NV WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Blipp, NV WP Winen, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Winen, UT WP Tabll, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Tabll, UT WP Picho, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Picho, UT WP Patio, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Patio, UT WP Proxi, UT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Proxi, UT WP Vaane, MT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Vaane, MT WP Keeta, MT WP *18000 45000 *GNSS Required Keeta, MT WP U.S. Canadian Border *18000 45000 *GNSS Required From To MEA § 95.6001 Victor Routes—U.S. § 95.6248 VOR Federal Airway V196 Is Amended To Read in Part Saranac Lake, NY VOR/DME Rigid, NY FIX 5000 Is Amended To Delete Rigid, NY FIX Plattsburgh, NY VORTAC 5000 § 95.6248 VOR Federal Airway V248 Is Amended To Read in Part Avenal, CA Vortac Scrap, CA FIX *4000 *3200-Moca Scrap, CA FIX Shafter, CA VORTAC W BND *4000 E BND *3000 *3000-Moca § 95.6248 VOR Federal Airway V489 Is Amended To Delete Glens Falls, NY VORTAC *Fairb, NY FIX 6000 *8000-MRA Fairb, NY FIX Leafy, NY FIX *8000 *6000-GNSS MEA Leafy, NY FIX Keese, NY FIX 5200 Keese, NY FIX Plattsburgh, NY VORTAC 3300 From To MEA MAA § 95.7001 Jet Routes § 95.7477 Jet Route J6 Is Amended To Delete Albany, NY VORTAC Plattsburgh, NY VORTAC 18000 45000 § 95.7477 Jet Route J97 Is Amended To Delete Boston, MA VOR/DME Plattsburgh, NY VORTAC 18000 45000 § 95.7477 Jet Route J222 Is Amended To Delete Cambridge, NY VOR/DME Plattsburgh, NY VORTAC 18000 45000 § 95.7477 Jet Route J477 Is Amended To Delete Glasgow, MT VOR/DME U.S. Canadian Border 18000 45000 From To Changeover Points Distance From § 95.8003 VOR Federal Airway Changeover Point Airway Segment V489 Is Amended To Delete Changeover Point Glens Falls, NY VORTAC Plattsburgh, NY VORTAC 21 Glens Falls
[FR Doc. 2016-04855 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 14 [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-0001] Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the standing advisory committees' regulations to change the name of the Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology. This action is being taken to reflect the change made to the charter for this advisory committee.

DATES:

This rule is effective March 7, 2016. The name change became applicable January 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Teresa Hays, Committee Management Officer, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-8220.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

FDA is announcing that the name of the Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology, which was established on January 22, 1990, has been changed. The Agency decided that the name “Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee” more accurately describes the subject areas for which the committee is responsible. The committee reviews and evaluates scientific, clinical, and technical issues related to the safety and effectiveness of drug products for use in the treatment of a broad spectrum of human diseases; the quality characteristics that such drugs purport or are represented to have and, as required, any other product for which the Food and Drug Administration has regulatory responsibility; and makes appropriate recommendations to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs. The committee may also review Agency sponsored intramural and extramural biomedical research programs in support of FDA's drug regulatory responsibilities and its critical path initiatives related to improving the efficacy and safety of drugs and improving the efficiency of drug development.

The Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee name was changed in the charter renewal dated January 22, 2016. In this final rule, FDA is revising 21 CFR 14.100(c)(15) to reflect the change.

Publication of this final rule constitutes a final action on this change under the Administrative Procedure Act. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d) and 21 CFR 10.40(d) and (e), the Agency finds good cause to dispense with notice and public procedures and to proceed to an immediately effective regulation. Such notice and procedures are unnecessary and are not in the public interest because the final rule is merely codifying the new name of the advisory committee to reflect the current committee charter.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 14

Administrative practice and procedure, Advisory committees, Color additives, Drugs, Radiation protection.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under the authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 14 is amended as follows:

PART 14—PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE A PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 14 continues to read follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. App. 2; 15 U.S.C. 1451-1461, 21 U.S.C. 41-50, 141-149, 321-394, 467f, 679, 821, 1034; 28 U.S.C. 2112; 42 U.S.C. 201, 262, 263b, 264, Pub. L. 107-109; Pub. L. 108-155; Pub. L. 113-54.

2. Section 14.100 is amended by revising the heading of paragraph (c)(15) to read as follows:
§ 14.100 List of standing advisory committees.

(c) * * *

(15) Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee. * * *

Dated: March 1, 2016. Jill Hartzler Warner, Associate Commissioner for Special Medical Programs.
[FR Doc. 2016-04940 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 558 [Docket No. FDA-2003-N-0446 (formerly 2003N-0324)] New Animal Drugs for Use in Animal Feeds; Removal of Obsolete and Redundant Regulations AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is removing regulations that required sponsors to submit data regarding the subtherapeutic use of certain antibiotic, nitrofuran, and sulfonamide drugs administered in animal feed as these regulations have been determined to be obsolete. FDA has other strategies for assessing the safety of antimicrobial new animal drugs with regard to their microbiological effects on bacteria of human health concern, and the only remaining animal drug use listed in these regulations is now listed elsewhere in the new animal drug regulations.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 6, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this final rule into the “Search” box and follow the prompts, and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

William T. Flynn, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-1), 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-5704, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

In the Federal Register of August 8, 2003 (68 FR 47272), FDA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to remove 21 CFR 558.15, Antibiotic, nitrofuran, and sulfonamide drugs in the feed of animals (§ 558.15), on the grounds that these regulations were obsolete or redundant. The proposed rule explained the nature and purpose of § 558.15, and noted that most of the products and use combinations subject to the listings in that section had approvals that were already codified in part 558, subpart B of this chapter.

In the same issue of the Federal Register as the proposed rule, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) published a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (NOOH), which announced CVM's findings of effectiveness for nine products and use combinations that were listed in § 558.15, but which were subject to the Drug Efficacy Study Implementation (DESI) program (68 FR 47332). CVM proposed to withdraw the new animal drug applications (NADAs) for those nine products and use combinations lacking substantial evidence of effectiveness, following an opportunity to supplement the NADAs with labeling conforming to the relevant findings of effectiveness. For applications proposed to be withdrawn, the Agency provided an opportunity for hearing.

The Agency received only one set of comments on the 2003 proposed rule, from Pennfield Oil Co. (Pennfield). At that time, Pennfield was the sponsor of NADA 141-137, a bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD) Type A medicated article that is listed in the table in § 558.15(g)(1). In the table, the listing is under Fermenta Animal Health Co., which was a predecessor in interest to Pennfield. In response to the NOOH, Pennfield submitted a hearing request regarding this product. In its comments on the 2003 proposed rule, Pennfield objected to the removal of § 558.15 until the issues in the NOOH were addressed. It argued that the BMD listing in § 558.15 provides evidence of Pennfield's approval, and that removal of that section, without updating the BMD listing in part 558, subpart B, would result in a lack of recognition in the regulations of the approval that Pennfield currently has. Pharmgate LLC (Pharmgate) is the current sponsor of NADA 141-137 (80 FR 13226, March 13, 2015).

For the eight other products and use combinations subject to the NOOH, FDA received supplemental applications with labeling conforming to the relevant findings of effectiveness. FDA approved those applications in 2006 and 2009 and amended part 558 subpart B to reflect those approvals (71 FR 16222 (March 31, 2006); 71 FR 16223 (March 31, 2006); and 74 FR 40723 (August 13, 2009)). Subsequent to those approvals, FDA finalized portions of the 2003 proposed rule by removing from the tables in § 558.15(g) the products and use combinations that were not approved, and the products and use combinations whose approval was reflected in part 558, subpart B (71 FR 16219 (March 31, 2006) and 75 FR 16001 (March 31, 2010)). FDA retained only the listing in the table in § 558.15(g)(1) relating to NADA 141-137 as well as § 558.15(a) through (f). In both the 2006 and 2010 final rules, FDA stated it intended to continue to finalize the proposed rule to remove all of § 558.15.

Recently, Pharmgate filed a supplemental application to NADA 141-137 which provided labeling conforming to the relevant findings of effectiveness announced in the NOOH. FDA approved this supplement on October 6, 2015. Also on October 6, 2015, Pharmgate withdrew the hearing request relating to NADA 141-137. FDA has since published in the Federal Register a notice amending § 558.76 of subpart B to reflect this supplemental approval (80 FR 79474, December 22, 2015).

Because the approval of NADA 141-137 is now listed in § 558.76 of subpart B, FDA is removing its associated listing in § 558.15(g)(1) as obsolete. In addition, FDA is finalizing the proposed rule by removing all of the other remaining portions of § 558.15 because they are also obsolete. A conforming change is made in § 558.4.

II. Economic Analysis of Impacts

We have examined the impacts of the final rule under Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-602), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). Executive Order 12866 directs us to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). We believe that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires us to analyze regulatory options to minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. We have determined that this final rule does not impose compliance costs on the sponsors of any products that are currently marketed. Further, it does not cause any drugs that are currently marketed to lose their marketing ability. Therefore, FDA certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (section 202(a)) requires us to prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before proposing “any rule that may result in an annual expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year.” The current threshold after adjustment for inflation is $144 million, using the most current (2014) Implicit Price Deflator for the Gross Domestic Product. This final rule would not result in any 1-year expenditure that meets or exceeds this amount.

FDA proposed the removal of § 558.15 on August 8, 2003, because it was obsolete or redundant. The original purpose of § 558.15 was to require the submission of the results of studies on the long-term administration of then-marketed antimicrobial drugs in animal feed on the occurrence of multiple drug-resistant bacteria associated with these animals. FDA determined that this section was obsolete as FDA had a new strategy and concept for assessing the safety of antimicrobial new animal drugs, including subtherapeutic use of antimicrobials in animal feed, with regard to their microbiological effects on bacteria of human health concern. This final rule removes the only remaining animal drug use listed in § 558.15(g), which is obsolete since approval of its NADA is now listed elsewhere in part 558.

Only one set of comments to the proposal was received by FDA. Since these comments did not question the benefits as described in the proposed rule, we retain the benefits for the final rule. This final rule is expected to provide greater clarity in the regulations for new animal drugs for use in animal feeds by deleting obsolete provisions in § 558.15. We do not expect this final rule to result in any direct human or animal health benefit. Rather, this final rule would remove regulations that are no longer necessary.

We do not expect the final rule that revokes the remaining portions of § 558.15 to have a substantive effect on any approved new animal drug or to cause any approved new animal drug to lose its marketing ability or experience a loss of sales.

III. Analysis of Environmental Impact

We have determined under 21 CFR 25.30(h) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule contains no collection of information. Therefore, clearance by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is not required.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 558

Animal drugs, Animal feeds.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 558 is amended as follows:

PART 558—NEW ANIMAL DRUGS FOR USE IN ANIMAL FEEDS 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 558 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 354, 360b, 360ccc, 360ccc-1, 371.

§ 558.4 [Amended]
2. In paragraph (c) of § 558.4, remove “and in § 558.15 of this chapter”.
§ 558.15 [Removed]
3. Remove § 558.15.
Dated: March 1, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-04945 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 199 [DOD-2014-HA-0133] RIN 0720-AB62 TRICARE; Revision of Nonparticipating Providers Reimbursement Rate; Removal of Cost Share for Dental Sealants; TRICARE Dental Program AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule revises the benefit payment provision for nonparticipating providers to more closely mirror industry practices by requiring TDP nonparticipating providers to be reimbursed (minus the appropriate cost-share) at the lesser of billed charges or the network maximum allowable charge for similar services in that same locality (region) or state. This rule also updates the regulatory provisions regarding dental sealants to clearly categorize them as a preventive service and, consequently, eliminate the current 20 percent cost-share applicable to sealants to conform with the language in the regulation to the statute.

DATES:

Effective date: The final rule is effective April 6, 2016.

Applicability date: The programmatic improvements in this final rule are scheduled to take effect as soon as the Director, Defense Health Agency can effectively and efficiently implement through award of a new TRICARE Dental Program contract. No change will be negotiated for existing contracts to implement this rule. Implementation through the new contract will be effective with the start of care delivery under the new contract (currently anticipated to start February 1, 2017).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Col James Honey, Defense Health Agency, telephone (703) 681-0039.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary 1. Purpose of Regulatory Actions a. Need for Regulatory Actions (1) Revision of Nonparticipating Providers' Reimbursement Rate

Prior to 2006, TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) participating and nonparticipating providers were reimbursed at the equivalent of not less than the 50th percentile of prevailing charges made for similar services in the same locality (region) or state, or the provider's actual charge, whichever is lower, less any cost-share amount due for authorized services. This provision was included in the regulation to constitute a significant financial incentive for participation of providers in the contractor's network and to ensure a network of quality providers through use of a higher reimbursement rate. Over time, the Department discovered that this provision placed an unnecessary burden on contractors with already established, high quality provider networks with reimbursement rates below the 50th percentile that were of sufficient size to meet the access requirements of the TDP. Consequently, the Department of Defense published a final rule in the Federal Register on January 11, 2006 (71 FR 1695), revising the participating provider's reimbursement rate for the TDP that has resulted in significant cost savings to the TDP enrollees and the Government. Since over 80 percent of all TDP care was provided by network dentists, the need to also change the reimbursement rate for nonparticipating dentists was overlooked and not included in the 2006 rule change. However, over the past eight years this has created an incentive for some network providers to leave the TDP network and for other providers not to become network providers. As the rule is currently written, depending on the geographic location, some non-network providers are actually reimbursed at a higher amount than they would have been had they been a participating provider and receiving the negotiated network rate. Specifically, the final rule will require TDP nonparticipating providers to be reimbursed (minus the appropriate cost-share) at the lesser of (1) billed charges; (2) the network maximum allowable charge for similar services in that same locality (region) or state. This revision will increase the number of network providers and provide cost savings to enrollees and the Government.

(2) Removal of Cost-Share for Dental Sealants

Sealants are currently separately defined in the TDP regulation at 32 CFR 199.13(b)(24), and specifically identified as a covered non-preventive service subject to a 20 percent cost-share. The cost-share for dental sealants was originally put in place when there was minimal evidence as to the effectiveness of dental sealants preventing tooth decay. The scientific evidence is now overwhelming that dental sealants are effective in preventing tooth decay and the vast majority of commercial dental insurance plans cover this procedure with no cost shares. Further, the American Dental Association's Council on Dental Care Programs Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature classifies dental sealants as a preventive procedure. Additionally, the Department currently recognizes sealants as a preventive service under the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program per 32 CFR 199.22(f)(1)(ii)(C). The regulatory revisions regarding dental sealants will delete the separate definition of dental sealants, specifically include sealants as a category of preventive service under 32 CFR 199.13(e)(2)(i)(B), delete any possible inconsistency in the definition of preventive service in 32 CFR 199.13(b)(20) and (e)(2)(i), and update the cost-share table in 32 CFR 199.13(e)(3)(i) to delete the specific line item reference to sealants being subject to a 20 percent cost-share in order to conform with the requirement in 10 U.S.C. 1076a(e)(1)(A) that TDP enrollees pay no charge for preventive services.

b. Legal Authority for the Regulatory Action

This regulation is finalized under the authority of 10 U.S.C. 1076a which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to establish a voluntary enrollment dental plan for eligible dependents of members of the uniformed services who are on active duty for a period of more than 30 days, members of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, members of the Individual Ready Reserve, and eligible dependents of members of the Ready Reserve of the reserve components who are not on active duty for more than 30 days.

2. Summary of the Final Rule

In this final rule, the regulatory language changes nonparticipating provider (e.g. non-network or out-of-network) reimbursement at 32 CFR 199.13(g)(2)(i) to be on an equivalent basis with network reimbursement, in order to serve as an incentive for both providers to participate in the network and for beneficiaries to utilize network providers in order to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs for balance billing. The final rule includes several technical revisions for clarification and consistency sake in defining beneficiary liability, nonparticipating provider and participating provider in the context of the TDP. The final rule also amends several provisions within 32 CFR 199.13 to eliminate the separate definition of sealants, specifically include sealants as a covered preventive service, and remove beneficiary cost sharing by covering sealants at 100 percent of allowable charge as authorized by law.

3. Summary of the Costs and Benefits

This final rule is not anticipated to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, making it a substantive, non-significant rule under the Executive Order and the Congressional Review Act. The amendment to transition nonparticipating provider reimbursement to be on an equivalent basis with network reimbursement, will result in (1) a lower allowed-to-billed ratio and a decrease in TDP claim payments, (2) premium decreases for beneficiaries; (3) a corresponding increase in enrollment by eligible beneficiaries as a result of these premium changes; (4) resultant cost savings to the government through reduced premium subsidies; and (5) increased out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries who opt to use a nonparticipating provider who may balance bill for the difference in contractor payment at the current rates and the new, lower network agreement rates. While the requirements for sealant coverage will not change, the removal of beneficiary cost sharing for sealants will result in (1) a marginal increase in sealant utilization, as we anticipate most beneficiaries requiring sealants are currently receiving these services since they remain a relatively inexpensive procedure and are typically viewed as beneficial; (2) a minimal premium increase for beneficiaries; and (3) an increase in government costs as a result of both the direct effect of the waived cost sharing on current sealant services and the full cost of the additional utilization. We estimate that the net effects of the TDP provisions that would be implemented by this rule would result in a net premium decrease for TDP beneficiaries and corresponding cost savings to the government over $17 million per year as well as an anticipated increase in the number of participating network providers.

II. Background 1 . Statutory and Regulatory Background

The TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) allows the Secretary of Defense to offer comprehensive premium based indemnity dental insurance coverage to qualified individuals. The funds used by the TDP are appropriated funds furnished by Congress through annual appropriation acts and funds collected as premium shares from beneficiaries. TDP is delivered through a competitively procured contract awarded by the Director, Defense Health Agency, or designee. TDP enrollees are required to pay all or a portion of the premium cost depending on their status. For those eligible for premium sharing, including active duty dependents and certain Selected Reserve and Individual Reserve members, the portion of premium share to be paid by them is no more than forty (40) percent of the total premium. For those entitled to premium sharing, the Government pays the remaining sixty (60) percent of the premium. Additional information regarding the TDP is available at www.tricare.mil/tdp.

Because the amendments to 32 CFR 199.13 will result in changes to the TDP voluntary enrollment dental insurance plan which is administered through a competitively procured contract, these amendments will be incorporated into the next TDP contract and are scheduled to take effect with the start of health care delivery under the next awarded TDP contract (currently anticipated to start February 1, 2017).

2. Summary of the Proposed Rule

We proposed several amendments to the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) regulation. Specifically, we proposed revising the benefit payment provision for nonparticipating providers to more closely mirror industry practices by requiring TDP nonparticipating providers to be reimbursed (minus the appropriate cost-share) at the lesser of (1) billed charges: Or (2) the network maximum allowable charge for similar services in that same locality (region) or state. This rule also proposed updates to the regulatory provisions regarding dental sealants to clearly categorize them as a preventive service and, consequently, eliminate the current 20 percent cost-share applicable to sealants to conform the language in the regulation to the statute.

3. Summary of the Final Rulemaking

The final rule changes the nonparticipating provider (e.g. non-network or out-of-network) reimbursement at 32 CFR 199.13(g)(2)(i) to be on an equivalent basis with network reimbursement, in order to serve as an incentive for both providers to participate in the network and for beneficiaries to utilize network providers in order to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs for balance billing. The final rule also eliminates the separate definition of sealants found at 32 CFR 199.13(b)(24) in favor of including it as a category of preventive service under 32 CFR 199.13(e)(2)(i)(B). Also, as a result of clearly classifying dental sealants as a preventive service, the final rule eliminates the current 20 percent cost-share to conform with the requirement in 10 U.S.C. 1076a(e)(1)(A) that TDP enrollees pay no charge for preventive services.

III. Summary of and Response to Public Comments

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 78362) December 30, 2014, for a 60-day comment period. We received only one comment on the proposed rule applauding the proposed change to remove the 20 percent cost share for dental sealants. Because the comment supported the proposed changes, we are finalizing the proposed rule with no changes.

IV. Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and E.O. 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

It has been determined that his final rule is not a significant regulatory action. This rule does not:

(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; completion; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribunal governments or communities;

(2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Orders.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4)

It has been determined that this final rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year.

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

It has been certified that this final rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Set forth in the final rule are minor revisions to the existing regulation. The DoD does not anticipate a significant impact on the Program.

Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

It has been determined that this final rule will not impose additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Act of 1995. Existing information collections requirements of the TRICARE and Medicare programs will be utilized.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

It has been determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications, as set forth in Executive Order 13132. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on:

(1) The States;

(2) The relationship between the National Government and the States; or

The distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199

Claims, Dental health, Health care, Health insurance, Dental sealants, Military personnel.

Accordingly, 32 CFR part 199 is amended as follows:

PART 199—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 199 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. chapter 55.

2. Section 199.13 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (b)(4), (14), (17), and (20). b. Removing paragraph (b)(24). c. Revising paragraph (e)(2)(i) introductory text. d. Adding paragraph (e)(2)(i)(B)(5). e. Removing the entry entitled “Sealants” from the table following paragraph (e)(3)(i). f. Revising paragraphs (f)(5) and (g)(2)(i).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 199.13 TRICARE Dental Program.

(b) * * *

(4) Beneficiary liability. The legal obligation of the beneficiary, his or her estate, or responsible family member to pay for the costs of dental care or treatment received. Specifically, for the purposes of services and supplies covered by the TDP, beneficiary liability including cost-sharing amounts or any amount above the network maximum allowable charge where the provider selected by the beneficiary is not a participating provider or a provider within an approved alternative delivery system. In cases where a nonparticipating provider does not accept assignment of benefits.

(14) Nonparticipating provider. A dentist or dental hygienist that furnished dental services to a TDP beneficiary, but who has not agreed to participate in the contractor's network and accept reimbursement in accordance with the contractor's network agreement. A nonparticipating provider looks to the beneficiary or active duty, Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve member for final responsibility for payment of his or her charge, but may accept payment (assignment of benefits) directly from the insurer or assist the beneficiary in filing the claim for reimbursement by the dental plan contractor. Where the nonparticipating provider does not accept payment directly from the insurer, the insurer pays the beneficiary or active duty, Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve member, not the provider.

(17) Participating provider. A dentist or dental hygienist who has agreed to participate in the contractor's network and accept reimbursement in accordance with the contractor's network agreement as the total charge (even though less than the actual billed amount), including provision for payment to the provider by the beneficiary (or active duty, Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve member) or any cost-share for covered services.

(20) Preventive services. Traditional prophylaxis including scaling deposits from teeth, polishing teeth, and topical application of fluoride to teeth, as well as other dental services authorized in paragraph (e) of this section.

(e) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) Diagnostic and preventive services. Benefits may be extended for those dental services described as oral examination, diagnostic, and preventive services when performed directly by dentists and dental hygienists as authorized under paragraph (f) of this section. These include the following categories of service:

(B) * * *

(5) Sealants.

(f) * * *

(5) Participating provider. An authorized provider may elect to participate as a network provider in the dental plan contractor's network and any such election will apply to all TDP beneficiaries. The authorized provider may not participate on a claim-by-claim basis. The participating provide must agree to accept, within one (1) day of a request for appointment, beneficiaries in need of emergency palliative treatment. Payment to the participating provider is based on the methodology specified in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section. The fee or charge determinations are binding upon the provider in accordance with the dental plan contractor's procedures for participation in the network. Payment is made directly to the participating provider, and the participating provider may only charge the beneficiary the applicable percent cost-share of the dental plan contractor's allowable charge for those benefit categories as specified in paragraph (e) of this section, in addition to the full charges for any services not authorized as benefits.

(g) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) Nonparticipating providers (or the Beneficiaries or active duty, Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve members for unassigned claims) shall be reimbursed at the lesser of the provider's actual charge: Or the network maximum allowable charge for similar services for that same locality (region) or state, whichever is lower, subject to the exception listed in paragraph (e)(3)(ii) of this section, less any cost-share amount due for authorized services. The network maximum allowable charge is the maximum negotiated fee between the dental contractor and any TDP participating provider for similar services covered by the dental plan in that same locality (region) or state.

Dated: March 2, 2016. Morgan E. Park, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2016-04983 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0150] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, 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 PATH Bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey. This deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to replace rails and ties at the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed on Saturdays through Mondays for twenty-six consecutive weekends.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 12:01 a.m. on March 19, 2016 to 12:01 a.m. on September 12, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0150] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Joe M. Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4336, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The PATH railroad bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.723.

The waterway is transited by seasonal recreational vessels and commercial vessels of various sizes.

The bridge owner, Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate replacement of the rails and ties at the bridge.

Under this temporary deviation, the PATH railroad bridge may remain in the closed position for twenty-six weekends, between 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays through 12:01 a.m. on Mondays from March 19, 2016 through September 12, 2016.

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

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

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: March 2, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-04994 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0592; FRL-9943-15-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Revision to Visibility Federal Implementation Plan AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising the Minnesota Federal implementation plan (FIP) for visibility, to establish emission limits for Northern States Power Company's (NSP's) Sherburne County Generating Station (Sherco), pursuant to a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement, signed by representatives of EPA, NSP, and three environmental groups, was for resolution of a lawsuit filed by the environmental groups for EPA to address any contribution from Sherco to reasonably attributable visibility impairment (RAVI) that the Department of Interior (DOI) certified was occurring at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks.

DATE:

This final rule is effective on April 6, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0592. 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 either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone John Summerhays, Environmental Scientist, at (312) 886-6067 before visiting the Region 5 office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Summerhays, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6067, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

I. What events led to a settlement agreement regarding Sherco? II. What comments did EPA receive on its proposed action? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews. I. What events led to a settlement agreement regarding Sherco?

Section 169A of the Clean Air Act provides for a visibility protection program and sets forth as a national goal “the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution.” Pursuant to these statutory requirements, EPA promulgated regulations entitled “Visibility Protection” in subpart P of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR), specifically in 40 CFR 51.300 et seq., which include separate requirements addressing RAVI and regional haze. 45 FR 80084 (December 2, 1980).

Pursuant to these regulations, the Department of the Interior (DOI) sent EPA a letter dated October 21, 2009, certifying the existence of RAVI at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks and citing modeling results from Minnesota's regional haze plan in support of a view that Sherco is a source of RAVI in these areas. After three years passed, a group of three environmental groups filed a lawsuit alleging that EPA had an obligation to evaluate whether Sherco was a source of this RAVI and if so to promulgate requirements to address this RAVI. EPA, the environmental groups, and NSP then held settlement discussions leading to a settlement agreement that became final on July 24, 2015.

In the settlement agreement, EPA agreed to propose specific emission limits, and propose to conclude that these limits addressed the concern identified by DOI, such that no need existed for any review of whether Sherco is a RAVI source or whether best available retrofit technology (BART) at Sherco is warranted for addressing RAVI. On August 11, 2015, DOI wrote to EPA regarding the settlement agreement, stating that “the settlement achieves an outcome that addresses our visibility concerns at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks.” EPA published its notice of proposed rulemaking on October 27, 2015, at 80 FR 65675. The notice provides further details regarding the RAVI regulations, the background and history of settlement discussions for Sherco, and the limits that EPA proposed.

II. What comments did EPA receive on its proposed action?

EPA received no comments on its proposed rule, and EPA has received no new information that would warrant promulgating a rule differing in any way from the proposed rule.

III. What action is EPA taking?

EPA is promulgating the emission limits for Sherco that were identified in the settlement agreement signed on May 15, 2015, by representatives of EPA, three environmental groups, and NSP. Specifically, EPA is promulgating the following limits:

—For stack SV001, serving Units 1 and 2, a limit on SO2 emissions of 0.050 lbs/MMBtu, as a 30-day rolling average, determined as the ratio of pounds of emissions divided by the heat input in MMBtu, both summed over 30 successive boiler-operating days, beginning on the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending September 30, 2015. For purposes of this limit, a boiler operating day is defined as a day in which fuel is combusted in either Unit 1 or Unit 2 (or both). —For Unit 3, a limit on SO2 of 0.29 lbs/MMBtu, as a 30-day rolling average, also determined as the ratio of pounds of emissions divided by the heat input in MMBtu, both summed over 30 successive boiler-operating days, beginning on the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending May 31, 2017.

Additionally, in light of DOI's August 11, 2015, letter, EPA is concluding that the incorporation of these SO2 emission limits into the Minnesota visibility FIP satisfies any outstanding obligation EPA has with respect to DOI's 2009 RAVI certification. EPA intends to conduct no analysis of the magnitude or origins of visibility impairment at Voyageurs or Isle Royale or review of potential BART control options at Sherco in response to this certification.

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. Because the FIP applies to just one facility, the Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply. See 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. EPA's rule adds additional controls to a certain source. The Regional Haze FIP revisions that EPA is promulgating here would impose Federal control requirements to resolve concerns that one power plant in Minnesota is unduly affecting visibility at two national parks. The power plant and its owners are not small entities. We have therefore concluded that this action will have no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule. However, EPA did discuss this action in a July 16, 2015, conference call with Michigan and Minnesota tribes, and EPA invited further comment from tribes that may be interested in this action.

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

This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. However, to the extent this rule will limit emissions of SO2, the rule will have a beneficial effect on children's health by reducing air pollution.

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. We have determined that this rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it increases the level of environmental protection for all affected populations without having any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on any population, including any minority or low-income population.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

This rule is exempt from the CRA because it is a rule of particular applicability.

L. Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 6, 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, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Sulfur dioxide, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, visibility protection.

Dated: February 24, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

2. Section 52.1236 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 52.1236 Visibility protection.

(e)(1) On and after the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending on September 30, 2015, the owners and operators of the facility at 13999 Industrial Boulevard in Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota, shall not cause or permit the emission of SO2 from stack SV001 (serving Units 1 and 2) to exceed 0.050 lbs/MMBTU as a 30-day rolling average.

(2) On and after the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending on May 31, 2017, the owners and operators of the facility at 13999 Industrial Boulevard in Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota, shall not cause or permit the emission of SO2 from Unit 3 to exceed 0.29 lbs/MMBTU as a 30-day rolling average.

(3) The owners and operators of the facility at 13999 Industrial Boulevard in Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota, shall operate continuous SO2 emission monitoring systems in compliance with 40 CFR 75, and the data from this emission monitoring shall be used to determine compliance with the limits in this paragraph (e).

(4) For each boiler operating day, compliance with the 30-day average limitations in paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this section shall be determined by summing total emissions in pounds for the period consisting of the day and the preceding 29 successive boiler operating days, summing total heat input in MMBTU for the same period, and computing the ratio of these sums in lbs/MMBTU. Boiler operating day is used to mean a 24-hour period between 12 midnight and the following midnight during which any fuel is combusted at any time in the steam-generating unit. It is not necessary for fuel to be combusted the entire 24-hour period. A boiler operating day with respect to the limitation in paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall be a day in which fuel is combusted in either Unit 1 or Unit 2. Bias adjustments provided for under 40 CFR 75 appendix A shall be applied. Substitute data provided for under 40 CFR 75 subpart D shall not be used.

[FR Doc. 2016-04751 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0664; FRL-9943-33-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 20088-Hour Ozone Standard AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) on September 3, 2014, to address emission inventory requirements for the Illinois portions of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin (IL-IN-WI) and St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois (MO-IL) ozone nonattainment areas under the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS or standard). The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires emission inventories for all ozone nonattainment areas. The emission inventories contained in Illinois' September 3, 2014, submission meet this CAA requirement.

DATES:

This direct final rule will be effective May 6, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by April 6, 2016. If adverse comments are received by EPA, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2014-0664 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:

Edward Doty, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6057, [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. The 2008 Ozone NAAQS and Emission Inventory Requirements II. Illinois' Emission Inventories A. Base Year B. How did the state develop the emission inventories? III. EPA's Evaluation A. Did the state adequately document the derivation of the emission estimates? B. Did the state quality assure the emission estimates? C. Did the state provide for public review of the requested SIP revision? IV. Final Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The 2008 Ozone NAAQS and Emission Inventory Requirements

On March 12, 2008, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.075 parts per million (ppm). See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008). In 2012, EPA designated nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (77 FR 30088, May 21, 2012, and 77 FR 34221, June 11, 2012). The Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI and St. Louis, MO-IL areas were designated as marginal nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The Illinois portion (the Chicago area) of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI ozone nonattainment area includes the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will, Aux Sable and Goose Lake Townships in Grundy County, and Oswego Township in Kendall County. The Illinois portion (the Metro-East St. Louis area) of the St. Louis, MO-IL ozone nonattainment area includes Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties.

CAA sections 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(3) and 7511a(a)(1), require states to develop and submit, as SIP revisions, emission inventories for all areas designated as nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS. An emission inventory for ozone is an estimation of actual emissions of air pollutants that contribute to the formation of ozone in an area. Ozone is a gas that is formed by the reaction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight (VOC and NOX are referred to as ozone precursors). Therefore, an emission inventory for ozone covers the emissions of VOC and NOX. VOC is emitted by many types of pollution sources, including power plants, industrial sources, on-road and off-road mobile sources, smaller stationary sources, collectively referred to as area sources, and biogenic sources.1 NOX is primarily emitted by combustion sources, both stationary and mobile.

1 Biogenic emissions are produced by living organisms and are typically not included in the base year emission inventories, but are considered in ozone modeling analyses, which must consider all emissions in a modeled area.

The emission inventories provide emissions data for a variety of air quality planning tasks, including establishing baseline emission levels, calculating emission reduction targets needed to attain the NAAQS, determining emission inputs for ozone air quality modeling analyses, and tracking emissions over time to determine progress toward achieving air quality and emission reduction goals. As stated above, the CAA requires the states to submit emission inventories for areas designated as nonattainment for ozone. For the 2008 ozone NAAQS, EPA has recommended that states use 2011 as a base year for the emission estimates (78 FR 34178, 34190, June 6, 2013). However, EPA also allows states to submit base year emissions for other years during a recent ozone standard violation period. States are required to submit estimates of VOC and NOX emissions for four general classes of anthropogenic sources: Stationary point sources; area sources; on-road mobile sources; and off-road mobile sources in their emission inventories.

II. Illinois' Emission Inventories

Illinois submitted a SIP revision addressing the VOC and NOX emission inventory requirement for the Chicago and Metro-East St. Louis areas on September 3, 2014. Tables 1 and 2 summarize the 2011 VOC and NOX emissions for these two areas for a typical summer day (reflective of the summer period, when the highest ozone concentrations are expected in these ozone nonattainment areas).

Table 1—Chicago Area 2011 Emission Inventory [Tons per day] Source type VOC NOX Point 48.26 119.88 Area 210.04 27.13 On-Road Mobile 91.03 296.38 Off-Road Mobile 168.66 170.86 Totals 517.98 614.37 Table 2—Metro-East St. Louis Area 2011 Emission Inventory [Tons per day] Source Type VOC NOX Point 10.80 26.18 Area 18.12 1.24 On-Road Mobile 11.44 34.14 Off-Road Mobile 8.49 17.17 Totals 48.86 78.72 A. Base Year

As recommended by the EPA, the IEPA has selected 2011 as the base year for the submitted emission inventories.

B. How did the state develop the emission inventories?

Illinois estimated VOC (Volatile Organic Material (VOM) in the Illinois emission inventory 2 ) and NOX emissions for each Illinois county contained in (and for each township for counties partially contained in) the Chicago and Metro-East St. Louis areas. Emissions for the counties (or townships) were totaled by source category for the two ozone nonattainment areas. To develop the VOC and NOX emission inventories, IEPA used the procedures summarized below.

2 VOM as defined at 35 Illinois Administrative Code section 211.7150 is identical to EPA's definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s). The terms VOC and VOM are interchangeable, and refer to the same compounds. We use VOC here to remain consistent with EPA's standard practice to refer to VOC as an ozone precursor.

The primary source of emissions data for point sources was the source-reported 2011 Annual Emission Reports (AERs) (emission statements). Under Illinois state law covering emission statement requirements at 35 Illinois Administrative Code part 254, major sources are required to report emissions annually to the state. The emissions reported to the state for 2011 were the primary source of facility-emissions, which were further divided into source category-specific emission totals by county/township.

Area source emissions were generally calculated by multiplying source category-specific emission factors by 2011 source activity levels (population, employment levels, etc.) for each county or township. In some cases, 2011 area source category emissions were projected from 2010 emissions using estimated source category-specific growth rates.

On-road mobile source emissions were estimated using EPA's Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator model and vehicle activity levels provided by the state Department of Transportation and local planning agencies.

Off-road emissions were estimated using the National Mobile Inventory Model (NMIM). These emission estimates were supplemented with emission estimates for aircraft, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels provided through contractor studies since NMIM does not cover these source types.

III. EPA's Evaluation

EPA has reviewed Illinois' September 3, 2014, requested SIP revision for consistency with CAA and EPA emission inventory requirements. In particular, EPA has reviewed the techniques used by IEPA to derive and quality assure the emission estimates. EPA has also evaluated whether Illinois provided the public with the opportunity to review and comment on the development of the emission estimates and whether IEPA addressed public comments.

A. Did the state adequately document the derivation of the emission estimates?

IEPA documented the general procedures used to estimate the emissions for each of the four major source types and for some specific source types for the off-road emissions. The documentation of the emission estimation procedures was adequate for us to determine that Illinois followed acceptable procedures to estimate the emissions.

B. Did the state quality assure the emission estimates?

Illinois developed a quality assurance plan and followed this plan during various phases of the emissions estimation and documentation process to quality assure the emissions for completeness and accuracy. These quality assurance procedures are summarized in the documentation describing how the emissions totals were developed. We have determined that the quality assurance procedures followed by Illinois are adequate and acceptable and that Illinois has developed inventories of VOC and NOX emissions that are comprehensive and complete.

C. Did the state provide for public review of the requested SIP revision?

IEPA notified the public of the opportunity for comment both in newspapers and on IEPA's Web site. No comments were received on the emission inventories and no public hearing was requested.

IV. Final Action

We are approving the Illinois SIP revision submitted to address the emission inventory requirements for the Chicago and Metro-East St. Louis areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The emission inventories we are approving into the SIP are specified in Tables 1 and 2 above. We are approving the emission inventories because they contain comprehensive, accurate, and current inventories of actual emissions for all relevant sources in accordance with CAA sections 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1) and because Illinois adopted the emission inventories after providing for reasonable public notice and the opportunity for public hearings.

We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective May 6, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by April 6, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that, if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective May 6, 2016.

V. 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).

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 May 6, 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. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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 dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: February 22, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

2. Section 52.726 is amended by adding paragraph (pp) to read as follows:
§ 52.726 Control strategy: Ozone.

(pp) On September 3, 2014, Illinois submitted 2011 volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen emission inventories for the Illinois portions of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard as a revision of the Illinois state implementation plan. The emission inventories are approved as a revision of the state's implementation plan.

[FR Doc. 2016-04879 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0860; FRL 9943-31-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) on November 14, 2014, to address emission inventory requirements for the Sheboygan nonattainment area (Sheboygan area) and the Wisconsin portion (Kenosha area) of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin (Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI) nonattainment area under the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS or standard). The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires emission inventories for all ozone nonattainment areas. The emission inventories contained in Wisconsin's November 14, 2014, submission meet this CAA requirement.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective on May 6, 2016, unless the EPA receives adverse comments by April 6, 2016. If adverse comments are received by EPA, EPA 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-R05-OAR-2014-0860 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:

Edward Doty, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6057, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

I. The 2008 Ozone NAAQS and Emission Inventory Requirements II. Wisconsin's Emission Inventories A. Base Year B. How did the State develop the emission inventories? III. EPA's Evaluation A. Did the State adequately document the derivation of the emission estimates? B. Did the State quality assure the emission estimates? C. Did the State provide for public review of the requested SIP revision? IV. Final Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The 2008 Ozone NAAQS and Emission Inventory Requirements

On March 12, 2008, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.075 parts per million (ppm). See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008). The Sheboygan and Kenosha areas were designated as marginal nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR 30088 (May 21, 2012) and 77 FR 34221 (June 11, 2012). The Sheboygan area is Sheboygan County. The Kenosha area is the portion of Kenosha County bounded by the Illinois/Wisconsin border (Kenosha County border) on the south, Lake Michigan on the east, the Kenosha County/Racine County border on the north, and the Interstate 94 (I-94) corridor (including all of the I-94 corridor) on the west. Both of these areas are classified as marginal nonattainment for the 2008 ozone standard.

CAA sections 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1), 42 U.S.C. 7502(c)(3) and 7511a(a)(1), require states to develop and submit, as SIP revisions, emission inventories for all areas designated as nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS. An emission inventory for ozone is an estimation of actual emissions of air pollutants that contribute to the formation of ozone in an area. Ozone is a gas that is formed by the reaction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. VOC and NOX are referred to as ozone precursors. Therefore, an emission inventory for ozone focuses on the emissions of VOC and NOX. VOC is emitted by many types of pollution sources, including power plants, industrial sources, on-road and off-road mobile sources, smaller stationary sources, collectively referred to as area sources, and biogenic sources.1 NOX is primarily emitted by combustion sources, both stationary and mobile.

1 Biogenic emissions are produced by living organisms and are typically not included in the base year emission inventories, but are considered in ozone modeling analyses, which must consider all emissions in a modeled area.

The emission inventories provide emissions data for a variety of air quality planning tasks, including establishing baseline emission levels for anthropogenic (manmade) emissions associated with ozone standard violations, calculating emission reduction targets needed to attain the NAAQS and achieving reasonable further progress toward attainment of the ozone standard (not required in the areas considered here), determining emission inputs for ozone air quality modeling analyses, and tracking emissions over time to determine progress toward achieving air quality and emission reduction goals. As stated above, the CAA requires the states to submit emission inventories for areas designated as nonattainment for ozone. For the 2008 ozone NAAQS, EPA has recommended that states submit typical summer day emission estimates for 2011 (78 FR 34178, 34190, June 6, 2013). However, EPA also allows states to submit base year emissions for other years during a recent ozone standard violation period. States are required to submit estimates of VOC and NOX emissions for four general classes of anthropogenic sources: Stationary point sources; area sources; on-road mobile sources; and off-road mobile sources. The base year emission inventories must be submitted for ozone nonattainment within two years after EPA designates nonattainment areas for a new ozone standard.

II. Wisconsin's Emission Inventories

Tables 1 and 2 summarize the 2011 VOC and NOX emissions in the Wisconsin ozone nonattainment areas for a typical summer day.2

2 The highest ozone concentrations are typically monitored during the summer months and, in Wisconsin, ozone standard exceedances are typically monitored during the months of July through September.

Table 1—Sheboygan County 2011 Emission Inventory [Tons per day] Source type VOC NOX Point 2.63 11.73 Area 7.35 1.35 On-Road Mobile 2.49 5.18 Off-Road Mobile 4.36 3.26 Totals 16.83 21.52 Table 2—Kenosha Area 2011 Emission Inventory [Tons per day] Source type VOC NOX Point 0.70 8.80 Area 4.78 1.09 On-Road Mobile 2.14 4.67 Off-Road Mobile 2.42 2.33 Totals 10.04 16.89 A. Base Year

WDNR chose 2011 as the base year for these emission inventories, as recommended by EPA.

B. How did the State develop the emission inventories?

The point source NOX and VOC emissions were derived from facility-reported emissions for 2011. Wisconsin requires major source facilities to report emissions annually. WDNR used seasonal process-level source activity information contained in the annual emission reports along with emission control information to calculate both the summer day emissions and the annual emissions for each facility. The source location and emissions data contained in the facility emission reports were used to determine the emissions specific to the Sheboygan and Kenosha areas.

The 2011 area source emissions were derived using the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI), version 2, emission estimates for Sheboygan and Kenosha Counties. The area source emissions data have been derived for each appropriate Source Classification Code (SCC) covered by the NEI for Sheboygan and Kenosha Counties. The WDNR used various source surrogate data, such as population, land use data, and employment source sector or SCC, to allocate the area source emissions to the nonattainment portion of Kenosha County. The emission inventory documentation contained in Appendix 5 of Wisconsin's submittal includes documentation explaining how the emissions were derived for each area source type.

On-road mobile source emissions were determined using EPA's Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES), version MOVES2010b, Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and other vehicle class-specific data supplied by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission (BLRPC), the metropolitan planning organizations that cover the two ozone nonattainment areas, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Non-road mobile source emissions were derived by dividing the various area source types into two groups: (1) Commercial marine vessels, aircraft, and railroads (collectively referred to as MAR); and (2) all other non-road source types. For the aircraft and railroad components of the MAR, the WDNR relied on the emissions for these source types contained in EPA's 2011 NEI, version 1. For commercial marine vessel emissions, the WDNR used emissions derived by the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO), but used the county-specific commercial marine vessel emissions in the 2011 NEI to allocate the LADCO-supplied commercial marine vessel emissions to the Sheboygan and Kenosha ozone nonattainment areas. For the non-MAR area source emissions, the WDNR used the National Mobile Inventory Model (NMIM) to generate annual and summer day NOX and VOC emissions for each non-road mobile source type.

To quality assure (QA) and quality check (QC) the emission estimates, the WDNR developed a quality assurance plan. This plan was applied for each source category and source type to ensure accuracy, completeness, comparability, and representativeness of the estimated emissions. One of the major quality assurance procedures employed was the comparison of the calculated emissions to emissions data contained in the 2011 NEI.

III. EPA's Evaluation

EPA has reviewed Wisconsin's November 14, 2014, requested SIP revision for consistency with CAA and EPA emission inventory requirements. In particular, EPA has reviewed the techniques used by the WDNR to derive and quality assure the emission estimates. EPA has also determined whether Wisconsin has provided the public with the opportunity to review and comment on the development of the emission estimates and whether the State has addressed all public comments.

A. Did the State adequately document the derivation of the emission estimates?

The State documented the general procedures used to estimate the emissions for each of the major source types. The documentation of the emission estimation procedures is adequate for us to determine that Wisconsin followed acceptable procedures to estimate the emissions.

B. Did the State quality assure the emission estimates?

As noted above, WDNR developed a quality assurance plan and followed this plan during various phases of the emissions estimation and documentation process to QA and QC the emissions for completeness and accuracy. The quality assurance procedures have been determined to be adequate and acceptable. We conclude that Wisconsin has developed inventories of VOC and NOX emissions that are comprehensive and complete.

C. Did the State provide for public review of the requested SIP revision?

WDNR notified the public of the opportunity for comment both in newspapers and on the WDNR Web site. A public hearing was held on September 25, 2014, and WDNR provided for the review of written comments received outside of the public hearing. The only comments received were those from EPA, and WDNR addressed those comments through revisions reflected in the final emission inventories and associated documentation.

IV. Final Action

We are approving a Wisconsin SIP revision submitted to address the ozone-related emission inventory requirements for the Sheboygan and Kenosha areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The emission inventories we are approving into the SIP are specified in Tables 1 and 2 above. We are approving the emission inventories because they contain comprehensive, accurate, and current inventories of actual emissions for all relevant VOC and NOX sources in accordance with CAA sections 172(c)(3) and 182(a) and because Wisconsin adopted the emission inventories after providing for reasonable public notice and a public hearing.

We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule is effective on May 6, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by April 6, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document withdrawing the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective May 6, 2016.

V. 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).

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 May 6, 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 it shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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 dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: February 22, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

2. Section 52.2585 is amended by adding paragraph (dd) to read as follows:
§ 52.2585 Control strategy: Ozone.

(dd) On November 14, 2014, Wisconsin submitted 2011 volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen emission inventories for the Sheboygan County and Wisconsin portion (Kenosha area) of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard as a revision of the Wisconsin state implementation plan. The documented emission inventories are approved as a revision of the State's implementation plan.

[FR Doc. 2016-04897 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
81 44 Monday, March 7, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 989 [Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0069; FV-14-989-2 PR] Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Proposed Amendments to Marketing Order 989 and Referendum Order AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule and referendum order.

SUMMARY:

This rule proposes two amendments to Marketing Order No. 989 (order), which regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and provides producers with the opportunity to vote in a referendum to determine if they favor the changes. These amendments were proposed by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee), which is responsible for the local administration of the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of raisins operating within the production area. These proposed amendments are intended to improve administration of the order and reflect current industry practices.

DATES:

The referendum will be conducted from March 9, 2016, through March 23, 2016. The representative period for the purpose of the referendum is August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Geronimo Quinones, Marketing Specialist, or Michelle P. Sharrow, Rulemaking Branch Chief, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Antoinette Carter, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This proposal is issued under Marketing Order No. 989, as amended (7 CFR part 989), regulating the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This proposal is not intended to have retroactive effect.

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

Section 1504 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill)(Pub. L. 110-246) amended section 18c(17) of the Act, which in turn required the addition of supplemental rules of practice to 7 CFR part 900 (73 FR 49307; August 21, 2008). The additional supplemental rules of practice authorize the use of informal rulemaking (5 U.S.C. 553) to amend Federal fruit, vegetable, and nut marketing agreements and orders. USDA may use informal rulemaking to amend marketing orders based on the nature and complexity of the proposed amendments, the potential regulatory and economic impacts on affected entities, and any other relevant matters.

AMS has considered these factors and has determined that the amendment proposals are not unduly complex and the nature of the proposed amendments is appropriate for utilizing the informal rulemaking process to amend the order.

The proposed amendments were unanimously recommended by the Committee following deliberations at a public meeting held on October 2, 2014.

A proposed rule soliciting comments on the proposed amendments was issued on October 15, 2015, and published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62506). Two comments were received. One comment was in support of the amendments. The second comment asked questions about one of the proposals. These comments will be addressed later in this document. AMS will conduct a producer referendum to determine support for the proposed amendments. If appropriate, a final rule will then be issued to effectuate the amendments favored by producers in the referendum.

The Committee's proposed amendments would amend the order by: (1) Authorizing the Committee to borrow from a commercial lending institution during times of cash shortage to help ensure continuity of operations during the first half of the year before assessment income is received, and (2) Establishing a monetary reserve equal to one year's budgeted expenses.

Proposal #1—Borrowing From a Commercial Lending Institution

Section 989.80 of the order, Assessments, authorizes the Committee to collect assessments from handlers to administer the program.

This proposal would provide the Committee with authority to borrow from a commercial lending institution during times of cash shortages. Since inception of the marketing order, the Committee has occasionally used the order's volume regulation provisions to pool a portion of the annual raisin crop to assure orderly marketing. These pooled raisins, designated by the Committee as reserve raisins, were sold and released to handlers throughout the crop year. In managing the pooled raisins for the best return to growers, the Committee pooled the cash received from the handlers until equity payments were distributed to the growers. The Committee borrowed funds (with interest) from this reserve raisin pool during times of assessment shortages to temporarily cover expenses, generally during the early part of the new crop year.

Volume regulation has not been in effect under the marketing order since 2010, and the Committee has been returning equity payments to the growers who contributed raisins to the 2009 reserve raisin pool. Therefore, funds from the reserve raisin pool are no longer available for the Committee to use during times of cash shortages. The Committee's proposed amendment to the order would allow it to borrow from a commercial lending institution when no other funding is available. This would assist the Committee in bridging finances from the end of one fiscal year through the first quarter of the new fiscal year, before assessments on the new crop are received.

Additionally, the Committee has received grants from the Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) Market Access Program (MAP) since 1995 to conduct market expansion and development activities in various international markets. Under MAP, participants must first use their own resources for activities and request reimbursement from FAS. Sometimes there is a time-lag between submission of reimbursement requests and receipt of payments, which causes budgeting issues. Having authority to borrow from a commercial lending institution would help to ensure continuity of operations when this occurs.

Therefore, for the reasons stated above, it is proposed that § 989.80, Assessments, be amended by adding a sentence in paragraph (c) that would provide the Committee with authority to borrow from a commercial lending institution.

Proposal #2—Establish a Monetary Reserve Fund Equal to One Year's Budgeted Expenses

Section 989.81 of the order, Accounting, authorizes the Committee to credit or refund unexpended assessment funds from the crop year back to the handlers from whom they were collected. Currently, the order doesn't allow the Committee to retain handler assessments from prior crop years.

This proposal would allow the Committee to establish a monetary reserve equal to one year's operational expenses as averaged over the past six years. Reserve funds could be used for specific administrative and overhead expenses such as staff wages, salaries and related benefits, office rent, utilities, postage, insurance, legal expenses, and audit costs; to cover deficits incurred during any period when assessment income is less than expenses; to defray expenses incurred during any period when any or all provisions of the order are suspended; liquidation of the order; and other expenses recommended by the Committee and approved by the Secretary. Reserve funds could not be used for promotional expenses during any crop year prior to the time that assessment income is sufficient to cover such expenses.

As previously stated in Proposal #1, the Committee borrowed cash from the reserve raisin pool and repaid it with interest when handler assessment cash shortages occurred in the past. This practice helped the Committee to bridge finances from one fiscal crop year to the next until assessment income for the new crop year was received. This option is no longer available.

For the reasons stated above, it is proposed that § 989.81, Accounting, be amended to allow the Committee to retain excess assessment funds for the purpose of establishing a monetary reserve equal to one year's budgeted expenses as averaged over the past six years. Such excess funds could only be used for specific administrative and operational expenses as outlined in the order.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

There are approximately 3,000 producers of California raisins and approximately 28 handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order. The Small Business Administration defines small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 and defines small agricultural service firms as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

Based upon information provided by the Committee, it may be concluded that a majority of producers and approximately 18 handlers of California raisins may be classified as small entities.

The amendments proposed by the Committee would authorize the Committee to borrow from commercial lending institutions and to establish a monetary reserve fund equal to one year's budgeted expenses. This would help to ensure proper management and funding of the program.

The Committee reviewed and identified a yearly budget that would be necessary to continue program operations in the absence of a reserve pool. Based on this budget, the Committee believes a monetary reserve of approximately $2 million would be sufficient to continue operations. The anticipated $2 million to be accumulated in a monetary reserve would not be accrued in one crop year. It would be spread over several years, depending on expenses, assessment revenue, and excess handler assessments accrued in each crop year. For example: If excess annual handler assessments amount to $400,000, it would take five years to accrue $2 million. Currently, the average excess handler assessments paid yearly over the last six years has been $861,622. During the time in which the monetary reserve fund would be accumulated, the Committee would seek funding from a commercial lending institution as previously explained in Proposal #1.

While this action would result in a temporary increase in handler costs, these costs would be uniform on all handlers and proportional to the size of their businesses. However, these costs are expected to be offset by the benefits derived from operation of the order. Additionally, these costs would help to ensure that the Committee has sufficient funds to meet its financial obligations. Such stability is expected to allow the Committee to conduct programs that would benefit all entities, regardless of size. California raisin producers should see an improved business environment and a more sustainable business model because of the improved business efficiency.

Alternatives were considered to these proposals, including making no changes at this time. However, the Committee believes it would be beneficial to have the means and funds necessary to effectively administer the program.

A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Antoinette Carter at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178, “Vegetable and Specialty Crops.” No changes in those requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

These proposed amendments would impose no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large California raisin handlers.

As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. In addition, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

The Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the California raisin production area. All interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and encouraged to participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the October 2, 2014, meeting was public, and all entities, both large and small, were encouraged to express their views on these proposals.

A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62506). Copies of the rule were mailed or sent via facsimile to all Committee members. Finally, the rule was made available through the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending December 15, 2015, was provided to allow interested persons to respond to the proposal.

Two comments were received. One comment was in support of the proposal. The second comment stated that the term “commercial lending institution” is vague and asked for the name of the institution and clarification regarding what constitutes a shortage. The comment also stated that the lending arrangement should be discussed openly. To clarify, as used in this proposal, a shortage would exist when the Committee's cash flow needs exceed the amount of cash available from handler assessments. Regarding open discussion, the Committee establishes a budget and assessment rate annually in meetings that are open to the public. During these meetings, the Committee would discuss any shortages and any available commercial lending opportunities. No changes have been made to the proposed amendments as a result of the comments received.

Findings and Conclusions

The findings and conclusions and general findings and determinations included in the proposed rule set forth in the October 16, 2015, issue of the Federal Register are hereby approved and adopted.

Marketing Order

Annexed hereto and made a part hereof is the document entitled “Order Amending the Order Regulating the Handling of Raisins Produced from Grapes Grown in California.” This document has been decided upon as the detailed and appropriate means of effectuating the foregoing findings and conclusions. It is hereby ordered, that this entire rule be published in the Federal Register.

Referendum Order

It is hereby directed that a referendum be conducted in accordance with the procedure for the conduct of referenda (7 CFR part 900.400-407) to determine whether the annexed order amending the order regulating the handling of Raisins Produced from Grapes Grown in California is approved by growers, as defined under the terms of the order, who during a representative period were engaged in the production of raisins in the production area. The representative period for the conduct of such referendum is hereby determined to be August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015.

The agents of the Secretary to conduct such referendum are designated to be Maria Stobbe and Andrea Ricci, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487-5901, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected], respectively.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 989

Raisins, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: February 26, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. Order Amending the Order Regulating the Handling of Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California 1 Findings and Determinations

1 This order shall not become effective unless and until the requirements of § 900.14 of the rules of practice and procedure governing proceedings to formulate marketing agreements and marketing orders have been met.

The findings hereinafter set forth are supplementary to the findings and determinations which were previously made in connection with the issuance of the marketing order; and all said previous findings and determinations are hereby ratified and affirmed, except insofar as such findings and determinations may be in conflict with the findings and determinations set forth herein.

1. The marketing order, as amended, and as hereby proposed to be further amended, and all of the terms and conditions thereof, would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act;

2. The marketing order, as amended, and as hereby proposed to be further amended, regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California in the same manner as, and are applicable only to, persons in the respective classes of commercial and industrial activity specified in the marketing order;

3. The marketing order, as amended, and as hereby proposed to be further amended, is limited in application to the smallest regional production area which is practicable, consistent with carrying out the declared policy of the Act, and the issuance of several orders applicable to subdivisions of the production area would not effectively carry out the declared policy of the Act;

4. The marketing order, as amended, and as hereby proposed to be further amended, prescribe, insofar as practicable, such different terms applicable to different parts of the production area as are necessary to give due recognition to the differences in the production and marketing of raisins produced in the production area; and

5. All handling of raisins produced in the production area as defined in the marketing order is in the current of interstate or foreign commerce or directly burdens, obstructs, or affects such commerce.

Order Relative to Handling

It is therefore ordered, that on and after the effective date hereof, all handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California shall be in conformity to, and in compliance with, the terms and conditions of the said order as hereby proposed to be amended as follows:

The provisions of the proposed marketing order amending the order contained in the proposed rule issued by the Administrator on October 15, 2015, and published in the Federal Register (80 FR 62506) on October 16, 2015, will be and are the terms and provisions of this order amending the order and are set forth in full herein.

PART 989—RAISINS PRODUCED FROM GRAPES GROWN IN CALIFORNIA 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 989 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 601-674.

2. Revise paragraph (c) of § 989.80 to read as follows:
§ 989.80 Assessments.

(c) During any crop year or any portion of a crop year for which volume percentages are not effective for a varietal type, all standard raisins of that varietal type acquired by handlers during such period shall be free tonnage for purposes of levying assessments pursuant to this section. The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment to be paid by all handlers on the basis of a specified rate per ton. At any time during or after a crop year, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment to obtain sufficient funds to cover any later finding by the Secretary relative to the expenses of the committee. Each handler shall pay such additional assessment to the committee upon demand. In order to provide funds to carry out the functions of the committee, the committee may accept advance payments from any handler to be credited toward such assessments as may be levied pursuant to this section against such handler during the crop year. In the event cash flow needs of the committee are above cash available generated by handler assessments, the committee may borrow from a commercial lending institution. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee, and for such purposes as the Secretary may pursuant to this subpart determine to be appropriate, may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect, irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative.

3. Revise paragraph (a) of § 989.81 to read as follows:
§ 989.81 Accounting.

(a) If, at the end of the crop year, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, such excess shall be accounted for in accordance with one of the following:

(1) If such excess is not retained in a reserve, as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, it shall be refunded proportionately to the persons from whom collected in accordance with § 989.80; Provided, That any sum paid by a person in excess of his or her pro rata share of expenses during any crop year may be applied by the committee at the end of such crop year as credit for such person, toward the committee's administrative operations for the following crop year; Provided further, That the committee may credit the excess to any outstanding obligations due the committee from such person.

(2) The committee may carry over such excess funds into subsequent crop years as a reserve; Provided, That funds already in the reserve do not exceed one crop year's budgeted expenses as averaged over the past six years. In the event that funds exceed one crop year's expenses, funds in excess of one crop year's budgeted expenses shall be distributed in accordance with paragraph (1) above. Such funds may be used:

(i) To defray essential administrative expenses (i.e., staff wages/salaries and related benefits, office rent, utilities, postage, insurance, legal expenses, audit costs, consulting, Web site operation and maintenance, office supplies, repairs and maintenance, equipment leases, domestic staff travel and committee mileage reimbursement, international committee travel, international staff travel, bank charges, computer software and programming, costs of compliance activities, and other similar essential administrative expenses) exclusive of promotional expenses during any crop year, prior to the time assessment income is sufficient to cover such expenses;

(ii) To cover deficits incurred during any period when assessment income is less than expenses;

(iii) To defray expenses incurred during any period when any or all provisions of this part are suspended;

(iv) To meet any other such expenses recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary; and

(v) To cover the necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part. Upon such termination, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate; Provided, That to the extent practicable, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.

[FR Doc. 2016-04623 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 50, 52, 54, and 100 [Docket Nos. PRM-50-106; NRC-2012-0177] Environmental Qualification of Electrical Equipment AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Petition for rulemaking; denial.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is denying a petition for rulemaking (PRM) submitted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC), and Mr. Paul M. Blanch (collectively, the petitioners) on June 18, 2012. The petitioners requested that the NRC amend its regulations to clearly and unequivocally require the environmental qualification of all safety-related cables, wires, splices, connections and other ancillary electrical equipment that may be subjected to submergence and/or moisture intrusion during normal operating conditions, severe weather, seasonal flooding, and seismic events, and post-accident conditions, both inside and outside of a reactor's containment building. The NRC is denying this petition because the current regulations already address environmental qualification in both mild and design basis event conditions of electrical equipment located both inside and outside of the containment building that is important to safety, and the petition does not provide significant new or previously unconsidered information sufficient to justify rulemaking.

DATES:

The docket for the petition for rulemaking, PRM-50-106, is closed on March 7, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0177 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this petition. You may obtain publicly-available information related to the petition by using any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0177. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Margaret Ellenson, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-0894; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. The Petition II. NRC Analysis III. Determination of Petition I. The Petition

On June 18, 2012, the NRC received a petition for rulemaking filed jointly by the NRDC and Mr. Paul Blanch (ADAMS Accession No. ML12177A377). The petitioners requested that the NRC amend its regulations in parts 50, 52, 54, and 100 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) to clearly and unequivocally require the environmental qualification of all safety-related cables, wires, splices, connections and other ancillary electrical equipment that may be subjected to submergence and/or moisture intrusion during normal operating conditions, severe weather, seasonal flooding, and seismic events, and post-accident conditions, both inside and outside of a reactor's containment building.

The petition was docketed by the NRC on June 22, 2012, and was assigned Docket No. PRM-50-106. On September 27, 2012 (77 FR 59345), the NRC published a notice of receipt in the Federal Register. The NRC did not request public comment on PRM-50-106.

II. NRC Analysis

The petitioners raised three issues in support of their request that the NRC amend the regulations related to environmental qualification of electrical equipment at nuclear power plants. The three issues and the NRC's responses to each issue are presented in this section.

Issue 1: Through the issuance of Generic Letter (GL) 82-09, “Environmental Qualification of Safety-Related Electrical Equipment,” dated April 20, 1982 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031080281), the NRC staff limited the scope of § 50.49 based on the location of the electrical equipment.

The petitioners stated that as a result of the accident at Three Mile Island, the NRC strengthened the regulatory requirements for electrical equipment by, among other things, revising § 50.49(e) to add paragraph (6) to address the possibility of electrical equipment submergence. The petitioners asserted that § 50.49(e)(6), as written, did not limit or restrict its applicability based upon the location of the equipment, but that the NRC staff limited this applicability through a question and answer (Q&A) set in GL 82-09:

Q. For equipment qualification purposes, what are the staff requirements concerning submergence of equipment outside containment?

A. The staff requires that the licensee submit documentation on the qualification of safety-related equipment that could be submerged due to a high energy line break outside containment.

The petitioners asserted that the problem with this excerpt from GL 82-09 is that safety-related cables and wires outside containment are routinely submerged in water not only during high energy line breaks (HELBs), but also during a reactor's normal operation. The petitioners argued that the 1979 Three Mile Island accident and laboratory testing have shown that moisture intrusion and submergence of electrical cables and wires significantly increase the probability of failure, which also causes the failure of connected components such as emergency core cooling system motors and pumps, valves, controls, and instrumentation. The petitioners asserted that the safety implications from the failure of a safety-related cable inside containment submerged by an accident, outside containment submerged by a high energy line break, or outside containment submerged by nature, are identical—the safety function is lost.

NRC Response to Issue 1: The regulations at § 50.49, “Environmental qualification of electric equipment important to safety for nuclear power plants,” are applicable to electrical equipment located outside containment as well as inside. The January 21, 1983, Federal Register notice of the final § 50.49 rule (48 FR 2730) made this clear by noting that nuclear power plant equipment important to safety must be able to perform its safety functions throughout its installed life, and that this requirement applies to equipment inside as well as outside containment. (See 48 FR 2731.) The Q&A referenced by the petitioners is itself premised on the applicability of § 50.49 to important to safety electrical equipment outside of containment. Regardless of its location inside or outside containment, if any important to safety electrical equipment is near enough to a high energy line (e.g., steam line, feedwater, blow-down, charging, or letdown lines) that the equipment's performance could be adversely affected by a rupture of that line, § 50.49 requires that the equipment be qualified to withstand any environmental conditions that may result from such an event. Section 50.49 was established to impose additional requirements beyond those established by § 50.65, “Requirements for monitoring the effectiveness of maintenance at nuclear power plants;” 10 CFR part 50, appendix A, “General Design Criteria [GDC] For Nuclear Power Plants;” 1 and 10 CFR part 50, appendix B, “Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel Processing Plants.” The additional requirements in § 50.49 apply to important to safety electrical equipment that could be subject to postulated design basis events (DBEs) that could affect: (1) The integrity of the reactor coolant pressure boundary; (2) the capability to shut the reactor down safely and keep it safe; or (3) the capability to prevent or mitigate accidents that could result in potential offsite exposures comparable to NRC emergency planning guidelines. As the cited GL 82-09 Q&A indicates, a HELB was the most probable such DBE involving submergence outside of containment for which the NRC staff believed that a power reactor's important to safety electrical equipment must be environmentally qualified.

1 The GDC pertains to water cooled nuclear plants and establishes the minimum requirements for their principal design criteria (36 FR 3256; February 20, 1971, as amended).

The NRC agrees with the petitioners that safety-related cables and other electrical equipment must be fully able to function, not only within an operating environment affected by a HELB under § 50.49, but also over the entire length of its system, even those portions not exposed to a HELB. Criterion 18 of 10 CFR part 50, appendix A, requires that electric power systems important to safety be designed so that important areas and features permit appropriate periodic inspection and testing. Example areas and features specified are the following: wiring, insulation, connections, and switchboards. Criterion 18 also requires the systems to be designed with a capability to test periodically the operability and functional performance of the components of the systems and the operability of the system as a whole.

As the petitioners rightly point out, designing the entirety of an electrical safety system for inspectability and testability is essential because “[i]t matters little if the portion of a safety-related cable inside [or] outside containment in a high energy line break area survive[s] if another portion of that same cable routed underground fails due to submergence.” It is also important to note that the NRC's design and qualification requirements for underground or inaccessible wires, cables, and ancillary equipment are inspected and enforced. The NRC's inspection procedures direct that inspections of electrical equipment at risk of flooding or exposure to moisture be conducted annually.

The NRC disagrees with the petitioners' assertion that GL 82-09 has restricted the applicability of § 50.49 regulatory requirements for safety-related equipment according to its location. Generic letters do not have the legal authority of a final rule promulgated after due public notice and comment, as was § 50.49. The Q&A in GL 82-09 does not exempt any safety-related equipment that could be submerged, inside or outside containment, from the environmental qualifications (EQ) requirements of § 50.49. The purpose of the GL 82-09 Q&A cited by the petitioners was simply to clarify that under § 50.49, licensees must submit information on the EQ of important to safety equipment that could be submerged due to a high energy line break outside containment. The applicability of § 50.49 is not limited to a HELB, although after more than 30 years of operating experience and risk analysis, a HELB remains the most probable DBE involving submergence outside containment that meets the § 50.49 criteria for the subset of DBEs that could result in a severe accident. The clarifying Q&A was important because the GL was providing information in the event of a HELB, not describing the entire universe of postulated DBEs to which § 50.49 could apply.

Issue 2: Safety-related cable subject to submergence, condensation, or moisture located in a “mild environment” should not be exempted from the environmental qualification requirements of § 50.49.

The petitioners argued that rulemaking is necessary to ensure that electrical cables and wires will be properly qualified for environmental conditions they may experience during normal operation (i.e., a mild environment) as well as in an accident. The petitioners claimed the need for rulemaking and clarification of § 50.49 to address cables that may be exposed to non-mild environments during normal, abnormal, and accident conditions. The petitioners noted that electrical cables and wires “are prone to accelerated failure rates when submerged in water or exposed to high humidity unless designed and qualified for these environmental conditions.” The petitioners stated that the NRC prioritized the inspection of cable penetrations after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident based on the probability of their impairment, mostly due to submergence and moisture. The petitioners argued that “[i]f these conditions cause a high probability of impairment following an accident, then it is logical to assume that these conditions produce a similar outcome in the absence of or prior to an accident as well.” In support of their case for a rulemaking to address this impairment, the petitioners also referenced a 1996 study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (ADAMS Accession No. ML031140264) and three studies by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), “Plant Support Engineering: Life Cycle Management Planning Sourcebooks: Medium-Voltage (MV) Cables and Accessories (Terminations and Splices),” EPRI Product ID: 1013187; “Plant Support Engineering: Aging Management Program Development Guidance for AC and DC Low-Voltage Power Cable Systems for Nuclear Power Plants,” EPRI Product ID: 1020804; and “Plant Support Engineering: Aging Management Program Guidance for Medium-Voltage Cable Systems for Nuclear Power Plants,” EPRI Product ID: 1020805. The EPRI documents are available for download from www.EPRI.com.

Also in support of their request for rulemaking to extend § 50.49 requirements to electrical equipment in mild environments, the petitioners contended that the NRC's requirements state only that safety systems should remain functional and do not provide conditions or acceptance criteria for degraded cables.

NRC Response to Issue 2: The NRC agrees that § 50.49 does not apply to reactor cables and electrical equipment exposed to mild environments. This section of the rule applies EQ requirements only to important to safety cables and electrical equipment that may be exposed to non-mild environments during accident conditions. The purpose of the final § 50.49 rule (48 FR 2730; January 21, 1983) was to codify accepted industry standards and NRC guidance for the EQ of safety-related electrical equipment, and non-safety-related equipment relied on by safety-related equipment, that must perform a safety function under DBE conditions.

The NRC disagrees with the petitioners' assertion that § 50.49 should be amended to extend EQ requirements to important to safety cables and electrical equipment exposed to submergence or moisture intrusion in mild environments. The existing rule specifically exempts from these requirements equipment exposed only to a “mild environment,” which is defined in § 50.49(c) as an environment that would at no time be significantly more severe than the environment that would occur during normal plant operation, including anticipated operational occurrences.

All important to safety equipment whether in mild or non-mild environments is subject to the requirements for monitoring the effectiveness of maintanence under the maintenance rule (§ 50.65). Furthermore, all important to safety equipment at plants with construction permits issued after May 21, 1971, is also subject to the design and quality requirements in 10 CFR part 50, appendix A. In addition to the above requirements, all safety-related equipment is also subject to the quality assurance requirements of 10 CFR part 50, appendix B. Therefore, equipment in mild environments exposed to submergence, condensation, and moisture intrusion, the kind of degradation of concern to the petitioners, is subject to several existing requirements. For important to safety equipment that could be subject to environmental conditions that may result as a consequence of a DBE, § 50.49 establishes additional requirements beyond those stipulated in § 50.65; 10 CFR part 50, appendix A; and 10 CFR part 50, appendix B.

The maintenance rule (§ 50.65) establishes requirements for monitoring the effectiveness of maintenance at nuclear power plants. Under § 50.65(a)(1), licensees are required to monitor the condition or performance of structures, systems, or components (SSCs) in a manner providing reasonable assurance that the intended SSC functions can be fulfilled. Section 50.65(b) describes the types of SSCs subject to its requirements. The maintenance rule (§ 50.65) applies to safety and non-safety SSCs that includes the following: SSCs used in the plant's emergency operating procedures or relied upon to mitigate accidents or transient unsafe conditions; SSCs whose failure could prevent safety-related SSCs from fulfilling their safety-related function; or SSCs whose failure could cause a reactor scram (unplanned action to stop the fission reaction) or the actuation of a safety-related system. With this scope, the maintenance rule (§ 50.65) already covers the equipment specified in the petition (i.e., all safety-related cables, wires, splices, connections, and other ancillary electrical equipment that may be subjected to submergence and/or moisture intrusion). Section 50.65 covers this equipment under any normal or unusual operating or post-accident conditions, whether these conditions include severe weather, seasonal flooding, or seismic events, or whether the SSCs are inside or outside of containment. The rule also covers the petitioners' specified systems and components whether or not they are exposed to submergence in water, condensation, wetting, and other environmental stresses during routine operation and infrequent events (e.g., flooding).

In its April 2012 Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.218, “Condition-Monitoring Techniques for Electric Cables Used In Nuclear Power Plants” (ADAMS Accession No. ML103510447), the NRC described a programmatic approach and acceptable techniques for monitoring the condition of electric cable systems and their operating environments. As authority for this guidance, RG 1.218 cited 10 CFR part 50, Criterion XI, “Test Control,” of appendix B. Criterion XI specifies that power reactor licensees must have a program to assure that all testing required to show that SSCs will perform satisfactorily in service is identified and performed.

The test program must include, as appropriate, operational tests of SSCs during nuclear power plant operation. Test procedures must include provisions for assuring that all prerequisites for the given test have been met, that adequate test instrumentation is available and used, and that the test is performed under suitable environmental conditions. Test results under Criterion XI must also be “documented and evaluated” to ensure that this Criterion's requirements have been satisfied. It is important to note that Criterion XI is only one of 18 criteria that are applicable to a quality assurance program for the electrical equipment at issue in this petition. Appendix B criteria establish quality assurance requirements for the design, manufacture, construction, and operation of all safety-related equipment, and all activities affecting its functions, including not only testing, but designing, purchasing, fabricating, handling, shipping, storing, cleaning, installing, inspecting, operating, maintaining, repairing, and modifying this equipment. Criterion XVI, “Corrective Action,” also requires licensees to have measures assuring that conditions adverse to quality are promptly identified and corrected. Examples of such conditions are the following: failures, malfunctions, deficiencies, deviations, defective material and equipment, and nonconformances. For significant conditions adverse to quality, including the potential failure of electrical equipment to function as designed, licensees must determine the cause of the condition and “assure” that corrective action is taken to preclude a repetition of the adverse condition. The identified condition, its cause, and the corrective action taken to prevent its recurrence must also be documented and the appropriate levels of management informed. In addition, for important to safety cables and electrical equipment located in an area meeting the definition of a mild environment in § 50.49, 10 CFR part 50, appendix A, GDC 4 requires that this equipment be designed to manage the conditions it will experience during normal operation, maintenance, testing, and postulated accidents.

The NRC does not agree that its existing regulations do not require sufficient protection of important to safety electrical equipment against expected or potential environmental conditions it experiences during its period of service. Regardless of whether a cable, switch, or other piece of electrical equipment must be environmentally qualified under § 50.49, it must meet maintenance, design, and quality assurance requirements established by § 50.65; 10 CFR part 50, appendix A; and 10 CFR part 50, appendix B (for safety-related equipment), to provide adequate protection for public health and safety. And regardless of whether the equipment is environmentally qualified, it is subject to the same degree of NRC oversight in the form of inspections and enforcement. A rulemaking to require the environmental qualification of all electrical equipment exposed only to mild environments is, therefore, unnecessary.

Moreover, the 1996 DOE study and three EPRI studies cited by the petitioners are well known to the NRC and do not constitute significant new information justifying a rulemaking. The NRC recognized the concern regarding the reliability of low-voltage power cable systems at reactors that the petitioner references and acted accordingly. Among other things, the NRC has revised its inspection procedures to ensure annual inspections of underground bunkers and manholes in a continuing repeated cycle beginning with those containing the most risk-significant cables. The NRC also issued RG 1.218, describing a programmatic approach and acceptable techniques for monitoring the condition of electric cable systems and their operating environments.

The NRC disagrees with the petitioners' contention that the NRC's requirements do not provide conditions or acceptance criteria for degraded cables. Any requirement for safety-related systems to remain functional for a specified operating life is a design requirement, and any failure of the equipment before the end of that operating life would be a violation of that design requirement. Therefore, taken together, GDC 2, 4, and 18 in 10 CFR part 50, appendix A, the maintenance requirements under § 50.65, and the quality assurance testing requirements in 10 CFR part 50, appendix B, Criterion XI, effectively provide an enforceable acceptance criterion for the continued use of cables or any other electrical equipment degrading during normal operation. Criterion XI states that the measured rate of degradation must not impair the equipment's ability to function in an emergency, even if the emergency were to occur on the last day of the performance period specified in the equipment's design requirement.

Guidance for the implementation of this criterion is provided in the August 25, 2009, NRC staff regulatory resolution issue protocol, “Cable Performance Issues at Nuclear Power Plants” (ADAMS Accession No. ML092220419), which the petitioners cited as documentation of the NRC's requirements on cable and wire submergence issues. The NRC staff position in that protocol is: (1) Licensees should monitor cables within the scope of the maintenance rule (§ 50.65) at an appropriate frequency to demonstrate that they can perform their design functions when called upon; and (2) cables must be designed to fulfill their intended design function in the environment to which they are subject. Under the protocol, if cables have been exposed to conditions for which they are not designed or qualified, the licensee must demonstrate, through adequate testing or condition monitoring, that the cables can perform their intended design function for the duration of the qualified period specified in the license.

The NRC also inspects underground cables through established inspection procedures. In particular, Inspection Procedure (IP) Attachment 71111.06, “Flood Protection Measures” (ADAMS Accession No. ML11244A012), specifically directs NRC inspectors to perform an annual review of cables located in underground bunkers or manholes. The IP Attachment directs inspectors to select bunkers or manholes subject to flooding that contain multiple train or multiple risk-significant cables, and inspect those that contain more risk-significant cables before inspecting those with less risk-significant cables. The IP notes that inspectors should rotate through the bunkers or manholes until all are inspected; and then the cycle should be recommenced. The IP Attachment also clarifies that these inspections may be in addition to those for the aging management programs of plants with renewed licenses. Where “significant moisture” is identified at such plants, inspectors are to verify that the licensee takes action to keep the cables dry and assess cable degradation in accordance with the licensee's aging management program.

Issue 3: Although GDC 2 and 4 of the NRC's regulations require that cables be able to perform their design function when subjected to anticipated environmental conditions, the NRC does not apply these and other GDC to the 57 plants with construction permits issued before May 21, 1971, the effective date of the GDC rule (36 FR 3256; February 20, 1971).

Citing the August 25, 2009, NRC staff regulatory issue resolution protocol, “Cable Performance Issues at Nuclear Power Plants,” the petitioners asserted that this statement defined the NRC's governing regulations on submerged cable performance as explicitly including GDC 2 and GDC 4. The GDC 2 requires reactor SSCs that are important to safety be designed to withstand the effects of natural phenomena without loss of capability to perform their safety functions. The GDC 4 requires that these SSCs be designed to accommodate the effects of and be compatible with the environmental conditions associated with normal operation, maintenance, testing, and postulated accidents.

The petition stated that although these GDC may contain appropriate regulatory requirements for the qualification of electrical cables and wires, the NRC has determined that these requirements are not to be applied to the majority of reactors. The petitioners noted that, at the time the petition was submitted, at least 57 of the nation`s 104 operating reactors had construction permits that were issued prior to the effective date of the GDC rule, and that the Commission, through guidance to the NRC staff, has determined that the GDC do not need to be applied to these 57 reactors.

NRC Response to Issue 3: The NRC disagrees with the petitioners' suggestion that the 57 plants that received construction permits prior to May 21, 1971, are not operating safely with appropriately qualified important to safety equipment. In 1992, after more than 15 years of analysis, the NRC staff recommended that the Commission retain the current policy that no exemptions from or specific backfits for the GDC are required for plants with construction permits issued before that date. In its September 18, 1992, Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) (ADAMS Accession No. ML003763736), the Commission endorsed the NRC staff's recommendation not to apply the GDC to plants with construction permits issued prior to the effective date of the GDC rule. This recommendation was based on the documented results of the NRC staff's evaluations of representative designs of 10 of the 57 plants against the design requirements of a 1975 Standard Review Plan for reactor license applications based on the approved GDC.

The SRM explained that at the time the GDC were promulgated, the Commission had stressed that they were not new requirements and were promulgated to articulate more clearly the licensing requirements and practice in effect at that time. The Commission stated that while compliance with the intent of the GDC is important, each plant licensed before the GDC were formally adopted was evaluated on a plant-specific basis, determined to be safe, and licensed by the NRC. Furthermore, the Commission determined that existing regulatory processes were sufficient to ensure that plants continue to be safe and comply with the intent of the GDC. As the petitioners also noted, the Commission went on to say that backfitting these 57 plants to meet the GDC would provide little or no safety benefit while requiring an extensive commitment of resources. The petitioners have not provided any significant, new, or previously unconsidered information to justify a new rulemaking or to reverse this NRC position.

III. Reasons for Denial

The NRC is denying PRM-50-106 because:

(1) The NRC disagrees with the petitioners' assertion that GL 82-09 has restricted the applicability of § 50.49 regulatory requirements for safety-related equipment according to its location. This regulation is applicable to electrical equipment located outside containment as well as inside.

(2) Section 50.49 explicitly excludes important to safety electrical equipment subject only to mild environments. The petitioners have not provided significant new information sufficient to justify a change to this rule. A rulemaking to require the environmental qualification of all electrical equipment exposed only to mild environments is unnecessary because existing NRC regulations require sufficient protection of important to safety electrical equipment against expected or potential environmental conditions it experiences during its period of service.

(3) With regard to the reactors that received construction permits prior to May 21, 1971, the Commission determined in response to SECY-92-223, “Resolution of Deviations Identified During the Systematic Evaluation Program” (ADAMS Accession No. ML12256B290) that these plants are operating safely with appropriately qualified important to safety equipment, and that no specific backfits of the GDC to these plants were required. The petitioners have not provided any significant, new, or previously unconsidered information justifying a rulemaking to apply the GDC to the 57 reactors that received construction permits prior to May 21, 1971.

IV. Conclusion

For the reasons cited in this document, the NRC is denying PRM-50-106. The NRC is denying this petition because the current regulations already address environmental qualification in both mild and design basis event conditions of electrical equipment located both inside and outside of the containment building that is important to safety, and the petitioners did not provide significant new or previously unconsidered information sufficient to justify rulemaking.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 29th day of February, 2016.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2016-05028 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 429 [Docket No. EERE-2015-BT-CE-0019] RIN 1990-AA44 Energy Conservation Program: Certification and Enforcement—Import Data Collection; Notice of Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

Office of the General Counsel, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Notice of reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

On December 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing that a person importing into the United States any covered product or equipment subject to an applicable energy conservation standard provide, prior to importation, a certification of admissibility to the DOE. The comment period ended February 12, 2016. On February 17, 2016, after receiving several requests for additional time to prepare and submit comments, DOE reopened the comment period until February 29, 2016. At a public meeting held on February 19, 2016, DOE again received requests for additional time to prepare and submit comments. DOE is reopening the period for submitting comments until March 14, 2016.

DATES:

The DOE is reopening the comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking published on December 29, 2015 (80 FR 81199) and extended on February 29, 2016 (81 FR 8022). We will accept comments, data, and information in response to the NOPR received no later than March 14, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

See the section “Public Participation” for details on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 202-586-6590. Email: [email protected]; or Mr. Steven Goering, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Forrestal Building, GC-32, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 202-286-5691. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing that a person importing into the United States any covered product or equipment subject to an applicable energy conservation standard provide, prior to importation, a certification of admissibility to the DOE. (80 FR 81199) The comment period ended February 12, 2016. On February 17, 2016, after receiving several requests for additional time to prepare and submit comments, DOE reopened the comment period until February 29, 2016 (81 FR 8022). At a public meeting held on February 19, 2016, DOE again received requests for additional time to prepare and submit comments. DOE is reopening the period for submitting comments.

DOE will accept comments, data, and information in response to the NOPR received no later than March 14, 2016. DOE will consider any comments in response to the NOPR received by midnight of March 14, 2016, and deems any comments received by that time to be timely submitted.

Public Participation

Any comments submitted must identify the NOPR for Import Data Collection, and provide docket number EERE-2015-BT-CE-0019 and/or regulatory information number (RIN) number 1990-AA44. Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:

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

2. Email: [email protected] Include the docket number and/or RIN in the subject line of the message.

3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary to include printed copies.

4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary to include printed copies.

Docket: The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2015-BT-CE-0019. This Web page will contain a link to the docket for this notice on the regulations.gov site. The regulations.gov Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

For further information on how to submit a comment, review other public comments and the docket, or to request a public meeting, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected]

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 26, 2016. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2016-04829 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 900 RIN 1901-AB36 Coordination of Federal Authorizations for Electric Transmission Facilities; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY:

Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Proposed rulemaking; notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY:

This document announces that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will hold a public workshop to discuss the proposed rule for the coordination of federal authorizations for electric transmission facilities for the Integrated Interagency Pre-application (IIP) process. The public workshop will include a presentation describing the proposed rule and will allow for questions and comments about and on the rule.

DATES:

The public workshop will be held on March 22, 2016, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Written comments are welcome before or after the workshop and should be submitted prior to the end of the public comment period for the proposed rule (April 4, 2016).

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held via webinar and conference call. The webinar invitation, phone number, and instructions on how to register and log in to the webinar will be available at: http://energy.gov/oe/downloads/notice-proposed-rulemaking-integrated-interagency-pre-application-process-iip-electric.

You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1901-AB36, by any of the following methods:

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

2. Send email to [email protected] Include RIN 1901-AB36 in the subject line of the email. Please include the full body of your comments in the text of the message or as an attachment.

3. Address postal mail to U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mailstop OE-20, Room 8G-017, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

Due to potential delays in the delivery of postal mail, we encourage respondents to submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt.

This notice, a transcript of the public workshop, and any comments that DOE receives on the proposed rulemaking will be made available on the DOE Web site at http://energy.gov/oe/downloads/notice-proposed-rulemaking-integrated-interagency-pre-application-process-iip-electric. You may request a hardcopy of the workshop transcript or comments be sent to you via postal mail by contacting the DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Julie A. Smith, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mailstop OE-20, Room 8G-017, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; or [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On February 2, 2016, DOE published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (81 FR 5383) to provide a process for the timely coordination of Federal authorizations for proposed transmission facilities pursuant to section 216(h) of the FPA (16 U.S.C. 824p(h)). The rule would establish an early pre-application process (the Integrated Interagency Pre-application (IIP) process) in support of this coordination and the selection of a NEPA lead agency. The proposed regulations provide a framework for DOE to facilitate early cooperation and exchange of environmental information required to site qualified electric transmission facilities. These activities would occur prior to an applicant filing a request for authorization with Federal permitting agencies. The proposed regulations also provide an opportunity for non-Federal agencies (tribal, state, or local governments) to coordinate separate non-Federal permitting and environmental reviews with those of the Federal permitting agencies. This document announces the public workshop described in the proposed rule.

Members of the public are welcome to pre-register for the webinar if they would like to make oral statements during the specified period for public comment. To pre-register to provide public comments, please email [email protected] In the email, please indicate your name, organization (if appropriate), citizenship, and contact information. If you would like to receive further information on the proposed rule or IIP process, please include your email address in your pre-registration email.

An audio recording and written transcript of the public workshop, and any comments that DOE receives during the workshop, will be made available after the webinar on the DOE Web site at http://energy.gov/oe/downloads/notice-proposed-rulemaking-integrated-interagency-pre-application-process-iip-electric. You may request a hardcopy of the workshop transcript or comments be sent to you via postal mail by contacting DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 29, 2016. Meghan Conklin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
[FR Doc. 2016-04986 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3992; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-075-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 787-8 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that a captain's seat moved uncommanded during a landing rollout due to a failure in the seat horizontal actuator. This proposed AD would require repetitive tests of the captain and first officer seat assemblies for proper operation, and corrective action if necessary. This proposed AD would also require installing new captain and first officer seat assemblies, which would terminate the repetitive tests. We are proposing this AD to prevent a seat actuator clutch failure, which could result in a loss of seat locking and uncommanded motion of the captain's or first officer's seat; uncommanded seat movement could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 21, 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. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3992.

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-2016-3992; 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:

Brandon Lucero, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6572; fax: 425-917-6590.

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-2016-3992; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-075-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

This proposed AD was prompted by a report that a captain's seat moved uncommanded during a landing rollout due to a failure in the seat horizontal actuator. Investigation found press fit clutch pins in the actuator could migrate loose when subjected to repeated dynamic impact loading from clutch re-engagement when the manual horizontal control lever is released with the seat still moving on the tracks. The clutch pins can migrate loose, overturn, and force clutch plate separation, resulting in degraded or failed seat locking.

We are proposing this AD to prevent a seat actuator clutch failure, which could result in a loss of seat locking and uncommanded motion of the captain's or first officer's seat; uncommanded seat movement could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250054-00, Issue 001, dated December 19, 2014. This service information provides procedures for installation of new captain and first officer seat assemblies, a test of the captain and first officer seat assemblies, and corrective action if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

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

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3992.

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 18 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 Operational test 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 per test cycle $0 $170 per test cycle $3060 Seat assembly installation 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 to replace two seats $15,141 per seat × 2 seats = $30,282 30,537 to replace two seats 549,666

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary corrective actions that would be required based on the results of the proposed operational tests. 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
  • Replacement of captain seat vertical actuator 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $7,500 $7,670 Replacement of captain seat horizontal actuator 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 7,500 7,670 Replacement of first officer seat vertical actuator 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 7,500 7,670 Replacement of first officer seat horizontal actuator 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 7,500 7,670
    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-2016-3992; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-075-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 21, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250054-00, Issue 001, dated December 19, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that a captain's seat moved uncommanded during a landing rollout due to a failure in the seat horizontal actuator. We are issuing this AD to prevent a seat actuator clutch failure, which could result in a loss of seat locking and uncommanded motion of the captain's or first officer's seat; uncommanded seat motion could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Tests of Captain and First Officer Seat Assembly Operation

    Within 1,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, test the operation of the captain and first officer seat assemblies and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250054-00, Issue 001, dated December 19, 2014. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the operational test thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,000 flight hours until the installation required by paragraph (h) of this AD is done.

    (h) New Seat Installation

    Within 72 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250054-00, Issue 001, dated December 19, 2014. Installing the seat specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD is terminating action for the repetitive operational tests required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that seat only.

    (1) Install new captain seat assembly, part number (P/N) 3A380-0007-01-7.

    (2) Install new first officer seat assembly, P/N 3A380-0008-01-7.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, ANM-150S, 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 (j)(1) of this AD.

    (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 required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Brandon Lucero, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6572; fax: 425-917-6590.

    (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 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 23, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04679 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3993; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-065-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes; Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of partial loss of no-back brake (NBB) efficiency on the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA). This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine THSA part number, serial numbers, and flight cycles on certain THSAs; and repetitive replacement for certain THSAs. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of THSA NBB efficiency, which in conjunction with the power gear not able to keep the ball screw in its last commanded position, could lead to an uncommanded movement of the horizontal stabilizer, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 21, 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: 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—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    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-2016-3993; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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-2016-3993; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-065-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

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2015-0081, dated May 7, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition. The MCAI states:

    During endurance qualification tests on a Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator (THSA) concerning another aeroplane type, a partial loss of the noback brake (NBB) efficiency was experienced. Investigation results concluded that this partial loss of braking efficiency in some specific aerodynamic load conditions was due to polishing and auto-contamination of the NBB carbon friction disks.

    Due to design similarity on the A300-600, A300-600ST and A310 fleet, the same tests were initiated by the THSA manufacturer on certain type THSA, sampled from the field. Subject tests confirmed that THSA Part Number (P/N) 47142 series, as installed on the A300-600, A300-600ST and A310 fleet, are also affected by this partial loss of NBB efficiency.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, and in conjunction with the power gear not able to keep the ball screw in its last commanded position, could potentially lead to an uncommanded movement of the Horizontal Stabilizer, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the removal from service of each affected THSA, with the intent of in-shop NBB carbon disk replacement.

    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-2016-3993.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A300-27-6070, dated February 17, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A310-27-2106, dated February 17, 2015. This service information describes procedures for inspection and replacement of the THSA.

    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 Compliance Times

    In most ADs, we adopt a compliance time allowing a specified amount of time after the AD's effective date. In this case, however, EASA has already issued regulations that require operators to replace certain THSAs to address an identified unsafe condition by certain dates, but before exceeding certain flight cycle limits corresponding to each date. To provide for coordinated implementation of EASA's regulations and this proposed AD, we are using the same compliance dates in this proposed AD.

    This AD proposes the replacement of the NBB disks at an interval of 14,600 flight cycles to take full benefit of the THSA published life limits. The replacement of the THSA NBB disks having already accumulated more than 14,600 flight cycles will start with the oldest THSA. A different grace period for NBB disks replacement has been defined depending on the flight cycles accumulated on the THSA NBB disks.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 152 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 27 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $590,000 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $90,028,840, or $592,295 per product.

    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): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2016-3993; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-065-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 21, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(6) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Airbus Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

    (4) Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

    (5) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

    (6) Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of partial loss of no-back brake (NBB) efficiency on the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA). We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of THSA NBB efficiency, which in conjunction with the power gear not able to keep the ball screw in its last commanded position, could lead to an uncommanded movement of the horizontal stabilizer, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Affected THSAs

    THSAs affected by the requirements of this AD have part numbers (P/Ns) 47142-403, 47142-413, 47142-414, and 47142-423.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    FAA AD 2011-15-08, Amendment 39-16755 (76 FR 42029, July 18, 2011) requires installation of three secondary retention plates for the gimbal bearings on the THSA upper primary attachment, which involved a THSA part number change from the -300 series to the -400 series.

    Note 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    The life limits specified in Part 4 of the airworthiness limitations section are still relevant for the affected THSA. This AD addresses a replacement limit for the NBB disks installed on the THSA, not the life limit for the THSA itself.

    (h) Inspection for Affected THSAs, Flight Cycles, and THSA Replacement

    Before each date and before exceeding the corresponding THSA flight-cycle limits specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, and before exceeding the flight cycle limit corresponding to each date as specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (1) Do an inspection of the THSA to determine the part number and serial number.

    (2) Do an inspection of the airplane maintenance records to determine the flight cycles accumulated on each affected THSA since first installation on an airplane, or since last NBB replacement, whichever is later. If no maintenance records conclusively identifying the last NBB disk replacement are available, the flight cycles accumulated since first installation of the THSA on an airplane apply.

    (i) THSA Replacement

    By each date specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, for those affected THSAs having reached or exceeded the corresponding number of flight cycles specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, replace the THSA with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-27-6070, dated February 17, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-27-2106, dated February 17, 2015, as applicable.

    (j) Compliance Dates and THSA Flight Cycle Limits

    Paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD specify compliance dates and THSA flight cycle limits for accomplishing the actions required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD.

    (1) As of 30 days after the effective date of this AD: The affected THSA flight-cycle limit is 30,000 flight cycles since first installation of the THSA on an airplane, or since last NBB replacement, whichever is later.

    (2) As of February 1, 2017: The affected THSA flight-cycle limit is 20,000 flight cycles since first installation of the THSA on an airplane, or since last NBB replacement, whichever is later.

    (3) As of February 1, 2018: The affected THSA flight-cycle limit is 14,600 flight cycles since first installation of the THSA on an airplane, or since last NBB replacement, whichever is later.

    (k) Serviceable THSA Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable THSA is a unit identified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD.

    (1) A THSA identified in paragraph (g) of this AD that, as of each date specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, has not exceeded the flight cycle limits specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD since first installation of the THSA on an airplane, or since the last NBB disk replacement, whichever is later.

    (2) A THSA with a different part number (e.g., a THSA that is not identified in paragraph (g) of this AD) that is not affected by the requirements of this AD.

    (l) THSA Replacements

    As of each date and before exceeding the flight cycle limit corresponding to each date specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD: Replace each affected THSA with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-27-6070, dated February 17, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-27-2106, dated February 17, 2015.

    (m) Parts Installation Limitation

    Before each date specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, an operator may install an affected THSA on an airplane, provided that the unit has not exceeded the corresponding number of flight cycles specified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, since first installation on an airplane, or since last NBB replacement, whichever occurred later.

    (n) 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 Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-2125; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (3) 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.

    (o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0081, dated May 7, 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-2016-3993.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. 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 24, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04562 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3085; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-2] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Little Rock, AR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E airspace at Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB), Little Rock, AR. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to closure of the air traffic control tower and associated approaches at Dennis F. Cantrell Field, Conway, AR. Dennis F. Cantrell Field would be removed from the airspace designation and legal description as it is no longer needed to describe the boundaries of Little Rock AFB. The FAA is proposing this action for continued safety within the National Airspace System (NAS). Additionally, the geographic coordinates for Little Rock AFB and Saline County Airport, Benton, AR, would be adjusted.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-3085; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-2, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2015-3085/Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-2.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by amending the Class E airspace area at Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB), AR. The air traffic control tower at Dennis F. Cantrell Field, Conway, AR, has closed, and approaches cancelled. This action would remove Dennis F. Cantrell Field, from the airspace designation and description for Little Rock AFB, as they are no longer needed to define its boundaries. Additionally, geographic coordinates for Little Rock AFB, would be changed from (lat. 34°54′59″ N., long. 92°08′47″ W.) to (lat. 34°55′03″ N., long. 92°08′42″ W.) and Saline County Airport, Benton, AR, coordinates would be changed from (lat. 34°33′23″ N., long. 92°36′25″ W.) to (lat. 34°35′25″ N., long. 92°28′46″ W.). These minor adjustments would reflect the current information in the FAA's aeronautical database.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW AR E5 Little Rock, AR [Amended] Little Rock AFB, AR (Lat. 34°55′03″ N., long. 92°08′42″ W.) Little Rock, Adams Field, AR (Lat. 34°43′46″ N., long. 92°13′29″ W.) Benton, Saline County Airport, AR (Lat. 34°35′25″ N., long. 92°28′46″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface bounded within a 20-mile radius of Little Rock AFB, and within a 22-mile radius of Adams Field Airport and within a 6.3-mile radius of Saline County Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on February 17, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04742 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3193; Airspace Docket No. 15-AAL-3] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Modification of Federal Airway V-506; Kotzebue, AK AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Alaskan VOR Federal airway V-506 by lowering the floor of class E controlled airspace due to the establishment of a lower global navigation satellite system (GNSS) minimum enroute altitude (MEA). This action would allow maximum use of the airspace.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-3193 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AAL-3 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would modify the route structure in the western U.S. to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air traffic within the National Airspace System.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-3193 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AAL-3) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-3193 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AAL-3.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received on or before the specified comment closing date will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the comment closing date. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Ave SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    Background

    On September 24, 1975, the FAA published a final rule that extended V-506 between Kotzebue and Barrow Alaska (40 FR 43885). Terrain in the vicinity limited the Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA) to 10,000 feet for a large portion of this route, between the fixes SHOKK and MEADE on current charts. Due to this MEA, the airspace floor designated in the legal description was set at 9,500 feet for this section. In 2005, Anchorage Center requested a review for a lower GNSS MEA, and the FAA was able to apply a lower GNSS MEA of 8,000 feet. However, this action did not uncover the fact that controlled airspace did not exist to encompass the new MEA. On September 24, 2015, the FAA issued NOTAM FDC 5/6054 that made the GNSS MEA between SHOKK and MEADE unavailable.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify Federal airway V-506 in Alaska that would lower the floor of controlled airspace north of Kotzebue, AK. The current legal description after Kotzebue, AK, of “Kotzebue, AK; Hotham, AK, NDB; 69 miles 12 AGL, 124 miles 95 MSL, 98 miles 12 AGL, Barrow, AK.” would be changed to read “Kotzebue, AK; Hotham, AK, NDB; 69 miles 12 AGL, 124 miles 75 MSL, 98 miles 12 AGL, Barrow, AK.”. The 124 mile section starting 69 miles north of the Hotham, AK NDB would be lowered from 9,500 feet to 7,500 feet. This airspace would support the GNSS MEA of 8,000 feet by providing a 500 foot buffer consistent with guidance found in FAA Order 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters. This expansion of airspace would provide instrument flight rules (IFR) users maximum use of V-506.

    Alaskan VOR federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(b) of FAA Order 7400.9Z dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. V-506 would be subsequently published in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6010(b) Alaskan VOR Federal Airways. V-506 (Amended)

    From INT Kodiak, AK, 107° radial and the Anchorage Oceanic CTA/FIR boundary, 37 miles 20 MSL, 24 miles 12 AGL, via Kodiak; 50 miles 12 AGL, 50 miles 95 MSL, 51 miles 12 AGL, King Salmon, AK; 51 miles 12 AGL, 84 miles 70 MSL, 63 miles 12 AGL, Bethel, AK; Nome, AK; 35 miles 12 AGL, 71 miles 55 MSL, 53 miles 12 AGL, Kotzebue, AK; Hotham, AK, NDB; 69 miles 12 AGL, 124 miles 75 MSL, 98 miles 12 AGL, Barrow, AK.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2016. Kenneth Ready, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04738 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0526; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-3] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Taos, NM AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacon (NDB) and cancellation of the NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at Taos Regional Airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-0526; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-3, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-0526/Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-3.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the NDB and cancellation of the NDB approaches at Taos Regional Airport. Advances in GPS capabilities would ensure the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW NM E5 Taos, NM [Amended] Taos Regional Airport, NM (Lat. 36°27′29″ N., long. 105°40′21″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Taos Regional Airport; and that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface beginning at lat. 36°07′00″ N., long. 105°47′42″ W., thence via the 21.3-mile arc of Taos Regional Airport clockwise to lat. 36°48′00″ N., long. 105°47′35″ W., thence to lat. 36°30′00″ N., long. 105°30′02″ W., thence to the point of beginning.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 26, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04848 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 23 Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Extension of deadline for submission of public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The FTC is extending the deadline for filing public comments on the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted until June 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file comments online or on paper by following the instructions at the end of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Jewelry Guides, 16 CFR part 23, Project No. G711001” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/jewelryguidesreview by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex O), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex O), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reenah L. Kim, Attorney, (202) 326-2272, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:On January 12, 2016, as part of the Commission's systematic review of its rules and guides, the FTC published a notice in the Federal Register (“FRN”) requesting public comments on proposed revisions to the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries (“Jewelry Guides” or “Guides”).1 As set forth in the FRN, the Commission proposed several changes and additions designed to help prevent deception in jewelry marketing. The FRN invited comments on the proposed revisions generally, and also posed a series of 75 questions on specific issues. The FRN set April 4, 2016 as the deadline for filing comments.

    1 81 FR 1349 (Jan. 12, 2016).

    A trade association representing jewelry industry members, Jewelers Vigilance Committee (“JVC”), requests a 60-day extension of the comment deadline. JVC explains that the FRN poses many questions that may require consumer research, metallurgical testing, and other information developed through experts. JVC states that additional time is therefore needed for the committees it has convened to coordinate their work, perform the necessary analysis, and develop meaningful consumer research and other expert information.

    Given the complexity and range of issues raised in the FRN, including the request for consumer perception evidence, the Commission believes that allowing additional time for filing comments would help facilitate the creation of a more complete record. Moreover, this brief extension would not harm consumers because the current Guides remain in effect during the review process. Therefore, the Commission has decided to extend the comment period to June 3, 2016.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before June 3, 2016. Write “Jewelry Guides, 16 CFR part 23, Project No. G711001” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, such as anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually-identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you must follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).2 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    2 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. Accordingly, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/jewelryguidesreview by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Jewelry Guides, 16 CFR part 23, Project No. G711001” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex O), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex O), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before June 3, 2016. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04883 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 89 [Docket ID: DOD-2014-OS-0020] RIN 0790-AJ33 Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DOD is establishing policies based on section 539 of Public Law 111-84 to implement the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (referred to as the “Compact”) within the DoD. The proposed rule provides components with policies to support the intent of the Compact, which is to aid the transition of school-age children in military families between school districts (to include between Department of Defense Educational Activity schools and state school districts). Each state joining the compact agrees to address specific school transition issues in a consistent way and minimize school disruptions for military children transferring from one state school system to another. The compact consists of general policies in four key areas: Eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation. Children of active duty members of the uniformed services, National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders, and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired for one year are eligible for assistance under the Compact.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by May 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marcus Beauregard, 571-372-5357.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary I. Purpose of This Rulemaking

    This proposed rule provides components of the DoD with policies to support the intent of the Compact, which is to aid the transition of school-age children in military families between school districts. The intent of the program is to ensure children are enrolled immediately in their new school, placed in the appropriate academic program, and are able to graduate on time.

    Each state joining the compact agrees to address specific school transition issues in a consistent way and minimize school disruptions for military children transferring from one state school system to another. The compact consists of general policies in four key areas: Eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation.

    As of August 2014, 50 states have passed legislation to become members of the compact, including most of those with large numbers of military residents. The Department of Defense Education Activity cannot be a member of the compact but is complying with its provisions in both overseas and domestic schools. In return, the compact member states have agreed to treat students coming from a DoDEA school as though they were transferring from a member state. The compact has provisions for member states to facilitate enrollment in the following areas:

    Enrollment

    Education records. When a family leaves a school district in a member state, the parents may receive a set of unofficial records to carry to the new school in another member state. It will include all the information the new school needs to enroll and place the child until they receive the official records. In addition, the compact requires all sending school districts within member states to send official transcripts within 10 days of a request from the receiving state school district.

    Immunizations. If a child transferring to a member state needs additional immunizations, he or she may enroll and begin school. Parents then have 30 days to see that the child gets the required immunizations. If further immunizations are required, they must be started within 30 calendar days of enrollment. Tuberculosis testing is not covered under the compact since the TB test is not an immunization but rather a health screening.

    Kindergarten and first grade entrance age. If the entrance age requirement in the new school system is different, transitioning children may continue in the same grade if they have already started kindergarten or first grade where the family was previously stationed. This provision also allows children to move up to first or second grade, regardless of age requirements, if they have completed kindergarten or first grade in another state.

    Placement and Attendance

    Students from military families often miss appropriate placement in required classes, advanced placement and special-needs programs while awaiting evaluation at the new school. The compact requires cooperation in the following areas:

    Course and education program placement. A receiving school district in a member state must initially honor placement of a student based on his or her enrollment in the sending state, provided the new school has a similar or equivalent program. The receiving school may evaluate the student after placement to ensure it is appropriate, but the school may not put children into “holding classes” while they await assessment. The receiving school may allow the student to attend similar education courses in other schools within the district if the receiving school does not offer such courses.

    Special education services. Students covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act receive the same services (although not necessarily identical programs) identified in the individual education plan from the sending state. This is a parallel requirement under federal law.

    Placement flexibility. School districts are encouraged to determine if course or program prerequisites can be waived for students who have completed similar coursework in the sending school district. This process allows students to take advanced courses rather than repeat similar basic courses.

    Absence related to deployment activities. Students in member states may request additional, excused absences to visit with their parent or legal guardian immediately before, during and after deployment. Schools have flexibility in approving absences if there are competing circumstances such as state testing or if the student already has excessive absences.

    Eligibility

    The compact asks school districts in member states to examine their rules for eligibility to allow children of military parents to have the continuity they need.

    Enrollment. When a child of a deployed parent is staying with a non-custodial parent, a relative or a friend who is officially acting in place of the parents and lives outside of the home school district, the child may continue to attend his or her own school as long as the care provider ensures transportation to school. The compact also stipulates that a power of attorney for guardianship is sufficient for enrollment and all other actions requiring parental participation or consent.

    Extracurricular participation. When children transfer to a new school, their participation in extracurricular activities is facilitated—provided they're eligible—even if application deadlines and tryouts have passed. Schools must make reasonable accommodations but are not required to hold spaces open for military-related transferees.

    Graduation

    School transitions can be especially challenging for high school students. The compact requires school districts to make the following accommodations to facilitate on-time graduation:

    Course waivers. School districts in member states may waive courses required for graduation if similar coursework has been completed in another school. Such waivers are not mandatory under the compact, but a school district must show reasonable justification to deny a waiver.

    Exit exams. Under the compact, a school district may accept the sending state's exit exams, achievement tests or other tests required for graduation instead of requiring the student to meet the testing requirements of the receiving state. States have flexibility to determine what tests they will accept or require the student to take.

    Transfers during senior year. If a student moves during the senior year and the receiving state is unable to make the necessary accommodations for required courses and exit exams, the two school districts must work together to obtain a diploma from the sending school so the student can graduate on time.

    The compact does not address the quality of education or require a state to change any of its standards or education criteria. The Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3) has created a variety of downloadable brochures, webinars and other resources to help parents and educators learn more about the Compact—See more at: http://www.mic3.net.

    If a family has a concern about a provision of the compact as it relates to a child, it's best to contact the school first. Each installation has a school liaison to help work with schools to get questions answered or to provide information on next steps to take if concerns cannot be successfully resolved.

    II. Narrative Description of Legal Authorities for This Rule

    The legal authorities for this rule clarify the definition of children in military families covered by this rule, cover the protections afforded these children, and provide the authority for establishing the policies included in this rule for the DoD Education Activity:

    (1) 10 U.S. Code 2164—Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools. This citation states the Secretary of Defense may issue directives that the Secretary considers necessary for the effective operation of the school or the entire school system, outside of the authority given to the School Boards selected to oversee these schools.

    (2) 20 U.S. Code—Education, Chapter 25A—Overseas Defense Dependents' Education § 921—Defense Dependents' Education System, and § 932—Definitions. This citation provides the scope of the authority of the Secretary of Defense to define programs and activities to provide a free public education through secondary school for dependents in overseas areas.

    III. Summary of the Major Focus Points of This Rulemaking

    The major provisions of this regulatory action include designating DoD liaisons to State Councils of member states of the Compact, designating the DoD ex-officio member to the Compact Commission, implementing the relevant school transition policies established in the Compact within the DoDEA school system, and establishing a committee within DoDEA to advise on compliance by DoDEA school.

    (1) As required by the Compact, states establish Councils to oversee the implementation of the Compact within the state. The Compact prescribes membership of the State Council, which may include a representative from the military community within the state. Since this individual represents the interests of the military community to the State Council, the military representative can only fulfill a liaison role on the Council and must be designated by DoD. This rule defines the role for the military representative (§ 89.7(a)), along with the process (§ 89.7(b)) for coordinating the requests from State Commissioners and designating these military representatives.

    (2) The Compact allows DoD to send an ex-officio representative to the Commission meetings, and also requires the DoD ex-officio representative to participate on the Executive Committee of the Commission. This rule provides guidelines for the DoD ex-officio representative (§ 89.7(d)).

    (3) This rule establishes policies for DoDEA governing the transition of school age children in military families (§ 89.8 of this rule), which are equivalent to the following policies included in the Compact: Article IV—records and enrollment, Article V—placement and attendance, Article VI—eligibility for enrollment, and Article VII—graduation.

    (4) This rule establishes a committee to advise DoDEA on compliance with provisions in § 89.8. The DoDEA Committee also provides input to the ex-officio member of the Commission on issues arising from DoDEA school interactions with member States of the Compact, and acts as a counterpart to State Councils of member States. Policies for assigning a representative from the Military Departments to this committee are included in § 89.7(c).

    IV. Cost and Benefit Analysis

    There are no provisions in this proposed rule which are expected to increase costs for members of the public. Requirements included in this rule may require action to be taken by state education departments and local education agencies as a result of requirements of the state laws.

    The cost to the Department are summarized below:

    • (Military representative attending State Council meetings. State Council meetings are generally held at a central location for the state, and are expected to be held at least once per year. The military representative would be required, while on duty and at government expense, to travel to and attend the meeting. A meeting would be expected to demand an average of 1.5 days (travel and meeting time), which would cost an approximate average of $564 1 in opportunity labor cost. Additionally, intrastate travel and per diem is expected to cost an approximate average of $334.2 States vary with regards to the number of military representatives they have requested to attend; however, the estimated number of military representatives is 77.3 Applying the approximate average costs per year provides $43,430 in opportunity labor costs and $25,720 in travel and per diem.

    1 Cost estimated on the salary of a GS-14 step 5 without locality pay or percentage for benefits (average of $47 per hour) times approximately 12 hours.

    2 Cost of travel calculated at an average round trip requiring 300 miles times the 2015 mileage rate of $0.575 per mile (equals approximately $172), plus per diem costs of $129 per day (national estimate), plus proportional meals and incidentals for the second day of $33 ($162).

    3 Estimated number of total military representatives for the 50 member states and the District of Columbia, based on the average of number currently designated in states with military representatives (41 reps in 27 states).

    • Identifying, nominating and designating a military representative. DOD estimates approximately 76 hours 4 of administrative time to coordinate nominations per year, plus approximately 76 hours 5 to process, review, coordinate, sign and distribute the designation letters. The opportunity labor cost of coordination would be approximately $4,560 6 and completing the designation letter, with accompanying documents, would be $4,400 7 per year.

    4 Estimate 3 hours of staff time to receive the request; relay the requirement to the designated Military Department and obtain approval; and provide the name to the Office of Secretary of Defense. Anticipate having to replace half of the military representatives each year (38).

    5 Estimate 2 hours of staff time to prepare the letter of designation and accompanying documents and obtain a signature from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. Anticipate processing 38 letters of designation per year.

    6 Cost estimated on the salary of a GS-13 step 5, without locality pay or percentage for benefits (average of $40 per hour).

    7 Cost estimated on the salary of a GS-14 step 5 with locality pay for Washington DC, but no percentage for benefits (average of $58 per hour).

    • Ex-officio representation to the Military Interstate Child Compact Commission (MIC3). This individual participates in the annual conference, executive committee meeting and other standing committee meetings and would cost DOD approximately $8,460 per year.8

    8 Cost estimated on three trips per year, each involving 3 days, at a location outside of Washington DC. The labor cost is estimated on the salary of a GS-15 step 5 with locality pay for Washington DC (no benefits included) time 72 hours ($4,900), plus $3,560 for travel and per diem.

    Additionally, this proposed rule will direct DoDEA to transition children under specific policies. These are the same policies that are included in the Compact, Articles IV-VII, which have been shown to be cost-neutral (and perhaps a cost-benefit) when implemented by local education agencies within the states that are members of the Compact.9 Essentially, schools are responsible for transitioning children, and the proposed rules, based upon the transition policies included in the Compact, provide a consistent approach that schools apply in member states to the Compact. Hence, there is less variability and uncertainty in the process. Applying these policies within DoDEA is expected to produce similar results, since these policies would apply to all children within the DoDEA school system (therefore applying a consistent policy regardless of the child), and many of these proposed policies represent the existing procedures used in DoDEA schools to transition students. The DoD committee to oversee the implementation of this rule within DoDEA is expected to cost approximately $3,250 per year 10 to administer and conduct meetings.

    9 Analysis accomplished by states as part of their legislative process showed that the provisions of the Compact supporting the transition of military children were fiscally neutral. Transition occurs regardless of having an organized process, and the provisions of the Compact were considered as providing consistent expectations and administrative procedures capable of reducing the cost of administering transition for military children.

    10 Estimated on two meetings (each two hours in length) per year, attended by 12 people with an average salary of a GS-14 step 5, with Washington DC locality pay (not including benefits); plus 8 hours of preparation time for the two meetings by a GS-14 step 5, with Washington DC locality pay.

    The benefits derived from DoD's participation in the Compact accrue to Service members and their families, particularly the 707,000 school-age children educated by local education agencies and DoDEA.11 These benefits have not necessarily been quantified, but can be described in qualitative terms. Military moves are stressful for the entire family, and transitioning to a new school creates stresses because of uncertainty. Military children are confronted with unknown academic and social challenges, and their parents must overcome new administrative requirements to enroll them. The provisions included in the Compact provide relief for some of the administrative requirements faced by parents and the academic issues regularly experienced by military children who generally attend six-to-nine different schools between kindergarten and 12th grade.12 The goal of the Compact is to replace the widely varying treatment of transitioning military students with a comprehensive approach that provides a uniform policy in every school district in every state that chooses to join. Through more uniform transition policies, military children have an opportunity to assimilate into their classes, extra-curricular activities and new social circles more quickly. Additionally the Compact recognizes the difficulties military children may have with being separated from a parent due to a military deployment, allowing for liberal absences for children to be with the deploying/returning parents.

    11 2013 Demographic Profile of the Military Community, DMDC Active Duty Military Family File (September 2013), page 132.

    12 Council of State Governments, “Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children Legislative Resource Kit,” January 2008, page 1.

    The Compact Articles IV-VII were developed as a result of input from 17 representative national and state stakeholders who were asked to participate in a working group sponsored by the Council of State Governments, National Center for Interstate Compacts.13 The majority of their recommendations came from work that had previously been presented in studies, such as the Military Child Education Coalition's Secondary Education Transition Study, conducted for the U.S. Army in 2001, and the subsequent Memoranda of Agreement signed by nine school districts which addressed “the timely transfer of records, systems to ease student transition during the first 2 weeks of enrollment, practices that foster access to extracurricular programs, procedures to lessen the adverse impact of moves of juniors and seniors, [and] variations in school calendars and schedules,” among other recommendations.14

    13 Contributing individuals and groups included: National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Military Family Association; Military Child Education Coalition; U.S. Department of Education; National School Boards Association; National PTA; Office of Lt Governor Beverly Purdue, NC; Alabama State Senator; National School Superintendents Association (Local School Superintendent); National Education Association; Military Impacted Schools Association; Maryland Department of Education; Ofc of the Under Secretary of Defense; California Department of Education; Nevada State Senator; and the Florida Department of Education; Education Commission of the States.

    14 Kathleen F. Berg, “Easing Transitions of Military Dependents into Hawaii Public Schools: An Invitational Education Link,” Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice Volume 14, 2008, page 44.

    Regulatory Analysis Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. This rule has been determined to be a significant regulatory action, although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This rule will not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Department of Defense certifies that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    This rule does not impose reporting and record keeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    This rule was analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 (“Federalism”). It has been determined that it does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This rule has no substantial effect on the States, or on the current Federal-State relationship, or on the current distribution of power and responsibilities among the various local officials. Nothing in this rule preempts any State law or regulation. Therefore, DoD did not consult with State and local officials because it was not necessary.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 89

    Children, Education, Interstate compact.

    Accordingly 32 CFR part 89 is proposed to be added to read as follows:

    PART 89—INTERSTATE COMPACT ON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR MILITARY CHILDREN Sec. 89.1 Purpose. 89.2 Applicability. 89.3 Definitions. 89.4 Policy. 89.5 Responsibilities. 89.6 Procedures. 89.7 Representatives to State Councils, the DoDEA Committee and MIC3. 89.8 Compact provisions. Authority:

    10 U.S.C. 2164, 20 U.S.C. 921-932.

    § 89.1 Purpose.

    In accordance with section 539 of Public Law 111-84, this part establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures to implement the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (referred to in this part as the “Compact”) within the DoD.

    § 89.2 Applicability.

    This part applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD.

    § 89.3 Definitions.

    These terms and their definitions are for the purposes of this part.

    504 plan. A plan required pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 794 specifying the modifications and accommodations for a child with a disability to meet the individual educational needs of that child as adequately as the needs of children without disabilities are met. The plans can include accommodations such as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes.

    Children of military families. School-aged children who are enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade and are in the households of Service members who:

    (1) Are on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1211;

    (2) Are active duty or veterans who are severely wounded, ill, or injured; or

    (3) Die on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty.

    (4) Children of military members who are severely wounded, ill, or injured retain this designation for 1 year after discharge or retirement. Children of military members who die on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty, retain this designation for 1 year after death.

    Deployment. The period 1 month prior to the military members' departure from their home station on military orders through 6 months after return to their home station.

    Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Committee. A DoD committee established pursuant to this part by Director of DoDEA to advise DoDEA on compliance with provisions in § 89.8 by DoDEA schools. The DoDEA Committee also provides input to the ex-officio member of the Commission on issues arising from DoDEA school interactions with member States of the Compact, and acts as a counterpart to State Councils of member States.

    Education records. Those official records, files, and data directly related to a child and maintained by the school or local educational agency (LEA) or state educational agency (SEA), including but not limited to, records encompassing all the material kept in the child's cumulative folder such as general identifying data, records of attendance and of academic work completed, records of achievement and results of evaluative tests, health data, disciplinary status, test protocols, and individualized education programs (IEPs).

    Ex-officio member of the Commission. Non-voting member of the Commission who may include, but not be limited to, members of the representative organizations of military family advocates, LEA officials, parent and teacher groups, the DoD, the Education Commission of the State, the Interstate Agreement on the Qualification of Educational Personnel, and other interstate compacts affecting the education of children of military members.

    Extracurricular activity. A voluntary activity sponsored by the school or LEA or SEA or an organization sanctioned by the LEA or SEA. Extracurricular activities include but are not limited to preparation for and involvement in public performances, contests, athletic competitions, demonstrations, displays, and club activities.

    IEP. When a child is identified as a child with disabilities in accordance with Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he or she must have a written document that describes the special education supports and services the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child's parents and school staff.

    Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children (the Compact). An agreement approved through State legislation that requires member States to follow provisions supporting the transition of children of military families between school systems in member States. As part of joining the Compact, States agree to participate in the Commission and pay dues to the Commission to support its oversight of the Compact.

    LEA. A public authority legally constituted by the State as an administrative agency to provide control of and direction for kindergarten through twelfth grade public educational institutions. For the purpose of administering the provisions of the Compact in § 89.8 of this part, DoDEA school districts as defined in 20 U.S.C. 932 are equivalent to an LEA.

    Member State. A State that has enacted the Compact.

    Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3). The MIC3, also known as the Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (sometimes referred to as the “Interstate Commission” or “the Commission”), is the governing body of the Compact composed of representatives from each member State, as well as various ex-officio members. The Commission provides general oversight of the agreement, creates and enforces rules governing the Compact, and promotes training and compliance with the Compact. Each member State will be allowed one vote on Compact matters, and the Commission will provide the venue for solving interstate issues and disputes.

    Military Family Education Liaison. Individual appointed or designated by State Council of each member state to assist military families and the State in facilitating the implementation of the Compact. Military members and DoD civilian employees cannot perform this function.

    Military installation. A base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under DoD jurisdiction, including any leased facility. (This term does not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbors projects, or flood control projects.)

    Military representative to a State Council. Individual designated by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (DASD(MC&FP)) to perform the duties and responsibilities defined in § 89.5 of this part. The military representative is responsible for representing the interest of the DoD in fostering easier transition of children of military families according to their designation (installation representative, Military Department representative or statewide representative). The military representative will be a military member or DoD civilian who can remain in the position for at least 2 years and who has a direct interface with the State education system as part of official duties or has supervisory responsibility for those who do.

    Military representative to the DoDEA Committee. Individual nominated to represent all four Services by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (OASA(M&RA)), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (OASN(M&RA)), or Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (OASAF(M&RA)) on a rotational basis and appointed by the DASD(MC&FP) for a 2-year term. Because DoDEA is a DoD Component the military representative may act as a full participant in the DoDEA Committee.

    Receiving State. The State to which a child of a military family is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought.

    SEA. A public authority similar to an LEA, legally constituted by the State as an administrative agency to provide control of and direction for kindergarten through twelfth grade public educational institutions for the entire State.

    Sending State. The State from which a child of a military family is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought.

    State. State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands and any other U.S. territory or possession. For purposes of administering the provisions of the Compact in § 89.8 of this part, DoD is considered a State and DoDEA is considered the equivalent of a State department of education for DoD.

    State Council. A body that coordinates among government agencies, LEAs, and military installations concerning the member State's participation in and compliance with the Compact and the Commission activities. A member State may determine the membership of its own Council, but membership must include at least: The State superintendent of education; superintendent of a school district with a high concentration of military children; representative (as a liaison) from a military installation; one representative each from the legislative and executive branches of State government; and other offices and stakeholder groups the State Council deems appropriate.

    Transition.

    (1) The formal and physical process of transferring from school to school; or

    (2) The period of time in which a child moves from a school in the sending State to a school in the receiving State.

    Veteran. A person who served in the military and who was discharged or released from the military under conditions other than dishonorable.

    § 89.4 Policy.

    In accordance with Section 539 of Public Law 111-84, “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010” and DoD 5500.07-R, “Joint Ethics Regulations (JER)” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/550007r.pdf), it is DoD policy to support the intent of the Compact by reducing the difficulty children of military families (referred to in this part as “children” or “the child”) have in transferring between school systems because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents. DoD will support the Compact by:

    (a) Designating military liaisons to State Councils of member States, the DoDEA Committee, and the MIC3.

    (b) Implementing the intent of the Compact in the DoDEA to ensure:

    (1) Timely enrollment of children in school so they are not penalized due to:

    (i) Late or delayed transfers of educational records from the previous school district(s); or

    (ii) Differences in entrance or age requirements.

    (2) Placement of children in educational courses and programs, including special educational services, so they are not penalized due to differences in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, or course content.

    (3) Flexible qualification and eligibility of children so they can have an equitable chance at participation in extracurricular, academic, athletic, and social activities.

    (4) Graduation within the same timeframe as the children's peers.

    (c) Promoting through DoDEA and the Military Departments:

    (1) Flexibility and cooperation among SEAs or LEAs, DoDEA, Military Departments, parents, and children to achieve educational success.

    (2) Coordination among the various State agencies, LEAs, and military installations regarding the State's participation in the Compact.

    § 89.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) Under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)), the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASD(M&RA)) oversees the implementation of this part.

    (b) Under the authority, direction, and control of the ASD (M&RA), the DASD(MC&FP):

    (1) Designates military representatives as liaisons to State councils, nominated by the Secretaries of the Military Departments by the procedures outlined in § 89.7 of this part.

    (2) Designates the DoD ex-officio member of MIC3, insofar as DoD is invited to do so by MIC3.

    (3) Maintains a roster of designated liaisons to State councils in accordance with 32 CFR part 310.

    (4) Monitors issues arising under the Compact:

    (i) Affecting children of military families attending and transferring between member State schools; and

    (ii) the implementation of § 89.8 of this part, affecting children of military families transferring between member state schools and DoDEA's schools (consisting of the Department of Defense Schools (DoDDS)—Europe, DoDDS—Pacific, and the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS)).

    (c) Under the authority, direction, and control of ASD (M&RA), the Director, DoDEA:

    (1) To the extent allowable by 10 U.S.C. 2164 and 20 U.S.C. 921-932, adjusts operating policies and procedures issued pursuant to DoD Directive 1342.20, “Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134220p.pdf) to implement the provisions of the Compact described in § 89.8 of this part.

    (2) Informs boards and councils, described in DoD Instruction 1342.15, “Educational Advisory Committees and Councils” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134215p.pdf) and DoD Instruction 1342.25, “School Boards for Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS)” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134225p.pdf), of the Compact provisions in § 89.8 of this part and the DoDEA administration of these provisions.

    (3) Addresses disputes over provisions in § 89.8 of this part between member States and DoDEA. When differences cannot be resolved with a member State, works with MIC3 to resolve these disputes.

    (4) Establishes the DoDEA Committee to review compliance with the provisions in § 89.8 of this part and to address issues raised by the Secretaries of the Military Departments concerning the implementation of these provisions.

    (5) Ensures all personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, maintained, disseminated, and used in accordance with 32 CFR part 310.

    (6) Ensures that DoDEA schools comply with § 89.8 and that DoDEA school-level officials inform DoDEA students transferring to schools in member States of the benefits extended by receiving States under the Compact.

    (d) The Secretaries of the Military Departments:

    (1) Nominate military representatives, in accordance with the procedures outlined in § 89.7 of this part, for designation as liaisons to State Councils by the DASD(MC&FP) when such DoD liaison is requested.

    (2) Establish departmental policies and procedures to inform military communities of:

    (i) The provisions of this part as it affects children of military families attending and transferring between member State schools; and

    (ii) the provisions in § 89.8 of this part concerning students transferring between DoDEA and member State schools.

    (3) Procedures to resolve issues or challenges raised by parents concerning the provisions of § 89.8 of this part.

    § 89.6 Procedures.

    DoD implements policy in this part by:

    (a) Establishing a committee within DoDEA (referred to in this part as the “DoDEA Committee”).

    (b) Designating military representatives to the State Councils of the member States and the DoDEA Committee in accordance with procedures in § 89.7.

    (c) Designating the ex-officio member to MIC3 in accordance with § 89.5 and § 89.7.

    (d) Ensuring DoDEA compliance with the selected provisions of the Compact described in § 89.8.

    § 89.7 Representatives to State Councils, the DoDEA Committee and MIC3.

    (a) Military Representatives as Liaisons to State Councils. In accordance with section 3-201 of DoD 5500.07-R, military representatives to State Councils will:

    (1) Be a military member or a civilian employee of DoD who has a direct interface with the State education system as part of official duties or has supervisory responsibility for those who do.

    (2) Only represent DoD interests (not the interests of the State Council), and consequently may not:

    (i) Engage in management or control of the State Council (therefore, may not vote or make decisions on daily administration of council);

    (ii) Endorse or allow the appearance of DoD endorsement of the State Council or its events, products, services, or enterprises;

    (iii) Represent the State Council to third parties; or

    (iv) Represent the State Council to the U.S. Government, as prohibited by federal criminal statutes.

    (3) Make clear to the State Council that:

    (i) The opinions expressed by the representative do not bind DoD or any DoD Component to any action.

    (ii) If included on State Council Web sites, all references to the representative by name or title must indicate that they are the “Military Representative” as opposed to a council member.

    (4) Notify the chain of command of issues requiring policy decisions or actions requested of the military community within the State.

    (5) When called upon to act as the spokesperson for one or more than one installation:

    (i) Get feedback from the designated points of contact at each military installation within his or her responsibility.

    (ii) Coordinate proposed input to the State Council with the appropriate points of contact for each military installation within his or her responsibility.

    (iii) Act as a conduit for information between the State Council and each military installation within his or her responsibility.

    (iv) Provide feedback through the chain of command to the points of contact for each military installation within his or her responsibility and, as appropriate, to the OASA(M&RA), the OASN(M&RA), or the OASAF(M&RA).

    (6) Notify the State Council and the appropriate Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Military Department listed in paragraph (a)(5)(iv) of this section, through the chain of command, of reassignment or other circumstances that would require a replacement.

    (b) Nomination Process for Military Representatives to State Councils.

    (1) In accordance with DoD 5500.07-R, military representatives are nominated by the Military Departments and designated by the DASD(MC&FP), not by State officials. Depending on the number of military representatives required by State statute, designating representatives to a State Council will be accomplished according to the processes outlined in Table 1:

    Table 1—Process for Designating Military Representatives to State Councils If State statute concerning military
  • representatives provides for:
  • The State Commissioner contacts: Who requests a selection be made by: Whereupon the official
  • written designation is
  • made by:
  • One representative for all military children in the State DASD(MC&FP) OASA(M&RA), OASN(M&RA), or OASAF(M&RA) responsible for providing a representative for the State listed in Table 2 DASD(MC&FP). One representative for each Military Service DASD(MC&FP) OASA(M&RA), OASN(M&RA), and OASAF(M&RA) DASD(MC&FP). One representative for each military installation in the State DASD(MC&FP) OASA(M&RA), OASN(M&RA) and OASAF(M&RA) DASD(MC&FP).

    (2) When there is more than one military representative to a State Council (e.g., one per installation or one per Military Department represented in the State), the individual appointed by the responsible Military Department (Table 2) will serve as the lead military representative when DoD must speak with a single voice.

    (3) In circumstances where the State requests an individual by name, the DASD(MC&FP) will forward the request to the individual's Military Department for consideration. If that Military Department is different from the one designated in Table 2, the DASD(MC&FP) will first obtain the concurrence of the responsible Military Department.

    (4) Military representatives are expected to serve a minimum of 2 years. When notified by the incumbent military representative of the need for a replacement, the OASA(M&RA), OASN(M&RA), or OASAF(M&RA) will inform DASD(MC&FP) of the request.

    (5) In accordance with the Compact, State officials appoint or designate the Military Family Education Liaison for the State. Service members and DoD civilians cannot be appointed or designated to fill this position for the State.

    Table 2—Military Department Areas of Authority for Selecting a Single Military Representative for the State Council Military
  • Department
  • Areas of authority
    Army Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin. Navy American Samoa, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Northern Marianas, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Virgin Islands. Air Force Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming.

    (c) Military Representative to the DoDEA Committee. Membership of the DoDEA Committee will include a representative from one of the Military Services to represent all four Services. OASA(M&RA), OASN(M&RA), or OASAF(M&RA) will nominate a representative on a rotational basis who will be designated for a 2-year term by the DASD(MC&FP).

    (d) Ex-Officio Member to MIC3. In accordance with section 3-201 of DoD 5500.07-R, the DoD ex-officio member to the Commission must:

    (1) Be a military member or a civilian employee of DoD who can remain in the position for at least 2 years and who has a direct interface with DoDEA and the U.S. public education system as part of official duties or has supervisory responsibility for those who do.

    (2) Attend as a liaison meetings of MIC3, its Executive Committee, and other standing committees where requested by the Commission.

    (3) Only represent DoD interests (not the interests of MIC3), and consequently may not:

    (i) Engage in management or control of MIC3 (therefore, may not vote or make decisions on daily administration of MIC3);

    (ii) Endorse or allow the appearance of DoD endorsement of MIC3, or its events, products, services, or enterprises;

    (iii) Represent the Commission to third parties; or

    (iv) Represent MIC3 to the U.S. Government, as prohibited by criminal statutes.

    (4) Make clear to MIC3 that:

    (i) The opinions expressed by the incumbent do not bind DoD or any DoD Component to any action.

    (ii) If included on MIC3 Web sites, all references to the incumbent by name or title must indicate that they are the “DoD Ex-Officio Member” as opposed to a MIC3 member.

    (5) Notify the chain of command of issues requiring policy decisions or actions requested of DoD.

    § 89.8 Compact provisions.

    (a) DoDEA Area School Districts Relationship With SEAs or LEAs in Member States.

    (1) For the purposes of DoD's implementation of the Compact in the schools it operates, DoDEA's area offices (Department of Defense Dependent Schools—Europe, Department of Defense Dependent Schools—Pacific, and the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools) and their schools are considered as the equivalent of LEAs and SEAs, respectively.

    (2) Each DoDEA area acts as the “receiving LEA” and “sending LEA” in working with LEAs or SEAs in member States.

    (b) Articles IV Through VII of the Compact. This section describes the specific duties that DoDEA's LEAs have as “sending” or “receiving” LEAs. DoDEA's duties under this section will reciprocate the duties assumed by member State LEAs or SEAs to children of military families, as expressed by their respective State's implementation of the Compact Articles IV through VII. DoDEA will implement the provisions described below, which, while retaining the intent of the Compact, have been modified as needed in the DoDEA context.

    (1) Article IV: Education Records and Enrollment

    (i) Unofficial or “Hand-Carried” Education Records

    (A) If official education records cannot be released to the parents for transfer, the DoDEA custodian of the records, as the sending LEA shall provide to the parent a complete set of unofficial education records.

    (B) Upon receipt of the unofficial education records, the DoDEA school, as the school in the receiving LEA shall enroll and appropriately place the child as quickly as possible based on the information in the unofficial records, pending validation by the official records.

    (ii) Official Education Records or Transcripts

    (A) The DoDEA school, acting as the receiving LEA shall request the child's official education record from the school in the sending State at the same time as DoDEA school enrolls and conditionally places the child.

    (B) Upon receipt of the request for a child's records, the school in DoDEA, acting as the sending LEA will provide the child's official education records to the school in the receiving State, within 10 work days. If there is a designated school staff break, records will be provided as soon as possible; however, the time will not exceed 10 work days after the return of staff. DoDEA will initiate actions to meet these deadlines without violating the disclosure rules of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a.

    (iii) Immunizations

    (A) Parents have 30 days from the date of enrolling their child in a DoDEA school to have their child(ren) immunized in accordance with DoDEA's immunization requirements, as the receiving LEA.

    (B) For a series of immunizations, parents must begin initial vaccinations of their child(ren) within 30 days.

    (iv) Entrance Age

    (A) At the time of transition and regardless of the age of the child, the DoDEA school, acting as the receiving LEA, shall enroll the transitioning child- at the -grade level—as the child's grade level (i.e. in kindergarten through grade 12) in the sending state's LEA.

    (B) A child who has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the sending state's LEA will be eligible for enrollment in the next higher grade level in DoDEA school, acting as the receiving LEA, regardless of the child's age.

    (C) To be admitted to a school in the receiving State, the parent or guardian of a child transferring from a DoDEA (sending) LEA must provide:

    (1) Official military orders showing the military member or the member's spouse was assigned to the sending State or commuting area of the State in which the child was previously enrolled. If the child was residing with a guardian other than the military member during the previous enrollment, proof of guardianship (as specified in the Compact) should be provided by the parent or guardian to the receiving LEA or SEA to establish eligibility under the Compact.

    (2) An official letter or transcript from the sending school authority that shows the student's record of attendance, academic information, and grade placement.

    (3) Evidence of immunization against communicable diseases.

    (4) Evidence of date of birth.

    (2) Article V: Placement and Attendance

    (i) Course Placement

    (A) As long as the course is offered by DoDEA, as the receiving LEA, it shall honor placement of a transfer student in courses based on the child's placement or educational assessment in the sending State school.

    (B) Course placement includes, but is not limited to, Honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical, and career pathways courses.

    (C) Continuing the child's academic program from the previous school and promoting placement in academically and career challenging courses shall be a primary consideration when DoDEA considers the placement of a transferring child.

    (D) DoDEA, acting as the receiving LEA, may perform subsequent evaluations to ensure the child's appropriate course placement.

    (ii) Educational Program Placement

    (A) As long as the program is offered by DoDEA, acting as a receiving LEA, it will honor placement of the child in educational programs based on current educational assessments and placement in like programs in the sending State. Such programs include, but are not limited to, gifted and talented programs and English language learners.

    (B) The receiving State school may perform subsequent evaluations to ensure the child's appropriate educational program placement.

    (iii) Special Education Services

    (A) DoDEA, acting as the receiving LEA, will initially provide comparable services to a child with disabilities based on his or her current IEP in compliance with 20 U.S.C. chapter 33, also known and referred to in this part as the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),” as amended, and the requirements of Executive Order 13160. DoDEA may perform subsequent evaluations to ensure the child's appropriate placement consistent with IDEA.

    (B) DoDEA, acting as the receiving LEA, will make reasonable accommodations and modifications to address the needs of incoming children with disabilities, in compliance with the requirements of 29 U.S.C. 794 and E.O. 13160, and subject to an existing 504 plan to provide the child with equal access to education.

    (iv) Placement Flexibility. DoDEA's administrative officials must have flexibility in waiving course or program prerequisites or other preconditions for placement in courses or programs offered under the jurisdiction of DoDEA.

    (v) Absences Related to Deployment Activities. A child whose parent or legal guardian is an active duty Service member and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, will be granted additional excused absences under governing DoDEA rules.

    (3) Article VI: Eligibility for Enrollment

    (i) Eligibility in DoDEA Schools. Eligibility of dependents of military members is governed by the laws in 10 U.S.C. 2164 and their implementing regulations. Only children who are eligible to attend DoDEA schools may do so, regardless of their transition status.

    (ii) Eligibility for Extracurricular Participation. DoDEA, acting as the receiving LEA, will facilitate the opportunity for transitioning children's inclusion in extracurricular activities, regardless of application deadlines, to the extent the children are otherwise qualified.

    (4) Article VII: Graduation. To facilitate the child's on-time graduation, DoDEA will incorporate the following procedures:

    (i) Waiver Requirements

    (A) DoDEA administrative officials will waive specific courses required for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in another LEA or provide reasonable justification for denial.

    (B) If DoDEA, as a receiving LEA, does not grant a waiver to a child who would qualify to graduate from the sending school, DoDEA will provide an alternative means of acquiring required coursework so that graduation may occur on time.

    (C) If DoDEA, as the receiving LEA, requires a graduation project, volunteer community service hours, or other DoDEA specific requirement, DoDEA may waive those requirements.

    (ii) Exit Exams

    (A) DoDEA, as a receiving LEA, must:

    (1) Accept exit or end-of-course exams required for graduation from the sending State.

    (2) Accept national norm-referenced achievement tests.

    (3) Provide alternative testing in lieu of testing requirements for graduation in the receiving from a DoDEA school.

    (B) If the alternatives in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section cannot be accommodated by DoDEA as the receiving LEA for a child transferring in his or her senior year, then the provisions of paragraph (b)(1)(iv)(C) of this section will apply.

    (iii) Transfers During Senior Year

    (A) If a child transferring at the beginning or during his or her senior year is ineligible to graduate from DoDEA, as the receiving LEA, after all alternatives have been considered, DoDEA will request a diploma from the sending LEA or SEA. DoDEA will ensure the receipt of a diploma from the sending LEA or SEA, if the child meets the graduation requirements of the sending LEA or SEA.

    (B) If one of the States in question is not a member of this Compact, DoDEA, as a receiving state, will use best efforts to facilitate a transferring child's on-time graduation in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1)(iv)(A) and (b)(1)(iv)(B) of this section.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04970 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-1029] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend and update its list of recurring safety zone regulations that take place in the Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley area of responsibility (AOR). This notice informs the public of regularly scheduled events that require additional safety measures through establishing a safety zone. Through this notice the current list of recurring safety zones is proposed to be updated with revisions, additional events, and removal of events that no longer take place in Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. When these safety zones are enforced, vessel traffic is restricted from specified areas. Additionally, this one proposed rulemaking project reduces administrative costs involved in producing separate proposed rules for each individual recurring safety zone and serves to provide notice of the known recurring safety zones throughout the year.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-1029 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Petty Officer James Robinson, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (502) 779-5347, 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

    The legal basis for the rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to define regulatory safety zones.

    The Captain of the Port (COTP) Ohio Valley is proposing to establish, amend, and update its current list of recurring safety zone regulations.

    These safety zones are proposed to be added, amended, and updated to the list of annually recurring safety zones under 33 CFR 165.801 in Table no. 1 for annual safety zones in the COTP Ohio Valley zone. The Coast Guard will address all comments accordingly, whether through response, additional revision to the regulation, or otherwise. Additionally, these recurring events are provided to the public through local avenues and planned by the local communities.

    The current list of annual and recurring safety zones occurring in Sector Ohio Valley's AOR is published under 33 CFR part 165.801. That most recent list was created August 18, 2015 through the rulemaking 80 FR 49911, which finalized the interim rule published April 22, 2014, 79 FR 22398, which received no adverse comments. The August 18, 2015 rulemaking established 33 CFR 165.801 creating the current comprehensive list of recurring safety zones.

    The Coast Guard is amending and updating the safety zone regulations under 33 CFR part 165 to include the most up to date list of recurring safety zones for events held on or around navigable waters within Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. These events include air shows, fireworks displays, and other marine related events requiring a limited access area restricting vessel traffic for safety purposes. The current list under 33 CFR 165.801 requires amending to provide new information on existing safety zones, updating to include new safety zones expected to recur annually or biannually, and to remove safety zones that are no longer required. Issuing individual regulations for each new safety zone, amendment, or removal of an existing safety zone creates unnecessary administrative costs and burdens. This single proposed rulemaking will considerably reduce administrative overhead and provides the public with notice through publication in the Federal Register of the upcoming recurring safety zone regulations.

    The Coast Guard encourages the public to participate in this proposed rulemaking through the comment process so that any necessary changes can be identified and implemented in a timely and efficient manner.

    III. Discussion of the Rule

    33 CFR part 165 contains regulations establishing limited access areas to restrict vessel traffic for the safety of persons and property. Section 165.801 establishes recurring safety zones to restrict vessel transit into and through specified areas to protect spectators, mariners, and other persons and property from potential hazards presented during certain events taking place in Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. This section requires amendment from time to time to properly reflect the recurring safety zone regulations in Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. This proposed rule amends and updates Section 165.801 replacing the current Table 1 for Sector Ohio Valley.

    Additionally, this proposed rule adds 13 new recurring safety zones and removes 6 safety zones.

    Thirteen new recurring safety zones are proposed to be added under the new Table 1 of § 165.801 for Sector Ohio Valley, as follows:

    Date Event/sponsor Ohio Valley
  • location
  • Regulated area
    1 day—Last weekend in June or first weekend in July Riverview Park Independence Festival Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 618.5-619.5 (Kentucky). 1 day—First weekend in June Bellaire All-American Days Bellaire, OH Ohio River, Mile 93.5-94.5 (Ohio). 2 days—Second weekend of June Rice's Landing Riverfest Rices Landing, PA Monongahela River, Mile 68.0-68.8 (Pennsylvania). 1 day—Second full week of August PA FOB Fireworks Display Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.8-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 1 day—Third week of August Beaver River Regatta Fireworks Beaver, PA Ohio River, Mile 25.2-25.8 (Pennsylvania). 1 day—Fourth or Fifth of July City of Cape Girardeau July 4th Fireworks Show on the River Cape Girardeau, MO Upper Mississippi River, Mile 50.0-52.0 (Missouri). Last Sunday in May Friends of Ironton Ironton, OH Ohio River, Mile 326.7-327.7 (Ohio). July 4th Greenup City Greenup, KY Ohio River, Mile 335.2-336.2 (Kentucky). July 4th Middleport Community Association Middleport, OH Ohio River, Mile 251.5-252.5 (Ohio). Second Saturday in September Ohio River Sternwheel Festival Committee fireworks Marietta, OH Ohio River, Mile 171.5-172.5 (Ohio). July 4th People for the Point Party in the Park South Point, OH Ohio River, Mile 317-318 (Ohio). 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Kittanning Light Up Night Firework Display Kittanning, PA Allegheny River, Mile 44.5-45.5 (Pennsylvania). First Saturday in October West Virginia Motor Car Festival Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 58-59 (West Virginia).

    This proposed rule removes the following 6 safety zone regulations from the existing Table 1 Part of § 165.801 for Sector Ohio Valley, as follows:

    Date Event/sponsor Ohio Valley
  • location
  • Regulated area
    1 day—July 4th Downtown Henderson Project/Henderson Independence Bank Fireworks Henderson, KY Ohio River, Mile 803.5-804.5 (Kentucky). 1 day—First or second weekend in October Zambelli Fireworks/American Pyrotechnic Association Annual Convention Fireworks Display Louisville, KY Ohio River, Miles 602.0-606.0 (Kentucky). 1 day—July 4th Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce/Lake Guntersville 4th of July Celebration Guntersville, AL Tennessee River, Mile 356.0-358.0 (Alabama). 1 day—July 3rd or the weekend before July 3rd if the 3rd is on a weekday City of Clarksville/Clarksville Independence Day Fireworks Clarksville, TN Cumberland River, Mile 103.0-105.0 (Tennessee). 1 day—Labor Day weekend Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation/Boomsday Festival Knoxville, TN Tennessee River, Mile 647.0-648.0 (Tennessee). 1 day—Friday after Thanksgiving Chattanooga Presents/Grand Illumination Chattanooga, TN Tennessee River, Mile 463.0-469.0 (Tennessee).

    The effect of this proposed rule will be to restrict general navigation in the safety zone during the event. Vessels intending to transit the designated waterway through the safety zone will only be allowed to transit the area when the COTP Ohio Valley, or designated representative, has deemed it safe to do so or at the completion of the event. The proposed annually recurring safety zones are necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the events.

    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 proposed rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule to be minimal, therefore a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary. This proposed rule establishes safety zones limiting access to certain areas under 33 CFR part 165 within Sector Ohio Valley's AOR. The effect of this proposed rulemaking will not be significant because these safety zones are limited in scope and duration. Additionally, the public is given advance notification through local forms of notice, the Federal Register, and/or Notices of Enforcement and thus will be able to plan operations around the safety zones in advance. Deviation from the safety zones established through this proposed rulemaking may be requested from the appropriate COTP and requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Broadcast Notices to Mariners and Local Notices to Mariners will also inform the community of these safety zones so that they may plan accordingly for these short restrictions on transit. Vessel traffic may request permission from the COTP Ohio Valley or a designated representative to enter the restricted area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 through 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 will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone areas during periods of enforcement. The safety zones will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they are limited in scope and will be in effect for short periods of time. Before the enforcement period, the Coast Guard COTP will issue maritime advisories widely available to waterway users. Deviation from the safety zones established through this proposed rulemaking may be requested from the appropriate COTP and requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    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 proposed 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.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). 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 will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 through 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 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 rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does 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 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 through 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 rule will 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 (NEPA) (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 is categorically excluded under section 2.B.2, figure 2-1, paragraph (34(g) of the Instruction because it involves establishment of safety zones. 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.

    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).

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be 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.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the U.S. Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 165.801 by revising table 1 to read as follows:
    § 165.801 Annual fireworks displays and other events in the Eighth Coast Guard District requiring safety zones. Table 1 of § 165.801—Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Date Sponsor/name Location Safety zone 1. Multiple days—April through November Pittsburgh Pirates/Pittsburgh Pirates Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.2-0.8 (Pennsylvania). 2. Multiple days—April through November Cincinnati Reds/Cincinnati Reds Season Fireworks Cincinnati, OH Ohio River, Mile 470.1-470.4; extending 500 ft. from the State of Ohio shoreline (Ohio). 3. 2 days—Third Friday and Saturday in April Thunder Over Louisville/Thunder Over Louisville Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 602.0-606.0 (Kentucky). 4. Last Sunday in May Friends of Ironton Ironton, OH Ohio River, Mile 326.7-327.7 (Ohio). 5. 3 days—Third weekend in April Henderson Tri-Fest/Henderson Breakfast Lions Club Henderson, KY Ohio River, Mile 803.5-804.5 (Kentucky). 6. 1 day—A Saturday in July Paducah Parks and Recreation Department/Cross River Swim Paducah, KY Ohio River, Mile 934.0-936.0 (Kentucky). 7. 1 day—First weekend in June Bellaire All-American Days Bellaire, OH Ohio River, Mile 93.5-94.5 (Ohio). 8. 2 days—Second weekend of June Rice's Landing Riverfest Rices Landing, PA Monongahela River, Mile 68.0-68.8 (Pennsylvania). 9. 1 day—First Sunday in June West Virginia Symphony Orchestra/Symphony Sunday Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 59.5-60.5 (West Virginia). 10. 1 day—Saturday before 4th of July Riverfest Inc./Saint Albans Riverfest St. Albans, WV Kanawha River, Mile 46.3-47.3 (West Virginia). 11. 1 day—4th July Greenup City Greenup, KY Ohio River, Mile 335.2-336.2 (Kentucky). 12. 1 day—4th July Middleport Community Association Middleport, OH Ohio River, Mile 251.5-252.5 (Ohio). 13. 1 day—4th July People for the Point Party in the Park South Point, OH Ohio River, Mile 317-318 (Ohio). 14. 1 day—Last weekend in June or first weekend in July Riverview Park Independence Festival Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 618.5-619.5 (Kentucky). 15. 1 day—Third or fourth week in July Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival/Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival Fireworks Wheeling, WV Ohio River, Mile 90.0-90.5 (West Virginia). 16. 1 day—4th or 5th of July City of Cape Girardeau July 4th Fireworks Show on the River Cape Girardeau, MO Upper Mississippi River, Mile 50.0-52.0. 17. 1 day—Third or fourth of July Harrah's Casino/Metropolis Fireworks Metropolis, IL Ohio River, Mile 942.0-945.0 (Illinois). 18. 1 day—During the first week of July Louisville Bats Baseball Club/Louisville Bats Firework Show Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 603.0-604.0 (Kentucky). 19. 1 day—July 4th Waterfront Independence Festival/Louisville Orchestra Waterfront 4th Louisville, KY Ohio River, Mile 603.0-604.0 (Kentucky). 20. 1 day—During the first week of July Celebration of the American Spirit Fireworks/All American 4th of July Owensboro, KY Ohio River, Mile 755.0-759.0 (Kentucky). 21. 1 day—During the first week of July Riverfront Independence Festival Fireworks New Albany, IN Ohio River, Mile 602.0-603.5 (Indiana). 22. 1 day—July 4th Shoals Radio Group/Spirit of Freedom Fireworks Florence, AL Tennessee River, Mile 255.0-257.0 (Alabama). 23. 1 day—Saturday before July 4th Town of Cumberland City/Lighting up the Cumberlands Fireworks Cumberland City, TN Cumberland River, Mile 103.0-105.0 (Tennessee). 24. 1 day—July 4th Knoxville office of Special Events/Knoxville July 4th Fireworks Knoxville, TN Tennessee River, Mile 647.0-648.0 (Tennessee). 25. 1 day—July 4th NCVC/Music City July 4th Nashville, TN Cumberland River, Mile 190.0-192.0 (Tennessee). 26. 1 day—Saturday before July 4th, or Saturday after July 4th Grand Harbor Marina/Grand Harbor Marina July 4th Celebration Counce, TN Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Mile 450.0-450.5 (Tennessee). 27. 1 day—Second Saturday in July City of Bellevue, KY/Bellevue Beach Park Concert Fireworks Bellevue, KY Ohio River, Mile 468.2-469.2 (Kentucky and Ohio). 28. 1 day—Sunday before Labor Day Cincinnati Bell, WEBN, and Proctor and Gamble/Riverfest Cincinnati, OH Ohio River, Mile 469.2-470.5 (Kentucky and Ohio). 29. 1 day—July 4th Summer Motions Inc./Summer Motion Ashland, KY Ohio River, Mile 322.1-323.1 (Kentucky). 30. 1 day—Last weekend in June or First weekend in July City of Point Pleasant/Point Pleasant Sternwheel Fireworks Point Pleasant, WV Ohio River, Mile 265.2-266.2 (West Virginia). 31. 1 day—July 3rd or 4th City of Charleston/City of Charleston Independence Day Celebration Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 58.1-59.1 (West Virginia). 32. 1 day—July 4th Civic Forum/Civic Forum 4th of July Celebration Portsmouth, OH Ohio River, Mile 355.5-356.5 (Ohio). 33. 1 day—Second Saturday in August Guyasuta Days Festival/Borough of Sharpsburg Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 005.5-006.0 (Pennsylvania). 34. 1 day—Third week in October Pittsburgh Foundation/Bob O'Connor Cookie Cruise Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.5 (Pennsylvania). 35. 1 day—Second full week of August PA FOB Fireworks Display Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.8-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 36. 1 day—Third week of August Beaver River Regatta Fireworks Beaver, PA Ohio River, Mile 25.2-25.8 (Pennsylvania). 37. 1 day—December 31 Pittsburgh Cultural Trust/Highmark First Night Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River Mile, 0.5-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 38. 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership/Light Up Night Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-1.0 (Pennsylvania). 39. Multiple days—April through November Pittsburgh Riverhounds/Riverhounds Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Monongahela River, Mile 0.22-0.77. (Pennsylvania). 40. 3 days—Second or third weekend in June Hadi Shrine/Evansville Freedom Festival Air Show Evansville, IN Ohio River, Miles 791.0-795.0 (Indiana). 41. 1 day—Second or third Saturday in June, the last day of the Riverbend Festival Friends of the Festival, Inc./Riverbend Festival Fireworks Chattanooga, TN Tennessee River, Mile 463.5-464.5 (Tennessee). 42. 2 days—Second Friday and Saturday in June City of Newport, KY/Italianfest Newport, KY Ohio River, Miles 469.6-470.0 (Kentucky and Ohio). 43. 1 day—Last Saturday in June City of Aurora/Aurora Firecracker Festival Aurora, IN Ohio River Mile, 496.7; 1400 ft. radius from the Consolidated Grain Dock located along the State of Indiana shoreline at (Indiana and Kentucky). 44. 1 day—second weekend in June City of St. Albans/St. Albans Town Fair St. Albans, WV Kanawha River, Mile 46.3-47.3 (West Virginia). 45. 1 day—Saturday before July 4th PUSH Beaver County/Beaver County Boom Beaver, PA Ohio River, Mile 24.0-25.6 (Pennsylvania). 46. 1 day—4th of July (Rain date—July 5th) Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce/Monongahela 4th of July Celebration Monongahela, PA Monongahela River, Mile 032.0-033.0 (Pennsylvania). 47. 1 day—Saturday Third or Fourth full week of July (Rain date—following Sunday) Oakmont Yacht Club/Oakmont Yacht Club Fireworks Oakmont, PA Allegheny River, Mile 12.0-12.5 (Pennsylvania). 48. 1 day—Week of July 4th Three Rivers Regatta Fireworks/EQT 4th of July Celebration Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.5, Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-0.5, and Monongahela River, Mile 0.0-0.5 (Pennsylvania). 49. 1 day—3rd or 4th of July City of Paducah, KY Paducah, KY Ohio River, Mile 934.0-936.0; Tennessee River, mile 0.0—1.0 (Kentucky). 50. 1 day—3rd or 4th of July City of Hickman, KY Hickman, KY Lower Mississippi River, Mile 921.0-923.0 (Kentucky). 51. 1 day—During the first week of July Evansville Freedom Celebration Evansville, IN Ohio River, Miles 791.0-795.0 (Indiana). 52. 3 days—One of the first two weekends in July Madison Regatta, Inc./Madison Regatta Madison, IN Ohio River, Miles 555.0-560.0 (Indiana). 53. 1 day—July 4th Cities of Cincinnati, OH and Newport, KY/July 4th Fireworks Newport, KY Ohio River, Miles 469.6-470.2 (Kentucky and Ohio). 54. 2 days—second weekend in July Marietta Riverfront Roar/Marietta Riverfront Roar Marietta, OH Ohio River, Mile 171.6-172.6 (Ohio). 55. 1 day—1st weekend in July Gallia County Chamber of Commerce/Gallipolis River Recreation Festival Gallipolis, OH Ohio River, Mile 269.5-270.5 (Ohio). 56. 1 day—July 4th Kindred Communications/Dawg Dazzle Huntington, WV Ohio River, Mile 307.8-308.8 (West Virginia). 57. 1 day—Last weekend in August Swiss Wine Festival/Swiss Wine Festival Fireworks Show Ghent, KY Ohio River, Mile 537 (Kentucky). 58. 1 day—Saturday of Labor Day weekend University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department/University of Pittsburgh Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny River, Mile 0.0-0.25 (Pennsylvania). 59. Sunday, Monday, or Thursday from September through January Pittsburgh Steelers Fireworks Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.3-Allegheny River, Mile 0.2 (Pennsylvania). 60. 3 days—Third weekend in September Wheeling Heritage Port Sternwheel Festival Foundation/Wheeling Heritage Port Sternwheel Festival Wheeling, WV Ohio River, Mile 90.2-90.7 (West Virginia). 61. 1 day—Second Saturday in September Ohio River Sternwheel Festival Committee fireworks Marietta, OH Ohio River, Mile 171.5-172.5 (Ohio). 62. 1 day—Second weekend of October Leukemia and Lymphoma Society/Light the Night Walk Fireworks Nashville, TN Cumberland River, Mile 190.0-192.0 (Tennessee). 63. 1 day—First Saturday in October West Virginia Motor Car Festival Charleston, WV Kanawha River, Mile 58-59 (West Virginia). 64. 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Kittanning Light Up Night Firework Display Kittanning, PA Allegheny River, Mile 44.5-45.5 (Pennsylvania). 65. 1 day—First week in October Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Light the Night Pittsburgh, PA Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.4 (Pennsylvania). 66. 1 day—Friday before Thanksgiving Duquesne Light/Santa Spectacular Pittsburgh, PA Monongahela River, Mile 0.00-0.22, Allegheny River, Mile 0.00-0.25, and Ohio River, Mile 0.0-0.3 (Pennsylvania).
    Dated: January 5, 2016. R.V. Timme, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2016-05032 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0838; FRL-9943-26-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA). Whenever new or revised national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are promulgated, the CAA requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of such NAAQS. The plan is required to address basic program elements including, but not limited to, regulatory structure, monitoring, modeling, legal authority, and adequate resources necessary to assure attainment and maintenance of the standards. These elements are referred to as infrastructure requirements. The Commonwealth of Virginia has made a submittal addressing the infrastructure requirements for the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. This action is being taken under the CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0838 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Schmitt, (215) 814-5787, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 16, 2015, the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia) through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) submitted a revision to the Commonwealth's SIP to satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    I. Background

    On July 18, 1997, the EPA promulgated a new 24-hour and a new annual NAAQS for PM2.5 (62 FR 38652). On October 17, 2006, the EPA revised the standards for PM2.5, tightening the 24-hour PM2.5 standard from 65 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 35 μg/m3, and retaining the annual PM2.5 standard at 15 μg/m3 (71 FR 61144). Subsequently, on December 14, 2012, the EPA revised the level of the health based (primary) annual PM2.5 standard to 12 μg/m3. See 78 FR 3086 (January 15, 2013).1

    1 In EPA's 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS revision, EPA left unchanged the existing welfare (secondary) standards for PM2.5 to address PM related effects such as visibility impairment, ecological effects, damage to materials and climate impacts. This includes an annual secondary standard of 15 μg/m3 and a 24-hour standard of 35 μg/m3.

    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. 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 affect the content of the submission. The content of such SIP submission 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 earlier, 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.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On July 16, 2015, the VADEQ provided a SIP revision to satisfy certain section 110(a)(2) requirements of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.2 This revision addressed the following CAA infrastructure elements which EPA is proposing to approve: Section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (prevention of significant deterioration), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). A detailed summary of EPA's review and rationale for finding Virginia's submittal addresses these requirements in section 110(a)(2) may be found in the technical support document (TSD) for this rulemaking action which is available on line at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0838.

    2 To clarify, the “2013 PM2.5 NAAQS” referred to in the Virginia SIP submittal is the same as the “2012 PM2.5 NAAQS” EPA refers to in this rulemaking action. The final rule for this NAAQS was signed by the EPA Administrator on December 14, 2012, thereby it has been called the “2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.” However, the final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2013, with an effective date of March 13, 2013, resulting in it also being referred to as the “2013 PM2.5 NAAQS.”

    This rulemaking action does not include any proposed action on section 110(a)(2)(I) of the CAA which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, title I of the CAA, because this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) of the CAA and Virginia's July 16, 2015 SIP submittal did not address this element. Virginia's obligations under section 110(a)(2)(I) will be addressed in a separate process if applicable or necessary for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. This rulemaking action also does not include proposed action on requirements under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA because Virginia's submittal did not include any provisions for this element; therefore, EPA will take later, separate action on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for Virginia. Finally, at this time, EPA is not proposing action on the portion of Virginia's July 16, 2015 infrastructure SIP submittal addressing section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for visibility protection for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Although Virginia's submittal referred to a July 16, 2015 regional haze SIP revision submittal to address requirements in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for visibility protection for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA intends to take separate rulemaking action on the July 16, 2015 regional haze SIP revision and on the portion of the July 16, 2015 infrastructure SIP submission for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (visibility protection) as explained in the TSD. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    III. EPA's Approach To Reviewing Infrastructure SIPs

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Virginia that addresses the infrastructure requirements of section 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of section 110(a)(1) of the CAA. 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) of the CAA 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 section 110(a)(1) and (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 “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 section 169A of the CAA, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) of the CAA 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.3 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.

    3 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) of the CAA 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) of the CAA 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) of the CAA 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 CAA, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.4 Section 110(a)(2)(I) of the CAA 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) of the CAA 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) of the CAA allows up to two years or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.5 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.

    4See, 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)).

    5 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) of the CAA 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) of the CAA 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 section 110(a)(1) and (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.6 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.7

    6See, 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).

    7 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 section 110(a)(1) and (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, for example 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.8

    8 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) of the CAA 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.9 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).10 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) of the CAA that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.11 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets section 110(a)(1) and (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.

    9 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.

    10 “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.

    11 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 U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d 7 (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) of the CAA 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 SIP 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) focus 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 NSR pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs). 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 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 SIP meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) of the CAA 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.12 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.

    12 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 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 section 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) of the CAA, 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) of the CAA.

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and (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) of the CAA 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.13 Section 110(k)(6) of the CAA authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.14 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.15

    13 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).

    14 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). The 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).

    15See, 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 (January 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the following elements of Virginia's July 16, 2015 infrastructure SIP revision for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS: Section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (prevention of significant deterioration), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). Virginia's July 16, 2015 SIP revision provides the basic program elements specified in section 110(a)(2) of the CAA necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. This proposed rulemaking action does not include action on section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertains to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, title I of the CAA, because this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, and will be addressed in a separate process where necessary and applicable. Additionally, this proposed rulemaking action does not include rulemaking action on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (interstate transport of emissions) or (D)(i)(II) (visibility protection) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA will take later, separate action on Virginia's requirements for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (D)(i)(II) (visibility protection) for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    V. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the Commonwealth of Virginia

    In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information that: (1) Are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) are required by law.

    On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their federal counter-parts. . . .” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

    Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

    Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its program consistent with the federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

    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 proposed action:

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

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

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

    • does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 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, this proposed rule, which satisfies certain infrastructure requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for the Commonwealth of Virginia, is not being approved to apply on any Indian reservation land as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151 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 will 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, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04755 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0860; FRL 9943-30-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) on November 14, 2014, to address emission inventory requirements for the Sheboygan, Wisconsin nonattainment area and the Wisconsin portion of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin (IL-IN-WI) nonattainment area under the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). EPA is proposing to approve the 2011 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) emission inventories in the November 14, 2014, submittal as part of the Wisconsin SIP.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0860 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:

    Edward Doty, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6057, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives 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 rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions 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.

    Dated: February 22, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04895 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0151; FRL-9943-34-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; South Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    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 South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), on May 8, 2014, to demonstrate that the State meets 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. SC DHEC certified that the South Carolina SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in South Carolina. EPA is proposing to determine that portions of South Carolina's infrastructure submission, submitted to EPA on May 8, 2014, satisfy certain required infrastructure elements for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0151 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 the telephone number (404) 562-9031.

    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 South 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 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 term “Regulation” indicates that the cited regulation has been approved into South Carolina's federally-approved SIP. The term “S.C. Code Ann.” indicates cited South Carolina state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    Today's action is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the applicable requirements of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, with the exception of the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4). With respect to the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements. For the aspects of South Carolina's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that South 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 the “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 South 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 (NNSR) 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.

    6See, 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

    8See, 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 fine particulate matter (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 U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the DC 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 (GHGs). 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 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, among other things, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR 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 implementation plan 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).

    17See, 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 South Carolina addressed the elements of the sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “Infrastructure” provisions?

    South Carolina's May 8, 2014, infrastructure SIP 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. Several regulations within South Carolina's SIP are relevant to air quality control regulations. The regulations described below have been federally-approved in the South Carolina SIP and include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, Ambient Air Quality Standards and Regulation 61-62.1, Definitions and General Requirements, provide enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means, and techniques. Section 48-1-50(23) of the 1976 South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, (S.C. Code Ann.) provides SC DHEC with the authority to “Adopt emission and effluent control regulations standards and limitations that are applicable to the entire state, that are applicable only within specified areas or zones of the state, or that are applicable only when a specified class of pollutant is present.” Collectively these regulations establish enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures, means or techniques, for activities that contribute to SO2 concentrations in the ambient air and provide authority for SC DHEC to establish such limits and measures as well as schedules for compliance to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these State regulations and State statute are adequate for enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques, as well as schedules and timetables for compliance to satisfy the requirements of Section 110(a)(2(A) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS in the State.

    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. South Carolina's Air Pollution Control Regulations, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, along with the South Carolina Network Description and Ambient Air Network Monitoring Plan, provide for an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State. S.C. Code Ann. § 48-1-50(14) provides the Department with the necessary authority to “[c]ollect and disseminate information on air and water control.” 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, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 On July 20, 2015, South Carolina submitted its plan to EPA. On November 19, 2015, EPA approved South Carolina's monitoring network plan. South Carolina's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0151. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    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.

    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). These requirements are met through Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, and Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, Nonattainment New Source Review, of South Carolina's SIP, which pertain to the construction of any new major stationary source or any modification at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as attainment or unclassifiable. These regulations enable SC DHEC to regulate sources contributing to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    Enforcement: SC DHEC's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of SO2 emission limits and control measures through construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources. Also note that SC DHEC has powers to pursue injunctive relief and civil penalties under Section 48 of the S.C. Code Ann.

    PSD Permitting for Major Sources: EPA interprets the PSD sub-element to require that a state's infrastructure SIP submission for a particular NAAQS demonstrate that the state has a complete PSD permitting program in place covering the structural PSD requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. A state's PSD permitting program is complete for this sub-element (and prong 3 of D(i) and J related to PSD) if EPA has already approved or is simultaneously approving the state's implementation plan with respect to all structural PSD requirements that are due under the EPA regulations or the CAA on or before the date of the EPA's proposed action on the infrastructure SIP submission.

    For the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, South Carolina's authority to regulate new and modified sources to assist in the protection of air quality in South Carolina is established in Regulations 61-62.1, Section II, Permit Requirements; 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration of South Carolina's SIP. These regulations pertain to the construction of any new major stationary source or any modification at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as attainment or unclassifiable. South Carolina also cites to 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, Nonattainment New Source Review. South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission demonstrates that new major sources and major modifications in areas of the State designated attainment or unclassifiable for the specified NAAQS are subject to a federally-approved PSD permitting program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA to satisfy the infrastructure SIP PSD elements.20

    20 More information concerning how the South Carolina infrastructure SIP submission currently meets applicable requirements for the PSD elements (110(a)(2)(C); (D)(i)(I), prong 3; and (J)) can be found in the technical support document in the docket for today's rulemaking.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source preconstruction program that regulates emissions of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Regulation 61-62.1, Section II, Permit Requirements governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources in South Carolina.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for enforcement of control measures, PSD permitting for major sources, 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”).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) because South Carolina's 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure submissions did not address prongs 1 and 2.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the PSD element, referred to as prong 3, this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to: A PSD program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, or (if the state contains a nonattainment area that has the potential to impact PSD in another state) a NNSR program. As discussed in more detail above under section 110(a)(2)(C), South Carolina's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflect the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the requirement of prong 3 and a NNSR program at 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, Nonattainment New Source Review. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP is adequate for interstate transport for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider these requirements in relation to South Carolina's 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. Regulation 61-62.5, Standards 7 and 7.1 (q)(2)(iv), Public Participation, requires SC DHEC to notify air agencies “whose lands may be affected by emissions” from each new or modified major source if such emissions may significantly contribute to levels of pollution in excess of a NAAQS in any air quality control region outside of South Carolina. Additionally, South Carolina does not have any pending obligation under section 115 and 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are 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 South Carolina's SIP as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E). EPA's rationale for today's proposal respecting each requirement of section 110(a)(2)(E) is described in turn below.

    With respect to section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), SC DHEC develops, implements and enforces EPA-approved SIP provisions in the State. S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 1, as referenced in South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission, provides the SC DHEC's general legal authority to establish a SIP and implement related plans. In particular, S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-1-50(12) grants SC DHEC the statutory authority to “[a]ccept, receive and administer grants or other funds or gifts for the purpose of carrying out any of the purposes of this chapter; [and to] accept, receive and receipt for Federal money given by the Federal government under any Federal law to the State of South Carolina for air or water control activities, surveys or programs.” S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 2 grants SC DHEC statutory authority to establish environmental protection funds, which provide resources for SC DHEC to carry out its obligations under the CAA. Specifically, in Regulation 61-30, Environmental Protection Fees, SC DHEC established fees for sources subject to air permitting programs. SC DHEC implements the SIP in accordance with the provisions of S.C. Code Ann § 1-23-40 (the Administrative Procedures Act) and S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 1. For Section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii), the submission states that South Carolina does not rely on localities for specific SIP implementation.

    The requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) are further confirmed when EPA performs a completeness determination for each SIP submittal. This provides additional assurances 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. This information is included in all prehearings and final SIP submittal packages for approval by EPA.

    As evidence of the adequacy of SC DHEC's resources with respect to sub-elements (i) and (iii), EPA submitted a letter to South 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 South Carolina can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0151. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. There were no outstanding issues in relation to the SIP for fiscal year 2014, therefore, SC DHEC's grants were finalized and closed out.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that states comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 of the CAA requires that states include provisions in their SIP to address conflicts of interest for state boards or bodies that oversee CAA permits and enforcement orders and disclosure of conflict of interest requirements. Specifically, CAA section 128(a)(1) necessitates that each SIP shall require that at least a majority of any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders shall be subject to the described public interest service and income restrictions therein. Subsection 128(a)(2) requires that the members of any board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar power to approve permits or enforcement orders under the CAA, shall also be subject to conflict of interest disclosure requirements.

    With respect to 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), South Carolina satisfies the requirements of CAA section 128(a)(1) for the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control, which is the “board or body which approves permits and enforcement orders” under the CAA in South Carolina, through S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-730. S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-730 provides that “[u]nless otherwise provided by law, no person may serve as a member of a governmental regulatory agency that regulates business with which that person is associated,” and S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-700(A) which provides in part that “[n]o public official, public member, or public employee may knowingly use his official office, membership, or employment to obtain an economic interest for himself, a member of his immediate family, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated.” S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-700(B)(1)-(5) provides for disclosure of any conflicts of interest by public official, public member or public employee, which meets the requirement of CAA Section 128(a)(2) that “any potential conflicts of interest . . . be adequately disclosed.” These State statutes—S.C. Code Ann. Sections 8-13-730, 8-13-700(A), and 8-13-700(B)(1)-(5)—have been approved into the South Carolina SIP as required by CAA section 128. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina has adequate resources for implementation of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    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. SC DHEC's infrastructure SIP submission describes the establishment of requirements for compliance testing by emissions sampling and analysis, and for emissions and operation monitoring to ensure the quality of data in the State. SC DHEC 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. These SIP requirements are codified at Regulation 61-62.1, Definitions and General Requirements, which provides for an emission inventory plan that establishes reporting requirements of the South Carolina SIP. SC DHEC's SIP requires owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions, submit periodic reports of such emissions and maintain records as specified by various regulations and permits, and to evaluate reports and records for consistency with the applicable emission limitation or standard on a continuing basis over time. The monitoring data collected and records of operations serve as the basis for a source to certify compliance, and can be used by SC DHEC as direct evidence of an enforceable violation of the underlying emission limitation or standard. Accordingly, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the South Carolina SIP.

    Additionally, South Carolina is 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 (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 their associated precursors—NOX, SO2, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. South Carolina made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on April 8, 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 South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(F).

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: This section of the Act requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Regulation 61-62.3, Air Pollution Episodes, provides for contingency measures when an air pollution episode or exceedance may lead to a substantial threat to the health of persons in the state or region. S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-1-290 provides SC DHEC, with concurrent notice to the Governor, the authority to issue an order recognizing the existence of an emergency requiring immediate action as deemed necessary by SC DHEC to protect the public health or property. Any person subject to this order is required to comply immediately. Additionally, S.C. Code Ann. Section 1-23-130 provides SC DHEC with the authority to establish emergency regulations to address an imminent peril to public health, or welfare, and authorizes emergency regulations to protect natural resources if any natural resource related agency in the State finds that abnormal or unusual conditions, immediate need, or the State's best interest require such emergency action. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP, State laws, and practices are adequate for emergency powers related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    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. SC DHEC is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in South Carolina. The State has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. Additionally, S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 1, provides SC DHEC with the necessary authority to revise the SIP to accommodate changes in the NAAQS and thus revise the SIP as appropriate. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina adequately demonstrates a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H).

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission 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, the public notification requirements of section 127, PSD and visibility protection. EPA's rationale for each sub-element 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 carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, as well as the State's Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding Federal Land Managers), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. South Carolina has SIP-approved state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity (see 69 FR 4245). 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 SC DHEC to consult with Federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. Additionally, S.C. Code Section 48-1-50(8) provides SC DHEC with the necessary authority to “Cooperate with the governments of the United States or other states or state agencies or organizations, officials, or unofficial, in respect to pollution control matters or for the formulation of interstate pollution control compacts or agreements.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) consultation with government officials.

    Public notification (127 public notification): Regulation 61-62.3, Air Pollution Episodes, requires that SC DHEC notify the public of any air pollution episode or NAAQS violation. S.C. Code Ann. § 48-1-60 establishes that “Classification and standards of quality and purity of the environment [are] authorized after notice and hearing.” Additionally, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard 7.1 (q), Public Participation, notifies the public by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in each region in which a proposed plant or modifications will be constructed of the degree of increment consumption that is expected from the plant or modification, and the opportunity for comment at a public hearing as well as written public comment. An opportunity for a public hearing for interested persons to appear and submit written or oral comments on the air quality impact of the plant or modification, alternatives to the plant or modification, the control technology required, and other appropriate considerations is also offered.

    EPA also notes that SC DHEC maintains a Web site that provides the public with notice of the health hazards associated with SO2 NAAQS exceedances, measures the public can take to help prevent such exceedances, and the ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory process. See http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Air/MostCommonPollutants/SulfurDioxide/. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South 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. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    PSD: With regard to the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J), this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to a PSD program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA. As discussed in more detail above under the section discussing 110(a)(2)(C), South Carolina's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflect the relevant SIP revisions pertaining to the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the requirement of the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP is adequate for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications for the PSD 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. SC DHEC 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 SC DHEC 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 South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is approvable for the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) and that South Carolina does not need to rely on its regional haze program.

    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. Regulations 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, Ambient Air Quality Standards, and Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, of the South Carolina SIP specify that required air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W, Guideline on Air Quality Models, as incorporated into the South Carolina SIP. Also, S.C. Code Ann. section 48-1-50(14) provides SC DHEC with the necessary authority to “Collect and disseminate information on air and water control.” Additionally, South 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, South Carolina's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that SC DHEC 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 had been promulgated, and to provide such information to the EPA Administrator upon request. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality and modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting fees: Section 110(a)(2)(L) 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 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.

    S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-2-50 prescribes that SC DHEC charge fees for environmental programs it administers pursuant to Federal and State law and regulations including those that govern the costs to review, implement and enforce PSD and NNSR permits. Regulation 61-30, Environmental Protection Fees 21 prescribes fees applicable to applicants and holders of permits, licenses, certificates, certifications, and registrations, establishes procedures for the payment of fees, provides for the assessment of penalties for nonpayment, and establishes an appeals process for refuting fees. This regulation may be amended as needed to meet the funding requirements of the State's permitting program. Additionally, South Carolina has a federally-approved title V program, Regulation 61-62.70, Title V Operating Permit Program,22 which implements and enforces the requirements of PSD and NNSR for facilities once they begin operating. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

    21 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    22 Title V program regulations are federally-approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation/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. Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, of the South Carolina SIP requires that SC DHEC notify the public, which includes local entities, of an application, preliminary determination, the activity or activities involved in the permit action, any emissions change associated with any permit modification, and the opportunity for comment prior to making a final permitting decision. Also, as noted above, S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-1-50(8) allows SC DHEC to “Cooperate with the governments of the United States or other states or state agencies or organizations, officials, or unofficial, in respect to pollution control matters or for the formulation of interstate pollution control compacts or agreements.” By way of example, SC DHEC has recently worked closely with local political subdivisions during the development of its Transportation Conformity SIP, Regional Haze Implementation Plan, and Ozone Early Action Compacts. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(M).

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's May 8, 2014, SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of South 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).

    In addition, this proposed action for the state of South Carolina does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). The Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the State of South Carolina. Pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, South Carolina statute 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” However, EPA has determined that because this proposed rule does not have substantial direct effects on an Indian Tribe because, as noted above, this action is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that South Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements. EPA notes today's action will not 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 19, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04728 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0664; FRL-9943-32-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Base Year Emission Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) on September 3, 2014, to address emission inventory requirements for the Illinois portions of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois ozone nonattainment areas under the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard. The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires emission inventories for all ozone nonattainment areas. The emission inventories contained in Illinois' September 3, 2014, submission meet this CAA requirement.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0664 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:

    Edward Doty, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6057, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving IEPA's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives 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 rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that, if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions 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.

    Dated: February 22, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04877 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0205; FRL-9943-27-Region 8] Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Redesignation Request and Associated Maintenance Plan for Billings, MT 2010 SO2 Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 14, 2015, the State of Montana submitted a request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesignate the Billings, Montana, 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) nonattainment area to attainment and to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing a maintenance plan for the area. In response to this submittal, the EPA is proposing to take the following actions: Determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area is attaining the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS; approve Montana's plan for maintaining attainment of the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS in the area; and redesignate the Billings SO2 nonattainment area to attainment for the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0205, at http://www.regulations.gov Web site. 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adam Clark, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-7104, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI). Do not submit CBI to the 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 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 Code of Federal Regulations (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.

    II. What is the background for the EPA's proposed actions?

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA revised the primary SO2 NAAQS, establishing a new 1-hour SO2 standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb). See 75 FR 35520 (June 2, 2010). Under the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is met at a monitoring site when the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations is less than or equal to 75 ppb (based on the rounding convention in 40 CFR part 50, appendix T). See 40 CFR 50.17. Ambient air quality monitoring data for the 3-year period must meet a data completeness requirement. A year meets data completeness requirements when all 4 quarters are complete, and a quarter is complete when at least 75 percent of the sampling days for each quarter have complete data. A sampling day has complete data if 75 percent of the hourly concentration values, including state-flagged data affected by exceptional events which have been approved for exclusion by the Administrator, are reported.1

    1 40 CFR part 50, appendix T, section 3(b).

    Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to designate as nonattainment any area that does not meet (or that contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the NAAQS.2 At the time the EPA conducted the initial round of designations for the 2010 1-hour SO2 primary NAAQS,3 Billings contained an SO2 monitor (Coburn Road) which registered violations of the standard based on the three most recent years of complete, quality assured, and certified ambient air quality data. In a letter to the EPA, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer requested that all 56 counties in Montana be designated as attainment or unclassifiable. The EPA responded to Montana's initial designations request in a February 6, 2013 letter in which the EPA disagreed with Montana's request to classify Yellowstone County (which includes Billings) as unclassifiable for the 2010 1-hour SO2 standard and presented the case that all of Yellowstone County should be designated as nonattainment. In an April 3, 2013 letter to the EPA, Montana reiterated its request that Yellowstone County be designated unclassifiable, but requested an alternative nonattainment area boundary consisting of only a small portion of Billings if the EPA determined that a nonattainment designation was appropriate. The EPA agreed with the State's technical rationale for reducing the nonattainment area to a small portion of Billings which included only one source of SO2: The PPL Corette Power Plant.4 The EPA found that Montana's technical analysis demonstrated that the PPL Corette plant was the key contributor to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS violations at the Coburn Road monitor. The EPA, therefore, designated the area recommended by Montana as nonattainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS on August 5, 2013, (effective October 4, 2013) using 2009-2011 ambient air quality data, leaving the remaining portion of Billings and Yellowstone County undesignated and subject to future analysis and designation. See 78 FR 47191 (August 5, 2013). This nonattainment designation established an attainment date five years after the October 4, 2013, effective date for areas classified as nonattainment for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.5 Therefore, the Billings SO2 nonattainment area's attainment date is October 4, 2018. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) was also required to submit an attainment SIP to EPA within 18 months following the October 4, 2013 effective date of designation, or by April 6, 2015.6

    2 CAA section 107(d)(1)(A)(i).

    3 The EPA finalized nonattainment designations for 29 areas of the U.S. that contained SO2 monitors violating the NAAQS on August 5, 2013 (78 FR 47191, 47205), and took no designation-related action on the rest of the country. The EPA was placed under a binding schedule for designation of the remaining portions of the U.S. for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS on March 2, 2015. See, Sierra Club, et al. v. McCarthy, Case No. 13-cv-03953-SI (N.D. Cal., March 2, 2015).

    4 Montana's recommended alternative boundary, now the Billings 2010 SO2 Nonattainment Area, can be found in the Billings Redesignation Request at 13.

    5 CAA section 192.

    6 CAA section 191.

    On January 16, 2015, MDEQ submitted a request for the EPA to determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area has attained the 2010 SO2 NAAQS per the EPA's “clean data policy” (Billings 2010 SO2 Clean Data Request).7 The clean data policy represents the EPA's interpretation that certain planning-related requirements of part D of the Act, such as the attainment demonstration, reasonably available control measures (RACM), and reasonable further progress (RFP), are suspended for areas that are in fact attaining the NAAQS. The clean data policy will be explained further in Section IV of this proposed rulemaking. A determination of attainment, or clean data determination, does not constitute a formal redesignation to attainment. If EPA subsequently determines that an area is no longer attaining the standard, those requirements that were suspended by the clean data determination are once again due.

    7 The Billings 2010 SO2 Clean Data Request is available in the docket for this action.

    On April 10, 2015, James Parker of PPL Montana sent a letter to Ed Warner of MDEQ notifying him that the PPL Corette Plant was officially retired on March 18, 2015, and had consumed its last coal on March 3, 2015. On May 13, 2015, Gordon Criswell of PPL Montana sent a letter to MDEQ requesting a revocation of the Montana Air Quality Permit (MAQP) #2953-00 and Title V Operating Permit #OP2953-08. On May 21, 2015, David Klemp of MDEQ sent a letter to Mr. Criswell informing him that MDEQ was revoking both permits, as PPL had requested, effective immediately.

    On December 14, 2015, the State submitted to the EPA a request for redesignation of the Billings 2010 SO2 nonattainment area to attainment and a SIP revision containing a maintenance plan for the area.

    III. What are the criteria for redesignation?

    The CAA provides the requirements for redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment. Specifically, section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA allows for redesignation of a nonattainment area provided that: (1) The Administrator determines that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS; (2) the Administrator has fully approved the applicable implementation plan for the area under section 110(k); (3) the Administrator determines that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from implementation of the applicable SIP and applicable federal air pollutant control regulations and other permanent and enforceable reductions; (4) the Administrator has fully approved a maintenance plan for the area as meeting the requirements of section 175A; and (5) the state containing such area has met all requirements applicable to the area for purposes of redesignation under section 110 and part D of the CAA.

    On April 16, 1992, the EPA provided guidance on redesignation in the General Preamble for the Implementation of title I of the CAA Amendments of 1990 (57 FR 13498), and supplemented this guidance on April 28, 1992 (57 FR 18070). The EPA has provided further guidance on processing redesignation requests in several guidance documents. For the purposes of this action, the EPA will be referencing two of these documents: (1) The September 4, 1992 Memorandum from John Calcagni titled “Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment,” (hereafter referred to as the “Calcagni Memo”); and (2) The April 23, 2014 Memorandum from Stephen D. Page titled “Guidance for 1-Hour SO2 Nonattainment Area SIP Submissions,” (hereafter referred to as “2010 SO2 NAA Guidance”).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of the request?

    EPA's evaluation of Montana's redesignation request and maintenance plan was based on consideration of the five redesignation criteria provided under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E).

    Criteria (1)—The Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area Has Attained the 2010 1-Hour SO2 NAAQS

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA requires the EPA to determine that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(i)). The two primary methods for evaluating ambient air quality impacted by SO2 emissions are through dispersion modeling and air quality monitoring. For SO2, an area may in some circumstances be considered to be attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS if it meets the NAAQS as determined in accordance with 40 CFR 50.17 and Appendix T of part 50, based on three complete, consecutive calendar years of quality-assured air quality monitoring data. To attain the NAAQS based on monitoring, the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile (fourth highest value) of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations measured at each monitor within an area must be less than or equal to 75 ppb. The data must be collected and quality-assured in accordance with 40 CFR part 58 and recorded in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS). The EPA's determination of attainment can be based on monitoring data alone, without the need for dispersion modeling analyses, if the air agency provides an analysis demonstrating that the monitor(s) for the affected area is located in the area of maximum ambient concentration of SO2.8

    8 See 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance, at 62.

    In this action, the EPA is determining that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area is attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The EPA reviewed SO2 monitoring data from the lone monitoring station inside the Billings SO2 nonattainment area, the Coburn Road station. The Coburn Road monitor data have been quality-assured, are recorded in AQS, and indicate that the area is attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The fourth-highest 1-hour SO2 values at the Coburn Road monitor for the 3-year averages of these values (i.e., design values), are summarized in Table 1, below.

    Table 1—Coburn Road Monitored SO2 Concentrations 2012 2013 2014 2012-2014 Design value Annual 99th Percentile 70 48 93 70

    As shown, the 3-year design value for 2012-2014 at the Coburn Road monitor meets the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Further, the EPA expects the SO2 emissions at this monitor to decrease significantly following the shutdown of the PPL Corette facility. Since the facility last operated on March 3, 2015, the values at the Coburn Road monitor have not exceeded 19 ppb SO2. This trend is anticipated to be permanent, as the State indicated in its analysis that SO2 emissions have since 2010 consistently decreased to levels well below the NAAQS during times when PPL Corette was not operating.9

    9 Billings Redesignation Request at 8-12.

    As part of Montana's redesignation request, the State submitted information to support a showing that the Coburn Road monitor was sited in the area of maximum ambient SO2 concentration within the Billings SO2 nonattainment area in accordance with the 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance. This showing included data from historical monitors near the Coburn Road monitor which consistently showed lower values than those at Coburn Road. The EPA has reviewed Montana's information regarding this showing, but finds that it is no longer applicable to the current SO2 emissions mix in the Billings SO2 nonattainment area because the sole SO2 source in the area (PPL Corette) has shut down. The EPA does not find it necessary to require the State to conduct new modeling or exploratory monitoring as recommended by EPA's May 2013 Draft Monitoring Technical Assistance Document (TAD)10 to determine the point of maximum concentration in the nonattainment area because the source of concern in the area has shut down and been dismantled, resulting in SO2 concentrations well below the standard.

    10 On page 58 of the 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance, EPA recommends that air agencies follow the Draft “SO2 NAAQS Designations Source-Oriented Monitoring Technical Assistance Document,” Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Assessment Division. Although this 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance references the Draft monitoring TAD with regard to reviewing clean data determinations, the EPA also considers the TAD recommendations applicable to attainment demonstrations.

    In this action, the EPA is proposing to determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area is attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, and therefore meets the requirements of CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(i). If the 3-year design value exceeds the NAAQS prior to the EPA taking action in response to the State's request, the EPA will not take final action to approve the redesignation request.11 As discussed in more detail below, Montana has committed to continue monitoring in this area in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    11 See 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance, at 56.

    As noted, Montana separately submitted to the EPA a request for a determination of clean data for the Billings SO2 nonattainment area on January 16, 2015. The clean data policy represents the EPA's interpretation that certain requirements of part D of title I of the Act are suspended for areas that are currently attaining the NAAQS. The requirements that are suspended in an area attaining the standard include the requirements to submit an “attainment SIP” that provides for: Attainment of the NAAQS; implementation of all RACM; RFP; and implementation of contingency measures for failure to meet deadlines for RFP and attainment. In the 2010 SO2 NAA guidance, the EPA explained our intention to apply the EPA's clean data policy to the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS.12 Because EPA's analysis in determining whether an area has attained under the clean data policy is the same as its analysis under the first redesignation criterion, EPA is also here proposing that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area qualifies for a determination of attainment under the clean data policy, based on the 2012-2014 monitoring data from the Coburn Road monitor. In the event that EPA does not finalize the proposed redesignation, EPA may choose to separately finalize the clean data determination, thereby suspending Montana's obligation to submit the attainment planning-related requirements for the area for as long as the area continues to attain the standard. As with its analysis that the area has attained under the redesignation requirements, for purposes of the clean data determination, the EPA is not requiring Montana to demonstrate that the monitor is located in the area of maximum concentration in accordance with the 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance due to the unique circumstances associated with the PPL Corette shutdown.13

    12 Id. at 52.

    13 Id. at 58.

    Criteria (2)—Montana Has a Fully Approved SIP Under Section 110(k); and Criteria (5)—Montana Has Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D of Title I of the CAA

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment under a NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to determine that the state has met all applicable requirements for that NAAQS under section 110 and part D of title I of the CAA (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(v)) and that the state has a fully approved SIP under section 110(k) for that NAAQS for the area (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii)). The EPA proposes to find that Montana has met all applicable SIP requirements for the Billings SO2 nonattainment area for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS under section 110 of the CAA (general SIP requirements) for purposes of redesignation. Additionally, the EPA proposes to find that the Montana SIP satisfies the criterion that it meets applicable SIP requirements for purposes of redesignation under part D of title I of the CAA in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(v). Further, the EPA proposes to determine that the SIP is fully approved with respect to all requirements applicable for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS for purposes of redesignation in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii). In making these determinations, the EPA ascertained which requirements are applicable to the Billings SO2 nonattainment area and, if applicable, that they are fully approved under section 110(k).

    a. The Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area Has Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D of the CAA

    General SIP requirements. General SIP elements and requirements are delineated in section 110(a)(2) of title I, part A of the CAA. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the following: Submittal of a SIP that has been adopted by the state after reasonable public notice and hearing; provisions for establishment and operation of appropriate procedures needed to monitor ambient air quality; implementation of a source permit program; provisions for the implementation of part C requirements (Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)) and provisions for the implementation of part D requirements (New Source Review (NSR) permit programs); provisions for air pollution modeling; and provisions for public and local agency participation in planning and emission control rule development.

    Section 110(a)(2)(D) requires that SIPs contain certain measures to prevent sources in a state from significantly contributing to air quality problems in another state. To implement this provision, the EPA has required certain states to establish programs to address the interstate transport of air pollutants. The section 110(a)(2)(D) requirements for a state are not linked with a particular nonattainment area's designation and classification in that state. The EPA believes that the requirements linked with a particular nonattainment area's designation and classifications are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing a redesignation request. The transport SIP submittal requirements, where applicable, continue to apply to a state regardless of the designation of any one particular area in the state. Thus, the EPA does not believe that the CAA's interstate transport requirements should be construed to be applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation.

    In addition, the EPA believes other section 110 elements that are neither connected with nonattainment plan submissions nor linked with an area's attainment status are applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation. The area will still be subject to these requirements after the area is redesignated. The section 110 and part D requirements which are linked with a particular area's designation and classification are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing a redesignation request. This approach is consistent with the EPA's existing policy on applicability (i.e., for redesignations) of conformity and oxygenated fuels requirements, as well as with section 184 ozone transport requirements. See Reading, Pennsylvania, proposed and final rulemakings (61 FR 53174-53176, October 10, 1996), (62 FR 24826, May 7, 2008); Cleveland-Akron-Loraine, Ohio, final rulemaking (61 FR 20458, May 7,1996); and Tampa, Florida, final rulemaking at (60 FR 62748, December 7, 1995). See also the discussion on this issue in the Cincinnati, Ohio, redesignation (65 FR 37890, June 19, 2000), and in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, redesignation (66 FR 50399, October 19, 2001).

    Title I, Part D, applicable SIP requirements. Section 172(c) of the CAA sets forth the basic requirements of attainment plans for nonattainment areas that are required to submit them pursuant to section 172(b). Subpart 5 of part D, which includes section 191 and 192 of the CAA, establishes requirements for SO2, nitrogen dioxide and lead nonattainment areas. A thorough discussion of the requirements contained in sections 172(c) can be found in the General Preamble for Implementation of Title I (57 FR 13498).

    Subpart 5 Section 172 Requirements. Section 172(c)(1) requires the plans for all nonattainment areas to provide for the implementation of all RACM as expeditiously as practicable and to provide for attainment of the NAAQS. The EPA interprets this requirement to impose a duty on all nonattainment areas to consider all available control measures and to adopt and implement such measures as are reasonably available for implementation in each area as components of the area's attainment demonstration. Under section 172, states with nonattainment areas must submit plans providing for timely attainment and meeting a variety of other requirements.

    The EPA's longstanding interpretation of the nonattainment planning requirements of section 172 is that once an area is attaining the NAAQS, those requirements are not “applicable” for purposes of CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) and therefore need not be approved into the SIP before the EPA can redesignate the area. In the 1992 General Preamble for Implementation of Title I, the EPA set forth its interpretation of applicable requirements for purposes of evaluating redesignation requests when an area is attaining a standard. See 57 FR 13498, 13564 (April 16, 1992). The EPA noted that the requirements for RFP and other measures designed to provide for attainment do not apply in evaluating redesignation requests because those nonattainment planning requirements “have no meaning” for an area that has already attained the standard. Id. This interpretation was also set forth in the Calcagni Memo. The EPA's understanding of section 172 also forms the basis of its Clean Data Policy, which was articulated with regard to SO2 in the 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance, and suspends a state's obligation to submit most of the attainment planning requirements that would otherwise apply, including an attainment demonstration and planning SIPs to provide for RFP, RACM, and contingency measures under section 172(c)(9). Courts have upheld the EPA's interpretation of section 172(c)(1) for “reasonably available” control measures and control technology as meaning only those controls that advance attainment, which precludes the need to require additional measures where an area is already attaining. NRDC v. EPA, 571 F.3d 1245, 1252 (D.C. Cir. 2009); Sierra Club v. EPA, 294 F.3d 155, 162 (D.C. Cir. 2002); Sierra Club v. EPA, 314 F.3d 735, 744 (5th Cir. 2002); Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F.3d 537 (7th Cir. 2004). But see Sierra Club v. EPA, 793 F.3d 656 (6th Cir. 2015).

    Therefore, because attainment has been reached in the Billings SO2 nonattainment area, no additional measures are needed to provide for attainment, and section 172(c)(1) requirements for an attainment demonstration and RACM are not part of the “applicable implementation plan” required to have been approved prior to redesignation per CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii). The other section 172 requirements that are designed to help an area achieve attainment—the section 172(c)(2) requirement that nonattainment plans contain provisions promoting reasonable further progress, the requirement to submit the section 172(c)(9) contingency measures, and the section 172(c)(6) requirement for the SIP to contain control measures necessary to provide for attainment of the NAAQS—are also not required to be approved as part of the “applicable implementation plan” for purposes of satisfying CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii).

    Section 172(c)(3) requires submission and approval of a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual emissions. The requirement for an emission inventory can be satisfied by meeting the inventory requirements of the maintenance plan.14 MDEQ submitted an emissions inventory as part of the maintenance plan for the Billings SO2 nonattainment area, and this inventory will be discussed further in the maintenance plan portion of this proposed action.

    14 Calcagni Memo at 6.

    Section 172(c)(4) requires the identification and quantification of allowable emissions for major new and modified stationary sources to be allowed in an area, and section 172(c)(5) requires source permits for the construction and operation of new and modified major stationary sources anywhere in the nonattainment area. The EPA has determined that, since PSD requirements will apply after redesignation, areas being redesignated need not comply with the requirement that a NSR program be approved prior to redesignation, provided that the area demonstrates maintenance of the NAAQS without part D NSR. A more detailed rationale for this view is described in a memorandum from Mary Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, dated October 14, 1994, entitled “Part D New Source Review Requirements for Areas Requesting Redesignation to Attainment.” MDEQ has demonstrated that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area will be able to maintain the NAAQS without part D NSR in effect, and therefore Montana need not have fully approved part D NSR programs prior to approval of the redesignation request. Montana's PSD program will become effective in the Billings SO2 nonattainment area upon redesignation to attainment.

    Section 172(c)(7) requires the SIP to meet the applicable provisions of section 110(a)(2). As noted above, the EPA believes the Montana SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2) applicable for purposes of redesignation.

    Section 176 Conformity Requirements. Section 176(c) of the CAA requires states to establish criteria and procedures to ensure that federally supported or funded projects conform to the air quality planning goals in the applicable SIP. The requirement to determine conformity applies to transportation plans, programs, and projects that are developed, funded, or approved under title 23 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) and the Federal Transit Act (transportation conformity) as well as to all other federally supported or funded projects (general conformity). State transportation conformity SIP revisions must be consistent with federal conformity regulations relating to consultation, enforcement, and enforceability that the EPA promulgated pursuant to its authority under the CAA.

    Montana has an approved general conformity SIP for the Billings area. See 67 FR 62392 (October 7, 2002). Moreover, the EPA interprets the conformity SIP requirements as not applying for purposes of evaluating a redesignation request under section 107(d) because, like other requirements listed above, state conformity rules are still required after redesignation and federal conformity rules apply where state rules have not been approved. See Wall v. EPA, 265 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001) (upholding this interpretation); see also 60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995) (redesignation of Tampa, Florida).

    For these reasons, the EPA proposes to find that Montana has satisfied all applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation of the Billings SO2 nonattainment area under section 110 and part D of title I of the CAA.

    b. The Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area Has a Fully Approved Applicable SIP Under Section 110(k) of the CAA

    The EPA has fully approved the applicable Montana SIP for the Billings Area under section 110(k) of the CAA for all requirements applicable for purposes of redesignation. As indicated above, the EPA believes that the section 110 elements that are neither connected with nonattainment plan submissions nor linked to an area's nonattainment status are not applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation. The EPA has approved all part D requirements applicable under the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, as identified above, for purposes of this redesignation.

    Criteria (3)—The Air Quality Improvement in the Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Reductions in Emissions

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA requires the EPA to determine that the air quality improvement in the area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from implementation of the SIP, applicable federal air pollution control regulations, and other permanent and enforceable reductions (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii)). The EPA proposes to find that Montana has demonstrated that the observed air quality improvement in the Billings SO2 nonattainment area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions. Specifically, the EPA considers the shutdown of the PPL Corette Plant, identified as the key contributor to the SO2 NAAQS violations at the Coburn Road monitor,15 to be both permanent and enforceable. The EPA notes that the Corette facility was still operating (though not continuously) 16 during the 2012-2014 period during which the 2010 SO2 NAAQS was attained in the Billings nonattainment area. Given the well-established correlation of much lower SO2 emissions at the Coburn Road monitor during periods when Corette has not operated, EPA anticipates that the SO2 NAAQS will only attain by a greater margin following the facility's shutdown. As stated in the Calcagni Memo, “Emission reductions from source shutdowns can be considered permanent and enforceable to the extent that those shutdowns have been reflected in the SIP and all applicable permits have been modified accordingly.” 17 MDEQ revoked PPL's Title V (operating) and NSR permits for the Corette facility.18 Further, the PPL Corette facility has been dismantled, making its future operation impossible and thus displaying the permanence of the emissions reductions in the nonattainment area. Any new sources that may come into being within the area would be required to demonstrate that their new SO2 emissions would not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Therefore, the EPA is proposing to find that the air quality improvement in the Billings SO2 nonattainment area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions.

    15 See EPA's final Technical Support Document (TSD) for the Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area, in the docket for EPA's initial round of 2010 SO2 designations at EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0233-0318.

    16 The Corette facility did not operate for several consecutive months in both 2012 and 2014.

    17 Calcagni Memo at 10.

    18 Permit revocation letters are included in the docket for this action.

    Criteria (4)—The Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area Has a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan Pursuant to Section 175A of the CAA

    To redesignate a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA requires the EPA to determine that the area has a fully approved maintenance plan pursuant to section 175A of the CAA (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(iv)). In conjunction with its request to redesignate the Billings SO2 nonattainment area to attainment for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, MDEQ submitted a SIP revision to provide for the maintenance of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for at least 10 years after the effective date of redesignation to attainment. The EPA is proposing to find that this maintenance plan for the area meets the requirements for approval under section 175A of the CAA.

    a. What is required in a maintenance plan?

    CAA section 175A sets forth the elements of a maintenance plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment. Under section 175A, the plan must demonstrate continued attainment of the applicable NAAQS for at least 10 years after the Administrator approves a redesignation to attainment. Eight years after the redesignation, the state must submit a revised maintenance plan demonstrating that attainment will continue to be maintained for the 10 years following the initial 10-year period. To address the possibility of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance plan must contain contingency measures as the EPA deems necessary to assure prompt correction of any future 2010 1-hour SO2 violations. The Calcagni Memo provides further guidance on the content of a maintenance plan, explaining that a maintenance plan should address five requirements: The attainment emissions inventory, maintenance demonstration, monitoring, verification of continued attainment, and a contingency plan. As is discussed more fully below, the EPA is proposing to determine that Montana's maintenance plan includes all the necessary components and is thus proposing to approve it as a revision to the Montana SIP.

    b. Attainment Emissions Inventory

    As part of a state's maintenance plan for a 2010 SO2 nonattainment area, the air agency should develop an attainment inventory to identify the level of emissions in the affected area which is sufficient to attain and maintain the SO2 NAAQS.19 Montana selected 2014 as the base year (i.e., attainment emissions inventory year) for developing an emissions inventory for SO2 in the nonattainment area through 2024. In 2014, the final full calendar year in which PPL Corette was permitted to operate prior to the March 2015 shutdown, the facility emitted 1,433 tons of SO2. 20

    19 See 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance, at 66.

    20 PPL Corette did not operate for nearly five months during 2014.

    In 2014, the Coburn Road monitor reported exceedances of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS on eight different days, giving the monitor a 99th percentile (4th highest 1-hour daily maximum concentration) of 93 ppb. Regardless, the 2014 emissions level of 1,433 tons of SO2 is the lowest level of any year in the attaining 2012 to 2014 period, making it the most conservative option for the purposes of ensuring future maintenance of the NAAQS (see Table 2). The EPA has therefore determined that this is a level sufficient to attain the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, and is proposing to find that the attainment inventory submitted as part of Montana's maintenance plan meets the “Attainment Emissions Inventory” requirement.

    Table 2—Annual SO2 Emissions in Billings Nonattainment Area Year 2012 2013 2014 Annual SO2 Emissions (tons) 1,884 2,247 1,433

    The EPA notes that the permanent shutdown of PPL Corette has left the Billings SO2 nonattainment area with no sources of SO2, and the maintenance plan for the area contains an emissions inventory (in the “Maintenance Demonstration” section) which projects a level of zero SO2 emissions in the nonattainment area for each year from 2016 through 2024. The EPA therefore does not anticipate emissions activity in the 2010 SO2 nonattainment area that will approach 1,433 tons of SO2.

    c. Maintenance Demonstration

    An air agency may generally demonstrate maintenance of the NAAQS by either showing that future emissions of SO2 will not exceed the level of the attainment inventory, or by modeling to show that the future mix of sources and emission rates will not cause a violation of the NAAQS.21 Montana has demonstrated maintenance by showing that future year emissions (through “out year” 2024) of SO2 in the maintenance area are expected to remain at zero following the PPL Corette shutdown. The State's projected emissions inventory 22 has been reproduced as Table 3, below:

    21 See 2010 SO2 NAA Guidance at 67.

    22 The State's emissions inventory projection is listed as Figure 3.2 in the Billings SO2 Redesignation Request, at 23.

    Table 3—Billings SO2 Nonattainment Area SO2 Projected Emissions Inventory Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Annual SO2 Emissions (tons) 1433 460 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    The EPA considers the inventory projection of zero emissions sufficient to attain and maintain the SO2 NAAQS. The EPA is therefore also proposing to find that the State's “Maintenance Demonstration” requirement is met based on this projected emissions inventory.

    d. Monitoring Network

    Montana has committed to continue operating the Coburn Road monitor at its current location in the Billings SO2 nonattainment area. The State also committed to operating the monitor in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR part 58, and have thus addressed the requirement for monitoring. The EPA approved Montana's monitoring plan on January 13, 2015. The EPA is proposing to find that Montana's maintenance plan meets the “Monitoring Network” requirement.

    e. Verification of Continued Attainment

    Each air agency should ensure that it has the legal authority to implement and enforce all measures necessary to attain and maintain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. The air agency's submittal should indicate how it will track the progress of the maintenance plan for the area either through air quality monitoring or modeling.23

    23 2010 SO2 Guidance at 67-68.

    The State of Montana has the legal authority to enforce and implement the maintenance plan for the Billings 2010 SO2 nonattainment area. This includes the authority to adopt, implement, and enforce any subsequent emissions control contingency measures determined to be necessary to correct future SO2 attainment problems.24 As noted, the State will track the progress of the maintenance plan by continuing to operate the Coburn Road monitor. For these reasons, the EPA is proposing to find that Montana's maintenance plan meets the “Verification of Continued Attainment” requirement.

    24 EPA last determined that Montana's SIP was sufficient to meet the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(i) of the CAA on July 30, 2013 (78 FR 45864).

    f. Contingency Measures in the Maintenance Plan

    Section 175A of the CAA requires that a maintenance plan include such contingency measures as the EPA deems necessary to assure that the state will promptly correct a violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation. The maintenance plan should identify the contingency measures to be adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and implementation, and a time limit for action by the state. A state should also identify specific indicators to be used to determine when the contingency measures need to be implemented. The maintenance plan must also include a requirement that a state will implement all measures with respect to control of the pollutant that were contained in the SIP before redesignation of the area to attainment in accordance with section 175A(d).

    The contingency plan includes a triggering mechanism to determine when contingency measures are needed and a process of developing and implementing appropriate control measures. The State listed two types of triggers of its contingency plan. The first, a “warning level response,” will be triggered by a 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum SO2 values greater than 65 ppb in a single calendar year. The second, an “action level response,” is triggered when such a value exceeds 70 ppb in a single calendar year.

    If the warning level response is triggered, the State must conduct a study to determine whether the SO2 values near the level of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS (75 ppb) are the result of a trend, and if so, what control measures are necessary to reverse that trend. The implementation of the control measures stemming from a warning level response will take place no later than 18 months after the end of the calendar year in which a determination requiring control measures was made. If the action level response is triggered and is not found to be due to an exceptional event as defined at 40 CFR part 50.1(j), the State will work with the entity or entities believed to be responsible for the high levels of SO2 to evaluate control measures necessary to ensure future attainment of the NAAQS. Montana must submit to the EPA its analysis demonstrating that the proposed control measures are adequate to ensure continued maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in the area or to return the area to attainment of the NAAQS. The implementation of the control measures stemming from an action level response will take place no later than 18 months after the end of the calendar year in which the action level response was prompted. Montana noted that, since the only source in the nonattainment area has shut down, it is not possible at this time to develop specific contingency measures until the cause of the elevated concentrations is known. The EPA is proposing to find that Montana's maintenance plan meets the “Contingency Measures” requirement.

    The EPA has concluded that the maintenance plan adequately addresses the five basic components of a maintenance plan: The attainment emissions inventory, maintenance demonstration, monitoring, verification of continued attainment, and a contingency plan. Therefore, the EPA proposes to find that the maintenance plan SIP revision submitted by Montana for the Billings 2010 SO2 nonattainment area meets the requirements of section 175A of the CAA and is approvable.

    V. What are the actions the EPA is proposing to take?

    The EPA is proposing to take the following four separate but related actions: (1) Determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area is attaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS; (2) Approve Montana's plan for maintaining the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS (maintenance plan); (3) Redesignate the Billings SO2 nonattainment area to attainment for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS; and (4) determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area has clean monitoring data. Section IV of this notice provides a discussion of each of these proposed actions.

    The EPA proposes to determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area has attained the 2010 1-hour SO2 standard by the October 4, 2018, required attainment date. This determination is based on complete, quality-assured, and certified monitoring data for the 2012-2014 monitoring period. The EPA is also proposing to approve the maintenance plan under the 2010 NAAQS for the Billings SO2 nonattainment area into the Montana SIP (under CAA section 175A). The maintenance plan demonstrates that the area will continue to maintain the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, and includes a process to develop contingency measures to remedy any future violations of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS and procedures for evaluation of potential violations.

    Additionally, the EPA is proposing to determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area has met the criteria under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) for redesignation from nonattainment to attainment for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. On this basis, the EPA is proposing to approve Montana's redesignation request for the area. Final approval of Montana's redesignation request would change the legal designation of the portion of Yellowstone County designated nonattainment at 40 CFR part 81.327 to attainment for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    The EPA is also proposing to determine that the Billings SO2 nonattainment area has attaining monitoring data for the 2010 SO2 primary NAAQS based on the most recent complete three-year period (2012-2014) design value period that meets the clean data policy. As noted elsewhere, in the event that EPA does not finalize the proposed redesignation, EPA may choose to separately finalize the clean data determination, thereby suspending the attainment planning-related requirements for the area.

    In this action, the EPA is not proposing to take any action on the Billings/Laurel SO2 area that was the subject of a SIP Call (67 FR 22168, May 2, 2002) and for which EPA promulgated a FIP (77 FR 21418, April 21, 2008) under the prior 24-hour SO2 primary NAAQS and the still-current SO2 secondary NAAQS. EPA is also not proposing any action to revoke the prior (1971) SO2 primary NAAQS in either the 2010 Billings SO2 nonattainment area or the larger Billings/Laurel area addressed by the May 2, 2002 SIP Call.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the Billings SO2 Redesignation and Maintenance Plan for action which are identified within this notice of proposed rulemaking. The 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 rule's preamble for more information).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the accompanying approval of a maintenance plan under section 107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of a geographical area and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those imposed by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of itself create any new requirements, but rather results in the applicability of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 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, these proposed actions merely propose to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and do not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For this reason, these proposed actions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 23, 2016. Richard D. Buhl, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04900 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration 49 CFR Part 222 [Docket No. FRA-2016-0010, Notice No. 1] Use of Locomotive Horns at Public Highway-Rail Grade Crossings; Notice of Safety Inquiry AGENCY:

    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of safety inquiry.

    SUMMARY:

    FRA is conducting a retrospective review of its locomotive train horn regulations in 49 CFR part 222. As part of its review, FRA is soliciting public comment on whether FRA should modify, streamline, or expand any requirements of FRA's locomotive train horn regulations to reduce paperwork and other economic burdens on the rail industry and States and local authorities while still maintaining the highest standards of safety. The list of topics at the end of this Notice highlights specific areas on which FRA would particularly encourage the rail industry, as well as State and local authorities to provide comment.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by July 5, 2016. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent possible without incurring additional expense or delay.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Ries, Staff Director, Highway-Rail Crossing and Trespasser Programs Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Railroad Safety, Mail Stop 25, West Building 3rd Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6299; Kathryn Gresham, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Chief Counsel, Mail Stop 10, West Building 3rd Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6052); or Brian Roberts, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Chief Counsel, Mail Stop 10, West Building 3rd Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6052).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of Retrospective Review

    Under its general statutory rulemaking authority, FRA promulgates and enforces rules as part of a comprehensive regulatory program to address all areas of railroad safety. See 49 U.S.C. 20103 and 49 CFR 1.89. To provide for safety at public highway-rail grade crossings (public grade crossings), FRA has issued specific regulations in 49 CFR part 222 that generally require locomotive horn use at such crossings except within authorized quiet zones established under the regulations. Congress mandated these regulations in Public Law 103-440, codified as Section 20153 to title 49 of the United States Code. This statute required the Secretary of Transportation (whose authority in this area had been delegated to the Federal Railroad Administrator) to issue regulations on the use of locomotive horns at public grade crossings, but gave the Secretary the authority to make reasonable exceptions.

    Consistent with Executive Order 13563 (“Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”) and Executive Order 13610 (“Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens”), FRA continually reviews its regulations and revises them as needed to: (1) Ensure the regulatory burden is not excessive; (2) clarify the application of existing requirements and remove requirements that are no longer necessary; and (3) keep pace with emerging technology, changing operational realities, and safety concerns. Therefore, through this Notice of Safety Inquiry, FRA seeks to gather input from the rail industry and State and local authorities on any regulatory burdens associated with 49 CFR part 222, while still maintaining the highest level of safety at our Nation's public grade crossings.

    Executive Order 13563 requires agencies to periodically conduct retrospective analyses of their existing rules to identify requirements that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal any problematic regulatory provisions identified during the review. Additionally, Executive Order 13610 requires agencies to take continuing steps to reassess regulatory requirements, and where appropriate, to streamline, improve, or eliminate those requirements. In particular, Executive Order 13610 emphasizes that agencies should prioritize “initiatives that will produce significant quantifiable monetary savings or significant quantifiable reductions in paperwork burdens.” Therefore, FRA is specifically interested in receiving comments on how the agency can reduce the regulatory burden on the regulated community and the public in a way that would provide monetary savings or reduce paperwork burdens without negatively impacting safety at public grade crossings.

    Rulemaking Background on 49 CFR Part 222 (“Use of Locomotive Horns at Public Highway-Rail Grade Crossings”)

    FRA began the rulemaking process for 49 CFR part 222 on January 13, 2000, when it published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register addressing the use of locomotive horns at public grade crossings. The rulemaking was mandated by 49 U.S.C. 20153, which required the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations that required the use of locomotive horns at public grade crossings, but gave the Secretary the authority to make reasonable exceptions. FRA received approximately 3,000 comments in response to the NPRM.

    Due to the substantial and wide-ranging public interest in the NPRM, FRA conducted a series of twelve public hearings throughout the United States. More than 350 people testified at these hearings.

    On December 18, 2003, FRA published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register (68 FR 70586). FRA could have proceeded directly to the final rule stage of the rulemaking. However, FRA chose to issue an interim final rule instead in order to give the public an opportunity to comment on changes that had been made to the rule since the NPRM. In addition, FRA held another public hearing in Washington, DC on February 4, 2004. By the close of the extended comment period, over 1,400 comments had been filed with the agency regarding the Interim Final Rule.

    FRA then published a final rule in the Federal Register on April 27, 2005 (70 FR 21844). After the final rule was published, FRA received several petitions for reconsideration and associated letters in support of the petitions. In addition, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) submitted a petition for an Emergency Order. On August 17, 2006, FRA published amendments in the Federal Register which amended and clarified the final rule in response to the petitions for reconsideration (71 FR 47614). FRA denied AAR's petition for an Emergency Order.

    Since 2006, FRA has not issued any substantive revisions to 49 CFR part 222. Therefore, FRA is soliciting public comments on any needed revisions to the regulations as part of its retrospective review.

    Overview of 49 CFR Part 222

    FRA regulations require that engineers sound their locomotive horns while approaching public grade crossings until the lead locomotive fully occupies the crossing. See 49 CFR 222.21(a). In general, the regulations require locomotive engineers to begin to sound the train horn for a minimum of 15 seconds, and a maximum of 20 seconds, in advance of public grade crossings. See 49 CFR 222.21(b)(2). Engineers must also sound the train horn in a standardized pattern of two long, one short and one long blast and the horn must continue to sound until the lead locomotive or train car occupies the grade crossing. See 49 CFR 222.21(a). Additionally, the minimum sound level for the locomotive horn is 96 dB(A), while the maximum sound level is 110 dB(A). See 49 CFR 229.129(a).

    Research and years of experience show that the use of train horns, flashing lights, and gates—in concert—at grade crossings are extremely effective in preventing accidents and their resulting injuries and deaths. The use of the locomotive horn while trains are approaching public highway-rail grade crossings provides an important safety warning to pedestrians and motorists who are on or approaching the crossings. FRA conducted a nationwide study that showed there is a 66.8-percent increase in crossing collisions at crossings equipped with automatic warning devices consisting of flashing lights and gates when train horns are not routinely sounded.

    Establishing a Quiet Zone

    FRA regulations authorize only public authorities to establish quiet zones. See 49 CFR 222.37(a). At a minimum, new quiet zones must be at least one-half mile in length and contain at least one public grade crossing (i.e., a location where a public highway, road, or street crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade). See definition of “quiet zone” in 49 CFR 222.9 and 222.35(a). Every public grade crossing in a quiet zone must be equipped at a minimum with active grade crossing warning devices consisting of flashing lights and gates. See 49 CFR 222.35(b).

    If a public authority wants to establish a new quiet zone that will include a pedestrian crossing, a private highway-rail grade crossing that allows access to the public, or a private highway-rail grade crossing that provides access to an active industrial or commercial site, a diagnostic team (made up of representatives from the railroad, relevant State agencies, the public authority, and FRA, if possible) must evaluate the pedestrian or private highway-rail grade crossing and the crossing must be equipped or treated in accordance with the diagnostic team recommendations. See 49 CFR 222.25(b)(1) and 222.27(b). In addition, FRA has interpreted 49 CFR part 222 to require that any private highway-rail grade crossing or pedestrian crossing in a quiet zone must be located either between the public grade crossings that serve as quiet zone endpoints or within one-quarter mile of the quiet zone endpoints.

    Public authorities can establish quiet zones through either the public authority designation process or the public authority application process to FRA. See 49 CFR 222.39(a) and (b), respectively. Because the absence of routine horn sounding at public grade crossings increases the risk of a crossing collision, in most circumstances the regulations require public authorities seeking to establish quiet zones to mitigate additional risk. Public authorities that wish to reduce existing risk levels within the proposed quiet zone can implement certain specified pre-approved crossing improvements (i.e., Supplementary Safety Measures (SSMs)) to reduce the proposed quiet zone's risk level to an acceptable level. These improvements include: Roadway medians or channelization devices to discourage motorists from driving around a lowered crossing gate; a four-quadrant gate system to block all lanes of highway traffic; converting a two-way street into a one-way street and installing crossing gates, and permanent or temporary (nighttime) closure of the crossing to highway traffic. See Appendix A to 49 CFR part 222. Public authorities that rely exclusively on SSMs to reduce existing risk levels within the proposed quiet zone to an acceptable level can establish quiet zones through the public authority designation process (i.e., without specific FRA approval). See 49 CFR 222.39(a). However, public authorities that want to implement Alternative Safety Measures (ASMs), i.e., modified SSMs or certain specified non-engineering crossing improvements, within a proposed quiet zone must apply for FRA approval of the effectiveness rate (i.e., the amount of risk that is mitigated by deployment of a safety measure at a crossing) that will be assigned to the crossing improvement(s).

    As an alternative, communities may also choose to silence routine locomotive horn sounding through the installation of wayside horns at public grade crossings. Wayside horns are train-activated stationary acoustic devices at grade crossings that are directed at highway traffic as a one-for-one substitute for train horns.

    During the new quiet zone establishment process, the regulations require public authorities to provide a Notice of Intent to the railroads that operate within the quiet zone, and to the State agencies responsible for highway and grade crossing safety, to solicit comments on the proposed quiet zone. See 49 CFR 222.43(a). However, a quiet zone may not take effect until all the necessary safety measures have been installed and are operational. See 49 CFR 222.43(d)(2). The regulations also require the public authority to provide a Notice of Quiet Zone Establishment to all affected parties before the quiet zone is established, including all railroads that operate over crossings within the proposed quiet zone, State agencies responsible for highway and grade crossing safety, and FRA. See 49 CFR 222.43(a)(3). The Notice of Quiet Zone Establishment must provide the date when the quiet zone will take effect, which cannot be less than 21 days after the date on which the Notice of Quiet Zone Establishment is mailed. See 49 CFR 222.43(d).

    Request for Comments

    While FRA solicits discussion and comments on all of 49 CFR part 222, we particularly encourage comments on the following questions:

    • How can FRA decrease the barriers local communities encounter when establishing a quiet zone?

    • Should 49 CFR part 222 allow greater variances in highway-rail configurations when determining safety calculations for local communities establishing quiet zones? If so, what variances would be appropriate?

    • Should FRA amend Appendix A to 49 CFR part 222 to include common alternative grade crossing safety measures and emerging grade crossing safety technologies? If so, what measures and technologies would be appropriate?

    • What further actions can FRA take to mitigate train horn noise impacts for local communities while not decreasing safety for motorists and pedestrians?

    • How can FRA change how train horns are sounded at grade crossings while not decreasing safety for motorists and pedestrians?

    • Should railroads be required to file an official opinion of support or opposition to the establishment of a new quiet zone?

    • Should train speed be a factor that is considered when establishing a new quiet zone?

    • Should there be an online process for submitting quiet zone notices, applications, and required paperwork, in whole or in part?

    • Should FRA be a required recipient of the Notice of Intent to establish a quiet zone?

    • Should FRA provide additional guidance on how to measure the length of a quiet zone? If so, what guidance would be helpful?

    • Should FRA develop a process to address modifications to grade crossings within an existing quiet zone? If so, please describe what process would be helpful?

    • Should FRA require diagnostic reviews for all grade crossings within proposed quiet zones instead of requiring them only for pedestrian (pathway) grade crossings and private grade crossings that allow access to the public or which provide access to active industrial or commercial sites?

    • How should FRA address safety measures that no longer meet the requirements for SSMs or ASMs?

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 29, 2016. Sarah E. Feinberg, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04831 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-06-P
    81 44 Monday, March 7, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2014-0054] Environmental Impact Statement; Introduction of the Products of Biotechnology AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are extending the comment period for our notice of intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement in connection with potential changes to the regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice published on February 5, 2016 (81 FR 6225-6229) is extended. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0054.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comments to Docket No. APHIS-2014-0054, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0054 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Sidney W. Abel, Assistant Deputy Administrator, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3896.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 5, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 6225-6229, Docket No. APHIS-2014-0054) a notice stating our decision to complete a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) in connection with proposed revisions and amendments to our biotechnology regulations under consideration. These proposed revisions primarily consist of amendments to the regulations pertaining to introductions of certain genetically engineered organisms to address advances in biotechnology and issues raised by stakeholders.

    The notice described the range of proposed reasonable alternatives that are currently under consideration for evaluation in the EIS and the issues that will be evaluated in the EIS, and requested public comment to further define the issues and scope of the EIS' alternatives. We also requested public comment to help us identify other environmental issues that should be examined in the EIS.

    Comments on the notice were required to be received on or before March 7, 2016. We are extending the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2014-0054 for an additional 45 days. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of March 2016. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04992 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 1, 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 April 6, 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.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Importation of Baby Corn and Baby Carrots from Zambia.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0284.

    Summary of Collection: Under the Plant Protection Act (PPA) (7 U.S.C. 7701—et seq.) the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests new to the United States or not known to be widely distributed throughout the United States. Regulations authorized by the PPA concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world are contained in “Subpart Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-8 through 319.56-50). The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulations allow the importation into the continental United States of fresh, dehusked immature (baby) sweet corn and fresh baby carrots from Zambia. As a condition of entry, both commodities are subject to inspection at the port of first arrival and must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the commodity has been inspected and found free of the quarantine pest listed in the certificate.

    Need and Use of the Information: APHIS requires that some plants or plant products are accompanied by a photosanitary inspection certificate that is completed by plant health officials in the originating or transiting country. APHIS uses the information on the certificate to determine the pest condition of the shipment at the time of inspection in the foreign country. This information is used as a guide to the intensity of the inspection APHIS conducts when the shipment arrives.

    Description of Respondents: Federal Government; Businesses or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 3.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 14.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04892 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dixie Resource Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Dixie Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Cedar City, Utah. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_page?id=001t0000002Jcv8AAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

    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 1789 North Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City City, UT 84721, in the Dixie National Forest Supervisors Office, in the SO Conference Room. The meeting will also a have a VTC feed to the Powell Ranger District office, Main Conference room, in Panguitch, UT 84759, with the address of, 225 East Center Street. A conference call line will also be available. The phone number will be 888-844-9904 with an access code of 6404629.

    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 1789 North Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City, UT 84721. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason Hamilton, Resource Advisory Committee Coordinator, by phone at 435-865-3794 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. Listen to Dixie Resource Advisory Committee, Title II project proposals, and for the Resource Advisory Committee to vote and recommend projects to be approved by the Designated Federal Officer on the Dixie National Forest.

    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 Friday, March 25th, 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 Jason Hamilton, 1789 North Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City, UT 84721; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 435-865-3791.

    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 26, 2016. Angelita S. Bulletts, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04969 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Survey of State Government Research and Development.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0933.

    Form Number(s): Survey Frame Review Module; SRD-1 (State Agency Web Form).

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Number of Respondents: 604.

    Average Hours per Response: 1 hour and 45 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 1,056.

    Needs and Uses: The Census Bureau is requesting clearance to conduct the Survey of State Government Research and Development (SGRD) for the 2016-2018 survey years with the revisions outlined in this document. The Census Bureau conducts this survey on behalf of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). The NSF Act of 1950 includes a statutory charge to “provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering resources and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies in the Federal Government.” Under the aegis of this legislative mandate, NCSES and its predecessors have sponsored surveys of research and development (R&D) since 1953, including the SGRD since 2006. This survey has helped to expand the scope of R&D collections to include state governments, where previously there had been no regularly established collection efforts, and thus a gap in the national portfolio of R&D statistics.

    NCSES sponsors surveys of R&D activities of Federal agencies, higher education institutions, and private industries. The results of these surveys provide a consistent information base for both federal and state government officials, industry professionals, and researchers to use in formulating public policy and planning in science and technology. These surveys allow for the analysis of current and historical trends of R&D in the U.S. and in international comparisons of R&D with other countries. The data collected from the SGRD fills a void that previously existed for collection of R&D activities. Although NCSES conducted periodic data collections of state government R&D in 1995, 1988 and 1987, more frequent collection was necessary to account for the changing dynamic of state governments' role in performing and funding R&D and their role as fiduciary intermediaries of federal funds for R&D. The survey is a census of state government departments, agencies, commissions, public authorities, and other dependent entities as defined by the Census Bureau's Census of Governments program, that performed or funded R&D activities in a given fiscal year.

    The Census Bureau, serving as collection agent, employs a methodology similar to the one used to collect information from state and local governments on other established censuses and surveys. This methodology involves identifying a central coordinator in each state who will assist Census Bureau staff in identifying appropriate state agencies to be surveyed. Since not all state agencies have the budget authority or operational capacity to perform or fund R&D, NCSES and Census Bureau staffs have identified those agencies most likely to perform or fund R&D based on state session laws, authorizing legislation, budget authority, previous R&D activities, and reports issued by state government agencies. The state coordinators, based on their knowledge of the state government's own activities and priorities, are asked to confirm which of the selected agencies identified should be sent the survey for a given fiscal year or to add additional agencies to the survey frame. These state coordinators also verify the final responses at the end of the data collection cycle and may assist with nonresponse follow-up with individual state agencies. The collection approach using a central state coordinator is used successfully at the Census Bureau in surveys of local school districts, as well as the annual surveys of state and local government finance.

    As part of the President's FY 2014 Budget Request to Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recommended NCSES receive an additional “$500,000 to increase the frequency of the Survey of State Government Research and Development.” Starting with the FY 2016 survey cycle, NCSES will collect data on an annual basis instead of a biennial format that was used for state government fiscal years 2010 and 2011, 2012 and 2013, and 2014 and 2015. This change from biennial to annual collection will increase the frequency and timeliness of survey results; thus increasing the utility of the statistics for data users, including the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the state governments themselves, while also allowing for the annual inclusion of these data in NCSES's own National Patterns of R&D report. Currently, NCSES must develop estimates for the non-Federal government component of the National Patterns data during the survey's off-year. Increasing the frequency by changing to an annual data collection cycle will allow for more accurate National Patterns of R&D. Results from the National Patterns are used by OMB during the budget formulation process, as well as by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and others interested in science and technology investments, and international competitiveness of R&D.

    The 2016 survey will follow the same content that was collected during the FY 2014 and FY 2015 Survey of State Government R&D.

    The survey announcements and forms used in the SGRD are:

    Survey Announcement. The Governor's letter is mailed to the Governor's Office to announce the survey collection and to solicit assignment of a State Coordinator. The State Coordinator's Announcement is sent electronically at the beginning of each survey period to solicit assistance in identifying state agencies which may perform or fund R&D activities. Later, state coordinators are asked to review final data submitted by state agencies.

    Form SRD-1. This form contains item descriptions and definitions of the research and development items collected by the Census Bureau on behalf of the NSF. It is used primarily as a worksheet and instruction guide by the state agencies. All state agencies supply their data by electronic means.

    Final survey results produced by NCSES contain state and national estimates and are useful to a variety of data users interested in R&D performance, including: The National Science Board; the OMB; the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other science policy makers; institutional researchers; and private organizations; and many state governments.

    Legislators, policy officials, and researchers rely on statistics to make informed decisions about R&D investment at the Federal, state, and local level. These statistics are derived from the existing NCSES sponsored surveys of Federal agencies, higher education institutions, and private industry. The total picture of R&D expenditures, however, had been incomplete due to the lack of data from state governments prior to this implementation of the SGRD in 2006, which now fills that void.

    State government officials and policy makers garner the most benefit from the results of this survey. Governors and legislatures need a reliable, comprehensive source of data to help in evaluating how best to attract the high-tech R&D industries to their state. Officials are able to evaluate their investment in R&D based on comparisons with other states. These comparisons include the sources of funding, the type of R&D being conducted, and the type of R&D performer.

    State governments serve a unique role within the national portfolio of R&D. Not only are they both performers and funders of R&D like other sectors such as the Federal Government, higher education, or industry, but they also serve as fiduciary intermediaries between the Federal Government and other R&D performers while also providing state specific funds for R&D. The information collected from the SGRD provides data users with perspective on this complex flow of funds. Survey results are used at the Federal level to assess and direct investment in technology and economic issues. Congressional committees and the Congressional Research Service use results of the R&D surveys. The BEA uses these data to estimate the contribution of state agency-funded R&D to the overall impact of treating R&D as an investment in BEA's statistics of gross domestic product by state-area.

    NSF also uses data from this survey in various publications produced about the state of R&D in the U.S. The Science and Engineering Indicators, for example, is a biennial report mandated by Congress and describes quantitatively the condition of the country's R&D efforts, and includes data from the SGRD. Survey results are also included in the National Patterns of Research and Development report's tabulations.

    The availability of state R&D survey results are posted to NSF's Web page allowing for public access from a variety of other data users as well. Media, university researchers, nonprofit organizations, and foreign government officials are also consumers of state R&D statistics. All users are able to utilize this information in an attempt to better understand the Nation's R&D resources.

    Affected Public: State, local, or tribal government.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 8(b) and Title 42, United States Code, Sections 1861-76 (National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended).

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04993 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-79-2015] Authorization of Production Activity; Foreign-Trade Subzone 38A; BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC; (Motor Vehicle Body Parts and Lithium-Ion Batteries); Spartanburg, South Carolina

    On October 27, 2015, BMW Manufacturing Company, LLC, operator of Subzone 38A, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 72948, November 23, 2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14, and further subject to a restriction requiring that foreign status textile-based polyester fleece vent pads (classified within HTSUS Subheading 5911.90) be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    Dated: March 1, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-05012 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-865] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From India: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) preliminarily determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (“cold-rolled steel”) from India are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. The collapsed entity JSW Steel Limited (“JSWSL”)/JSW Coated Products Limited (“JSCPL”) (collectively “JSW”) is the sole mandatory respondent in this investigation. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective March 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick O'Connor or Jeffrey Pedersen, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0989 or (202) 482-2769, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 24, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and is hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from India” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”), dated concurrently with this notice.

    The Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government because of Snowstorm “Jonas”. Thus, all of the deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the preliminary determination is now February 29, 2016.3

    3See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines as a Result of the Government Closure during Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,4 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., “scope”).5 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation, as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as on additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record, and an accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.6 The Department is preliminarily not modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

    4See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    5See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 51199.

    6See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Normal value (“NV”) has been calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Single Entity Treatment

    For the reasons set forth in the Preliminary Affiliation and Collapsing Memorandum, which we incorporate by reference herein, and in accordance with 19 CFR 351.401(f) and the

    Department's practice, we are treating JSWSL and JSCPL as a single entity, JSW, for the purposes of this preliminary determination.7

    7 For further discussion of this issue, see Memorandum to Abdelali Elouaradia, Director, Office IV, from Patrick O'Connor, International Trade Analyst, Office IV, through Howard Smith, Program Manager, Office IV “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from India: JSW Preliminary Affiliation and Collapsing Memorandum” (“JSW Preliminary Affiliation and Collapsing Memorandum”), dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis dumping margins, and any dumping margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. JSW is the only mandatory respondent in this investigation. The Department calculated a company-specific rate for JSW which is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts available. Therefore, for purposes of determining the “all-others” rate and pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, we are using the weighted-average dumping margin calculated for JSW as the estimated weighted-average dumping margin assigned to all other producers and exporters of the merchandise under consideration.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/
  • producer
  • Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • JSW Steel Limited/JSW Coated Products Limited 6.78 All-Others 6.78
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from India, as described in the scope of the investigation, that is entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds export price, as indicated in the table above,8 adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies.9 The cash deposit rate for JSW, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 4.86 percent. The cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters in India, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 4.86 percent. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    9See section 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations that we performed in this investigation to interested parties in this proceeding within five days after the date of public announcement of the preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline for case briefs.10 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

    10See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request for a hearing to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. An electronically-filed request for a hearing must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.11 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    11See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, we intend to verify the information that will be relied upon in making our final determination.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by Petitioners. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    On January 26, 2016, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(b) and (e), JSW requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV, the Department postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.12

    12See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from JSW “Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from India: Request for Postponement of Final Determination,” dated January 26, 2016.

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because: (1) Our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.13

    13See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 14

    14 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 15

    15 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel; 16

    16 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.17

    17Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.18

    18Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope of the Investigation V. All-Others Rate VI. Affiliation and Collapsing VII. Discussion of The Methodology Comparisons to Fair Value A. Determination of the Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis VIII. Date of Sale IX. Product Comparisons X. Export Price and Constructed Export Price XI. NV A. Comparison Market Viability B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. COP Analysis 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of NV Based on Comparison-Market Prices XII. Currency Conversion XIII. Adjustments To Cash Deposit Rates for Export Subsidies in Companion Countervailing Duty Investigation XIV. Verification XV. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-05003 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-412-824] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from the United Kingdom are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer, 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) 482-0410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 24, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the United Kingdom” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with 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 preliminary determination of this investigation is now February 29, 2016.3

    3See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is cold-rolled steel from the United Kingdom. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations, 4 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope).5 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.6 The Department is preliminarily not modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

    4See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    5See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 51199.

    6See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Constructed export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act. Normal value (NV) is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Sections 733(d)(1)(ii) and 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provide that in the preliminary determination the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually investigated, which shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.7 Therefore, we preliminary calculated the all-others rate based on a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents using each company's publicly-ranged values for the merchandise under consideration.8

    7 With two respondents, we would normally calculate (A) a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents; (B) a simple average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents; and (C) a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents using each company's publicly-ranged values for the merchandise under consideration. We would compare (B) and (C) to (A) and select the rate closest to (A) as the most appropriate rate for all other companies. See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661, 53663 (September 1, 2010).

    8See Memorandum to the File, From Thomas Schauer, Senior International Trade Compliance Analyst, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Calculation of All-Others Rate,” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Caparo Precision Strip, Ltd. 5.79 Tata Steel UK Ltd. 31.39 All-Others 28.03
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from the United Kingdom as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds U.S. price as indicated in the chart above. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to interested parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.9 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    9See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filings requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.10 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, we intend to verify information relied upon in making our final determination.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by petitioners. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    On February 22, 2016, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(b) and (e), Tata Steel UK Ltd. requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV for the respondents, the Department postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.11

    11See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Tata Steel UK Ltd., “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Request for Postponement of Final Determination” (February 22, 2016).

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise;12 and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.13

    12See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, from Minoo Hatten, Program Manager, for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, Office I, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Respondent Selection,” dated September 14, 2015.

    13See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 14

    14 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 15

    15 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel; 16

    16 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.17

    17See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.18

    18See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope of the Investigation V. All-Others Rate VI. Successor-in-Interest VII. Discussion of Methodology A. Determination of the Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis VIII. Date of Sale IX. Product Comparisons X. Export Price and Constructed Export Price XI. Normal Value A. Comparison Market Viability B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of NV Based on Comparison-Market Prices XII. Currency Conversion XIII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-05007 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-873] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) preliminarily determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (“cold-rolled steel”) from Japan are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. JFE Steel Corporation (“JFE”) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (“NSSMC”) are the mandatory respondents in this investigation. The estimated weighted average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective March 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Trisha Tran, 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) 482-4852.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 24, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and is hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”), dated concurrently with this notice.

    On November 30, 2015, the Department published notice of the 50-day postponement for the preliminary determination in this investigation, in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).3 In addition, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government because of Snowstorm “Jonas”. Thus, all of the deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the preliminary determination is now February 29, 2016.4

    3See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 74764 (November 30, 2015).

    4See Memorandum to the Record from Ronald Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines as a Result of the Government Closure during Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,5 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., “scope”).6 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation, as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as on additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record, and an accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.7 In this investigation, the Department is preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

    5See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    6See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 51199.

    7See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination; see also Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Japan: Additional Scope Comments and Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination,” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination (collectively, Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Pursuant to section 776(a) of the Act, the Department preliminarily relied upon facts otherwise available to assign estimated weighted-average dumping margins to the mandatory respondents, JFE and NSSMC, because JFE and NSSMC each informed the Department that they would not respond to the Department's AD questionnaire and, therefore, would not participate in this investigation as mandatory respondents.8 Therefore, the Department is preliminarily applying adverse facts available to JFE and NSSMC, in accordance with section 776(b) of Act. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum for a complete explanation of the methodology and analysis underlying our preliminary application of adverse facts available.

    8See Letter from JFE, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan: Advisement of Non-Participation in Investigation,” dated November 25, 2015; see also Letter from NSSMC, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan: NSSMC's Response to Issuance of the Antidumping Duty Questionnaire,” dated December 1, 2015.

    After JFE and NSSMC informed the Department that they would not participate in this investigation as mandatory respondents, we selected Hitachi Metals Limited (“Hitachi”) as a voluntary respondent on December 10, 2015.9 On February 22, 2016, Petitioners 10 provided a revised scope clarifying Petitioners' intent with regard to the scope of the investigation to exclude ultra-tempered automotive steel from the scope of the investigation and to limit application of this scope exclusion only to this cold-rolled steel from Japan investigation, which we have accepted for this preliminary determination.11 Because all of Hitachi's reported home market sales, U.S. sales, and production costs were comprised entirely of ultra-tempered automotive steel strip that meets the specification of the ultra-tempered steel scope exclusion, Hitachi does not have any sales during the POI to investigate and calculate a margin. 12 See Preliminary Scope Decision Memoranda for a complete discussion.

    9See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan: Whether to Selection Additional Mandatory and/or Voluntary Respondents,” dated December 10, 2015.

    10 United States Steel Corporation, AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and United States Steel Corporation.

    11See Letter from Petitioners, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan: Response to Additional Information Request Regarding Scope,” dated February 22, 2016.

    12See Preliminary Scope Decision Memoranda. See also Letter from Hitachi Metals, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan: Hitachi Metals' Pre-Preliminary Determination Comments,” dated February 12, 2016.

    Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On October 30, 2015, Petitioners filed timely critical circumstances allegations, pursuant to section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the merchandise under consideration from Japan.13 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.206(c)(2)(i), when a critical circumstances allegation is submitted more than 20 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination, the Department will issue a preliminary finding whether there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that critical circumstances exist no later than the date of the preliminary determination. Based on our analyses, in accordance with section 733(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, we preliminarily find that critical circumstances exist for each of the mandatory respondents in the investigation. That is, with respect to these companies, we preliminarily determine that (1) importers of merchandise knew or should have known that the exporter was selling the merchandise under consideration at LTFV and that there was likely to be material injury in accordance with section 733(e)(1)(A) of the Act; and (2) imports of subject merchandise have been massive over a relatively short period in accordance with section 733(e)(1)(B) of the Act. With respect to all other producers and exporters subject to the investigation concerning cold-rolled steel from Japan, we preliminarily do not find that critical circumstances exist. For a full description of the methodology and results of our critical circumstances analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    13See Letter from Petitioners, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From The People's Republic of China, Japan, And the Russian Federation—Petitioners' Critical Circumstances Allegation,” dated October 30, 2015.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated “all-others” rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any rates that are zero, de minimis, or determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. We cannot apply the methodology described in section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act to calculate the “all-others” rate, as all of the margins in this preliminary determination were calculated under section 776 of the Act. In cases where no weighted-average dumping margins besides zero, de minimis, or those determined entirely under section 776 of the Act have been established for individually estimated entities, in accordance with section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act, the Department averages the margins calculated by the Petitioners in the Petition and applies the result to “all-other” entities not individually examined. In this case, however, Petitioners calculated only one margin in the Petition. Therefore, we assigned as the “all-others” rate the only margin in the Petition, which is 71.35 percent.14

    14See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Thailand: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Postponement of Final Determination, 79 FR 10487 (February 25, 2014), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum, unchanged in Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From India, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 53691 (September 10, 2014).

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-average margin
  • (percent)
  • JFE Steel Corporation 71.35 Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation 71.35 All-Others 71.35

    In addition, the Department preliminarily determines that voluntary respondent Hitachi Metals Limited has no sales of subject merchandise during to POI to examine.

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from Japan, as described in the scope of the investigation, that is entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. Because we have preliminarily found that critical circumstances exist with regard to imports exported by the mandatory respondents JFE and NSSMC, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from Japan, as described in the scope of the investigation, from the mandatory respondents that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date that is 90 days prior to the date on which suspension of liquidation is first ordered (e.g., the date of publication of this notice). At such time, we will also instruct CBP, pursuant to section 733 (d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), to require a cash deposit equal to the margins indicated in the chart above.15 The suspension of liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    15See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose the calculations that we performed in this investigation to interested parties in this proceeding within five days after the date of public announcement of the preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Interested parties may submit case briefs to the Department no later than 30 days after the publication of this preliminary determination. Rebuttal briefs, the content of which is limited to the issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days of the deadline date for the submission of case briefs.16 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

    16See 19 CFR 351.309.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request for a hearing to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. An electronically-filed request for a hearing must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.17 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    17See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    Because none of the mandatory respondents in this investigation provided information requested by the Department and the Department preliminarily determines each of the mandatory respondents to have been uncooperative, verification will not be conducted.

    International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g ., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g ., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of these investigations are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AI-ISS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 18

    18 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 19

    19 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel 20

    20 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (“GOES”) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland. 21

    21See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014) (“Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland”). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (“NOES”), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. 22

    22See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014) (“Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan”). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    Also excluded from the scope of this investigation is ultra-tempered automotive steel, which is hardened, tempered, surface polished, and meets the following specifications:

    • Thickness: less than or equal to 1.0 mm; • Width: less than or equal to 330 mm; • Chemical composition: Element C Si Mn P S Weight % 0.90-1.05 0.15-0.35 0.30-0.50 Less than or equal to 0.03 Less than or equal to 0.006. • Physical properties: Width less than or equal to 150 mm Flatness of less than 0.2% of nominal strip width Width of 150 to 330 mm Flatness of less than 5 mm of nominal strip width. • Microstructure: Completely free from decarburization. Carbides are spheroidal and fine within 1% to 4% (area percentage) and are undissolved in the uniform tempered martensite; • Surface roughness: less than or equal to 0.80 μm Rz; • Non-metallic inclusion: Sulfide inclusion less than or equal to 0.04% (area percentage) Oxide inclusion less than or equal to 0.05% (area percentage); and The mill test certificate must demonstrate that the steel is proprietary grade “PK” and specify the following: The exact tensile strength, which must be greater than or equal to 1600 N/mm2; The exact hardness, which must be greater than or equal to 465 Vickers hardness number; The exact elongation, which must be between 2.5% and 9.5%; and Certified as having residual compressive stress within a range of 100 to 400 N/mm2.

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Respondent Selection VI. Application of Facts Available and All-Others Rate VII. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VIII. Verification IX. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-05005 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-029] Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation is January 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015. The estimated weighted-average dumping margin is shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective March 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Hoefke or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4947 or (202) 482-0679, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 24, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and is hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and electronic version of Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are cold-rolled steel flat products from the PRC. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,3 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., “scope”).4 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.5 The Department is preliminarily not modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

    3See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    4See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 51199.

    5See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Because none of the potential respondents in this investigation submitted separate rate applications, they are considered to be part of the PRC-wide entity. Further, the PRC-wide entity did not provide necessary quantity-and-value data the Department requested. Therefore, in making this preliminary determination, the Department relied on facts available and, because respondents failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference in selecting a rate from among the facts otherwise available.6 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    6See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On October 30, 2015, Petitioners filed a timely critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 703(e)(1) and 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from the PRC.7 We preliminarily determine, on the basis of adverse facts available, that critical circumstances exist for PRC-wide entity. A discussion of our determination can be found in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section, “Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances.”

    7See Letter from Petitioners, dated October 30, 2015.

    Preliminary Determination Company Dumping
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • PRC-Wide Entity 265.79
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from the PRC as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstance, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of investigation was published. Accordingly, for the PRC-wide entity, in accordance with section 733(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice. We will also instruct CBP, pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), to require a cash deposit equal to the margins indicated in the chart above.8 The suspension of liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    With respect to the PRC-wide entity, we find that export subsidies constitute 66.03 percent 9 of the preliminarily calculated countervailing duty rate in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation, and thus, we will offset the PRC-wide rate of 265.79 by countervailing duty rate attributable to export subsidies (i.e., 66.03 percent) to calculate the cash deposit rate for this LTFV investigation. Accordingly, the cash deposit rate will be 199.76 percent.

    9 The following programs were initiated on as export specific in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation were initiated on: Export Loans; Preferential Lending to Cold-Rolled Steel Producers and Exporters Classified As “Honorable Enterprises”; Preferential Income Tax Subsidies for Foreign Invested Enterprises—Export Oriented FIEs; Programs to Rebate Antidumping Legal Fees; Export Assistance Grants; Subsidies for Development of Famous Export Brands and China World Top Brands; Sub-Central Government Programs to Promote Famous Export Brands and China World Top Brands; Export Interest Subsidies; Export Seller's Credits; Export Buyer's Credits; Export Credit Insurance Subsidies; Export Credit Guarantees”. See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 80 FR 51206 (August 24, 2015), see also Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From India: Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79562 (December 22, 2015) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 11-15 and Appendix 1.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose the calculations performed to interested parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of announcement of this preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than 30 days after the publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register.10 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.11

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(b)(2)(c)(i).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309, see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.12 This summary should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.

    12See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must do so in writing within 30 days after the publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register.13 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number; the number of participants; and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a date, time, and location to be determined. Parties will be notified of the date, time, and location of any hearing.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Parties must file their case and rebuttal briefs, and any requests for a hearing, electronically using ACCESS.14 Electronically-filed documents must be received successfully in their entirety by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due dates established above.15

    14See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(2)(i).

    15See 19 CFR 351.303(b)(1).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstance V. Scope of the Investigation VI. Discussion of the Methodology A. Non-Market Economy Country B. The PRC-wide Entity C. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences VII. Adjustment Under Section 777A(F) of the Act VIII. Adjustment to Cash Deposit Rate for Export Subsidies IX. Disclosure and Public Comment X. Conclusion Appendix II—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 16

    • Tool steels; 17

    • Silico-manganese steel; 18

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.19

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.20

    16 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    17 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    18 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    19See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    20See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, December 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-05001 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-843] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from Brazil are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective March 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hermes Pinilla or Joseph Shuler, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3477 or (202) 482-1293, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 24, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    On January 27, 2016, the Department exercised its discretion to toll its administrative deadlines due to the closure of the Federal Government. Thus, the deadline for this preliminary determination has been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for this preliminary determination is February 29, 2016.3

    3See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm `Jonas,' ” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is cold-rolled steel from Brazil. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,4 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., “scope”).5 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.6 The Department is preliminarily not modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

    4See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    5See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 51199.

    6See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations” (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Constructed export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act. Normal value (NV) is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. For purposes of this preliminary determination, we are assigning as the “all-others” rate the rate of 34.95 percent, which is based on the estimated dumping margin calculated for Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), the only mandatory respondent for which we calculated a dumping margin, less export subsidies.7

    7 See memorandum entitled, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil: Calculation of All-Others Rate” (All-Others Rate Memorandum), dated February 29, 2016.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-average margin
  • (percent)
  • Companhia Siderurgica Nacional 38.93 Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. (Usiminas) 38.93 All-Others 38.93
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from Brazil as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds U.S. price, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies, as follows: (1) The rates for CSN and Usiminas, when adjusted for export subsidies, are 34.8 and 35.11 percent, respectively; (2) if the exporter is not a firm identified in this investigation, but the producer is, the rate will be the rate established for the producer of the subject merchandise, less export subsidies; (3) the rate for all other producers or exporters when adjusted for export subsidies is 34.95 percent.8 These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil: Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79569 (Dec. 22, 2015) and the accompanying preliminary decision memorandum, dated December 15, 2015; see also the All-Others Rate Memorandum.

    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed to interested parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.9 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    9See 19 CFR 351.309.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.10 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, we intend to verify information relied upon in making our final determination.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioners. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    On February 22, and February 25, 2016, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e), CSN and Usiminas requested that the Department postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.11

    11See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from CSN, “Request for Postponement of Final Determinations,” (February 22, 2016). See also letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Usiminas, “Cold-Rolled and Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil; Request for Postponement of Final Determinations,” (February 25, 2016).

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.12

    12See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 13

    13 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 14

    14 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel; 15

    15 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.16

    16 Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42,501, 42,503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.17

    17 Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71,741, 71,741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope of the Investigation V. All-Others Rate VI. Discussion of Methodology A. Determination of the Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis C. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences VII. Date of Sale VIII. Product Comparisons IX. Constructed Export Price X. Normal Value A. Comparison Market Viability B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of NV Based on Comparison-Market Prices XI. Currency Conversion XII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-05008 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-881] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from the Republic of Korea (Korea) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective March 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Victoria Cho or Steve Bezirganian, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5075 or (202) 482-1131.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on August 24, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.2 A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 51198 (August 24, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is now February 29, 2016.3

    3See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is cold-rolled steel from Korea. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,4 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., “scope”).5 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice, as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.6 The Department is preliminarily not modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.

    4See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    5See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 51199.

    6See Memorandum to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Products From Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations” dated concurrently with this preliminary determination.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Constructed export prices have been calculated in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act. Normal value (NV) is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.7

    7 With two respondents, we would normally calculate (A) a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents; (B) a simple average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents; and (C) a weighted-average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents using each company's publicly-ranged values for the merchandise under consideration. We would compare (B) and (C) to (A) and select the rate closest to (A) as the most appropriate rate for all other companies. See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Review, and Revocation of an Order in Part, 75 FR 53661, 53663 (September 1, 2010).

    In this investigation, we calculated weighted-average dumping margins for Hyundai Steel Company and for Daewoo International Corporation and POSCO 8 that are above de minimis and which are not based on total facts available. We calculated the all-others rate using a simple average of the dumping margins calculated for the mandatory respondents because complete publicly ranged sales data were not available.9

    8 We are collapsing the mandatory respondent Daewoo International Corporation (DWI) and POSCO. See the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    9See, e.g., Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 77 FR 9204 (February 16, 2012), unchanged in Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 77 FR 40857, 40858 (July 11, 2012).

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Hyundai Steel Company 2.17 POSCO and Daewoo International Corporation 6.89 All-Others 4.53
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of cold-rolled steel from Korea, as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds U.S. price as indicated in the chart above,10 adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies.11 The Department has preliminarily determined in its companion countervailing duty investigation of cold-rolled steel from Korea that subject merchandise exported by POSCO did not benefit from export subsidies.12 As a result, the Department will make no adjustment to the cash deposit rates. The suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    10See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    11See section 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    12See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Negative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79567 (December 22, 2015).

    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed to interested parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of public announcement of this preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.13 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    13See 19 CFR 351.309.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.14 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    Verification

    14See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, we intend to verify information relied upon in making our final determination.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by Petitioners. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    On February 3, 2016, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(b) and (e), DWI (and affiliate POSCO) and Hyundai Steel Company requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV for the respondents, the Department postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.15

    15See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Daewoo International Corporation and POSCO, “Request to Postpone the Final Determination” (February 3, 2016) and also Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from POSCO, “Request to Postpone the Final Determination” (February 3, 2016).

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative, in part; (2) the requesting exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.16

    16See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. If our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination whether these imports are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: February 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Ball bearing steels; 17

    17 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 18

    18 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel; 19

    19 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.20

    20 Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42501, 42503 (Dep't of Commerce, July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.21

    21 Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71741, 71741-42 (Dep't of Commerce, Dec. 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope of the Investigation V. All-Others Rate VI. Affiliation and Collapsing VII. Discussion of Methodology A. Determination of the Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis VIII. Date of Sale IX. Product Comparisons X. Export Price and Constructed Export Price XI. Normal Value A. Comparison Market Viability B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test C. Level of Trade D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test E. Calculation of NV Based on Comparison-Market Prices XII. Currency Conversion XIII. Adjustments to Cash Deposit Rates for Export Subsidies in Companion Countervailing Duty Investigation XIV. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-05006 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Committee Meeting on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza, 81 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 732-6000; fax: (401) 732-0261.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda

    The Committee will review the general workload for 2016 based on Council priorities and will discuss recommendations for the Council to consider for setting overall five year research priorities. The Committee will also review outcomes from the recent scallop workshop and may discuss recommendations for the Council to consider in future actions. The Committee will review a work plan for the required five year report that will evaluate the limited access general category IFQ program. Other business may be discussed.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04990 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scallop Advisory Panel on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza, 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 732-6000; fax: (401) 732-0261.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda

    The Advisory Panel will review the general workload for 2016 based on Council priorities and will discuss recommendations for the Committee and Council to consider for setting overall five year research priorities. The Advisory Panel will also review outcomes from the recent scallop workshop and may discuss recommendations for the Committee and Council to consider in future actions. The Advisory Panel will review a work plan for the required five year report that will evaluate the limited access general category IFQ program. Other business may be discussed.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04988 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Pacific Coast Groundfish Rationalization Sociocultural Study AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 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.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before May 6, 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 Suzanne Russell, Human Dimensions Team, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Blvd. East, Seattle, WA 98112, (206) 860-3274 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection. The revision consists of minor changes to the information collection tool.

    Historically, changes in fisheries management regulations have been shown to result in impacts to individuals within the fishery. An understanding of social impacts in fisheries—achieved through the collection of data on fishing communities, as well as on individuals who fish—is a requirement under several federal laws. Laws such as the National Environmental Protection Act and the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation Act (as amended 2007) describe such requirements. The collection of this data not only helps to inform legal requirements for the existing management actions, but will inform future management actions requiring equivalent information.

    Literature indicates fisheries rationalization programs have an impact on those individuals participating in the affected fishery. The Pacific Fisheries Management Council implemented a rationalization program for the Pacific Coast Groundfish limited entry trawl fishery in January 2011. This research aims to continue to study the individuals in the affected fishery over the long term. Data collection will shift from a timing related to changes in the catch share program design elements to a five-year cycle. In addition, the study will compare results to previous data collection efforts in 2010, 2012, and 2015/2016. The data collected will provide updated and more comprehensive descriptions of the industry as well as allow for analysis of changes the rationalization program may create in the fishery. The measurement of these changes will lead to a greater understanding of the social impacts the management measure may have on the individuals in the fishery. To achieve these goals, it is critical to continue data collection for comparison to previously collected data and establish a time-series which will identify changes over the long term. Analysis can also be correlated with any regulatory adjustments due to the upcoming five-year review of the program. This study will continue data collection efforts to achieve the stated objectives.

    This study is managed by the Human Dimensions Team, Ecosystem Science Program, Conservation Biology Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, WA.

    II. Method of Collection

    Verbal communication and collaboration with key informants, focus groups, paper surveys, electronic surveys, and in person interviews will be utilized in combination to obtain the greatest breadth of information as possible.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0606.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (revision and extension of a current information collection).

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions. State, local and tribal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 500.

    Estimated Time per Response: Surveys and focus groups, 1 hour each and interviews, 30 minutes each.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 750.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: 0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    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: March 1, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04888 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, beginning at 10 a.m. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. Webinar connection details will be available at: http://www.mafmc.org.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to discuss issues related to the specification of ABC for blueline tilefish for federal waters off the Northeastern United States north of the Virginia-North Carolina border. The Council anticipates that additional SSC discussion may be necessary following the SSC meeting currently scheduled for March 15-16, 2016 in Baltimore, MD. Information about the joining the webinar will be posted on the Council's Web site at www.mafmc.org. Public access to the webinar will also be provided at the Council's offices located at 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04989 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection 3038-0104, Exemption for Swaps Between Affiliates AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission”) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment. This notice solicits comments on reporting requirements relating to Commission regulation 50.52 (Exemption for swaps between affiliates).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “Exemption for swaps between affiliates,” and Collection Number 3038-0104 by any of the following methods:

    • The Agency's Web site, at http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter A. Kals, Division of Clearing and Risk, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, (202) 418-5466; email: [email protected] and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0104.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA, Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of Information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3 and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, the Commission is publishing notice of the proposed extension of the collection of information listed below.

    Title: Exemption for Swaps Between Affiliates (OMB Control No. 3038-0104). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Section 2(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act requires certain entities to submit for clearing certain swaps if they are required to be cleared by the Commission. Rule 50.52 permits certain affiliated entities to elect not to clear certain inter-affiliate swaps that otherwise would be required to be cleared, provided that they meet certain conditions. The rule further requires the reporting of certain information if the exemption is elected. This collection pertains to information the Commission needs to monitor use of the exemption and assess market risk in connection therewith. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    With respect to the collection of information, the Commission invites comments on:

    • Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have a practical use;

    • The accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the ICR will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to require one hour per response.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap dealers and other multinational corporations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours per Respondent: 1 hour.

    Estimated Total Average Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 75 hours.

    Frequency of Collection: Annually; on occasion.

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04999 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, March 11, 2016.

    PLACE:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Surveillance, enforcement, and examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2016-05016 Filed 3-3-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled Employers of National Service Annual Survey for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Erin Dahlin, at 202-606-6931 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, within April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2015, Vol 80 FR No. 236. This comment period ended February 8, 2016. No public comments were received from this Notice.

    Description: CNCS is soliciting comments concerning its proposed Employers of National Service Annual Survey. The Employers of National Service program is administered by CNCS (in conjunction with the Peace Corps, the National Peace Corps Association, the Points of Light Foundation and the Aspen Institute), and seeks to connect employers from all sectors with AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni. Organizations that have joined the initiative will be asked to complete the survey in order to provide updated information and comments about the administration of the program. Information provided is purely voluntary and will not be used for any grant or funding support.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: Employers of National Service Annual Survey.

    OMB Number: None.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Any organization that has already joined the Employers of National Service program.

    Total Respondents: 350.

    Frequency: Once per year.

    Average Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 87.5 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: March 1, 2016. Erin Dahlin, Deputy Chief of Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04974 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, DOD.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 10 U.S.C. Section 9355, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Board of Visitors (BoV) will hold a meeting at the Falcon Club, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. on March 18, 2016. On Friday, the meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to review morale and discipline, social climate, curriculum, instruction, infrastructure, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the Academy. Specific topics for this meeting include a Superintendent's Update; USAFA Admissions Update; Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation Update. Public attendance at this USAFA BoV meeting shall be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis up to the reasonable and safe capacity of the meeting room. In addition, any member of the public wishing to provide input to the USAFA BoV should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements must address the following details: The issue, discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included as needed to establish the appropriate historical context and provide any necessary background information. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the Air Force address detailed below at any time. However, if a written statement is not received at least 10 calendar days before the first day of the meeting which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the BoV until its next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the BoV Chairman and ensure they are provided to members of the BoV before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. If after review of timely submitted written comments and the BoV Chairman and DFO deem appropriate, they may choose to invite the submitter of the written comments to orally present the issue during an open portion of the BoV meeting that is the subject of this notice. Members of the BoV may also petition the Chairman to allow specific personnel to make oral presentations before the BoV. In accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(d), any oral presentations before the BoV shall be in accordance with agency guidelines provided pursuant to a written invitation and this paragraph. Direct questioning of BoV members or meeting participants by the public is not permitted except with the approval of the DFO and Chairman. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during the open portions of this BoV meeting shall be made available upon request.

    Contact Information: For additional information or to attend this BoV meeting, contact Major Jennifer Hubal, Accessions and Training Division, AF/A1PT, 1040 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330, (703) 695-4066, [email protected]

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer, Civ, DAF.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04980 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0019] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to add a new system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense proposes to add a new system of records, DMDC 23 DoD, entitled “Investigations and Resolutions Case Management System (IRCMS).” This system will serve as the Department of Defense's enterprise-wide, web-based tracking and case management application that provides an effective mechanism to manage and track Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints submitted for investigation.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before April 6, 2016. This proposed action will be effective the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    * Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Cindy Allard, Chief, OSD/JS Privacy Office, Freedom of Information Directorate, Washington Headquarters Service, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155, or by phone at (571)372-0461.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at http://dpcld.defense.gov/. The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on February 23, 2016, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. DMDC 23 DoD System name:

    Investigations and Resolutions Case Management System (IRCMS)

    System location:

    Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS), Mark Center, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Enterprise Human Resources Information Systems (EHRIS), Alexandria, VA 22350-1100.

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Applicants for Federal employment and current and former Department of Defense Federal employees who file complaints of discrimination or reprisal, appeals of agency decisions with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Commission, petitions for review of decisions of the Merit System Protection Board, or request for review of final decisions in negotiated grievance actions.

    Categories of records in the system:

    Complainant's full name, date of birth, race, religion, gender, disability information, national origin; employment information; security clearance and educational information (as it relates to the nature of the EEO complaint); prior EEO activity; home address and telephone number; work telephone number; Agency Docket Number; and information about the alleged discrimination basis(es) and requested relief.

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    29 CFR 1614, Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity; E.O. 12106, Transfer of Certain Equal Employment Enforcement Functions; E.O. 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, as amended; and Department of Defense Instruction 1400.25, Volume 1614, DoD Civilian Personnel Management System: Investigation of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaints.

    Purpose(s):

    Provides an effective mechanism to manage and track EEO complaints submitted for investigation. The system provides a comprehensive repository for case information, electronic file management, and a full-featured report generation module to meet a variety of reporting requirements and program evaluation needs. The IRCMS includes the capability to enter and collect data, manage case deadlines, generate reports and metrics as required, and facilitate case management and program improvement decision-making within DoD. The information is also used to respond to individual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Congressional requests, and performance metrics for employees.

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the records contained herein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    Law Enforcement Routine Use. If a system of records maintained by a DoD Component to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or by regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the agency concerned, whether federal, state, local, or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.

    Disclosure When Requesting Information Routine Use. A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to a federal, state, or local agency maintaining civil, criminal, or other relevant enforcement information or other pertinent information, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain information relevant to a DoD Component decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit.

    Disclosure of Requested Information Routine Use. A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed to a federal agency, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.

    Congressional Inquiries Disclosure Routine Use. Disclosure from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    Disclosure to the Office of Personnel Management Routine Use. A record from a system of records subject to the Privacy Act and maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) concerning information on pay and leave, benefits, retirement deduction, and any other information necessary for the OPM to carry out its legally authorized government-wide personnel management functions and studies.

    Disclosure to the Department of Justice for Litigation Routine Use. A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to any component of the Department of Justice for the purpose of representing the Department of Defense, or any officer, employee or member of the Department in pending or potential litigation to which the record is pertinent.

    Disclosure of Information to the National Archives and Records Administration Routine Use. A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to the National Archives and Records Administration for the purpose of records management inspections conducted under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    Disclosure to the Merit Systems Protection Board Routine Use. A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to the Merit Systems Protection Board, including the Office of the Special Counsel for the purpose of litigation, including administrative proceedings, appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of OPM or component rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices; including administrative proceedings involving any individual subject of a DoD investigation, and such other functions, promulgated in 5 U.S.C. 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law.

    Data Breach Remediation Purposes Routine Use. A record from a system of records maintained by a Component may be disclosed to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) The Component suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of the information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) the Component has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Component or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the Components efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found Online at: http://dpclo.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Electronic storage media.

    Retrievability:

    Complainant name and/or docket number.

    Safeguards:

    Physical controls include use of visitor registers and identification badges, electronic key card access, and closed-circuit television monitoring. Technical controls including intrusion detection systems, secure socket layer encryption using DoD Public Key Infrastructure certificates, firewalls, and virtual private networks which protect the data in transit and at rest. Physical and electronic access is limited to individuals who are properly screened and cleared on a need-to-know basis in the performance of their official duties. Usernames, passwords, and Common Access Cards, in addition to role-based access controls are used to control access to the systems data. Procedures are in place to deter and detect browsing and unauthorized access including periodic security audits and monitoring of users' security practices.

    Retention and disposal:

    Disposition pending (treat records as permanent until the National Archives and Records Administration has approved the retention and disposition schedule).

    System manager(s) and address:

    Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS), Mark Center, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Enterprise Human Resources Information Systems (EHRIS), Alexandria, VA 22350-1100.

    Notification procedures:

    Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records should address inquiries to Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS), Mark Center, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Enterprise Human Resources Information Systems (EHRIS), Alexandria, VA 22350-1100.

    Signed, written requests should contain the individual's full name and Agency Docket Number.

    Record access procedures:

    Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system should address inquiries to the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Joint Staff Freedom of Information Act Requester Service Center, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155.

    Signed, written requests should contain the name and number of this system of records notice along with the individual's full name and Agency Docket Number.

    Contesting record procedures:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are contained in Office of the Secretary of Defense Administrative Instruction 81; 32 CFR part 311; or may be obtained from the system manager.

    Record source categories:

    The individual and the Servicing EEO Office.

    Exemptions claimed for the System:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2016-04995 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-04] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah A. Ragan or Heather N. Harwell, DSCA/LMO, (703) 604-1546/(703) 607-5339.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-04 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: March 1, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN07MR16.004 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 16-04 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: United Arab Emirates

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $ 82.664 million Other $142.336 million Total $225.000 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: The UAE requested a possible sale of eight (8) AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Systems to protect the UAE's C-17 aircraft. Each C-17 aircraft configuration for the LAIRCM system consists of three (3) Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA), six (6) Ultra-Violet Missile Warning System (UVMWS) Sensors AN/AAR-54, one (1) Control Indicator Unit Replacement (CIUR) and one (1) LAIRCM System Processor Replacement LSPR.

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

    Twenty-four (24) AN/AAQ-24 (V)N Guardian Laser Transmitter Assembles (GLTA) and thirteen (13) spares Eight (8) AN/AAQ-24 (V)N LAIRCM System Processor Replacement (LSPR) and eleven (11) spares Forty-eight (48) AN/AAR-54 Ultra-Violet Missile Warning System (UVMWS) Sensors and twenty-six (26) spares

    Non-MDE items include: Control Indicator Unit Replacement (CIUR), Smart Card Assemblies (SCA), High Capacity Cards (HCC), User Data Modules (UDM), Repeaters, COMSEC Key Loaders, initial spares, consumables, support equipment, technical data, repair and return support, engineering design, Group A and Group B installation, flight test and certification, warranties, contractor provided familiarization and training, U.S. Government (USG) manpower and services, and Field Service Representatives (FSR). The total estimated program cost is $225 million.

    (iv) Military Department: Air Force (AE-D-QAI)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: FMS Case: AE-D-QAC-17 December 09-$501M, 26 May 10-$250M, 31 July 12-$35M, 28 July 15-$335M. AE-D-QAH-28 July 15-$335M

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 23 February 2016

    * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION United Arab Emirates-AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM)

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) requested a possible sale of eight (8) AN/AAQ-24 (V)N LAIRCM for the UAE's C-17 aircraft. Each C-17 aircraft configuration for the LAIRCM system consists of the following major defense equipment (MDE): three (3) Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA), six (6) Ultra-Violet Missile Warning System (UVMWS) Sensors AN/AAR-54, one (1) LAIRCM System Processor Replacement (LSPR). The sale includes spares bringing the MDE total to thirty-seven (37) GLTA AN/AAQ-24 (V)Ns, nineteen (19) LSPR AN/AAQ-24 (V)Ns, and seventy-four (74) UVMWS Sensors AN/AAR-54. The sale also includes the following non-MDE items: Control Indicator Unit Replacements (CIUR), Smart Card Assemblies (SCA), High Capacity Cards (HCC), User Data Modules (UDM), Repeaters, COMSEC Key Loaders, initial spares, consumables, support equipment, technical data, repair and return support, engineering design, Group A and Group B installation, flight test and certification, U.S. Government manpower and services, and Field Service Representatives (FSR). The total estimated value of MDE is $82.664 million. The total estimated program cost is $225 million.

    This proposed sale enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a partner country, which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

    The proposed purchase of LAIRCM to provide for the protection of UAE's C-17 fleet enhances the safety of UAE airlift aircraft engaging in humanitarian and resupply missions. LAIRCM facilitates a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats. The UAE will have no problem absorbing and using the AN/AAQ-24 (V)N LAIRCM system.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be The Boeing Company, Chicago, Illinois. The main sub-contractor is Northrop Grumman Corporation of Rolling Meadows, Illinois. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    This sale includes provisions for one (1) FSR to live in the UAE for up to two (2) years. Implementation of this proposed sale requires multiple temporary trips to the UAE involving U.S. Government or contractor representatives over a period of up to six (6) years for program execution, delivery, technical support, and training.

    Transmittal No. 16-04 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology

    1. The AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) is a self-contained, directed energy countermeasures system designed to protect aircraft from infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles. The system features digital technology and micro-miniature solid-state electronics. The system operates in all conditions, detecting incoming missiles and jamming infrared-seeker equipped missiles with aimed bursts of laser energy. The LAIRCM system consists of multiple Ultra-Violet Missile Warning System (UVMWS) Sensor units, Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA), LAIRCM System Processor Replacement (LSPR), Control Indicator Unit Replacement (CIUR), and a classified High Capacity Card (HCC), and User Data Modules (UDM). The HCC card is loaded into the CIUR prior to flight. When the classified HCC card is not in use, it is removed from the CIUR and put in secure storage. LAIRCM Line Replaceable Units (LRU) hardware is classified SECRET when the classified HCC is inserted into the CIUR. LAIRCM system software, including Operational Flight Program, is classified SECRET. Technical data and documentation to be provided are UNCLASSIFIED. a. The set of UVMWS Sensor units (AN/AAR-54) are mounted on the aircraft exterior to provide omni-directional protection. The UVMWS Sensors detect the rocket plume of missiles and sends appropriate data signals to the LSPR for processing. The LSPR analyzes the data from each UVMWS Sensors and automatically deploys the appropriate countermeasures via the GLTA. The CIUR displays the incoming threat. b. The AN/AAR-54 UVMWS Sensor warns of threat missile approach by detecting radiation associated with the rocket motor. The AN/AAR-54 is a small, lightweight, passive, electro-optic, threat warning devise used to detect surface-to-air missiles fired at helicopters and low-flying fixed-wing aircraft and automatically provide countermeasures, as well as audio and visual warning messages to the aircrew. The basic system consists of multiple UVMWS Sensor units, three GLTAs, a LSPR and a CIUR. The set of UVMWS units (each C-17 has six (6)) are mounted on the aircraft exterior to provide omni-directional protection. Hardware is UNCLASSIFIED. Software is SECRET. Technical data and documentation to be provided are UNCLASSIFIED. 2. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification. Moreover, the benefits derived from this sale, as outlined in the Policy Justification, outweigh the potential damage that could result if the sensitive technology were revealed to unauthorized persons. 3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures or equivalent systems which might reduce system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities. 4. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the United Arab Emirates.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04873 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID: USN-2016-HQ-0004] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Department for Deployment Health, Naval Health Research Center, DON, DOD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department for Deployment Health, Naval Health Research Center announces the proposed extension of a public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. 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 of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by May 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Naval Health Research Center, DoD Center for Deployment Health Research, Department 164, ATTN: Millennium Cohort Program Principal Investigators, 140 Sylvester Rd., San Diego, CA 92106-3521, or call (619) 553-7335.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Prospective Department of Defense Studies of US Military Forces: The Millennium Cohort Study; OMB Control Number 0703-0064.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to respond to recommendations by Congress and by the Institute of Medicine to perform investigations that systematically collect population-based demographic and health data so as to track and evaluate the health of military personnel throughout the course of their careers and after leaving military service. The Millennium Cohort Family Study also evaluates the impact of military life on military families.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Millennium Cohort Study

    Annual Burden Hours: 41,739.

    Number of Respondents: 55,652.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response: 45 minutes.

    Frequency: Every 3 years.

    Millennium Cohort Family Study

    Annual Burden Hours: 59,025.

    Number of Respondents: 78,700.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response: 45 minutes.

    Frequency: Every 3 years.

    Combined Burden of Both Millennium Cohort Studies

    Annual Burden Hours: 100,764.

    Number of Respondents: 134,352.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response: 45 minutes.

    Frequency: Every 3 years.

    Persons eligible to respond to this survey are those civilians now separated from military service who initially enrolled, gave consent and participated in the Millennium Cohort Study while on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or US Coast Guard during the first, second, third, or fourth panel enrollment periods in 2001-2003, 2004-2006, 2007-2008, or 2011-2012 respectively, as well as those civilians that choose to participate in the Millennium Cohort Family Study.

    Dated: March 2, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04985 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0027] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0027. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Valerie Sherrer, 202-377-3547.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0035

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 28,188

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 60,798

    Abstract: The United States Department of Education will collect data through the National Student Loan Data System from Federal Perkins Loan holders (or their servicers) and Guaranty Agencies (GA) about Federal Perkins, Federal Family Education, and William D. Ford Direct Student Loans to be used to manage the federal student loan programs, develop policy, and determine eligibility for programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

    Dated: March 1, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04881 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities—Model Demonstration Projects To Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners With Disabilities in Grades Three Through Five or Three Through Six AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Overview Information: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six.

    Notice inviting applications for a new award for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326M.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: March 7, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 21, 2016.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 20, 2016.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities by providing technical assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by scientifically based research.

    Priorities: This competition has one absolute priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), the absolute priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute or otherwise authorized in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463, 1481(d).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six.

    Background: IDEA has authorized model demonstrations to improve early intervention, educational, or transitional results for children 1 with disabilities since the mid-1970s. For the purposes of this priority, a model is a set of existing evidence-based interventions and implementation strategies (i.e., core components) that research suggests will improve child, teacher, or system outcomes when implemented with fidelity. Model demonstrations involve investigating the degree to which a given model can be implemented and sustained in typical settings, by staff employed in those settings, while achieving outcomes similar to those attained under research conditions.

    1 For the purpose of this priority, the term “children” includes infants, toddlers, children, and youth.

    The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects that will assess how models can: (a) Improve literacy outcomes for English Learners 2 with disabilities (ELSWDs) in grades three through five or three through six, within a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework; 3 (b) use culturally responsive principles; 4 and (c) be implemented by educators and sustained in general and special education settings.

    2 For purposes of this priority, the term English Learners refers to those students considered to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) students or English Learners, as those terms are defined under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA), and in the State in which the grantee implements its model demonstration projects under this priority.

    3 Multi-tier System of Supports means a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, systemic practices to support a rapid response to students' needs, with regular observation to facilitate data-based instructional decisionmaking.

    4 Culturally responsive principles promote redesigning the learning environments to support the development and success of all students. Some examples of incorporating culturally responsive principles into learning environments include communicating high expectations to all students, incorporating students' cultural and home experiences into lessons by reshaping the curriculum to reflect students' experiences, and engaging students in activities where they can converse with one another on topics that tap into their background knowledge and experiences (Aceves & Orosco, 2014; Gay, 2010).

    The most recent average scale scores 5 in reading for fourth graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2014) by subgroup were: English Learners (ELs), 192; students with disabilities (SWDs), 188; ELSWDs, 151; and students who were not ELs or SWDs, 230. Seven percent of ELs, 10 percent of SWDs, and 2 percent of ELSWDs scored at the proficient level compared to 31 percent of students who were not ELs or SWDs (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). These figures are especially troubling because, according to assessments using criteria that correspond to the NAEP skill levels, children who are not proficient readers by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are proficient readers (Hernandez, 2012). The disparities in achievement as illustrated by these data underscore the challenges that schools encounter in educating ELSWDs.

    5 The NAEP Reading scale ranges from 0 to 500. Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2013 Reading Assessment.

    Children must possess the ability to read for understanding in order to meet college- and career-ready standards (Foorman & Wanzek, 2015). However, children must first develop basic literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, to become proficient readers (National Reading Panel, 2000) and to read for understanding.

    Therefore, models should be designed to build literacy skills for ELSWDs as a stepping stone to reading for understanding. Approaches to improve literacy must include a combination of effective instruction, modeling, professional development, and evidence-based teaching practices that are appropriate for ELSWDs in both classrooms and small group settings (Giroir, Grimaldo, Vaughn, & Roberts, 2015; Klingner & Soltero-Gonzalez, 2009). In addition, research suggests that proposed models should be replicable across multiple contexts (e.g., content area instruction, small group settings, multiple school sites) with a goal of scaling-up for wider use (Domitrovich et al., 2008).

    Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects that will assess how models can: (a) Improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs in grades three through five or three through six, within an MTSS framework; (b) use culturally responsive principles; and (c) be implemented by educators and sustained in general and special education settings. Applicants must propose models that meet the following requirements:

    (a) The model's core intervention components (e.g., services, assessments, processes, data collection instruments) must include:

    (1) A framework that includes, at a minimum, universal screening, progress monitoring, and effective core instruction; 6

    6 School sites that are selected must have an existing MTSS framework that demonstrates strong core instruction.

    (2) Culturally responsive principles within each component of the framework;

    (3) Interventions that meet the needs of the specific population and are supported by scientifically based research;

    (4) Practices that are valid and reliable and ensure appropriate identification of ELs as having disabilities;

    (5) Measures of literacy outcomes,7 using standardized measures when applicable, and teacher and systems outcomes, when appropriate;

    7 Applicants must ensure the confidentiality of individual data, consistent with the requirements of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (FERPA), and State laws or regulations concerning the confidentiality of individual records. Final FERPA regulatory changes became effective January 3, 2012, and include requirements for data sharing. Applicants are encouraged to review the final FERPA regulations published on December 2, 2011 (76 FR 75604). Questions can be sent to the Family Policy Compliance Office (www.ed.gov/fpco) at (202) 260-3887 or [email protected]

    (6) Measures of language proficiency in the child's first language and English; and

    (7) Measures of the model's social validity, i.e., measures of educators', parents', and students' satisfaction with the model components, processes, and outcomes.

    (b) The model's core implementation components must include:

    (1) Strategies for selecting 8 and recruiting sites, including approaches to introducing the model to and promoting the model among site participants,9 with consideration given to the following criteria:

    8 For factors to consider when selecting model demonstration sites, the applicant should refer to Assessing Sites for Model Demonstration: Lessons Learned for OSEP Grantees at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/reports/MDCC_Site_Assessment_Brief_09-30-11.pdf. The document also contains a site assessment tool.

    9 For factors to consider while preparing for model demonstration implementation, the applicant should refer to Preparing for Model Demonstration Implementation at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/MDCC_PreparationStage_Brief_Apr2013.pdf.

    (i) Each project must include at least three elementary schools with students in grades three through five or three through six. Each school must have at least 40 percent and no fewer than 100 students who have been identified as ELs in these grades; and

    (ii) In each of the schools, at least 10 percent of the identified ELs in grades three through five or three through six must be ELSWDs with literacy goals on their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs);

    (2) A lag site implementation, which involves selecting one of the three sites in year one of the project period to begin implementation of the project's model for at least three years, with the other two schools beginning implementation in year two;

    (3) A professional development component that includes an evidence-based coaching strategy to enable staff to implement the interventions with fidelity; and

    (4) Measures of the performance of the professional development (e.g., improvements in teacher instructional delivery and knowledge) required by paragraph (b)(3) of this section, including measures of the fidelity of implementation.

    (c) The core strategies for sustaining the model must include:

    (1) Documentation that permits current and future practitioners to replicate and tailor the model at any site; 10 and

    10 For a guide on documenting model demonstration sustainment and replication, the applicant should refer to Planning for Replication and Dissemination From the Start: Guidelines for Model Demonstration Projects at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/MDCC_ReplicationBrief_SEP2013.pdf.

    (2) Strategies for the grantee to sustain the model, such as developing easily accessible training materials or coordinating with TA providers who might serve as future trainers.

    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this priority. Each project funded under this absolute priority also must meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority.

    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its application—

    (a) A project design that is at least supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice) that supports the promise (e.g., evidence base) of the proposed model, its components, and processes to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs;

    (b) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed model demonstration project. A logic model used in connection with this priority communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project;

    Note:

    The following Web sites provide examples for constructing logic models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel/index.asp.

    (c) A description of the activities and measures to be incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs, including a timeline of how and when the components are introduced within the model. A detailed and complete description must include the following:

    (1) All the intervention components, including culturally responsive principles and, at a minimum, those components listed under paragraph (a) under the heading Priority, and the supporting literature.

    (2) The existing and proposed child, teacher, and system outcome measures and social validity measures. The measures should be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and included, when available, in an appendix.

    (3) All the implementation components, including, at a minimum, those listed under paragraph (b) under the heading Priority, and the supporting literature. The existing or proposed implementation fidelity measures, including those measuring the fidelity of the professional development strategy, should be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and included, when available, in an appendix. In addition, this description should include:

    (i) Demographics, including, at a minimum, ethnicity, gender, grade level, and age for all ELSWDs at all implementation sites that have been identified and successfully recruited for the purposes of this application using the selection and recruitment strategies described in paragraph (b)(1) under the heading Priority;

    (ii) Whether the implementation sites are high-poverty, high-need, rural, urban, or suburban LEAs or schools; and

    Note:

    Applicants are encouraged to identify, to the extent possible, the sites willing to participate in the applicant's model demonstration. Final site selection will be determined in consultation with the OSEP project officer following the kick-off meeting described in paragraph (f)(1) of these application requirements.

    (iii) The lag design for implementation consistent with the requirements in paragraph (b)(2) under the heading Priority.

    (4) All the strategies to promote sustaining and replicating the model, including, at a minimum, those listed in paragraph (c) under the heading Priority.

    (d) A description of the evaluation activities and measures to be incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project. A detailed and complete description must include:

    (1) A formative evaluation plan, consistent with the project's logic model, that includes evaluation questions, source(s) for data, a timeline for data collection, and analysis plans. The plan must show how the outcome (e.g., child measures, social validity) and implementation data (e.g., fidelity) will be used separately or in combination to improve the project during the performance period. The plan also must outline how these data will be reviewed by project staff, when they will be reviewed, and how they will be used during the course of the project to adjust the model or its implementation to increase the model's usefulness, generalizability, and potential for sustainability; and

    (2) A summative evaluation plan, including a timeline, to collect and analyze data on positive changes to child, teacher, and systems outcome measures over time or relative to comparison groups that can be reasonably attributable to project activities. The plan must show how the child or system outcome and implementation data collected by the project will be used separately or in combination to demonstrate the promise of the model.

    (e) A budget for attendance at the following:

    (1) A one and one half-day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, after receipt of the award;

    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, occurring twice during the project performance period; and

    (3) Four travel days spread across years two through four of the project period to attend planning meetings, Department briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP, to be held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer.

    Other Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, each project, at a minimum, must:

    (a) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with other relevant Department-funded projects, including, at minimum, OSEP-funded TA centers that might disseminate information on the model or support the scale-up efforts of an effective model;

    (b) Maintain ongoing (i.e., at least monthly) telephone and email communication with the OSEP project officer and the other model demonstration projects funded under this priority; and

    (c) If the project maintains a Web site, include relevant information about the model, the intervention, and the demonstration activities that meets government- or industry-recognized standards for accessibility.

    Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two points to an application that meets this priority.

    The priority is:

    Evidence of Promise Supporting the Proposed Model (2 Points).

    Projects that are supported by evidence that meets the conditions set out in the definition of “evidence of promise” (as defined in this notice). The proposed project must include:

    (a) A detailed review of the research that meets at least the evidence of promise standard and that supports the promise (e.g., evidence base) of the proposed model, its components, and processes to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs;

    (b) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed model demonstration project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project; and

    (c) A description of the activities and measures to be incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs, including how and when the components are introduced within the model. A detailed and complete description must contain all of the implementation components, including, at a minimum, those listed under paragraph (a) and linked to supporting literature. The existing or proposed implementation fidelity measures, including those measuring the fidelity of the professional development strategy, should be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and included, when available, in an appendix.

    Note:

    An applicant addressing this competitive preference priority must identify up to two study citations that meet this standard.

    References Aceves, T.C., & Orosco, M.J. (2014). Culturally responsive teaching (Document No. IC-2). Retrieved from University of Florida, Collaboration for Effective Educator, Development, Accountability, and Reform Center Web site: http://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/tools/innovation-configurations/. Domitrovich, C., Bradshaw, C., Poduska, J., Hoagwood, K., Buckley, J., Olin, S., . . . Ialongo, N. (2008). Maximizing the implementation quality of evidence-based preventive interventions in schools: A conceptual framework. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 1(3), 6-28. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1754730X.2008.9715730. Foorman, B.R., & Wanzek, J. (2015). Classroom Reading Instruction for all Students. In S.R. Jimerson, K. Burns, & A.M. VanDerHeyden (EDs.), Handbook of Response to Intervention (pp. 235-252). New York, NY: Springer. Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Teacher's College Press. Giroir, S., Grimaldo, L.R., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G. (2015). Interactive read-alouds for English learners in the elementary grades. Reading Teacher, 68(8), 639-648. Hernandez, D. (2012). Double Jeopardy. How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. Retrieved from Annie E. Casey Foundation Web site: http://gradelevelreading.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Double-Jeopardy-Report-030812-for-web1.pdf. Klingner, J., & Soltero-Gonzalez, L. (2009). Culturally and linguistically responsive literacy instruction for English Language Learners with learning disabilities. Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, 12(1), 4-20. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (2014). National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), The Nation's Report Card. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://nationsreportcard.gov.

    Definitions: The following definitions apply to the priority:

    Evidence of promise means there is empirical evidence to support the theoretical linkage(s) between at least one critical component and at least one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice. Specifically, evidence of promise means the conditions in both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this definition are met:

    (i) There is at least one study that is a—

    (A) Correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias;

    (B) Quasi-experimental design study that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations; or

    (C) Randomized controlled trial that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with or without reservations.

    (ii) The study referenced in paragraph (i) of this definition found a statistically significant or substantively important (defined as a difference of 0.25 standard deviations or larger) favorable association between at least one critical component and one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice.

    English Learner, when used with respect to an individual, means an individual—

    (A) Who is aged 3 through 21;

    (B) Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;

    (C)(i) Who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;

    (ii)(I) Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and

    (II) Who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or

    (iii) Who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and

    (D) Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—

    (i) The ability to meet the State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA;

    (ii) The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or

    (iii) The opportunity to participate fully in society.

    Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.

    Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that attempts to approximate an experimental design by identifying a comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important respects. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations (but not What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations).

    Randomized controlled trial means a study that employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to receive the intervention being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to receive the intervention (the control group). The estimated effectiveness of the intervention is the difference between the average outcomes for the treatment group and for the control group. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations.

    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) (or the ultimate outcome if not related to students) the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice is designed to improve; consistent with the specific goals of a program.

    Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.

    What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards means the standards set forth in the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0, March 2014), which can be found at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and other requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the absolute priority and related definitions in this notice.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education (IHEs) only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $375,000 to $400,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Award: $400,000.

    Maximum Award: We will reject and not review any application that proposes a budget exceeding $400,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs); LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    3. Eligible Subgrantees: (a) Under 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may award subgrants—to directly carry out project activities described in its application—to the following types of entities: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

    (b) The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application.

    4. Other General Requirements:

    (a) Recipients of funding under this competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).

    (b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding under this program must involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.326M.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

    • Use a font that is 12 point or larger.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    The page limit and double-spacing requirements do not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the abstract (follow the guidance provided in the application package for completing the abstract), the table of contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the reference list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the page limit and double-spacing requirements do apply to all of Part III, the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit in the application narrative section or if you apply standards other than those specified in this notice and the application package.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: March 7, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 21, 2016.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 20, 2016.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six competition, CFDA number 84.326M, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.326, not 84.326M).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

    These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Tara Courchaine, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5143, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5108. FAX: (202) 245-7590.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.326M) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.326M) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department has determined that for some discretionary grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness of the review process, while permitting panel members to review applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also have submitted applications. However, if the Department decides to select an equal number of applications in each group for funding, this may result in different cut-off points for fundable applications in each group.

    4. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities program. We will use these measures to evaluate the extent to which projects provide high-quality products and services, the relevance of project products and services to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use of products and services to improve educational and early intervention policy and practice.

    Projects funded under this competition are required to submit data on these measures as directed by OSEP.

    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's performance in annual and final performance reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tara Courchaine, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5143, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5108. Telephone: (202) 245-6462.

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5037, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: March 1, 2016. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-05026 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY International Energy Agency Meetings AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will meet on March 15-16, 2016, at the headquarters of the IEA in Paris, France in connection with a joint meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM) on March 17, 2016, in connection with a meeting of the SEQ on that day.

    DATES:

    March 15-17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    9, rue de la Fédération, Paris, France.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Reilly, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, 202-586-5000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with section 252(c)(1)(A)(i) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(i)) (EPCA), the following notice of meetings is provided:

    Meetings of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will be held at the headquarters of the IEA, 9, rue de la Fédération, Paris, France, on March 15, 2016, commencing at 2:00 p.m., continuing at 9:30 a.m. on March 16, 2016 and again at 9:30 a.m. on March 17, 2016. The purpose of this notice is to permit attendance by representatives of U.S. company members of the IAB at a joint meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Markets (SOM) on March 17, to be held at the same location commencing at 9:30 a.m. The IAB will also hold a preparatory meeting among company representatives at the same location at 8:30 a.m. on March 16. The agenda for this preparatory meeting is to review the agenda for the SEQ meeting.

    The agenda of the joint meeting of the SEQ is under the control of the SEQ. It is expected that the SEQ will adopt the following agenda:

    Day 1 1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Summary Record of the 146th Meeting 3. Status of Compliance with IEP Agreement Stockholding Obligations 4. Australian Compliance Update 5. Bilateral Stockholding in non-OECD Countries 6. Association—Handling Association country participation at SEQ meetings 7. Programme Work Budget 8. Outcome of Ministerial Meeting Day 2 9. ERR Programme 10. Emergency Response Review of the Slovak Republic 11. Mid-Term Review of Japan 12. Update on Exercise in Capitals (EXCAP) 13. Emergency Response Review of Korea 14. Update on ERE8 Arrangements 15. Mexican Accession 16. Outreach Activities 17. Emergency response Review of Hungary 18. Industry Advisory Board Update 19. Emergency Response Review of Spain 20. Mid-Term Review of United States 21. Oral Reports by Administrations 22. Overview of Emergency Response Legislation 23. Saving Oil in a Hurry—Update 24. ERR Report Re-design 25. Other Business —Provisional 2016 Schedule of SEQ and SOM Meetings —31 May-2 June —27-29 September

    The agenda of the SEQ meeting on March 17, 2106 is under the control of the SEQ and the SOM. It is expected that the SEQ and the SOM will adopt the following agenda:

    1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Summary Record of the 15 October 2015 Joint Session 3. Report on Russian Oil Prospects 4. Report on Recent Oil Market and Policy Developments in IEA Countries 5. The Current Oil Market Situation 6. Panel: Outlook for Oil Markets 7. Floor discussion 8. Other business —Tentative schedule of upcoming SEQ and SOM meetings for 2016: 31 May-2 June

    As provided in section 252(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(ii)), the meetings of the IAB are open to representatives of members of the IAB and their counsel; representatives of members of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Markets; representatives of the Departments of Energy, Justice, and State, the Federal Trade Commission, the General Accounting Office, Committees of Congress, the IEA, and the European Commission; and invitees of the IAB, the SEQ, the SOM, or the IEA.

    Issued in Washington, DC, March 2, 2016. Thomas Reilly, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04976 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Agency Information Collection Extension AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Submission for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has submitted an information collection request to the OMB for extension under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection requests a three-year extension of its Human Reliability Program (HRP), OMB Control Number 1910-5122. This information collection consists of forms that will certify to DOE that respondents were advised of the requirements for occupying or continuing to occupy an HRP position. The forms include: Human Reliability Program Certification (DOE F 470.3), Acknowledgement and Agreement to Participate in the Human Reliability Program (DOE F 470.4), Authorization and Consent to Release Human Reliability Program (HRP) Records in Connection with HRP (DOE F 470.5), Refusal of Consent (DOE F 470.6), and Human Reliability Program (HRP) Alcohol Testing Form (DOE F 470.7). The HRP is a security and safety reliability program for individuals who apply for or occupy certain positions that are critical to the national security. It requires an initial and annual supervisory review, medical assessment, management evaluation, and a DOE personnel security review of all applicants or incumbents. It is also used to ensure that employees assigned to nuclear explosive duties do not have emotional, mental, or physical conditions that could result in an accidental or unauthorized detonation of nuclear explosives.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this collection must be received on or before April 6, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, please advise the OMB Desk Officer of your intention to make a submission as soon as possible. The Desk Officer may be telephoned at 202-395-4650.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to the DOE Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, 735 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 and to Regina Cano U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Corporate Security Strategy, Analysis and Special Operations (AU-1.2), 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone at (202) 586-7079, by fax at (202) 586-3333, or by email at [email protected], or information about the collection instruments may be obtained at http://energy.gov/ehss/information-collection.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5122; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Human Reliability Program; (3) Type of Review: Renewal; (4) Purpose: This collection provides for DOE management to ensure that individuals who occupy HRP positions meet program standards of reliability and physical and mental suitability; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 43,960; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 43,999; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 3,819; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $332,253; and (9) Response Obligation: Mandatory.

    Statutory Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2165; 42 U.S.C. 2201; 42 U.S.C. 5814-5815; 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.; E.O. 10450, 3 CFR 1949-1953 Comp., p. 936, as amended; E.O. 10865, 3 CFR 1959-1963 Comp., p. 398, as amended; 3 CFR Chap. IV.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 26, 2016. Stephanie K. Martin, Acting Director, Office of Resource Management, Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04978 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP13-499-000] Constitution Pipeline; Company, LLC; Notice Rejecting Request for Emergency Motion for Suspension of Non-Mechanical Tree Felling

    On February 25, 2016, Megan Holleran filed an emergency motion pursuant to Rule 212 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure 1 requesting that the Commission require Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC (Constitution) to suspend all non-mechanical tree felling activities on her family's Pennsylvania property 2 pending review of a federal court order (attached to the motion as Exhibit B) in an eminent domain proceeding enjoining certain protest activities. Ms. Holleran asserts that the court order has the effect of expanding the easement area for tree felling beyond the boundaries approved by the Commission and provides a basis for the Commission to reconsider the effects of tree felling activities and/or its issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Constitution.

    1 18 CFR 385.212 (2015).

    2 On January 29, 2016, Constitution was granted a partial notice to proceed with limited non-mechanical tree felling in Pennsylvania. Constitution Pipeline Co., LLC, Docket No. CP13-499-000 (January 29, 2016) (delegated letter order).

    Issues related to the acquisition of property rights by a pipeline under the eminent domain provisions of section 7(h) of the NGA are matters for the applicable state or federal court. Since the Commission has no responsibility or jurisdiction over these matters, the subject motion is rejected.

    This notice constitutes final agency action. Requests for rehearing by the Commission of this notice must be filed within 30 days of its issuance, as provided in section 19(a) of the Natural Gas Act,3 and the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure.4

    3 15 U.S.C. 717r (2012).

    4 18 CFR 385.713 (2015).

    Dated: March 1, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04953 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-78-000.

    Applicants: Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers and Expedited Action of Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5041.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-79-000.

    Applicants: RE Astoria 2 LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Consideration, Confidential Treatment and Waivers of RE Astoria 2 LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-993-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Western Area Power Administration WDT SA 17 to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-994-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to the Western Area Power Administration IA (SA 59) to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-995-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment No. 1 to the Western Area Power Administration O'Neill GIA (SA 314) to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-997-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: Initial rate filing: Transmission Service Agreement between PNM and Iberdrola Renewables, LLC to be effective2/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5032.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-998-000.

    Applicants: South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Description: Limited-Scope Section 205 Filing Concerning Depreciation Rates of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5110.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-999-000.

    Applicants: Greenleaf Energy Unit 1 LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Greenleaf Energy Unit 1 LLC FERC Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 2/24/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160224-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/16/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 24, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04950 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR14-17-001] Colonial Pipeline Company; Notice of Extension and Amendment of Settlement

    Take notice that on February 19, 2016, pursuant to Rule 602 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.602 (2015), Colonial Pipeline Company and American Airlines, Inc. (collectively, the Parties) filed an extension and amendment of the settlement agreement. The Parties seek Commission approval to extend and amend the settlement agreement entered into on December 13, 2013 and approved by the Commission in US Airways, Inc. v. Colonial Co., 146 FERC ¶ 61,173 (2014), all as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 10, 2016.

    Dated: February 24, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-04957 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC16-2-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-538, FERC-740, FERC-729, FERC-715, FERC-592, FERC-60, FERC-61, and FERC-555A); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting information collections FERC-538, FERC-740, FERC-729, FERC-715, FERC-592, FERC-60, FERC-61, and FERC-555A to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 68312, 11/4/2015) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-538, FERC-740, FERC-729, FERC-715, FERC-592, FERC-60, FERC-61, or FERC-555A and is making this notation in its submittals to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by April 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control Nos. 1902-0061 (FERC-538), 1902-0254 (FERC-740), 1902-0238 (FERC-729), 1902-0171 (FERC-715), 1902-0157 (FERC-592), or 1902-0215 (FERC-60, FERC-61, and FERC-555A) should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected] Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-0710.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC16-2-000, by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collections described below with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    FERC-538, Gas Pipeline Certificates: Section 7(a) Mandatory Initial Service

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0061.

    Abstract: Under sections 7(a), 10(a) and 16 of Natural Gas Act (NGA),1 upon application by a person or municipality authorized to engage in the local distribution of natural gas, the Commission may order a natural gas company to extend or improve its transportation facilities, and sell natural gas to the municipality or person and, for such purpose, to extend its transportation facilities to communities immediately adjacent to such facilities or to territories served by the natural gas pipeline company. The Commission uses the application data in order to be fully informed concerning the applicant, and the service the applicant is requesting.

    1 15 U.S.C. 717f-w.

    Type of Respondent: Persons or municipalities authorized to engage in the local distribution of natural gas.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    FERC-538—Gas Pipeline Certificates: Section 7(a) Mandatory Initial Service Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden and cost per response 2 Total annual burden hours and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Gas Pipeline Certificates 1 1 1 240 hrs.; $17,280 240 hrs.; $17,280 $17,280
    FERC-740, Availability of e-Tag Information to Commission Staff

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0254.

    2 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $72.00 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly cost figure comes from the FERC average salary plus benefits of $149,489/year because FERC staff believes industry wages plus benefits are similar.

    Abstract: In Order 771,3 the FERC-740 information collection (providing Commission staff access to e-Tag data) was implemented to provide the Commission, Market Monitoring Units (MMUs), Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), and Independent System Operators (ISOs) with information that allows them to perform market surveillance and analysis more effectively. The e-Tag information is necessary to understand the use of the interconnected electricity grid, particularly transactions occurring at interchanges. Due to the nature of the electricity grid, an individual transaction's impact on an interchange cannot be assessed adequately in all cases without information from all connected systems, which is included in the e-Tags. The details of the physical path of a transaction included in the e-Tags helps the Commission to monitor, in particular, interchange transactions effectively, detect and prevent price manipulation over interchanges, and ensure the efficient and orderly use of the transmission grid. For example, the e-Tag data allows the Commission to identify transmission reservations as they go from one market to another and link the market participants involved in that transaction.

    3 Order 771 was issued in Docket No. RM11-12 (77 FR 76367, 12/28/2012).

    Order No. 771 provided the Commission access to e-Tags by requiring that Purchasing-Selling Entities 4 (PSEs) and Balancing Authorities (BAs), list the Commission on the “CC” list of e-Tags so that the Commission can receive a copy of the e-Tags. The Commission accesses the e-Tags by contracting with a commercial vendor, OATI.

    4 A Purchasing-Selling Entity is the entity that purchases or sells, and takes title to, energy, capacity, and Interconnected Operations Services. Purchasing-Selling Entities may be affiliated or unaffiliated merchants and may or may not own generating facilities. Purchasing-Selling Entities are typically E-Tag Authors.

    In early 2014, the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) incorporated the requirement that the Commission be added to the “CC” list on e-Tags as part of the tagging process.5 Even before NAESB added the FERC requirement to the tagging standards, the rules behind the “CC” list requirement had already been programmed into the industry standard tagging software so as to make the inclusion of FERC in the “CC” list automatic. The Commission expects that PSEs and BAs will continue to use existing, automated procedures to create and validate the e-Tags in a way that provides the Commission with access to them. In the rare event that a new BA would need to alert e-Tag administrators that certain tags it generates qualify for exemption under the Commission's regulations (e.g., transmissions from a new Canadian BA into another Canadian BA), this administrative function would be expected to require less than an hour of effort total from both the BA and an e-Tag administrator to include the BA on the exemption list. New exempt BAs occur less frequently than every year, but for the purpose of estimation we will conservatively assume one appears each year creating an additional burden associated with the Commission's FERC-740 requirement of $60.59.6

    5NAESB Electronic Tagging Functional Specifications, Version 1.8.2.

    6 The estimated hourly cost (salary plus benefits) provided in this section is based on the figures for May 2014 posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Utilities sector (available at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm#13-0000) assuming:

    • 15 minutes legal (code 23-0000), $129.87 hourly.

    • 45 minutes information and record clerk (code 43-4199), $37.50 hourly.

    Type of Respondent: Purchasing-Selling Entities and Balancing Authorities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden (rounded) for the information collection as:

    FERC-740—Availability of e-Tag Information to Commission Staff FERC-740 Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden and cost
  • per response
  • Total annual burden hours and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Purchasing-Selling Entities (e-Tag Authors) 369 4,404 1,625,326 0 0 $0 Balancing Authorities 101 16,092 1,625,326 0 0 0 New Balancing Authority [as noted above] 1 1 1 1 hr.; $60.59 1 hr.; $60.59 60.59 Total 471 1 hr.; 60.59 60.59
    FERC-729, Electric Transmission Facilities

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0238.

    Abstract: This information collection implements the Commission's mandates under EPAct 2005 section 1221 which authorizes the Commission to issue permits under FPA section 216(b) for electric transmission facilities and the Commission's delegated responsibility to coordinate all other federal authorizations under FPA section 216(h). The related FERC regulations seek to develop a timely review process for siting of proposed electric transmission facilities. The regulations provide for (among other things) an extensive pre-application process that will facilitate maximum participation from all interested entities and individuals to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to present their views and recommendations, with respect to the need for and impact of the facilities, early in the planning stages of the proposed facilities as required under FPA section 216(d).

    Additionally, FERC has the authority to issue a permit to construct electric transmission facilities if a state has withheld approval for more than a year or has conditioned its approval in such a manner that it will not significantly reduce transmission congestion or is not economically feasible.7 FERC envisions that, under certain circumstances, the Commission's review of the proposed facilities may take place after one year of the state's review. Under section 50.6(e)(3) the Commission will not accept applications until one year after the state's review and then from applicants who can demonstrate that a state may withhold or condition approval of proposed facilities to such an extent that the facilities will not be constructed.8 In cases where FERC's jurisdiction rests on FPA section 216(b)(1)(C),9 the pre-filing process should not commence until one year after the relevant State applications have been filed. This will give states one full year to process an application without any intervening Federal proceedings, including both the pre-filing and application processes. Once that year is complete, an applicant may seek to commence FERC's pre-filing process. Thereafter, once the pre-filing process is complete, the applicant may submit its application for a construction permit.

    7 FPA section 216(b)(1)(C).

    8 However, the Commission will not issue a permit authorizing construction of the proposed facilities until, among other things, it finds that the state has, in fact, withheld approval for more than a year or had so conditioned its approval.

    9 In all other instances (i.e. where the state does not have jurisdiction to act or otherwise to consider interstate benefits, or the applicant does not qualify to apply for a permit with the State because it does not serve end use customers in the State), the pre-filing process may be commenced at any time.

    Type of Respondent: Electric transmission facilities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    FERC-729—Electric Transmission Facilities Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden and cost per
  • response 10
  • Total annual burden hours and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5)÷(1) Electric Transmission Facilities 1 1 1 9,600 hrs.; $691,200 9,600 hrs.; $691,200 $691,200
    FERC-715, Annual Transmission Planning and Evaluation Report

    10 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $72.00 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly cost figure comes from the FERC average salary of $149,489/year.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0171.

    Abstract: Acting under FPA section 213,11 FERC requires each transmitting utility that operates integrated transmission system facilities rated above 100 kilovolts (kV) to submit annually:

    11 16 U.S.C. 8241.

    • Contact information for the FERC-715;

    • Base case power flow data (if it does not participate in the development and use of regional power flow data);

    • Transmission system maps and diagrams used by the respondent for transmission planning;

    • A detailed description of the transmission planning reliability criteria used to evaluate system performance for time frames and planning horizons used in regional and corporate planning;

    • A detailed description of the respondent's transmission planning assessment practices (including, but not limited to, how reliability criteria are applied and the steps taken in performing transmission planning studies); and

    • A detailed evaluation of the respondent's anticipated system performance as measured against its stated reliability criteria using its stated assessment practices.

    The FERC-715 enables the Commission to use the information as part of their regulatory oversight functions which includes:

    • The review of rates and charges;

    • The disposition of jurisdictional facilities;

    • The consolidation and mergers;

    • The adequacy of supply and;

    • Reliability of nation's transmission grid

    The FERC-715 enables the Commission to facilitate and resolve transmission disputes. Additionally, the Office of Electric Reliability (OER) uses the FERC-715 data to help protect and improve the reliability and security of the nation's bulk power system. OER oversees the development and review of mandatory reliability and security standards and ensures compliance with the approved standards by the users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system. OER also monitors and addresses issues concerning the nation's bulk power system including assessments of resource adequacy and reliability.

    Without the FERC-715 data, the Commission would be unable to evaluate planned projects or requests related to transmission.

    Type of Respondent: Integrated transmission system facilities rated at or above 100 kilovolts (kV).

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    FERC-715—Annual Transmission Planning and Evaluation Report Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden and cost per response 12 Total annual burden hours and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Annual Transmission Planning and Evaluation Report 115 1 115 160 hrs.; $11,520 18,400 hrs.; $1,324,800 $11,520 Total 115 18,400 hrs.; $1,324,800 11,520
    FERC-592: Standards of Conduct for Transmission Provider and Marketing Affiliates of Interstate Pipelines

    12 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $72 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly cost figure comes from the FERC average salary plus benefits of $149,489/year because FERC staff believes industry wages plus benefits are similar. Subject matter experts found that industry employment costs closely resemble FERC's regarding the FERC-715 information collection.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0157.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-592 information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

    Abstract: The Commission uses the information maintained and posted by the respondents to monitor the pipeline's transportation, sales, and storage activities for its marketing affiliate to deter undue discrimination by pipeline companies in favor of their marketing affiliates. Non-affiliated shippers and other entities (e.g. state commissions) also use information to determine whether they have been harmed by affiliate preference and to prepare evidence for proceedings following the filing of a complaint.

    18 CFR Part 358 (Standards of Conduct)

    Respondents maintain and provide the information required by Part 358 on their internet Web sites. When the Commission requires a pipeline to post information on its Web site following a disclosure of non-public information to its marketing affiliate, non-affiliated shippers obtain comparable access to the non-public transportation information, which allows them to compete with marketing affiliates on a more equal basis.

    18 CFR 250.16, and the FERC-592 Log/Format

    This form (log/format) provides the electronic formats for maintaining information on discounted transportation transactions and capacity allocation to support monitoring of activities of interstate pipeline marketing affiliates. Commission staff considers discounts given to shippers in litigated rate cases.

    Without this information collection:

    • The Commission would be unable to effectively monitor whether pipelines are giving discriminatory preference to their marketing affiliates; and

    • non-affiliated shippers and state commissions and others would be unable to determine if they have been harmed by affiliate preference or prepare evidence for proceedings following the filing of a complaint.

    Type of Respondents: Natural gas pipelines.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:  13 The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    13 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    FERC-592—Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers and Marketing Affiliates of Interstate Pipelines Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden and
  • cost per response 14
  • Total annual burden hours and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) FERC 592 15 85 1 85 116.62 hrs.; $8,396.64 9,913 hrs.; $713,736 $8,396.64
    FERC-60 (Annual Report of Centralized Service Companies), FERC-61 (Narrative Description of Service Company Functions), and FERC-555A (Preservation of Records of Holding Companies and Service Companies Subject to PUHCA 2005)

    14 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the FERC average salary of $149,489/year (or $72.00/hour). The hourly cost figure comes from the FERC average salary plus benefits of $149,489/year because FERC staff believes industry wages plus benefits are similar.

    15 The requirements for this collection are contained in 18 CFR Part 358 and 18 CFR Part 250.16.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0215.

    Abstract: On August 8, 2005, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, was signed into law, repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA 1935) and enacting the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 (PUHCA 2005). Section 1264 16 and section 1275 17 of PUHCA 2005 supplemented FERC's existing ratemaking authority under the Federal Power Act (FPA) to protect customers against improper cross-subsidization or encumbrances of public utility assets, and similarly, FERC's ratemaking authority under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). These provisions of PUHCA 2005 supplemented the FERC's broad authority under FPA section 301 and NGA section 8 to obtain the books and records of regulated companies and any person that controls or is under the influence of such companies if relevant to jurisdictional activities.

    16 Federal Books and Records Access Provision.

    17 Non-Power Goods and Services Provision.

    FERC Form 60

    Form No. 60 is an annual reporting requirement under 18 CFR 366.23 for centralized service companies. The report's function is to collect financial information (including balance sheet, assets, liabilities, billing and charges for associated and non-associated companies) from centralized service companies subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC. Unless Commission rule exempts or grants a waiver pursuant to 18 CFR 366.3 and 366.4 to the holding company system, every centralized service company in a holding company system must prepare and file electronically with the FERC the Form No. 60, pursuant to the General Instructions in the form.

    FERC-61

    FERC-61 is a filing requirement for service companies in holding company systems (including special purpose companies) that are currently exempt or granted a waiver of FERC's regulations and would not have to file FERC Form 60. Instead, those service companies are required to file, on an annual basis, a narrative description of the service company's functions during the prior calendar year (FERC-61). In complying, a holding company may make a single filing on behalf of all of its service company subsidiaries.

    FERC-555A

    FERC prescribed a mandated preservation of records requirement for holding companies and service companies (unless otherwise exempted by FERC). This requires them to maintain and make available to FERC, their books and records. The preservation of records requirement provides for uniform records retention by holding companies and centralized service companies subject to PUHCA 2005.

    Data from the FERC Form 60, FERC-61, and FERC-555A provide a level of transparency that: (1) Helps protect ratepayers from pass-throug