Federal Register Vol. 81, No.57,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 57 (March 24, 2016)

Page Range15613-16051
FR Document

81_FR_57
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 15744 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 15754 - Notice of Funds Availability for Calendar Year 2017 Grant AwardsPDF
81 FR 15729 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Environmental Impact ConsiderationsPDF
81 FR 15727 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance on Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A VirusesPDF
81 FR 15728 - Medical Devices; Exemption From Premarket Notification: Method, Metallic Reduction, Glucose (Urinary, Non-Quantitative) Test System in a Reagent Tablet FormatPDF
81 FR 15722 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 15725 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 15724 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 15734 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Operating Subsidy-AppealsPDF
81 FR 15734 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Request for Acceptance of Changes in Approved Drawings and SpecificationsPDF
81 FR 15702 - New York State Prohibition of Discharges of Vessel Sewage; Notice of Proposed DeterminationPDF
81 FR 15705 - National and Governmental Advisory Committees to the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental CooperationPDF
81 FR 15641 - Modification of Regulations Regarding Price Adjustments in Antidumping Duty ProceedingsPDF
81 FR 15777 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for the NuStar Dos Laredos Pipeline Presidential Permit Application ReviewPDF
81 FR 15780 - Orders Limiting Operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International AirportPDF
81 FR 15779 - Twenty-Second Meeting: RTCA Special Committee (225) Rechargeable Lithium Batter and Battery SystemsPDF
81 FR 15779 - Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee-Open MeetingPDF
81 FR 15633 - Temporary General LicensePDF
81 FR 15650 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
81 FR 15683 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
81 FR 15650 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
81 FR 15649 - Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive AuctionsPDF
81 FR 15706 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 15647 - Technology Transitions, Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers and Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange CarriersPDF
81 FR 15684 - Endangered Species; File No. 19697PDF
81 FR 15694 - Request for Information Related to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional KnowledgePDF
81 FR 15757 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 15756 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 15759 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 15758 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 15684 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Monitoring and Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, 2016PDF
81 FR 15682 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); SEDAR Data Best Practices Standing Panel WebinarPDF
81 FR 15697 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15755 - Memorandum of Understanding Between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management AgencyPDF
81 FR 15739 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 15754 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Central Liquidity Facilities, 12 CFR Part 725PDF
81 FR 15652 - National Poultry Improvement Plan and Auxiliary ProvisionsPDF
81 FR 15788 - Agency Request for Renewal of a Previously Approved Information Collection: Prioritization and Allocation Authority Exercised by the Secretary of Transportation Under the Defense Production ActPDF
81 FR 15701 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, To Vacate Authorization, and To Dismiss Application During February 2016PDF
81 FR 15787 - Extension of a Previously Approved Collection: Public ChartersPDF
81 FR 15677 - Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program; Record of DecisionPDF
81 FR 15677 - Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Live Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Other Poultry Products From Specified RegionsPDF
81 FR 15679 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for the Biological Control of Cape IvyPDF
81 FR 15678 - Environmental Impact Statement; Animal Carcass Management: Record of DecisionPDF
81 FR 15700 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, HanfordPDF
81 FR 15720 - Privacy Act of 1974; Notice of Amended System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 15742 - Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same; Commission's Final Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337 by Solofill LLC or DongGuan Hai Rui Precision Mould Co., Ltd.; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders to Defaulted Respondents; Termination of the InvestigationPDF
81 FR 15699 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
81 FR 15735 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Availability of Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Palmas Home Owners Association, Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto RicoPDF
81 FR 15740 - Meeting of the Tri-State Fuel Break Joint Subcommittee of the Boise and Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Councils to the Boise and Vale DistrictsPDF
81 FR 15680 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax RevenuePDF
81 FR 15706 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (3064-0169)PDF
81 FR 15680 - Hiawatha East Resource Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 15741 - Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group Charter RenewalPDF
81 FR 15789 - Proposed Information Collection-Claim for One Sum Payment Government Life Insurance (VA Form 29-4125) and Claim for Monthly Payments Government Life Insurance (29-4125a); Activity: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15720 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 15774 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15695 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 15743 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 15699 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15772 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Comply With the Requirements of the Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of BOX Holdings, and To Permit Certain Ownership Changes Pursuant TheretoPDF
81 FR 15660 - Notice of Proposed Commission Interpretation Regarding Automated Quotations Under Regulation NMSPDF
81 FR 15765 - Investors' Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment Nos. 2, 3, and 4 to, and Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Grant or Deny, and Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Grant or Deny, an Application for Registration as a National Securities Exchange Under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 TheretoPDF
81 FR 15740 - Notice of June 2-3, 2016, Meeting of the National Park System Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 15737 - Proposed Template Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Fisher in Oregon and a Draft Environmental Action StatementPDF
81 FR 15761 - Market Test of Experimental Product: Global eCommerce Marketplace (GeM) Merchant SolutionPDF
81 FR 15745 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 15733 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 15733 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 15753 - Honeywell International, Inc., Aerospace Order Management Division, and Customer Service Division, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Tapfin-Manpower Group Solutions and Optiscan, Inc., Tempe, Arizona; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 15760 - Market Test of Experimental Product-Customized DeliveryPDF
81 FR 15750 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 15753 - Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc., Edwards Division; a Subsidiary of UTC Building and Industrial Systems, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Adecco, PDI, Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS) and Randstad Engineering; Pittsfield, Maine; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 15752 - Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity Announcement for Reentry Demonstration Projects for Young Adults GrantsPDF
81 FR 15753 - Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity Announcement for the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) Employment and Training Grants and Housing Assistance GrantsPDF
81 FR 15745 - Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) National Grants for Program Year (PY) 2016PDF
81 FR 15774 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change To Adopt NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.900 To Permit Listing and Trading of Managed Portfolio Shares and To Permit Listing and Trading of Shares of Fifteen Issues of the Precidian ETFs TrustPDF
81 FR 15770 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Dissemination Protocols for TRACE-Eligible SecuritiesPDF
81 FR 15761 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rebates and Fees for Adding and Removing Liquidity in SPYPDF
81 FR 15785 - Hazardous Materials: Information Collection ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 15698 - Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 15681 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (US-PERU TPA)PDF
81 FR 15776 - Social Security Ruling 16-3p; Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability ClaimsPDF
81 FR 15777 - Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
81 FR 15732 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15736 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 15707 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15699 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Federal Perkins Loan Program RegulationsPDF
81 FR 15835 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Packaged BoilersPDF
81 FR 15681 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 7-Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Lilly Del Caribe, Inc., Subzone 7K (Pharmaceutical Products), Carolina and Guayama, Puerto RicoPDF
81 FR 15781 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 15718 - Agency Information Collection Activites; New Information Collection RequestPDF
81 FR 15719 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
81 FR 15776 - In the Matter of the Designation of Santoso Also Known as Abu Wardah as-Syarqi Also Known as Abu Warda Also Known as Abu Yahya as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
81 FR 15613 - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Employment and Training Program Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting MeasuresPDF
81 FR 15635 - Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings Reliability StandardPDF
81 FR 15721 - Federal Management Regulation; Best Practices in Warehouse Asset ManagementPDF
81 FR 15646 - Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC RecipientsPDF
81 FR 15665 - Equity Assistance Centers (Formerly Desegregation Assistance Centers)PDF
81 FR 15623 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 15627 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 15630 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 15631 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 15923 - Interpretation of the “Advice” Exemption in Section 203(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure ActPDF
81 FR 15791 - Rules Regarding the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency AlertsPDF

Issue

81 57 Thursday, March 24, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service PROPOSED RULES National Poultry Improvement Plan and Auxiliary Provisions, 15652-15660 2016-06664 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Importation of Live Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Other Poultry Products From Specified Regions, 15677-15678 2016-06659 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Biological Control of Cape Ivy, 15679-15680 2016-06658 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Animal Carcass Management; Record of Decision, 15678-15679 2016-06657 Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program, 15677 2016-06660 Army Army Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 15695-15696 2016-06640 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue, 15680-15681 2016-06649 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15722-15727 2016-06708 2016-06706 2016-06707 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2016-06634 2016-06637 15697-15699 2016-06670 Meetings: Judicial Proceedings since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel, 15698-15699 2016-06602
Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Equity Assistance Centers (Formerly Desegregation Assistance Centers), 15665-15676 2016-06439 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Perkins Loan Program Regulations, 15699-15700 2016-06589 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Funding Opportunities: National Farmworker Jobs Program Employment and Training Grants and Housing Assistance Grants, 15753-15754 2016-06612 Reentry Demonstration Projects for Young Adults Grants, 15752 2016-06613 Senior Community Service Employment Program National Grants for Program Year 2016, 15745 2016-06611 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility, 15745-15750 2016-06620 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility Investigations, 15750-15752 2016-06615 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility: Honeywell International, Inc., 15753 2016-06617 Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Inc., 15753 2016-06614 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Standards for Commercial Packaged Boilers, 15836-15921 2016-06588 NOTICES Approvals to Import and Export Natural and Liquefied Natural Gas: Nutreco Canada Inc., et al., 15701-15702 2016-06662 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Hanford, 15700-15701 2016-06656
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency NOTICES Determinations: New York State Prohibition of Discharges of Vessel Sewage, 15702-15705 2016-06701 Meetings: National and Governmental Advisory Committees to the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 15705-15706 2016-06700 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments, 15623-15633 2016-06324 2016-06326 2016-06327 2016-06329 NOTICES Meetings: Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, 15779-15780 2016-06690 RTCA Special Committee 225 Rechargeable Lithium Batter and Battery Systems, 15779 2016-06691 Orders Limiting Operations: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, 15780-15781 2016-06692 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, 15649 2016-06685 Technology Transitions, Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers and Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange Carriers, 15647-15648 2016-06683 PROPOSED RULES Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts, 15792-15833 2016-05275 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15706 2016-06684 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15706-15707 2016-06648 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings Reliability Standard, 15635-15641 2016-06508 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15707-15718 2016-06590 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15718-15719 2016-06578 Agreements Filed, 15719-15720 2016-06577 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15781-15785 2016-06583 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 15720 2016-06643 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 15720-15721 2016-06655 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants Recovery Permit Applications, 15736-15737 2016-06591 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Palmas Home Owners Association, Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, PR, 15735-15736 2016-06652 Incidental Take Permits: Proposed Template Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Fisher in Oregon and a Draft Environmental Action Statement, 15737-15739 2016-06627 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Environmental Impact Considerations, 15729-15732 2016-06711 Guidance on Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A Viruses, 15727-15728 2016-06710 Medical Devices; Exemption from Premarket Notification: Method, Metallic Reduction, Glucose (Urinary, Non-Quantitative) Test System in a Reagent Tablet Format, 15728-15729 2016-06709 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service RULES Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Employment and Training Program Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting Measures, 15613-15623 2016-06549 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Foreign-Trade Zone 7 Mayaguez, PR; Lilly Del Caribe, Inc. Subzone 7K (Pharmaceutical Products), Carolina and Guayama, PR, 15681 2016-06584 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Hiawatha East Resource Advisory Committee, 15680 2016-06647 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Federal Management Regulations: Best Practices in Warehouse Asset Management, 15721-15722 2016-06473 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15739-15740 2016-06668 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15732-15733 2016-06592
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Public Housing Operating Subsidy -- Appeals, 15734-15735 2016-06703 Request for Acceptance of Changes in Approved Drawings and Specifications, 15734 2016-06702 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Temporary General License, 15633-15635 2016-06689 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration RULES Modification of Regulations Regarding Price Adjustments in Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 15641-15646 2016-06698 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Interim Procedures for Considering Requests under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States — Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, 15681-15682 2016-06599 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest, 15743-15745 2016-06639 2016-06713 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same, 15742-15743 2016-06654 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Labor-Management Standards Office

Labor Management Standards Labor-Management Standards Office RULES Interpretation of the Advice Exemption in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 15924-16051 2016-06296 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Tri-State Fuel Break Project Joint Subcommittee of the Boise District and Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Councils, 15740 2016-06651 Legal Legal Services Corporation RULES Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients, 15646-15647 2016-06451 NOTICES Funds Availability for Calendar Year 2017 Grant Awards, 15754 2016-06712 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Central Liquidity Facilities, 15754-15755 2016-06667 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 15733 2016-06618 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 15733-15734 2016-06619 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 15650-15651 2016-06688 Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 15650 2016-06686 NOTICES Exempted Fishing Permit Applications, 15683-15684 2016-06687 Meetings: Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Data Best Practices Standing Panel Webinar, 15682-15683 2016-06671 Permits: Endangered Species; File No. 19697, 15684 2016-06682 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Seabird Monitoring and Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, 15684-15694 2016-06673 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: National Park System Advisory Board, 15740-15741 2016-06631 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 15699 2016-06653 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Memorandum of Understanding Between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency, 15755-15756 2016-06669 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge; Request for Information, 15694-15695 2016-06681 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Hazardous Materials, 15785-15787 2016-06603 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES Market Test of Experimental Product-Customized Delivery, 15760-15761 2016-06616 New Postal Products, 15756-15760 2016-06674 2016-06675 2016-06676 2016-06677 2016-06678 2016-06679 2016-06680 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Market Test of Experimental Product: Global eCommerce Marketplace (GeM) Merchant Solution, 15761 2016-06623 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Charter Renewals: Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group, 15741-15742 2016-06646 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Automated Quotations, 15660-15665 2016-06633 NOTICES Applications for Registration as a National Securities Exchange; Amendments and Orders: Investors Exchange LLC, 15765-15770 2016-06632 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BOX Options Exchange LLC, 15772-15773 2016-06636 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 15770-15772 2016-06605 NASDAQ PHLX LLC, 15761-15765 2016-06604 NYSE Arca, Inc., 15774 2016-06606 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15774-15776 2016-06642 Social Security Ruling; Correction, 15776 2016-06598 State Department State Department NOTICES Designations as Global Terrorists: Santoso also known as Abu Wardah as-Syarqi, et al., 15776-15777 2016-06557 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: NuStar Dos Laredos Pipeline Presidential Permit Application Review, 15777 2016-06694 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water, 15777-15779 2016-06594 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Prioritization and Allocation Authority Exercised by the Secretary of Transportation Under the Defense Production Act, 15788-15789 2016-06663 Public Charters, 15787-15788 2016-06661
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claim for One Sum Payment Government Life Insurance and Claim for Monthly Payments Government Life Insurance, 15789 2016-06645 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Federal Communications Commission, 15792-15833 2016-05275 Part III Energy Department, 15836-15921 2016-06588 Part IV Labor Department, Labor-Management Standards Office, 15924-16051 2016-06296 Reader Aids

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

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

81 57 Thursday, March 24, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Parts 271 and 273 RIN 0584-AE33 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Employment and Training Program Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting Measures AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule.

SUMMARY:

Section 4022 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 requires that, not later than 18 months after the date of enactment, USDA (the Department) shall issue an interim final rule implementing the amendments made by subsection (a)(2). Pursuant to that requirement, this rule implements the employment and training (E&T) provisions of section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 provides the Department additional oversight authority of State agencies' administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) E&T program. In addition, it requires the Department to develop national reporting measures and for State agencies to report outcome data to the Department. It also requires that the Department monitor and assess State agencies' E&T programs, and provides the Department with the authority to require State agencies to make improvements to their programs as necessary. Finally, State agencies are required to submit reports on the impact of certain E&T components and, in certain States, the E&T services provided to able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).

DATES:

Effective Date: This rule will become effective May 23, 2016.

Implementation Date: Upon clearance by OMB of the associated information collection requirements, States shall include reporting measures in the E&T State Plans for the first full fiscal year that begins not earlier than September 20, 2016.

Comment Date: Written comments must be received on or before May 23, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites interested persons to submit comments on this interim rule. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Preferred method. Go to http://www.regulations.gov; follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

FAX: Submit comments by facsimile transmission to (703) 305-2486, attention: Moira Johnston, Director, Office of Employment and Training, SNAP.

Web site: Go to http://www.fns.usda.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments through the link at the SNAP Web site.

Email: Send comments to [email protected] Include Docket ID Number FNS-2011-0026, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Employment and Training Employment and Training Program Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting Measures Interim Rule in the subject line of the message.

Mail: Send comments to Moira Johnston, Director, Office of Employment and Training, SNAP, FNS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 806, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

Hand delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to Ms. Johnston at the above address. All comments on this interim rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. The Department will make the comments publicly available on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Moira Johnston, Director, Office of Employment and Training, at the above address or by telephone at (703) 305-2515.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: What acronyms or abbreviations are used in this supplementary discussion?

In the discussion of the provisions in this rule, the following acronyms or other abbreviations stand in for certain words or phrases:

Phrase Acronym,
  • abbreviation,
  • or symbol
  • Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents ABAWDs. Code of Federal Regulations CFR. Employment and Training E&T. Federal Register FR. Federal Fiscal Year FY. Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended the FNA. Food and Nutrition Service FNS. Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) FCEA. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary. Section (when referring to Federal Regulations) §. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP. U.S. Department of Agriculture the Department. U.S. Department of Labor DOL. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act WIOA.
    Background What is the SNAP E&T program?

    Section 6(d)(4) of the FNA requires that each State agency implement an E&T program designed to help members of SNAP households gain skills, training, employment, or experience that increase participants' ability to obtain regular employment. State agencies may include one or more of the following components in their E&T program: Job search, job search training, workfare, work experience, work training, basic education programs, self-employment training programs, job retention services, and other programs as approved by the Secretary. State agencies submit E&T plans that outline planned components and budgets to FNS for approval annually.

    How is SNAP E&T funded?

    The Department funds SNAP E&T programs through $90 million in E&T grants and an additional $20 million in grants for State agencies that pledge to serve all ABAWDs at-risk of losing eligibility due to time-limited participation. In addition to these grants, the Department reimburses State agencies for 50 percent of approved administrative costs beyond the E&T grant and for 50 percent of allowable participant expenses, such as transportation and dependent care.

    Is participation in SNAP E&T mandatory?

    SNAP work registrants not otherwise exempted by the State agency must participate in a SNAP E&T component if referred by the State agency. E&T programs may be mandatory or voluntary. In a mandatory program, failure to comply without good cause, results in disqualification from SNAP for a minimum sanction period which can vary depending upon State policy. Except in the case of permanent disqualification, an individual may resume SNAP participation after the sanction period expires and/or the individual complies with work requirements (whichever is later). State agencies may also serve voluntary E&T participants. Voluntary E&T participants are not subject to disqualification from SNAP for failure to comply with a SNAP E&T component.

    The Agricultural Act of 2014

    This interim rule implements section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Even though the reporting requirements of this rule must be implemented by the beginning of first full fiscal year 180 days after publication of this rule, the Department is soliciting comments on this rule. The Department believes that it would benefit from the public's comments before publishing a final rule.

    Why is the Department publishing this interim rule rather than a proposed and then final rule?

    Section 4022(a)(3)(A) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 requires that “Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue interim final regulations implementing the amendments made by subsection (a)(2).”

    What does the Agricultural Act of 2014 require in regards to SNAP E&T?

    Section 4022 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 amends section 16(h)(5) of the FNA, to provide that:

    • The Department develop standardized reporting measures for E&T programs;

    • States agencies' annual E&T plans must identify additional reporting measures for each E&T component that is intended to serve at least 100 participants a year;

    • The Department monitor State E&T programs and assess their effectiveness;

    • State agencies submit an annual report on their E&T programs that includes the number of participants who have gained skills, training, work, or experience that will increase their ability to obtain regular employment;

    • The Department may require a State agency to make modifications to its E&T plan if it determines that the State agencies' E&T outcomes are inadequate.

    These provisions will provide the Department with more information about the States with effective SNAP E&T programs and promising practices, and help identify those States that need technical assistance to improve their programs.

    Section 4022 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 also requires the Department to carry out up to 10 SNAP E&T pilot projects and to evaluate the SNAP E&T program nationally at least once every five years. This interim rule does not address these last two issues.

    Reporting Measures What does Section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 require the Department to do in developing national reporting measures?

    Section 4022(a)(2) amended section 16(h)(5)(B)(i) and (ii) of the FNA to require the Department to develop national reporting measures for States within the following requirements:

    • The Department, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, must develop State reporting measures that identify improvements in the skills, training, education, or work experience of members of households participating in SNAP;

    • The measures must be based on common measures of performance for Federal workforce training programs; and

    • The measures must include additional indicators that reflect the challenges facing the types of members of households participating in SNAP who participate in a specific E&T component.

    Has the Department consulted with the Department of Labor (DOL) in the development of this rule?

    Yes. In addition to consulting with and reviewing DOL's current performance measures, the Department examined and discussed the performance indicators included in WIOA (visit http://www.doleta.gov/wioa/ for more information on this legislation).

    What national reporting measures does this rule establish?

    After consultation with the DOL, the Department is establishing the following national reporting measures and requiring State agencies to report outcome data based on these measures. These reporting measures are similar to the performance indicators for the core programs in WIOA, but reflect the intent of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the unique characteristics of the SNAP E&T program and its participants, the required frequency of reporting, and how the Department will use the data. The reporting measures include:

    • The number and percentage of E&T participants and former participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after completion of participation in E&T;

    • The number and percentage of E&T participants and former participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after completion of participation in E&T;

    • The median quarterly earnings of all the E&T participants and former participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after completion of participation in E&T; and

    • The number and percentage of participants that completed a training, educational, work experience or an on-the-job training component.

    What additional reporting measures does Section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 require that State agencies include in their E&T plans?

    Section 4022(a)(2) amended section 16(h)(5)(B)(ii) of the FNA to require each State agency's E&T plan to identify appropriate reporting measures for each proposed component that serves a threshold number of participants of at least 100 per year. State agencies will report the outcome data in their annual reports to FNS. The Department has adopted 100 per year because this is consistent with the minimum in the Agricultural Act of 2014. The Department is particularly interested in receiving comments about the reporting measures themselves, as well as the appropriateness of this threshold.

    Because State agencies have broad flexibility in what E&T components they offer and how they structure their activities, the Department is not prescribing national reporting measures for specific components. Instead, the Department encourages State agencies, in designing their E&T component measures, consider the measures that are suggested in the Agricultural Act of 2014, which may include:

    • The percentage and number of program participants who received E&T services and are in unsubsidized employment subsequent to the receipt of those services;

    • The percentage and number of participants who obtain a recognized credential, including a registered apprenticeship, or a regular secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, while participating in, or within 1 year after receiving, E&T services;

    • The percentage and number of participants who are in an education or training program that is intended to lead to a recognized credential, including a registered apprenticeship or on-the-job training program, a regular secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, or unsubsidized employment;

    • Measures developed by each State agency to assess the skills acquisition of employment and training program participants that reflect the goals of the specific employment and training program components of the State agency, which may include:

    ○ The percentage and number of participants who are meeting program requirements in each component of the education and training program of the State agency;

    ○ The percentage and number of participants who are gaining skills likely to lead to employment as measured through testing, quantitative or qualitative assessment, or other method; and

    ○ The percentage and number of participants who do not comply with employment and training requirements and who are ineligible under section 6(b); and

    ○ Other indicators approved by the Secretary.

    Is the Department required to approve State agencies' reporting measures for each component?

    Yes. FNS will work with State agencies to identify appropriate reporting measures for each component. State agencies must include the reporting measures for individual components in their E&T plans, which must be submitted and approved by FNS on an annual basis.

    Will State agencies be required to report additional information on the characteristics of SNAP E&T participants?

    The SNAP work registrant population, like the general SNAP population, is very diverse and faces a myriad of challenges to employment, such as measurable educational attainment and employment history, or intangibles such as substance abuse or mental health problems. The Department is interested in understanding the effectiveness of certain approaches with populations facing different barriers; however, this can be difficult to ascertain given that the complex nature of these challenges.

    The Department believes that to have a better understanding of the effectiveness of SNAP E&T it must have a more complete picture of the population it is serving. The Department has very little detailed information on the characteristics of SNAP E&T participants. There are no existing reporting requirements or other mechanisms to collect this information. Therefore, in order to better serve SNAP E&T participants, this rule requires State agencies to report the following six characteristics for all E&T participants. The report will include the total number and percentage of all E&T participants who:

    • Are voluntary vs. mandatory;

    • have achieved a high school degree (or GED) prior to being provided with E&T services;

    • are ABAWDs;

    • speak English as a second language;

    • are male vs. female; and

    • belong in the following age ranges: 16-17, 18-35, 36-49, 50-59, 60 or older.

    For example, if a State had 10,000 E&T participants in a year, 2,000 of which were voluntary and 8,000 mandatory, these numbers would be reported along with the 20 and 80 percentages. State agencies currently collect most of this information as part of the application and it should be available through their eligibility systems or SNAP E&T tracking systems. This will not require additional reporting on the part of the SNAP recipient.

    Section 16(h)(5)(B)(ii) of the FNA, as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014, requires that the national reporting measures developed by the Department include additional indicators that reflect the challenges facing the types of members of households participating in SNAP who participate in a specific employment and training component. What are these indicators and for which SNAP E&T participants must State agencies report these indicators?

    Of the above six characteristics required to be reported of all SNAP E&T participants, the Department has identified three that it believes are most important to understanding the challenges to employment faced by those SNAP E&T participants and former participants who are included in the four national reporting measures described above. These characteristics are: Voluntary or mandatory participation in E&T, those with low education attainment, and those who are ABAWDs. A participant may have more than one characteristic (e.g., may be a voluntary participant who is also an ABAWD). The Department believes obtaining data on those participants and former participants included in the national reporting measures who have these three characteristics is critical to the development of effective strategies to serve these populations. Therefore, the rule requires that for each national reporting measure States must submit summary data that disaggregate the four national measures by the following three characteristics.

    • Individuals who are or were voluntary vs. mandatory participants;

    • participants having achieved a high school degree (or GED) prior to being provided with E&T services; and

    • participants who are or were ABAWDs;

    Thus, to illustrate, States will be required to report the total number and percentage of E&T participants and former participants in unsubsidized employment during Q2 after participation in E&T and the number and percentage of those participants who were mandatory and voluntary. If the State had 1,000 out of 10,000 E&T participants and former participants employed in the second quarter following completion of E&T (10 percent) and of the 1,000, 300 were voluntary and 700 were mandatory, these numbers would be reported along with the percentages.

    Furthermore, in addition to reporting the median quarterly earnings of all the E&T participants and former participants, States will be required to report this outcome measure for the following subgroups: Voluntary participants, mandatory participants, those who have achieved a high school degree (or GED) prior to being provided with E&T services, and ABAWDs.

    Are the SNAP E&T reporting measures based on the performance indicators for core workforce programs included in WIOA?

    WIOA established primary indicators of performance for the core programs related to employment, earnings, credential attainment/measureable skills gains as they relate to gaining/retaining employment, and serving employers. The SNAP E&T reporting measures required by this rule are closely aligned with, but not identical to, those in WIOA. The variations can be attributed to: (1) Difference in the required frequency of reporting (the Agricultural Act of 2014 requires a single annual report whereas the WIOA proposed regulations would require quarterly reports and an annual report); (2) difference in data needs; and (3) seeking a balance between value of information obtained and the burden of longer term tracking. FNS does not include a reporting measure for the effectiveness of serving employers or the number of participants that obtain credentials, in part because DOL and Department of Education are still in the process of developing this policy. In addition, because State agencies have broad flexibility in what E&T components they offer and how they structure their activities, the Department is not prescribing national reporting measures for specific components, like the percentage and number of participants who obtain a recognized credential, but the Department encourages State Agencies to consider such measures as described in

    “What additional reporting measures does Section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 require that State agencies include in their E&T plans?”

    DOL published proposed regulations regarding WIOA in the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; Joint Rule for Unified and Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, and the One-Stop System Joint Provisions” proposed rule on April 16, 2015. The Department views DOL as the leader in employment policy and will look for ways to be consistent with any changes made to its performance measures in the final E&T rulemaking. The Department is interested in comments pertaining to the variance between the WIOA performance indicators and the SNAP E&T reporting measures.

    What will the Department do with the reported data?

    The Department will use outcome data to monitor the effectiveness of SNAP E&T programs. The Department will also share this information with policy makers, State agencies, and other stakeholders. In combination with the current data State agencies report to FNS regarding SNAP E&T, outcome data will help the Department identify E&T programs and components that produce a higher number and percentage of participants that obtain unsubsidized employment. The Department will use the data on median earnings to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of E&T programs and the components States have implemented. The Department will also use this data to assess and identify the most promising practices for State agencies that want to improve their SNAP E&T programs. The Department will use the data on educational attainment in a similar way, while the data regarding the characteristics of E&T participants will help the Department and States better understand the relative challenges different groups face.

    How often and what method will State agencies use to report to the Department?

    Pursuant to section 16(h)(5)(D) of the FNA, as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014, this rule requires State agencies to submit an annual report to FNS by January 1 of each year, to include outcome data on the reporting measures outlined above for the Federal fiscal year ending the previous September 30. FNS may specify a standard format for the annual report.

    What data and timeframes will an annual report include?

    Data will be measured within the fiscal year for which the State agency is reporting using the most recent data available during the reporting period for each measure and additional characteristics for the participants and former participants included in the reporting measures. Therefore, if an individual completed participation in E&T in the fourth quarter of FY 2018, information from the second quarter of FY 2019 concerning their employment would be included in reporting for FY 2019, even if that individual was no longer participating in SNAP.

    Reporting for a fiscal year will include the characteristics of each E&T participant that participated in E&T during that fiscal year.

    Is there a minimum amount that an individual must earn in a quarter to be included in a reporting measure?

    No, there is no minimum amount of earnings from unsubsidized employment in a quarter for an individual to be included in a reporting measure.

    What other information must States include in the annual E&T reports?

    States that have committed to offering all at-risk ABAWDs a slot in a qualifying activity and have received an additional allocation of funds as specified in 7 CFR 273.7(d)(3) must include in their annual reports the following information:

    • The monthly average number of individuals in the State who meet the conditions of § 273.7(d)(3)(i);

    • The number of individuals to whom the State offers a position in a program described in § 273.24(a)(3)and (4);

    • The number of individuals who participate in such programs; and

    • A description of the types of employment and training programs the State agency offered to at-risk ABAWDs, and the availability of those programs throughout the State.

    What does the Agricultural Act of 2014 require in terms of monitoring, evaluating and assessing States' E&T programs?

    The Agricultural Act of 2014 amended section 16(h)(5)(A) of the FNA to require the Department to monitor SNAP E&T programs and assess their effectiveness in terms of preparing members of households for employment, including the acquisition of basic skills necessary for employment, and increasing the number of household members who obtain and retain employment subsequent to participation in E&T. The Agricultural Act of 2014 also amended section 16(h)(5)(C) of the FNA to require that the Department evaluate State agencies' E&T programs on a periodic basis to ensure:

    • Compliance with Federal E&T program rules and regulations;

    • that program activities are appropriate to meet the needs of the individuals referred by the State agency to an E&T program component; and

    • that reporting measures are appropriate to identify improvements in skills, training, work and experience for participants in an employment and training program component.

    How is the Department codifying this provision?

    SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 275.3(a) already require FNS to conduct management evaluation (ME) reviews of designated, or “target”, areas of program operation each fiscal year. FNS identifies target areas each year based upon a number of considerations, including recent policy changes, risk to Federal funds, and risk to program access. For example, FNS may identify program access as an area that the regional offices are required to review in every State, and nutrition education as an area to be reviewed on an at-risk basis, as necessary. This affords FNS maximum flexibility to target its resources to those current areas of vulnerability or agency priorities. In past years, FNS has not required its regional offices to perform an ME of each State agency's E&T program; many operate very small job-search only programs. However, FNS has required its regional offices to review E&T programs in States that operate third party matching programs, or that have combined Federal and State budgets over a certain threshold. As part of its general monitoring and oversight responsibilities, FNS will meet the requirement of the FNA by continuing to perform MEs of States' E&T programs, but will also continue to establish in guidance which target areas to focus on each year.

    In addition, through its current authority, FNS is required to review and approve State agencies' E&T plans and budgets. Through this process, FNS will ensure that individual components are structured to meet the needs of participants and that the reporting measures for individual components with more than 100 participants, required by this rule, are appropriate to measure the impact of the components on participants.

    Does the Department have authority to require modifications to State agencies' E&T programs?

    Yes. Section 16(h)(5)(E) of the FNA, as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014, gives the Department the authority to require a State agency to make modifications to its SNAP E&T plan to improve outcomes if the Department determines that the E&T outcomes are inadequate.

    Why are most of the reporting measures focused on program outcomes?

    The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires that performance indicators be used to measure the outcome of government programs. The national reporting measures in this rule will provide data that be used to evaluate the effectiveness of E&T programs in moving SNAP recipients toward self-sufficiency.

    Additionally, the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) performed an audit of the SNAP E&T program and, in its final report, entitled “Food Stamp Employment and Training Program” (OIG #27601-16-At), released April 29, 2008, concluded that the data to evaluate the SNAP E&T program's impact was lacking. The chief recommendation of this audit report was that FNS establish reporting measures for the SNAP E&T program and require State agencies to submit outcome data, which FNS could then use to determine whether the program improves employability and helps participants prepare for or obtain jobs. FNS agrees with this recommendation and, through this rule, is establishing standardized reporting measures that capture the impact of E&T programs. As noted above, FNS will use data to help identify the most effective E&T programs and best practices, and will share this information with State agencies looking to improve or expand their E&T programs.

    Do State agencies already have reporting measures and outcome data?

    Currently, thirty-six State agencies have reporting measures and report E&T program outcome data in their E&T plans. State agencies use a variety of reporting measures, and the outcome data reported cannot be compared or summarized on a national level. Additionally, other work programs, such as those funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner-Peyser Act (WPA), require State agencies to track, collect, and report outcome data. The measures in this rule are designed to be similar to the common measures used by these other work programs. The Department recommends that State agencies consult with State workforce and other agencies on data collection strategies and technical requirements.

    For reporting purposes, who is considered an E&T participant?

    A SNAP applicant or recipient who is placed in and begins an E&T component is considered a “participant” for reporting purposes. E&T participants who are placed in a component but do not show up for the first training appointment will not be counted in the base of participants for reporting measures. Individuals that complete an E&T component are also considered to be participants for reporting purposes, even if they are no longer participating in SNAP. The Department recognizes that some State agencies provide E&T services to SNAP participants who are under-employed and it does not wish to discourage this practice. As such, State agencies may include E&T participants who are already employed as countable participants, if placed in a component.

    Should voluntary participants be counted as well as mandatory participants?

    Yes. State agencies must count all E&T participants, both mandatory and voluntary, in the base for reporting measures. The Department recognizes that some State agencies have shifted the focus of their E&T programs to voluntary participants because these participants are often more motivated to work and seek training that will make them more employable. The interim reporting measures will reflect the effectiveness of the program for both mandatory and voluntary participants.

    What is meant by unsubsidized employment?

    Unsubsidized employment means the E&T participant does not receive wages subsidized by a Federal, State or local government program, such as the TANF subsidized employment program or a SNAP work supplementation program. This is consistent with the definition of unsubsidized employment used by other Federal work programs. Participants who enter unsubsidized employment may still be receiving job retention services such as transportation reimbursements and dependent care.

    The definition of unsubsidized employment is not limited to jobs with paid benefits, such as health care coverage. Although the Department recognizes the value of such benefits for SNAP households, it would add complexity to data collection and the Department believes it is not an essential reporting requirement for the purpose of the interim rule.

    What is meant by “median” quarterly earnings?

    This rule requires that State agencies report the median average quarterly earnings for all E&T participants who had earnings from unsubsidized employment in the second quarter following completion of E&T. Median earnings will capture wage levels, and is consistent with the similar DOL reporting measure under WIOA. The “median” is determined by ranking participants' incomes from lowest to highest and identifying the middle income amount so that there are an equal number of incomes higher and lower. The median income is the amount in the middle—half the income amounts are higher, and half are lower. For example, for three participants earning $1,000, $1,500 and $3,500, the median income is $1,500 even though the average (or mean) would be $2,000. Using the median income can provide a more meaningful measure since it shows the halfway point, rather than the average, which can be significantly influenced by the larger incomes at the top or very small incomes at the bottom of the scale.

    Will E&T 100 percent grants be affected by the reported measures data?

    No. Outcome data will not affect Federal 100 percent grant funding for E&T programs. However, the Department retains the authority at § 273.7(d)(1)(i)(D) to consider outcome data as part of the scope of impact for a State's E&T program when evaluating requests for additional 100 percent funds.

    How may States fund the collection and reporting of outcome data?

    State agencies may use E&T administrative funds provided by § 273.7(d)(1) and (2) to pay for development of reporting systems as necessary. E&T administrative funds may also be used to meet staffing requirements that result from reporting measure tracking, the cost of follow-up with E&T participants and other aspects of the measures.

    Will the Department consider unemployment rates when evaluating outcome data?

    The Department will not factor unemployment rates into the raw outcome data. Reporting measures are meant to reflect whether E&T programs are effective in moving participants toward employment and self-sufficiency. However, the Department will consider unemployment rates together with other important factors when looking at the unique challenges SNAP E&T participants face.

    Should State agencies count workfare and work experience as unsubsidized employment?

    No. Workfare and work experience are defined as E&T components at section 6(d)(4) of the FNA, and participation in these components is captured in the FNS-583. Currently, many State agencies offer workfare and work experience as E&T components to provide participants with experience or training that will move them promptly into employment. As State agencies already report these activities on the FNS-583 as E&T components, the Department will not consider placement in such activities as unsubsidized employment to be included in the reporting measures.

    Will the Department verify this data?

    The Department will not verify this information on a regular basis. However, FNS will review data collection methods and verify data as part of the ME review of States' E&T programs. This will help to ensure that reported data is accurate.

    Procedural Matters Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

    This interim rule has been designated 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). Consistent with the requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) was developed for this interim rule.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis

    As required for all rules that have been designated as significant by OMB, a RIA was developed for this interim rule. The RIA for this rule was published as part of the docket to this rule on www.regulations.gov. The following summarizes the conclusions of the regulatory impact analysis.

    Need for Action: This interim rule implements requirements for State agencies to report outcome data for SNAP E&T programs as mandated by Section 4022(a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014. The interim rule establishes five separate reporting measures and requires State agencies to report annually outcome data to monitor the effectiveness of E&T programs.

    State agencies are also required to identify appropriate reporting measures for each proposed component that serves a threshold number of participants of at least 100 a year. The reporting measures for these components will be identified in State agencies' E&T plans and the outcome data will be reported to FNS in State agencies' annual reports.

    Benefits: Benefits of this action include better data to inform policy makers regarding means to improve E&T effectiveness, ultimately benefiting SNAP E&T participants. National reporting measures will allow State and Federal program managers and policy makers to strategically plan on program tactics that will result in improved employment outcomes. Uniform reporting measures for E&T programs will potentially benefit SNAP applicants and recipients by providing data to help evaluate what works in SNAP E&T and share best practices from those programs.

    Costs: FNS estimates that the costs will include one-time capital costs for developing new or modifying existing data collection systems for E&T programs, additional reporting burden for collecting and reporting data for the required reporting measures, and, for those States that need to develop new systems, annual operating and maintenance costs for those systems. FNS anticipates minimal burden to a small number of low-income families and minimal, if any, impact on program participation. FNS anticipates that some costs will be paid for using the existing federal grant money States receive to operate E&T. State funds spent in excess of the grant are reimbursed at a 50 percent rate by the Federal government.

    Effect on State Agencies: The Department has estimated that the effect on State agencies will be two-fold: First, a one-time capital cost for developing new or modifying existing data collection systems for E&T programs; and second, a reporting burden for collecting and reporting data for the required outcome measures. Those States that need to develop new systems may also incur annual operating and maintenance costs.

    Thirty-six State agencies currently have reporting measures and collect outcome data. However, the interim rule requires the addition of several data elements that none of these States are currently collecting.

    While it is expected that, in the first-year, State agencies will expend time and effort to establish reporting systems, the ongoing burden as shown below in the Paperwork Reduction Act section of the preamble is relatively moderate—about one and one-half staff-month per State.

    Effect on Low-Income Families: Establishing reporting requirements that measure E&T outcomes will ultimately allow State agencies to better serve low-income populations by providing them with E&T services that lead to longer-term unsubsidized employment opportunities. In addition, the Department estimates that the burden of the rule on low-income families will be minimal. A small number of E&T participants may face additional reporting burden due to the need to contact these individuals to track outcomes that are not available through existing data sources.

    Participation Impacts: The Department estimates that the impact on SNAP participation will be minimal. Establishing reporting requirements that measure E&T outcomes will allow State agencies to better serve low-income populations by providing them with E&T services that lead to longer-term unsubsidized employment opportunities.

    Civil Rights Impact Analysis

    The Department has reviewed this interim rule in accordance with Departmental Regulation 4300-4, “Civil Rights Impact Analysis,” to identify any requirements that may have the purpose or effect of excluding, limiting, or otherwise disadvantaging any group or class of persons on one or more prohibited bases. After careful review of the rule's intent and provisions, and the characteristics of SNAP households and individual participants, the Department has determined that this rule will not have a disparate impact on any group or class of persons. The interim rule will require State agencies to collect and report outcome data on SNAP E&T programs and will not change work requirements or impact the population subject to work requirements. The Department specifically prohibits the State and local government agencies that administer the Program from engaging in actions that discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, disability, and political beliefs. SNAP's nondiscrimination policy can be found at 7 CFR 272.6(a). The interim rule does not change these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires agencies to analyze the impact of rulemaking on small entities and consider alternatives that will minimize any significant impacts on small entities. Pursuant to that review, it is certified that this interim rule will not have a significant impact on small entities. The provisions of this interim rule apply to State agencies, which are not small entities as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    This interim rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local and tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

    Executive Order 12372

    SNAP is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.551. For the reasons set forth in the final rule in 7 CFR 3015, Subpart V and related Notice (48 FR 29115), the Program is included in the scope of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials.

    Federalism Impact Statement

    Executive Order 13132, requires Federal agencies to consider the impact of their regulatory actions. Where such actions have federalism implications, agencies are directed to provide a statement for inclusion in the preamble to the regulations describing the agency's considerations in terms of the three categories called for under section (6)(b)(2)(B) of the Executive Order 13132. This rule does not have Federalism impacts.

    Prior Consultation With State Officials

    Currently, the Department, through FNS, has encouraged State agencies to establish reporting measures and to report outcome data in their State E&T plans. FNS informally consulted with State agencies to identify what E&T reporting measures and outcome data they collect in the absence of required reporting measures. An informal review of State agencies in FY 2007 showed that twenty-three State agencies had reporting measures and gathered outcome data on the number of E&T participants who entered employment. This review revealed wide variability in how State agencies' aggregate data, how employment was defined, and whether a direct link to participation in E&T was established. FNS reviewed FY 2013 State agency E&T plans and found that thirty-six State agencies track the number of E&T participants that enter employment. The interim rule will standardize the reporting measures that State agencies use and what outcome data State agencies report.

    Nature of Concerns and the Need To Issue This Rule

    As modified by the Agricultural Act of 2014, section 16(h)(5) of the FNA requires that the Department monitor SNAP E&T programs and measure their effectiveness. In addition, the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires that performance indicators be used to measure the outcome of government programs. Finally, a 2008 audit by the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that FNS had sufficient systems in place to monitor State agency compliance and administration with laws and regulations, but recommended FNS establish reporting measures for the SNAP E&T program and require State agencies to submit outcome data to determine the Program's effectiveness.

    This rule establishes standardized reporting measures and requires State agencies to report outcome data for the SNAP E&T program. The Department published a proposed rule establishing performance measures in 1991 (FR 43152, August 30, 1991). At that time, many State agencies and advocates responded that the rule would impose an unreasonable burden on State agencies. The Department did not codify that proposed rule. While State agencies may have similar concerns today, other Federal work programs, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner-Peyser Act (WPA), have established standardized performance indicators and State workforce investment boards have more experience tracking entered employment, retention and earnings. By implementing Section 16(h)(5) of the FNA, the Department is following the lead of other Federal agencies and establishing standardized reporting measures and requiring State agencies to report outcome data in order to evaluate the effectiveness of E&T programs.

    Extent to Which We Met Those Concerns

    The Department has considered the impact of the interim rule on State and local agencies. This rule will implement reporting measures that are required by law and require the reporting of outcome data. The provisions in this rule are similar to the current practice of at least thirty-six State agencies. FNS will work with the remaining State agencies to provide guidance and technical assistance in meeting the requirements of this rule.

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    Currently, only two State SNAP E&T programs include partnerships or activities with Tribal organizations. On February 29, 2012, during a Tribal consultation, the Department explained the existing section 16(h)(5) of the FNA which required the Department to monitor and measure the effectiveness of E&T programs, and FNS's intention to write a proposed rule on E&T reporting measures and the reporting of outcome data. The Department invited Tribal officials or their designees to ask questions about the impact of a proposed rule on Tribal governments, communities, and individuals. The Department did not receive any comments or questions on its intention to write that rule. (Subsequently, the Agricultural Act of 2014 passed, which expanded the requirements and authority under section 16(h)(5) of the FNA, and included a requirement that the Department publish an interim rule identifying national reporting measures.) This session established a baseline of consultation for future actions, should any be necessary, regarding this rule. Reports from the Tribal consultation session will be made part of the Department's annual reporting on Tribal Consultation and Collaboration. The Department will provide additional venues, such as webinars and teleconferences, to periodically host collaborative conversations with Tribal leaders and their representatives concerning ways to improve this rule in Indian country. FNS has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule has tribal implications that require tribal consultation under E.O. 13175 and has consulted with Tribes as described above. If a Tribe requests consultation, FNS will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

    Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is intended to have preemptive effect with respect to any State or local laws, regulations or policies that conflict with its provisions or that will otherwise impede its full implementation. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect unless so specified in the “Effective Date” paragraph of this rule. Prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule or the application of its provisions, all applicable administrative procedures must be exhausted.

    E-Government Act Compliance

    The Department 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.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35; see 5 CFR part 1320) requires that OMB approve all collections of information by a Federal agency from the public before they can be implemented. Respondents are not required to respond to any collection of information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number. This interim rule contains new provisions that will affect reporting and recordkeeping burdens. Section 271.8 has been amended to reflect the new reporting requirements. The changes in burden that will result from the provisions in the interim rule are described below, and are subject to review and approval by OMB. When the information collection requirements have been approved, the Department will publish a separate action in the Federal Register announcing OMB's approval.

    Written comments on the information collection in this interim rule must be received by May 23, 2016. Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the information collection 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 use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to Moira Johnston, at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically. For further information, or for copies of the information collection requirements, please contact Ms. Johnston.

    All responses to this request for comments will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Title: SNAP: Employment and Training Program Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting Measures.

    OMB Number: [0584—NEW].

    Expiration Date: Not Yet Determined.

    Type of Request: New Collection.

    Abstract: As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), FNS is submitting this information collection to OMB for its review. The interim rule will require State agencies to collect and report information on: (1) The number and percentage of E&T participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after completion of participation in E&T; (2) The number and percentage of E&T participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after completion of participation in E&T; (3) Median quarterly earnings of all E&T participants who worked in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after completion of participation in E&T; (4) The total number and percentage of participants that complete a training, educational, work experience or an on-the-job training component; and (5) certain unique characteristics of SNAP E&T participants that will provide information on the challenges they face in obtaining employment.

    The rule also requires State agencies to identify appropriate reporting measures for each proposed component that serves a threshold number of participants of at least 100 a year. The reporting measures for each component will be identified in States' E&T plans and the outcome data will be reported to FNS in their annual reports. Additionally, the rule requires that State agencies that have committed to offering all ABAWDs at risk of losing eligibility due to time-limited participation a slot in a qualifying activity and have received an additional allocation of funds, to report information regarding the use of those funds.

    Respondents: The 53 State agencies that administer the SNAP E&T program.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: One response per year for each State agency that administers the SNAP E&T program. States agencies will be required to report their outcome data annually.

    Current status: Thirty-six State agencies currently identify reporting measures and collect outcome data. However, the interim rule requires the addition of several data elements that these State agencies are not currently collecting. While the Department believes that some of these State agencies may continue to use the systems they already have in place with modifications to meet the provisions of this rule, others may decide to implement new systems to meet the increase in data that is required to be reported to FNS. The remaining 17 State agencies that do not have reporting measures in place will all need to develop systems to collect and report the required data. In the first year that the rule is published, State agencies will need to develop E&T data collection systems, reprogram existing systems, build interfaces between SNAP eligibility and SNAP E&T data collection systems and decide what data will be collected manually.

    Effect on State Agencies: The Department has estimated that the effect on State Agencies will be two-fold: First, a one-time capital cost for developing new or modifying existing data collection systems for E&T programs; and second, a reporting burden for collecting and reporting data for the required reporting measures. Those States that need to develop new systems may also incur annual operating and maintenance costs.

    Prior to implementation: In the first year that the rule is published, States may develop new SNAP E&T systems, reprogram existing systems, build interfaces between SNAP eligibility and SNAP E&T systems, and/or decide what data will be collected manually. For several of the measures (e.g., employment, earnings, characteristics of E&T participants) State agencies' could use a variety of sources to obtain administrative data, such as SNAP automated eligibility systems. The Department anticipates that some State agencies will rely on government entities with which they already have agreements and will need to renegotiate those agreements.

    Given the different size and complexity of States' E&T programs, variations in their E&T data systems, capabilities of their SNAP eligibility systems, and experience with reporting measures, it is not possible to develop a reliable estimate of the burden this rule places on State agencies to implement. Because of the uncertainties surrounding the exact methods States will use to collect and submit outcome data, we are requesting that States comment specifically on their potential capital start-up and operating and maintenance costs based upon consultation with potential data sources. After internal discussions with FNS regional office and State systems staff, FNS assumes an estimate of three staff-months (520 hours) per State to establish data collection and reporting systems to implement this rule, at a cost of approximately $1.2 million. This estimate of initial burden is a placeholder until FNS receives comments from States on their estimate of the time it will take to implement.

    Estimated Initial Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden Hours Description of activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Number of
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    One-time capital start-up and operating and maintenance costs 53 53 520 27,560

    Annual ongoing burden from rule: While it is expected that in the first year State agencies will expend more time and effort to establish reporting systems, the ongoing burden as shown below is relatively moderate—about one and one half staff-month per State. The following estimates assume that State agencies will use a combination of methods to collect the data including existing automated systems data, new data collection, and some contact with SNAP E&T participants. In the regulatory impact analysis accompanying this rule, FNS estimates that the ongoing additional time burden will average no more than about 231 hours annually per State (about one and a half staff-months) on average (12,233 hours per year for all States), or less than $1 million in total. The breakdown of the 231 hours is itemized in the table below. FNS believes this estimate may be somewhat high since data that can be collected through automated data systems is expected to require less time than data collected through direct contact with SNAP E&T participants.

    Estimated Ongoing Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden Hours Regulation section Description of activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual report/record filed Total annual responses Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    272.1(f) Recordkeeping 53 1 53 1 53 273.7(c)(17)(i) Reporting E&T participants who have earnings in the second quarter after completion of E&T 53 1 53 40 2,120 273.7(c)(17)(ii) Reporting E&T participants who have earnings in the fourth quarter after completion of E&T 53 1 53 40 2,120 273.7(c)(17)(iii) Reporting Median quarterly earnings 53 1 53 40 2,120 273.7(c)(17)(iv) Reporting E&T participants that completed a training, educational, work experience or an on-the-job training component within 6 months after completion of participation in E&T 45 1 45 80 3,600 273.7(c)(17)(v) & (vi) Reporting Characteristics of E&T participants, some broken out by 4 above measures 53 1 53 20 1,060 273.7(c)(17)(vii) Reporting Measures in a State agencies' E&T plan for components that are designed to serve at least 100 E&T participants a year 53 1 53 20 1,060 273.7(c)(17)(viii) Reporting Information about ABAWDs from State agencies that have committed to offering them participation in a qualifying activity 10 1 10 10 100 Total Reporting 53 7 320 38 12,180 Total Recordkeeping 53 1 53 1 53
    Summary of Ongoing Burden (In Addition to OMB #0584—New) 7 CFR 273 Total No. Respondents 53 Average No. Responses per Respondent 7 Total Annual Responses 373 Average Hours per Response 32.8 Total Burden Hours for Part 273 With Interim Rule 12,233

    In addition to potential capital start-up and operating and maintenance costs, we are requesting that States comment specifically on our burden estimates.

    List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 271

    Food stamps, Grant programs—social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    7 CFR Part 273

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Claims, Education and employment, Fraud, Grant programs—social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR parts 271 and 273 are amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for 7 CFR parts 271 and 273 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

    PART 271—GENERAL INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS 2. In § 271.8, amend the table by adding an entry for § 273.7(c)(16) in alphanumeric order to read as follows:
    § 271.8 Information collection/recordkeeping—OMB assigned control numbers. 7 CFR section where requirements are described Current OMB Control No. *    *    *    *    * 273.7(c)(16) 0584—New. *    *    *    *    *
    PART 273—CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS 3. Amend § 273.7 as follows: a. Add paragraph (c)(6)(xvii); and b. Add paragraphs (c)(16) and (17).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 273.7 Work provisions.

    (c) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (xvii) For each component that is expected to include 100 or more participants, reporting measures that the State will collect and include in the annual report in paragraph (c)(17) of this section. Such measures may include:

    (A) The percentage and number of program participants who received E&T services and are in unsubsidized employment subsequent to the receipt of those services;

    (B) The percentage and number of participants who obtain a recognized credential, a registered apprenticeship, or a regular secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent), while participating in, or within 1 year after receiving E&T services;

    (C) The percentage and number of participants who are in an education or training program that is intended to lead to a recognized credential, a registered apprenticeship an on-the-job training program, a regular secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent), or unsubsidized employment;

    (D) Measures developed to assess the skills acquisition of E&T program participants that reflect the goals of the specific components including the percentage and number of participants who are meeting program requirements or are gaining skills likely to lead to employment; and

    (E) Other indicators approved by FNS in the E&T State plan.

    (16) FNS may require a State agency to make modifications to its SNAP E&T plan to improve outcomes if FNS determines that the E&T outcomes are inadequate.

    (17) The State agency shall submit an annual E&T report by January 1 each year that contains the following information for the Federal fiscal year ending the preceding September 30.

    (i) The number and percentage of E&T participants and former participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after completion of participation in E&T.

    (ii) The number and percentage of E&T participants and former participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after completion of participation in E&T.

    (iii) Median average quarterly earnings of the E&T participants and former participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after completion of participation in E&T.

    (iv) The total number and percentage of participants that completed an educational, training work experience or an on-the-job training component.

    (v) The number and percentage of E&T participants who:

    (A) Are voluntary vs. mandatory participants;

    (B) Have received a high school degree (or GED) prior to being provided with E&T services;

    (C) Are ABAWDs;

    (D) Speak English as a second language;

    (E) Are male vs. female

    (F) Are within each of the following age ranges: 16-17, 18-35, 36-49, 50-59, 60 or older.

    (vi) Of the number and percentage of E&T participants reported in paragraphs (c)(17)(i) through (iv) of this section, a disaggregation of the number and percentage of those participants and former participants by the characteristics listed in paragraphs (c)(17)(v)(A), (B), and (C) of this section.

    (vii) Reports for the measures identified in a State's E&T plan related to components that are designed to serve at least 100 participants a year; and

    (viii) States that have committed to offering all at-risk ABAWDs participation in a qualifying activity and have received an additional allocation of funds as specified in § 273.7(d)(3) shall include:

    (A) The monthly average number of individuals in the State who meet the conditions of § 273.7(d)(3)(i);

    (B) The monthly average number of individuals to whom the State offers a position in a program described in § 273.24(a)(3) and (4);

    (C) The monthly average number of individuals who participate in such programs; and

    (D) A description of the types of employment and training programs the State agency offered to at risk ABAWDs and the availability of those programs throughout the State.

    (ix) States may be required to submit the annual report in a standardized format based upon guidance issued by FNS.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06549 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31068 Amdt. No. 3688] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 24, 2016. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matter incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001;

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center online at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420) Flight Technologies and Procedures 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 rule amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) by amending the referenced SIAPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP is listed on the appropriate FAA Form 8260, as modified by the National Flight Data Center (NFDC)/Permanent Notice to Airmen (P-NOTAM), and is incorporated by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR 97.20. The large number of SIAPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make their verbatim publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, but refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP contained on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections, and specifies the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as amended in the transmittal. For safety and timeliness of change considerations, this amendment incorporates only specific changes contained for each SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as modified by FDC permanent NOTAMs.

    The SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, as modified by FDC permanent NOTAM, and contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these changes to SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied only to specific conditions existing at the affected airports. All SIAP amendments in this rule have been previously issued by the FAA in a FDC NOTAM as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for these SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments require making them effective in less than 30 days.

    Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making these SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

    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 97

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 11, 2016. John S. Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal regulations, Part 97, (14 CFR part 97), is amended by amending Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:

    By amending: § 97.23 VOR, VOR/DME, VOR or TACAN, and VOR/DME or TACAN; § 97.25 LOC, LOC/DME, LDA, LDA/DME, SDF, SDF/DME; § 97.27 NDB, NDB/DME; § 97.29 ILS, ILS/DME, MLS, MLS/DME, MLS/RNAV; § 97.31 RADAR SIAPs; § 97.33 RNAV SIAPs; and § 97.35 COPTER SIAPs, Identified as follows:

    * * * Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC No. FDC date Subject 28-Apr-16 PA Meadville Port Meadville 5/0049 03/01/16 LOC RWY 25, Amdt 6B. 28-Apr-16 PA Meadville Port Meadville 5/0069 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 1B. 28-Apr-16 PA Meadville Port Meadville 5/0070 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Amdt 1B. 28-Apr-16 PA Williamsport Williamsport Rgnl 5/0073 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 ME Waterville Waterville Robert Lafleur 5/0190 02/23/16 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 5, Amdt 4A. 28-Apr-16 ME Waterville Waterville Robert Lafleur 5/0191 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 VA Roanoke Roanoke-Blacksburg Rgnl/Woodrum Field 5/0239 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 VA Roanoke Roanoke-Blacksburg Rgnl/Woodrum Field 5/0242 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1B. 28-Apr-16 VA Roanoke Roanoke-Blacksburg Rgnl/Woodrum Field 5/0243 03/03/16 VOR RWY 34, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 VA Roanoke Roanoke-Blacksburg Rgnl/Woodrum Field 5/0245 03/03/16 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 7. 28-Apr-16 NV Las Vegas Mc Carran Intl 5/0253 02/29/16 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 1L, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 VA Roanoke Roanoke-Blacksburg Rgnl/Woodrum Field 5/0273 03/03/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 34, Amdt 14B. 28-Apr-16 OR The Dalles Columbia Gorge Rgnl/The Dalles Muni 5/0502 02/29/16 COPTER LDA/DME RWY 25, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 OR The Dalles Columbia Gorge Rgnl/The Dalles Muni 5/0503 02/29/16 LDA/DME RWY 25, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MT Laurel Laurel Muni 5/0506 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MT Laurel Laurel Muni 5/0507 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 WA Pullman/Moscow,ID Pullman/Moscow Rgnl 5/0508 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1B. 28-Apr-16 WA Pullman/Moscow,ID Pullman/Moscow Rgnl 5/0509 02/29/16 RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 6, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 WA Pullman/Moscow,ID Pullman/Moscow Rgnl 5/0511 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 6, Amdt 2C. 28-Apr-16 WA Pullman/Moscow,ID Pullman/Moscow Rgnl 5/0515 02/29/16 VOR RWY 6, Amdt 9A. 28-Apr-16 KY Madisonville Madisonville Rgnl 5/0577 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 KY Madisonville Madisonville Rgnl 5/0578 02/23/16 VOR RWY 23, Amdt 14A. 28-Apr-16 KY Madisonville Madisonville Rgnl 5/0582 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 NJ Readington Solberg-Hunterdon 5/0657 02/23/16 VOR RWY 4, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 NJ Readington Solberg-Hunterdon 5/0658 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 NJ Readington Solberg-Hunterdon 5/0661 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 NH Nashua Boire Field 5/0811 02/23/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 14, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 NH Nashua Boire Field 5/0816 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 NH Nashua Boire Field 5/0817 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 NH Nashua Boire Field 5/0818 02/23/16 VOR-A, Amdt 12. 28-Apr-16 NC Fayetteville Fayetteville Rgnl/Grannis Field 5/0885 03/03/16 VOR RWY 22, Amdt 7. 28-Apr-16 NC Fayetteville Fayetteville Rgnl/Grannis Field 5/0886 03/03/16 VOR RWY 28, Amdt 8. 28-Apr-16 NC Fayetteville Fayetteville Rgnl/Grannis Field 5/0888 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig. 28-Apr-16 IL Cahokia/St Louis St Louis Downtown 5/1406 02/23/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 30L, Amdt 9A. 28-Apr-16 IL Cahokia/St Louis St Louis Downtown 5/1407 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30L, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 KY Monticello Wayne County 5/1569 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 WA Hoquiam Bowerman 5/1682 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 2C. 28-Apr-16 NC Jacksonville Albert J Ellis 5/1961 03/01/16 NDB RWY 5, Amdt 8B. 28-Apr-16 NC Roanoke Rapids Halifax-Northampton Rgnl 5/2003 03/03/16 VOR/DME RWY 2, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 MS Meridian Key Field 5/2868 03/03/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 1, Amdt 26. 28-Apr-16 MS Meridian Key Field 5/2869 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MS Meridian Key Field 5/2870 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 3. 28-Apr-16 MS Meridian Key Field 5/2871 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 CA Mariposa Mariposa-Yosemite 5/3308 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig. 28-Apr-16 CA Mariposa Mariposa-Yosemite 5/3309 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS)-B, Orig. 28-Apr-16 WA Spokane Spokane Intl 5/3564 02/29/16 RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 7, Orig. 28-Apr-16 IA Pocahontas Pocahontas Muni 5/4229 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 IA Pocahontas Pocahontas Muni 5/4230 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 IA Pocahontas Pocahontas Muni 5/4235 02/23/16 VOR/DME RWY 30, Amdt 4B. 28-Apr-16 IA Pocahontas Pocahontas Muni 5/4236 02/23/16 NDB RWY 12, Amdt 5C. 28-Apr-16 PA Williamsport Williamsport Rgnl 5/4518 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 PA Williamsport Williamsport Rgnl 5/4521 03/03/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 27, Amdt 16A. 28-Apr-16 PA Williamsport Williamsport Rgnl 5/5686 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 CA Monterey Monterey Rgnl 5/5781 02/29/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 10R, Amdt 28. 28-Apr-16 MI Harbor Springs Harbor Springs 5/6457 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MI Harbor Springs Harbor Springs 5/6460 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 2. 28-Apr-16 IA Boone Boone Muni 5/6608 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 ID Twin Falls Joslin Field—Magic Valley Rgnl 5/7326 02/24/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 26, Amdt 10. 28-Apr-16 ID Twin Falls Joslin Field—Magic Valley Rgnl 5/7327 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 ID Twin Falls Joslin Field—Magic Valley Rgnl 5/7332 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 ID Twin Falls Joslin Field—Magic Valley Rgnl 5/7333 02/24/16 VOR RWY 26, Amdt 16. 28-Apr-16 ID Twin Falls Joslin Field—Magic Valley Rgnl 5/7334 02/24/16 VOR RWY 8, Amdt 5. 28-Apr-16 ID Twin Falls Joslin Field—Magic Valley Rgnl 5/7335 02/24/16 VOR/DME RWY 8, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 TX Midland Midland Intl 5/7419 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 CO Rifle Garfield County Rgnl 5/7626 02/29/16 ILS RWY 26, Amdt 3. 28-Apr-16 OH Wilmington Clinton Field 5/7674 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 VA South Hill Mecklenburg-Brunswick Rgnl 5/7872 03/01/16 LOC RWY 1, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 VA South Hill Mecklenburg-Brunswick Rgnl 5/7873 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 VA South Hill Mecklenburg-Brunswick Rgnl 5/7874 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 MT Billings Billings Logan Intl 5/8056 03/01/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 10L, Amdt 25. 28-Apr-16 MT Billings Billings Logan Intl 5/8057 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MT Billings Billings Logan Intl 5/8058 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MT Billings Billings Logan Intl 5/8060 03/01/16 VOR/DME RWY 28R, Amdt 14A. 28-Apr-16 WA Seattle Seattle-Tacoma Intl 5/8220 02/29/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 34L, ILS RWY 34L (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 34L (SA CAT II), Amdt 1C. 28-Apr-16 AZ Douglas Bisbee Bisbee Douglas Intl 5/8474 03/03/16 VOR/DME RWY 17, Amdt 6. 28-Apr-16 AZ Douglas Bisbee Bisbee Douglas Intl 5/8475 03/03/16 VOR RWY 17, Amdt 3. 28-Apr-16 OH Piqua Piqua Airport-Hartzell Field 5/8875 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 OH Piqua Piqua Airport-Hartzell Field 5/8876 02/24/16 VOR-A, Amdt 13A. 28-Apr-16 OH Tiffin Seneca County 5/9532 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 TX Rocksprings Edwards County 5/9740 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 MN Fairmont Fairmont Muni 5/9782 03/07/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 31, Orig-D. 28-Apr-16 MN Fairmont Fairmont Muni 5/9784 03/07/16 COPTER ILS 31, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 WA Spokane Spokane Intl 5/9991 02/23/16 RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 25, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 WA Spokane Spokane Intl 5/9996 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 25, Amdt 4. 28-Apr-16 MT Great Falls Great Falls Intl 6/0048 03/07/16 VOR/DME RWY 3, Amdt 17. 28-Apr-16 WA Friday Harbor Friday Harbor 6/0050 03/01/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 3. 28-Apr-16 GA Waycross Waycross-Ware County 6/0169 03/03/16 ILS Z OR LOC Z RWY 19, Amdt 3. 28-Apr-16 AL Decatur Pryor Field Rgnl 6/0185 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 2. 28-Apr-16 CA Willits Ells Field-Willits Muni 6/0338 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 CA Sacramento Sacramento Executive 6/0473 03/01/16 VOR RWY 2, Amdt 10C. 28-Apr-16 CA Sacramento Sacramento Executive 6/0474 03/01/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 2, Amdt 24B. 28-Apr-16 CA Sacramento Sacramento Executive 6/0475 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 UT Richfield Richfield Muni 6/0905 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 GA Rome Richard B Russell Regional—
  • J H Towers Field
  • 6/1523 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig-A.
    28-Apr-16 GA Rome Richard B Russell Regional—
  • J H Towers Field
  • 6/1524 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Orig-A.
    28-Apr-16 IN Rensselaer Jasper County 6/1634 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 IN Rensselaer Jasper County 6/1635 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 OK Chandler Chandler Rgnl 6/1637 03/07/16 NDB RWY 35, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 OK Chandler Chandler Rgnl 6/1642 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig. 28-Apr-16 IN Indianapolis Indianapolis Rgnl 6/1651 03/07/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 25, Amdt 2C. 28-Apr-16 IN Indianapolis Indianapolis Rgnl 6/1652 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Orig. 28-Apr-16 IN Indianapolis Indianapolis Rgnl 6/1653 03/07/16 VOR RWY 34, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 IA Oskaloosa Oskaloosa Muni 6/1654 03/07/16 VOR/DME RWY 31, Amdt 3. 28-Apr-16 PR Ponce Mercedita 6/2026 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 CA Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Muni 6/2206 02/24/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 7, Amdt 5. 28-Apr-16 CA Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Muni 6/2207 02/24/16 VOR OR GPS RWY 25, Amdt 6B. 28-Apr-16 CA Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Muni 6/2210 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 AZ Douglas Bisbee Bisbee Douglas Intl 6/2260 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig. 28-Apr-16 IA Davenport Davenport Muni 6/2283 02/23/16 VOR RWY 21, Amdt 8A. 28-Apr-16 TX Nacogdoches A L Mangham Jr Rgnl 6/2290 02/22/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 36, Amdt 3C. 28-Apr-16 IA Eagle Grove Eagle Grove Muni 6/2293 02/22/16 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 2. 28-Apr-16 IA Eagle Grove Eagle Grove Muni 6/2295 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 IA Eagle Grove Eagle Grove Muni 6/2296 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 ND Walhalla Walhalla Muni 6/2298 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Orig. 28-Apr-16 SD Britton Britton Muni 6/2301 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 FL St Petersburg Albert Whitted 6/2442 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 3B. 28-Apr-16 FL St Petersburg Albert Whitted 6/2443 02/23/16 VOR RWY 18, Amdt 9. 28-Apr-16 FL St Petersburg Albert Whitted 6/2444 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 SC Darlington Darlington County Jetport 6/2445 03/07/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 SC Darlington Darlington County Jetport 6/2446 03/07/16 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 7. 28-Apr-16 SC Darlington Darlington County Jetport 6/2447 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 SC Darlington Darlington County Jetport 6/2448 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 SC Darlington Darlington County Jetport 6/2449 03/07/16 NDB RWY 23, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 TN Athens Mcminn County 6/2609 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 TX Brady Curtis Field 6/2706 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 NE Minden Pioneer Village Field 6/2710 02/22/16 VOR-A, Orig. 28-Apr-16 NE Minden Pioneer Village Field 6/2716 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig. 28-Apr-16 NE Minden Pioneer Village Field 6/2719 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig. 28-Apr-16 TX Brady Curtis Field 6/2958 02/23/16 NDB RWY 17, Amdt 4. 28-Apr-16 TX Brady Curtis Field 6/2959 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MD Fort Meade(Odenton) Tipton 6/3585 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MD Fort Meade(Odenton) Tipton 6/3586 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MN Hibbing Range Rgnl 6/3791 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 WV Buckhannon Upshur County Rgnl 6/3981 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 WV Buckhannon Upshur County Rgnl 6/3982 02/29/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 OR Bend Bend Muni 6/4352 02/24/16 VOR/DME RWY 16, Amdt 10. 28-Apr-16 OR Bend Bend Muni 6/4353 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 16, Amdt 2. 28-Apr-16 VA Danville Danville Rgnl 6/4741 02/22/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 2. 28-Apr-16 CA Oceanside Oceanside Muni 6/5020 02/22/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 4. 28-Apr-16 WY Torrington Torrington Muni 6/5029 02/24/16 GPS RWY 10, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 WY Torrington Torrington Muni 6/5030 02/24/16 GPS RWY 28, Orig-C. 28-Apr-16 WY Torrington Torrington Muni 6/5031 02/24/16 NDB RWY 10, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 WY Torrington Torrington Muni 6/5032 02/24/16 NDB RWY 28, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 OH Columbus Rickenbacker Intl 6/5211 02/22/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23R, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 MO Kennett Kennett Memorial 6/5265 02/24/16 VOR/DME RWY 20, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MO Kennett Kennett Memorial 6/5266 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MO Kennett Kennett Memorial 6/5267 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 MN Maple Lake Maple Lake Muni 6/5287 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 MN Maple Lake Maple Lake Muni 6/5288 02/23/16 VOR-A, Amdt 4A. 28-Apr-16 CA Upland Cable 6/5664 03/03/16 VOR-A, Orig. 28-Apr-16 MN Pipestone Pipestone Muni 6/5942 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 MN Pipestone Pipestone Muni 6/5943 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 SD Britton Britton Muni 6/5955 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 TN Mc Minnville Warren County Memorial 6/6018 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 ND Kindred Robert Odegaard Field 6/6040 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 OH St Clairsville Alderman 6/6049 02/23/16 VOR-A, Amdt 3A. 28-Apr-16 WA Snohomish Harvey Field 6/6191 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig. 28-Apr-16 CA Sacramento Sacramento Mather 6/6210 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22L, Amdt 2A. 28-Apr-16 CA Riverside Riverside Muni 6/6229 02/24/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 9, Amdt 8C. 28-Apr-16 CA Riverside Riverside Muni 6/6230 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 2B. 28-Apr-16 NM Carlsbad Cavern City Air Trml 6/6347 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32L, Amdt 1B. 28-Apr-16 IL Peoria Mount Hawley Auxiliary 6/6352 02/24/16 VOR/DME-A, Orig. 28-Apr-16 NE David City David City Muni 6/6353 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 NE David City David City Muni 6/6354 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 NE David City David City Muni 6/6355 02/24/16 VOR/DME RWY 32, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 CA San Diego Brown Field Muni 6/6385 02/24/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8L, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 SD Aberdeen Aberdeen Rgnl 6/6433 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig. 28-Apr-16 CA Willits Ells Field-Willits Muni 6/6458 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 PA Hazleton Hazleton Rgnl 6/6675 03/03/16 LOC RWY 28, Amdt 7. 28-Apr-16 WI Milwaukee General Mitchell Intl 6/6823 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 28-Apr-16 AR Stuttgart Stuttgart Muni 6/6860 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 AR Stuttgart Stuttgart Muni 6/6861 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 AR Stuttgart Stuttgart Muni 6/6863 02/23/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 36, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 AR Stuttgart Stuttgart Muni 6/6864 02/23/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 TX Houston Houston-Southwest 6/6947 03/03/16 LOC/DME RWY 9, Amdt 3B. 28-Apr-16 WI Phillips Price County 6/6949 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 WA Wenatchee Pangborn Memorial 6/7191 02/22/16 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 8. 28-Apr-16 WA Wenatchee Pangborn Memorial 6/7192 02/22/16 VOR/DME-C, Amdt 4. 28-Apr-16 WA Deer Park Deer Park 6/7221 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig. 28-Apr-16 CA San Diego/El Cajon Gillespie Field 6/7269 03/03/16 LOC/DME-D, Amdt 11A. 28-Apr-16 CA San Diego/El Cajon Gillespie Field 6/7270 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2C. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7813 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 20, Amdt 1B. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7814 03/07/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 20, Amdt 11G. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7815 03/07/16 VOR RWY 2, Amdt 6B. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7816 03/07/16 VOR RWY 20, Amdt 10. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7817 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 2, Amdt 1. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7819 03/07/16 LOC BC RWY 2, Amdt 6B. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7820 03/07/16 RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 20, Orig-B. 28-Apr-16 ID Idaho Falls Idaho Falls Rgnl 6/7821 03/07/16 RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 2, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 NC Roanoke Rapids Halifax-Northampton Rgnl 6/7844 03/03/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 1A. 28-Apr-16 CO Telluride Telluride Rgnl 6/8240 03/07/16 RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 9, Orig. 28-Apr-16 PA Hazleton Hazleton Rgnl 6/8305 03/03/16 VOR RWY 10, Amdt 11A. 28-Apr-16 PA Hazleton Hazleton Rgnl 6/8311 03/03/16 VOR RWY 28, Amdt 9A. 28-Apr-16 KY Louisville Louisville Intl-Standiford Field 6/9089 02/22/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 17L, Amdt 4E. 28-Apr-16 AZ Goodyear Phoenix Goodyear 6/9293 03/01/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Orig-A. 28-Apr-16 CA Los Angeles Los Angeles Intl 6/9822 03/01/16 RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 7R, Orig-C.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06329 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31065; Amdt. No. 3686] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 24, 2016. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matter incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001;

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center online at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420) Flight Technologies and Procedures 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 rule amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) by amending the referenced SIAPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP is listed on the appropriate FAA Form 8260, as modified by the National Flight Data Center (NFDC)/Permanent Notice to Airmen (P-NOTAM), and is incorporated by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR 97.20. The large number of SIAPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make their verbatim publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, but refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP contained on FAA form documents is unnecessary.

    This amendment provides the affected CFR sections, and specifies the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as amended in the transmittal. For safety and timeliness of change considerations, this amendment incorporates only specific changes contained for each SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as modified by FDC permanent NOTAMs.

    The SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, as modified by FDC permanent NOTAM, and contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these changes to SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied only to specific conditions existing at the affected airports. All SIAP amendments in this rule have been previously issued by the FAA in a FDC NOTAM as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for these SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments require making them effective in less than 30 days.

    Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making these SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

    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 97

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

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

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal regulations, Part 97, (14 CFR part 97), is amended by amending Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    §§ 97.23, 97.25, 97.27, 97.29, 97.31, 97.33, 97.35 [Amended]
    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:

    By amending: § 97.23 VOR, VOR/DME, VOR or TACAN, and VOR/DME or TACAN; § 97.25 LOC, LOC/DME, LDA, LDA/DME, SDF, SDF/DME; § 97.27 NDB, NDB/DME; § 97.29 ILS, ILS/DME, MLS, MLS/DME, MLS/RNAV; § 97.31 RADAR SIAPs; § 97.33 RNAV SIAPs; and § 97.35 COPTER SIAPs, Identified as follows:

    * * * Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC No. FDC date Subject 31-Mar-16 CA San Diego Brown Field Muni 5/7981 01/27/16 This NOTAM, published in TL. 16-07, is hereby rescinded in its entirety. 31-Mar-16 AL Auburn Auburn University Rgnl 5/0011 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 2A. 31-Mar-16 AL Auburn Auburn University Rgnl 5/0018 02/11/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 36, Amdt 2A. 31-Mar-16 AL Auburn Auburn University Rgnl 5/0020 02/11/16 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 8. 31-Mar-16 WI Ladysmith Rusk County 5/0022 02/10/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 AL Auburn Auburn University Rgnl 5/0026 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1A. 31-Mar-16 AL Auburn Auburn University Rgnl 5/0028 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1A. 31-Mar-16 AL Auburn Auburn University Rgnl 5/0036 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 1A. 31-Mar-16 NC Morganton Foothills Regional 5/0803 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 1. 31-Mar-16 GA Jasper Pickens County 5/1499 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Amdt 1A. 31-Mar-16 CO La Junta La Junta Muni 5/1868 02/16/16 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 3. 31-Mar-16 MD Baltimore Martin State 5/2207 02/16/16 VOR/DME OR TACAN Z RWY 15, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 DE Wilmington New Castle 5/2426 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 IL Freeport Albertus 5/2785 02/10/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 24, Orig. 31-Mar-16 IL Freeport Albertus 5/2786 02/10/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig. 31-Mar-16 IL Freeport Albertus 5/2787 02/10/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1. 31-Mar-16 IL Freeport Albertus 5/2788 02/10/16 VOR RWY 24, Amdt 7. 31-Mar-16 AL Montgomery Montgomery Rgnl (Dannelly Field) 5/2875 02/11/16 VOR-A, Amdt 4. 31-Mar-16 AL Montgomery Montgomery Rgnl (Dannelly Field) 5/2876 02/11/16 RADAR 1, Amdt 9. 31-Mar-16 WI Milwaukee General Mitchell Intl 5/4924 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7L, Orig. 31-Mar-16 WI Milwaukee General Mitchell Intl 5/4929 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19L, Orig. 31-Mar-16 WI Milwaukee General Mitchell Intl 5/4931 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 25R, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 WI Milwaukee General Mitchell Intl 5/4934 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig. 31-Mar-16 NC Wilmington Wilmington Intl 5/5567 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 2A. 31-Mar-16 TN Jackson Mc Kellar-Sipes Rgnl 5/6906 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Orig. 31-Mar-16 TN Jackson Mc Kellar-Sipes Rgnl 5/6907 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig. 31-Mar-16 TN Jackson Mc Kellar-Sipes Rgnl 5/6908 02/11/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 2, Amdt 8A. 31-Mar-16 NC Reidsville Rockingham County NC
  •  Shiloh
  • 5/9488 02/16/16 NDB RWY 31, Amdt 5.
    31-Mar-16 NC Reidsville Rockingham County NC
  •  Shiloh
  • 5/9489 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig.
    31-Mar-16 OH Marysville Union County 5/9514 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 TN Athens McMinn County 5/9954 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 TN Athens McMinn County 5/9955 02/11/16 NDB RWY 2, Amdt 6A. 31-Mar-16 ND Devils Lake Devils Lake Rgnl 6/0293 02/17/16 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 31, Amdt 3A. 31-Mar-16 MI Pellston Pellston Rgnl Airport Of Emmet County 6/2211 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-B. 31-Mar-16 MI Pellston Pellston Rgnl Airport Of Emmet County 6/2212 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 MI Pellston Pellston Rgnl Airport Of Emmet County 6/2214 02/17/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 32, Amdt 11A. 31-Mar-16 CT Groton (New London) Groton-New London 6/3087 02/16/16 VOR RWY 5, Amdt 8A. 31-Mar-16 CT Groton (New London) Groton-New London 6/3088 02/16/16 VOR RWY 23, Amdt 10A. 31-Mar-16 CT Groton (New London) Groton-New London 6/3089 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-B. 31-Mar-16 CT Groton (New London) Groton-New London 6/3090 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 TX Burnet Burnet Muni Kate Craddock Field 6/3503 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 TX Burnet Burnet Muni Kate Craddock Field 6/3504 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig. 31-Mar-16 MN Olivia Olivia Rgnl 6/3505 02/16/16 VOR/DME OR GPS-A, Amdt 2. 31-Mar-16 MN Olivia Olivia Rgnl 6/3506 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Orig. 31-Mar-16 NE Imperial Imperial Muni 6/3507 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 31-Mar-16 NE Imperial Imperial Muni 6/3508 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1A. 31-Mar-16 IA Marshalltown Marshalltown Muni 6/3772 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1. 31-Mar-16 IA Marshalltown Marshalltown Muni 6/3773 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1. 31-Mar-16 MI Grand Ledge Abrams Muni 6/4558 02/17/16 VOR OR GPS-A, Amdt 5. 31-Mar-16 NJ Toms River Ocean County 6/4595 02/16/16 ILS OR LOC RWY 6, Amdt 2A. 31-Mar-16 NJ Toms River Ocean County 6/4596 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 NJ Toms River Ocean County 6/4597 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 NJ Toms River Ocean County 6/4598 02/16/16 VOR RWY 6, Amdt 7A. 31-Mar-16 NJ Toms River Ocean County 6/4599 02/16/16 VOR/DME RWY 24, Amdt 4A. 31-Mar-16 TN Sparta Upper Cumberland Rgnl 6/4644 02/17/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig-B. 31-Mar-16 CO Meeker Meeker Coulter Fld 6/5329 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS)-B, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 CO Meeker Meeker Coulter Fld 6/5330 02/11/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 3A. 31-Mar-16 CO Meeker Meeker Coulter Fld 6/5331 02/11/16 VOR-A, Amdt 1. 31-Mar-16 NC Wilmington Wilmington Intl 6/5562 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) 35, Amdt 3A. 31-Mar-16 VA Marion/Wytheville Mountain Empire 6/6183 02/16/16 LOC RWY 26, Amdt 2A. 31-Mar-16 VA Marion/Wytheville Mountain Empire 6/6184 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 ME Rockland Knox County Rgnl 6/6882 02/16/16 NDB RWY 31, Orig-C. 31-Mar-16 GA Carrollton West Georgia Rgnl—O V Gray Field 6/7059 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig-A. 31-Mar-16 GA Carrollton West Georgia Rgnl—O V Gray Field 6/7060 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig. 31-Mar-16 VA Crewe Crewe Muni 6/7076 02/16/16 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06327 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31067; Amdt. No. 3687] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 24, 2016. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, 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 rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part § 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

    The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

    Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

    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 97:

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 11, 2016. John S. Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 28 APRIL 2016 Las Vegas, NV, Mc Carran Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 25R, Amdt 18 Fremont, OH, Sandusky County Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 1 Allentown, PA, Lehigh Valley Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 13, Amdt 8 Allentown, PA, Lehigh Valley Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 2 Bloomsburg, PA, Bloomsburg Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Winchester, VA, Winchester Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Effective 26 MAY 2016 Butler, AL Butler-Choctaw County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Amdt 1 Butler, AL Butler-Choctaw County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Amdt 1 Butler, AL Butler-Choctaw County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Canon City, CO, Fremont County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Morris, IL, Morris Muni—James R Washburn Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Morris, IL, Morris Muni—James R Washburn Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 2 Morris, IL, Morris Muni—James R Washburn Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Falmouth, MA, Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station, TACAN RWY 5, Amdt 1, CANCELED Falmouth, MA, Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station, TACAN RWY 14, Amdt 2A, CANCELED Falmouth, MA, Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station, TACAN RWY 23, Orig-A, CANCELED Falmouth, MA, Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station, TACAN RWY 32, Orig-A, CANCELED Monroe, MI, Custer, VOR RWY 3, Amdt 2, CANCELED Caruthersville, MO, Caruthersville Memorial, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig-A Smithfield, NC, Johnston Regional, ILS Y OR LOC Y RWY 3, Amdt 1 Smithfield, NC, Johnston Regional, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 2 Whiteville, NC, Columbus County Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig New York, NY, La Guardia, VOR-F, Amdt 3B, CANCELED Bucyrus, OH, Port Bucyrus-Crawford County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig Bucyrus, OH, Port Bucyrus-Crawford County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig Bucyrus, OH, Port Bucyrus-Crawford County, VOR RWY 22, Amdt 5 Fayetteville, TN, Fayetteville Muni, NDB RWY 20, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Fayetteville, TN, Fayetteville Muni, SDF RWY 20, Amdt 4, CANCELED Palacios, TX, Palacios Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig-A Newport News, VA, Newport News/Williamsburg Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Lyndonville, VT, Caledonia County, NDB RWY 2, Amdt 4B, CANCELED Deer Park, WA, Deer Park, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig Port Angeles, WA, William R Fairchild Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 8, Amdt 3 Port Angeles, WA, William R Fairchild Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 1 Port Angeles, WA, William R Fairchild Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Amdt 1 Port Angeles, WA, William R Fairchild Intl, WATTR SIX, Graphic DP
    [FR Doc. 2016-06326 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31064; Amdt. No. 3685] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 24, 2016. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

    For Examination

    1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.

    2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

    3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

    All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, 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 rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part § 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

    The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

    The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

    The Rule

    This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

    The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

    Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

    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 97

    Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

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

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

    PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 31 MARCH 2016 Stuttgart, AR, Stuttgart Muni, NDB RWY 18, Amdt 10C, CANCELED Durango, CO, Durango-La Plata County, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 3, Amdt 5 Durango, CO, Durango-La Plata County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 1 Durango, CO, Durango-La Plata County, VOR/DME RWY 3, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Groton (New London), CT, Groton-New London, ILS OR LOC RWY 5, Amdt 11D Groton (New London), CT, Groton-New London, RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-D St Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, St Pete-Clearwater Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 36R, Amdt 4 Griffin, GA, Griffin-Spalding County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-D Jefferson, GA, Jackson County, VOR/DME RWY 35, Amdt 3 Washington, IA, Washington Muni, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 1A, CANCELED Washington, IA, Washington Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig Washington, IA, Washington Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Washington, IA, Washington Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig Washington, IA, Washington Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1 Washington, IA, Washington Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Indianapolis, IN, Eagle Creek Airpark, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3 Winamac, IN, Arens Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 1 Winamac, IN, Arens Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1 Independence, KS, Independence Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1 Springfield, KY, Lebanon Springfield-George Hoerter Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 1 Springfield, KY, Lebanon Springfield-George Hoerter Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1 Springfield, KY, Lebanon Springfield-George Hoerter Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3 Cumberland, MD, Greater Cumberland Rgnl, LOC-A, Amdt 4, CANCELED Cumberland, MD, Greater Cumberland Rgnl, LOC/DME RWY 23, Amdt 7 Cumberland, MD, Greater Cumberland Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Amdt 2 Cumberland, MD, Greater Cumberland Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 7 Blue Earth, MN, Blue Earth Muni, NDB OR GPS RWY 34, Amdt 1, CANCELED Blue Earth, MN, Blue Earth Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig Blue Earth, MN, Blue Earth Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Park Rapids, MN, Park Rapids Muni-Konshok Field, VOR RWY 31, Amdt 14A, CANCELED Warroad, MN, Warroad Intl Memorial, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1 St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, ILS OR LOC RWY 8R, Amdt 14A St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, ILS OR LOC RWY 26L, Orig-C St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, NDB RWY 8R, Amdt 11E St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, NDB RWY 26L, Amdt 3A St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8L, Orig-A St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8R, Orig-A St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26L, Orig-B St Louis, MO, Spirit of St Louis, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26R, Orig-A Greenville, MS, Greenville Mid-Delta, VOR/DME RWY 18L, Amdt 13A, CANCELED Bowman, ND, Bowman Regional, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig Bowman, ND, Bowman Regional, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig Bowman, ND, Bowman Regional, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Columbus, OH, Port Columbus Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 28L, ILS RWY 28L (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 28L (SA CAT II), Amdt 30 Wilmington, OH, Wilmington Air Park, ILS OR LOC RWY 22R, ILS RWY 22R (CAT II), ILS RWY 22R (CAT III), Amdt 5B Wilmington, OH, Wilmington Air Park, NDB RWY 4L, Amdt 2E, CANCELED Wilmington, OH, Wilmington Air Park, NDB RWY 22R, Amdt 7E, CANCELED Wilmington, OH, Wilmington Air Park, VOR RWY 4L, Amdt 6, CANCELED Wilmington, OH, Wilmington Air Park, VOR RWY 22R, Amdt 4C, CANCELED Wilmington, OH, Wilmington Air Park, VOR/DME RWY 22R, Amdt 5, CANCELED Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 18L, Amdt 16 Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 18R, Amdt 7D Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 36R, ILS RWY 36R (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 36R (CAT II), Amdt 29E Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 2A Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18L, Amdt 1C Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18R, Amdt 1D Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Amdt 3D Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36L, Orig-D Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36R, Amdt 1B Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1A Dillon, SC, Dillon County, NDB RWY 7, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Centerville, TN, Centerville Muni, VOR RWY 2, Amdt 6, CANCELED Centerville, TN, Centerville Muni, VOR/DME OR GPS RWY 2, Amdt 2, CANCELED Sparta, TN, Upper Cumberland Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig-C Dallas, TX, Dallas Executive, VOR RWY 31, Amdt 1, CANCELED Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 31L, Amdt 22 Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 31R, ILS RWY 31R (SA CAT I), Amdt 6 Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, ILS Y OR LOC Y RWY 13L, Amdt 33 Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, ILS Y OR LOC Y RWY 13R, Amdt 5A Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 13L, Amdt 1B Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 13R, Orig-A Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 31L, Amdt 1D Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 31R, Amdt 2 Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 13L, Amdt 3 Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 13R, Amdt 1B Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) W RWY 13L, Orig-B Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) W RWY 13R, Orig-C Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) X RWY 13L, Orig-B Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) X RWY 13R, Orig-C Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 31L, Orig-B Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 31R, Orig-B Wichita Falls, TX, Kickapoo Downtown, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1 Logan, UT, Logan-Cache, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 17, Amdt 1 Logan, UT, Logan-Cache, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2 Logan, UT, Logan-Cache, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 3 Auburn, WA, Auburn Muni, AUBURN ONE Graphic DP, CANCELED Cumberland, WI, Cumberland Muni, GPS RWY 27, Orig, CANCELED Cumberland, WI, Cumberland Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig Cumberland, WI, Cumberland Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig Cumberland, WI, Cumberland Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Lake Geneva, WI, Grand Geneva Resort, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Alexander Field South Wood County, NDB RWY 30, Amdt 9A, CANCELED Effective 28 APRIL 2016 Pittsburgh, PA, Pittsburgh Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 32, Amdt 1C

    RESCINDED: On February 19, 2016 (81 FR 8394), the FAA published an Amendment in Docket No. 31058, Amdt No. 3679, to Part 97 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, under section 97.23. The following entries for Greenville, MS, Rochester, NY, and Aiken, SC, effective March 3, 2016, are hereby rescinded in their entirety:

    Greenville, MS, Greenville Mid-Delta, VOR/DME RWY 18L, Amdt 13A, CANCELED Rochester, NY, Greater Rochester Intl, VOR/DME RWY 4, Amdt 4A, CANCELED Aiken, SC, Aiken Muni, VOR/DME-A, Amdt 1A, CANCELED
    [FR Doc. 2016-06324 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 744 [Docket No. 160106014-6262-02] RIN 0694-AG82 Temporary General License AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule creates a temporary general license that temporarily restores the licensing requirements and policies under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to two entities added to the Entity List on March 8, 2016. BIS is issuing this rule in connection with a request to remove or modify the listing.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 24, 2016 through June 30, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chair, End-User Review Committee, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Export Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, Phone: (202) 482-5991, Fax: (202) 482-3911, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Entity List (Supplement No. 4 to Part 744) identifies entities and other persons reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The End-User Review Committee (ERC), composed of representatives of the Departments of Commerce (Chair), State, Defense, Energy and, where appropriate, the Treasury, makes all decisions regarding additions to, removals from, or other modifications to the Entity List. The ERC makes all decisions to add an entry to the Entity List by majority vote and all decisions to remove or modify an entry by unanimous vote.

    This final rule does not amend the Entity List, but modifies an entry on the Entity List as described further below by adding a temporary general license for two entities recently added to the Entity List.

    Addition of ZTE to the Entity List and Overview of Requests for Removal

    BIS added Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corporation (ZTE Corporation), ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. (ZTE Kangxun), and two other entities to the Entity List on March 8, 2016. Details regarding the scope of the listing are at 81 FR 12004 (Mar. 8, 2016), (“Additions to the Entity List”). Each person on the Entity List has the right to request that its listing on the Entity List be removed or modified. Instructions on the request for removal or modification process are found at § 744.16 of the EAR.

    The ERC reviews such requests in accordance with the procedures set forth in Supplement No. 5 to part 744. Specifically, as part of its review of requests to remove or modify a listing, the ERC will consider whether the circumstances that led to the decision to add the entity to the Entity List continue to exist. This includes reviewing whether there continues to be reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that the entity has been involved, is involved, or poses a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States—the standard for revising the Entity List established in § 744.11(b) of the EAR. In connection with a request by ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun to remove or modify their listings on the Entity List submitted to BIS pursuant to the foregoing provisions, and binding commitments made by these entities to the U.S. Government, BIS is modifying the effect of their entries on the Entity List by adding a temporary general license to restore temporarily the status quo ante licensing policy pertaining to exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun. This final rule does not apply to the other two entities added to Supplement No. 4 to part 744 (The Entity List) on March 8, 2016.

    Specifically, this final rule makes the following change to the EAR:

    Addition of Temporary General License

    This final rule amends the EAR by adding Supplement No. 7 to Part 744 to create a Temporary General License that returns until June 30, 2016 the licensing and other policies of the EAR regarding exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corporation and ZTE Kangxun to that which was in effect just prior to their having been added to the Entity List on March 8, 2016. For example, the authority of NLR or a License Exception that was available as of March 7, 2016, may be used as per this temporary general license. The temporary general license is renewable if the U.S. Government determines, in its sole discretion, that ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun are timely performing their undertakings to the U.S. Government and otherwise cooperating with the U.S. Government in resolving the matter.

    The impact of this temporary general license is that the license and other requirements specified in § 744.11 and Supplement No. 4 to part 744 pertaining to exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun do not apply during the period the temporary general license is in effect. This means that the license requirements, license review policies, and license exceptions that applied on March 7, 2016, are applicable regarding exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun until June 30, 2016, unless amended. However, the temporary general license does not relieve persons of other obligations under part 744 of the EAR or under other parts of the EAR, such as those specified in §§ 744.2, 744.3 and 744.4 of the EAR. For example, this temporary general license does not relieve persons of their obligations under General Prohibition 5 in § 736.2(b)(5) of the EAR which provides that, “you may not, without a license, knowingly export or reexport any item subject to the EAR to an end-user or end-use that is prohibited by part 744 of the EAR.” Additionally, this temporary general license does not relieve persons of their obligation to apply for export, reexport, or in-country transfer licenses required by other provisions of the EAR. BIS strongly urges the use of Supplement No. 3 to part 732 of the EAR, “BIS's `Know Your Customer' Guidance and Red Flags,” when persons are involved in transactions that are subject to the EAR.

    Export Administration Act

    Although the Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013) and as extended by the Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222, as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

    1. 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, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to nor be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This regulation involves collections previously approved by OMB under control number 0694-0088, Simplified Network Application Processing System, which includes, among other things, license applications and carries a burden estimate of 43.8 minutes for a manual or electronic submission.

    Total burden hours associated with the PRA and OMB control number 0694-0088 are not expected to increase as a result of this rule. You may send comments regarding the collection of information associated with this rule, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet K. Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285.

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public comment, and a delay in effective date are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function of the United States. (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). If this rule were delayed to allow for notice and comment and a delay in effective date, then the national security and foreign policy objectives of this rule would be harmed. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subject in 15 CFR Part 744

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Terrorism.

    Accordingly, part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730 through 774) is amended as follows:

    PART 744—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 744 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 12947, 60 FR 5079, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 356; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13099, 63 FR 45167, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 208; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13224, 66 FR 49079, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 786; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015); Notice of September 18, 2015, 80 FR 57281 (September 22, 2015); Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of January 20, 2016, 81 FR 3937 (January 22, 2016).

    2. Add Supplement No. 7 to part 744 to read as follows: SUPPLEMENT NO. 7 TO PART 744—TEMPORARY GENERAL LICENSE

    Notwithstanding the requirements and other provisions of supplement 4 to part 744, which became effective on March 8, 2016, the licensing and other requirements in the EAR as of March 7, 2016, pertaining to exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of items “subject to the EAR” to Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corporation, ZTE Plaza, Keji Road South, Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China, and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd., 2/3 Floor, Suite A, ZTE Communication Mansion Keji (S) Road, Hi-New Shenzhen, 518057 China, are restored as of March 24, 2016 and through June 30, 2016. Thus, for example, the authority of NLR or a License Exception that was available as of March 7, 2016, may be used as per this temporary general license. The temporary general license is renewable if the U.S. Government determines, in its sole discretion, that ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun are timely performing their undertakings to the U.S. Government and otherwise cooperating with the U.S. Government in resolving the matter.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06689 Filed 3-21-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 40 [Docket No. RM15-8-000; Order No. 823] Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings Reliability Standard AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 (Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings), submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 is designed to ensure that applicable entities use protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings.

    DATES:

    This rule will become effective May 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth Hubona (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (301) 665-1608, [email protected]. Kevin Ryan (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6840, [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Order No. 823 Final Rule

    1. Pursuant to section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Commission approves Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 (Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings).1 The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO), developed and submitted Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 for Commission approval. Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 applies to planning coordinators and to generator owners and transmission owners that apply certain load-responsive protective relays in specific, identified circumstances. Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 is designed to ensure the use of protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824o.

    2. The Commission determines that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 satisfies the directive in Order No. 733 concerning undesirable relay operation due to power swings.2 The Commission concludes that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 provides an equally effective and efficient alternative to the Order No. 733 directive requiring the use of protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings and, when necessary, retirement of protective relay systems that cannot meet this requirement.3

    2Transmission Relay Loadability Reliability Standard, Order No. 733, 130 FERC ¶ 61,221, at P 153 (2010), order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 733-A, 134 FERC ¶ 61,127, order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 733-B, 136 FERC ¶ 61,185 (2011).

    3Id. P 150.

    3. The Commission approves NERC's assigned violation risk factors, violation severity levels and implementation plan.

    I. Background A. Mandatory Reliability Standards and Order No. 733 Directives

    4. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified ERO to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, subject to Commission review and approval.4 Pursuant to section 215 of the FPA, the Commission established a process to select and certify an ERO,5 and subsequently certified NERC.6

    4 16 U.S.C. 824(d) and (e).

    5Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,212 (2006).

    6North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ¶ 61,062, order on reh'g and compliance, 117 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2006), aff'd sub nom. Alcoa, Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    5. On March 18, 2010, the Commission approved Reliability Standard PRC-023-1 (Transmission Relay Loadability) in Order No. 733. The Commission also directed NERC to develop a new Reliability Standard that required the use of protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings and, when necessary, the retirement of protective relay systems that cannot meet this requirement.7 In Order No. 733, the Commission cited the findings of both NERC and the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force on the causes of the 2003 Northeast Blackout, explaining that the cascade during this event was accelerated by zone 2 and zone 3 relays that tripped facilities out of service because these devices could not distinguish between a dynamic, but stable, power swing and an actual fault.8 While the Commission recognized that addressing stable power swings is a complex issue, Order No. 733 observed that there was no Reliability Standard to address relays tripping for stable power swings despite their contribution to the 2003 Northeast Blackout. Accordingly, the Commission directed NERC to develop a Reliability Standard to address undesirable relay operation due to stable power swings.9

    7 Order No. 733, 130 FERC ¶ 61,221 at P 150.

    8Id. PP 3-4, 130 (citing U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force, Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada: Causes and Recommendations, at 80 (2004); and August 14, 2003 Blackout: NERC Actions to Prevent and Mitigate the Impacts of Future Cascading Blackouts, at 13 (2004)).

    9Id. P 153.

    6. On February 17, 2011, the Commission denied rehearing in Order No. 733-A, stating that “[w]e continue to believe that not addressing stable power swings constitutes a gap in the current Reliability Standards and must be addressed.” 10 Accordingly, the Commission affirmed the directive in Order No. 733 that NERC develop a Reliability Standard addressing stable power swings.11 The Commission clarified that it did not require a Reliability Standard containing an absolute obligation to prevent protection relays from operating unnecessarily during stable power swings or an across-the-board elimination of all zone 3 relays; the Commission only required the development of a Reliability Standard that addresses protection systems that are vulnerable to stable power swings (resulting from Category B and Category C contingencies from the NERC Planning Standards in place at that time) that result in inappropriate tripping.12 In Order No. 733-B, the Commission denied further clarification on this issue.

    10 Order No. 733-A, 134 FERC ¶ 61,127 at P 104.

    11Id.

    12Id. P 107.

    B. NERC Petition and Reliability Standard PRC-026-1

    7. On December 31, 2014, NERC submitted a petition seeking approval of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1, as well as the associated violation risk factors, violation severity levels and implementation plan.13 NERC avers that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 satisfies the Order No. 733 directive to develop a new Reliability Standard that requires the use of protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings. According to NERC, Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 sets forth requirements that prevent the unnecessary tripping of bulk electric system elements in response to stable power swings.14 NERC further explains that the identification of bulk electric system elements with protection systems at-risk of operating as a result of a stable or unstable power swing and the subsequent review by the applicable generator owner or transmission owner “provides assurance that relays will continue to be secure for stable power swings if any changes in system impedance occur.”15

    13 Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 is available on the Commission's eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM15-8-000 and on the NERC Web site, www.nerc.com.

    14See NERC Petition at 4.

    15Id.

    8. According to NERC, Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 is “directly responsive” to the Order No. 733 directive that NERC develop a Reliability Standard addressing undesirable relay operation due to stable power swings.16 However, NERC explains that the Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 “includes an alternative to the Commission's approach to require `the use of protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings and, when necessary, phases out protective relay systems that cannot meet this requirement.' ” 17 NERC notes that in Order No. 733-A, the Commission clarified that it had not intended “to prohibit NERC from exercising its technical expertise to develop a solution to an identified reliability concern that is equally effective and efficient as the one proposed in Order No. 733.” 18 In support of its alternative solution, NERC states that “it is generally preferable to emphasize dependability over security when it is not possible to ensure both for all possible system conditions.” 19 NERC also avers that “[p]rohibiting use of certain types of relays, such as those protective relay systems that cannot differentiate between faults and stable power swings, may have unintended negative outcomes for Bulk-Power System reliability.” 20

    16Id. at 23 (citing Order No. 733, 130 FERC ¶ 61,221 at P 153).

    17Id. (quoting Order No. 733, 130 FERC ¶ 61,221 at P 162).

    18Id. at 11 (citing Order No. 733-A, 134 FERC ¶ 61,127 at P 11).

    19Id. at 24.

    20Id.

    9. Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 has four requirements and two attachments. NERC explains that Attachment A “provides clarity on which load-responsive protective relay functions are applicable” under the standard.21 Specifically, Attachment A provides that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 applies to:

    21Id. at 31.

    any protective functions which could trip instantaneously or with a time delay of less than 15 cycles on load current (i.e., “load-responsive”). . . .

    According to NERC, the 15 cycle time delay “is representative of an expected power swing having a slow slip rate of 0.67 Hertz (Hz) and is the average time that a stable power swing with that slip rate would enter the relay's characteristic, reverse direction, and then exit the characteristic before the time delay expired.” 22 NERC states that the proposed standard does not apply to “functions that are either immune to power swings, block power swings, or prevent non-immune protection function operation due to supervision of the function.” 23 Attachment B contains the criteria for the evaluation of load-responsive protective relays that are within the scope of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.24

    22Id. at 30.

    23Id. at 31.

    24See id. at 35-38.

    10. Under NERC's proposed implementation plan for Reliability Standard PRC-026-1, Requirement R1 would become effective 12 months after Commission approval, and Requirements R2, R3 and R4 become effective 36 months after Commission approval.

    C. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    11. On September 17, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to approve Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential and in the public interest.25 The NOPR stated that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 appears to adequately address the Commission's directive in Order No. 733 by helping to prevent the unnecessary tripping of bulk electric system elements in response to stable power swings. The NOPR also proposed to accept NERC's proposed approach as an equally effective and efficient method to achieve the reliability goal underlying the Commission's Order No. 733 directive.

    25Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings Reliability Standard, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 80 FR 57549 (Sept. 24, 2015), 152 FERC ¶ 61,200 (2015).

    12. In the NOPR, the Commission also expressed concern that NERC's exclusion of load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater, as proposed in Attachment A to Reliability Standard PRC-026-1, could result in a gap in reliability. The Commission explained that, pursuant to Attachment A, Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 applies to “any protective functions which could trip instantaneously or with a time delay of less than 15 cycles on load current (i.e., “load-responsive”). . . .” The Commission further explained that, although NERC offered a technical rationale for the less than 15 cycle threshold, explaining that load-responsive relays set to trip instantaneously or with a “slight time delay” are most susceptible to power swings, NERC did not supply information on the burden of including relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater under Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.26 The Commission stated that the lack of this information is significant in light of the fact that an entity would not be required under Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 to investigate an element identified by a planning coordinator as potentially susceptible to power swings or investigate an element following a known power swing trip if the relay(s) involved have a time delay of 15 cycles or greater.27

    26See NOPR, 152 FERC ¶ 61,200 at P 14 (citing NERC Petition at 29-30).

    27Id.

    13. The NOPR requested comments on the potential burden of modifying the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 to include relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater in instances where either: (1) An element has been identified by a planning coordinator as potentially susceptible to power swings; or (2) an entity becomes aware of a bulk electric system element that tripped in response to a stable or unstable power swing due to the operation of its protective relay(s), even if the element was not previously identified by the planning coordinator. The Commission stated that it may direct NERC to develop modifications to Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 depending on the response to the questions on the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.

    14. In response to the NOPR, seven entities submitted comments. A list of commenters appears in Appendix A. The comments have informed our decision making in this Final Rule.

    II. Discussion

    15. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the FPA, we approve Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. We also approve NERC's proposed violation risk factors, violation severity levels and implementation plan. While Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 does not prohibit the use of relays that cannot differentiate between faults and stable power swings, Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 addresses the prevention of unnecessary tripping of bulk electric system elements in response to stable power swings. Accordingly, we approve NERC's approach as an equally effective and efficient method to achieve the reliability goal underlying the Commission's directive in Order No. 733.

    16. As discussed below, based on the NOPR comments, we conclude that the potential reliability gap identified in the NOPR, resulting from the exclusion of load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater as proposed in Attachment A to Reliability Standard PRC-026-1, is adequately addressed by the provisions of Reliability Standards TPL-001-4 and PRC-004-4.28

    28 As of January 1, 2016, all requirements of Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 are subject to enforcement. Reliability Standard PRC-004-4 was approved May 29, 2015 and will be subject to enforcement July 1, 2016.

    Load Responsive Relays With a Delay of 15 Cycles or Greater Comments

    17. NERC, Luminant, NAGF, Tri-State, Idaho Power and EEI support the Commission's proposal to approve Reliability Standard PRC-026-1. In response to the NOPR's question regarding the burden of expanding the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 to include load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater, NERC and other commenters offer two responses. First, commenters maintain that the 15 cycle limitation in Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 does not result in a reliability gap because of how Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 interacts with other Reliability Standards to address the Commission's concern. Second, commenters assert that expanding the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 would result in an unnecessary, significant burden or risk to reliability.

    18. NERC, EEI, Tri-State and Luminant claim that no reliability gap results from the 15 cycle limitation in Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 because planning assessments required by Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 already address the Commission's concerns regarding relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater in instances where an element has been identified by a planning coordinator as potentially susceptible to power swings.29 Specifically, NERC explains that a planning assessment conducted pursuant to Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 “will reveal Elements with load-responsive protective relays having time delays of 15 cycles or greater that trip due to power swings.” 30 NERC further contends that, where an element that trips causes a violation of Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 performance criteria, “the Planning Coordinator is required to mitigate these conditions through a Corrective Action Plan.” 31 EEI agrees with NERC's assessment and identifies Reliability Standard TPL-001-4, Requirement R4, Subpart 4.1.2 and Requirement R2, Subpart 2.7 as the corresponding requirements.32

    29 NERC Comments at 5-6. See also Tri-State Comments at 4; Luminant Comments at 3.

    30 NERC Comments at 6.

    31Id.

    32 EEI Comments at 7.

    19. In addition, NERC and industry commenters state that Reliability Standard PRC-004-4 addresses the Commission's concern regarding situations where a bulk electric system element trips in response to a stable or unstable power swing due to the operation of its protective relay(s).33 Specifically, NERC explains that tripping unnecessarily “due to an actual stable power swing would be classified as a Misoperation under PRC-004-4 (Protection System Misoperation Identification and Correction).” 34 NERC explains that a “Generator Owner and Transmission Owner are required to develop a corrective action plan to address the cause(s) of the Misoperation, for example, tripping due to a load-responsive protective relay set with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater, unless reliability would not be improved.” 35

    33 NERC Comments at 9-10. See also EEI Comments at 8; Tri-State Comments at 5.

    34 NERC Comments at 9.

    35Id.

    20. Regarding the potential burden of expanding the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 to cover relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater, NERC and industry commenters state that expanding the applicability of Requirement R1, Criteria 4 (element has been identified by a planning coordinator) would increase the burden on transmission owners and generator owners.36 NERC states that there would be no increase in burden for the planning coordinator because the planning coordinator is required by Reliability Standard TPL-001-4, Requirement R4 “to perform contingency analyses based on computer simulation models for the Stability portion of the annual Planning Assessment.” 37 As noted above, NERC explains that where an element that trips during the annual planning assessment causes a violation of Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 performance criteria, “the Planning Coordinator is required to mitigate these conditions through a Corrective Action Plan.” 38

    36See id. at 7, 9. See also EEI Comments at 6; Luminant Comments at 4; Idaho Power Comments at 2.

    37 NERC Comments at 5.

    38Id.

    21. NERC, however, states that expanding the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 to cover relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater would “place additional burden on the Generator Owner and Transmission Owner for any Elements that are identified using Requirement R1, Criteria 4.” 39 NERC explains that the additional burden “would be determined by the increase in the quantity of load-responsive protective relays applied to that Element beyond what is proposed in PRC-026-1 (i.e. load-responsive protective relays with time delays of 15 cycles or greater).” NERC continues that the “increase in burden could be on the order of two to three times in magnitude to address zone 2 (not communication-aided) and application of reverse zone and/or forward zone 4 remote back-up time delayed elements.” 40

    39Id. at 6.

    40Id. at 7.

    22. EEI contends that the additional burden would “vary greatly by entity size and asset configuration, however, the work associated with this effort would not be inconsequential and would consume significant dollars for large entities while tying up critical and often scarce engineering resources across the industry.” 41 EEI explains that even though the Commission proposes to limit the analysis to the two scenarios identified in the NOPR, the proposal would increase the number of relay elements evaluated by 100 to 200 percent at impacted transmission lines, generators and transformer terminals.42

    41 EEI Comments at 6.

    42Id.

    23. ITC, while not taking a position on the merits of the particular requirements of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1, argues “that studies and information now available concerning relay performance during stable power swings controvert the Commission's at-the-time reasonable determination in Order No. 733 that a Standard to address relay performance during stable power swings was warranted.” 43 In particular, ITC “urge[s] the Commission to consider the [NERC System Protection and Control Subcommittee] Report findings in issuing its final rule in this proceeding.” 44 ITC asserts that the SPSC Report undercuts the rationale for promulgating Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 and argues that “the Commission should reconsider the necessity of PRC-026-1, particularly in light of the burden NERC has determined the new Standard would impose.” 45

    43 ITC Comments at 3.

    44Id. (referencing NERC System Protection and Control Subcommittee, “Protection System Response to Power Swings” (2013) (SPSC Report)).

    45Id. at 4.

    Commission Determination

    24. We find that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 addresses the Commission's directive in Order No. 733 by providing measures to mitigate the unnecessary tripping of bulk electric system elements in response to stable power swings. While it does not prohibit the use of relays that cannot differentiate between faults and stable power swings, we conclude that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1's approach is an equally effective and efficient method to achieve the reliability goal underlying the Commission's directive in Order No. 733.

    25. While ITC asks that the Commission reconsider the necessity of PRC-026-1 in light of the SPSC Report, the Commission continues to believe in the necessity of a Reliability Standard that addresses the performance of relays during stable power swings. In response to ITC's comments, the recommendations from the 2013 SPSC Report were used in the development of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1. As noted by NERC, Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 “is based on and is consistent with the recommendations found in the [SPSC] Report.” 46 Accordingly, we conclude that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 reflects the recommendations outlined in the SPSC Report.

    46 NERC Petition at 15-16.

    26. Based on the NOPR comments, we are persuaded that the potential reliability gap identified in the NOPR, resulting from the exclusion of load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater as proposed in Attachment A to Reliability Standard PRC-026-1, is adequately addressed by requirements of Reliability Standards TPL-001-4 (Transmission System Planning Performance Standards) and PRC-004-4 (Protection System Misoperation Identification and Correction). We agree with commenters that these Reliability Standards adequately address the risk posed by load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater in the two cases identified in the NOPR. Accordingly, we do not direct any modifications to Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 at this time.

    27. First, where an element has been identified by a planning coordinator as potentially susceptible to power swings, Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 addresses the NOPR's concern by requiring applicable entities to both (1) identify elements with load-responsive protective relays having time delays of 15 cycles or greater that trip due to power swings and (2) mitigate through a corrective action plan where Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 performance criteria are not met. Specifically, Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 sets forth the parameters for certain studies associated with the annual planning assessment that are intended to identify, among other things, situations where a transmission system element trips due to an impedance swing resulting from a generator pulling out of synchronization.47 An element that trips due to the criteria in Requirement R4, Subpart 4.1.2 fails to meet the performance requirements in Table 1 of Reliability Standard TPL-001-4. When an element fails to meet the performance requirements in Table 1, the planning coordinator is required to develop a “Corrective Action Plan(s) addressing how the performance requirements will be met.” 48 Therefore, Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 addresses the concerns raised in the NOPR regarding the exclusion of load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater from Requirement R1 of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.

    47See Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 (Transmission System Planning Performance Requirements), Requirement R4, Subpart 4.1.2.

    48Id., Requirement R2, Subpart 2.7.

    28. Second, where an entity becomes aware of a bulk electric system element that tripped in response to a stable or unstable power swing due to the operation of its protective relay(s), we agree with commenters that the tripping would be classified as a misoperation under Reliability Standard PRC-004-4.49 Therefore, the generator owner or transmission owner would be required to develop a corrective action plan to address the cause(s) of the misoperation, which in this case would be tripping due to a load-responsive protective relay set with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater, unless the transmission owner or generation owner “explains in a declaration why corrective action plans are beyond the entity's control or would not improve BES reliability.” 50 Specifically, Reliability Standard PRC-004-4 requires entities to investigate and mitigate, through a corrective action plan, any misoperation.51 A misoperation under Reliability Standard PRC-004-4 includes, in pertinent part, unnecessary trips for non-fault conditions resulting from power swings.52 Therefore, Reliability Standard PRC-004-4 addresses the concerns raised in the NOPR regarding the exclusion of load responsive relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater from Requirement R2, Part 2.2 of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.

    49See, e.g., NERC Comments at 9-10, EEI Comments at 8.

    50 Reliability Standard PRC-004-4 (Protection System Misoperation and Correction), Requirement R5.

    51See id.

    52Id., Application Guidelines at 22.

    29. Finally, concerns with the potential burden of expanding the applicability of Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 to cover relays with a time delay of 15 cycles or greater in order to address the potential reliability gap identified in the NOPR are moot given our determination above that the potential reliability gap identified in the NOPR is adequately addressed by existing Reliability Standard requirements.

    III. Information Collection Statement

    30. The FERC-725G 53 information collection requirements contained in this Final Rule are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).54 OMB's regulations require approval of certain informational collection requirements imposed by agency rules.55 Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of a rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number.

    53 The requirements in the RM15-8-000 NOPR were submitted to OMB within FERC-725G3 (OMB Control Number 1902-0285). FERC-725G3 is a temporary collection that enabled timely submission to OMB. The requirements are now being submitted to the information collection intended for these requirements, specifically FERC-725G (OMB Control No. 1902-0252).

    54 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).

    55 5 CFR 1320.11.

    31. The Commission solicited comments on the need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected or retained, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondents' burden, including the use of automated information techniques. Specifically, the Commission asked that any revised burden or cost estimates submitted by commenters be supported by sufficient detail to understand how the estimates are generated. The Commission did not receive any comments on the estimates in the NOPR.

    Public Reporting Burden: The Commission approves Reliability Standard PRC-026-1. Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 will impose new requirements for the notification of particular bulk electric system elements from planning coordinator to generator owners and transmissions owners based on given criteria. Generator owners and transmissions owner will evaluate those bulk electric system elements and load-responsive protective relay(s) according to Attachment B criteria and, if a load-responsive protective relay does not meet the Attachment B criteria, the generator owner/transmission owner must develop a corrective action plan. Our estimate below regarding the number of respondents is based on the NERC Compliance Registry as of June 26, 2015. According to the NERC Compliance Registry, NERC has registered 318 transmission owners, 884 generator owners, and 68 planning coordinators. However, under NERC's compliance registration program, entities may be registered for multiple functions, so these numbers incorporate some double counting. The total number of unique entities that may be identified as a notification provider (e.g. applicable entity) in accordance with proposed Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 will be approximately 1,074 entities registered in the United States as a transmission owner and/or generator owner. The total number of unique entities that may be identified as evidence retention entities (e.g. applicable entity) in accordance with proposed Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 will be approximately 1,092 entities registered in the United States as a transmission owner, generator owner and/or planning coordinator. The Commission estimates the annual reporting burden and cost as follows:

    RM15-8-000 (Mandatory Reliability Standards—Reliability Standard PRC-026-1) Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden & cost
  • per response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • & total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Notifications to GO/TO per Requirement R1 1,074 1 1,074 8, $485.28 56 8,592
  • $521,191
  • $485.28
    Evidence Retention GO/TO/PC 1,092 1 1,092 12, $450.00 57 13,104
  • $491,400
  • 450.00
    Total 2,166 21,696
  • $1,012,591
  • Title: FERC-725G, Mandatory Reliability Standards: Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.

    56 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula:

    Average Burden Hours per Response * $60.66 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly average of $60.66 assumes equal time is spent by the manager, electrical engineer, and information and record clerk. The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) is: $37.50 for information and record clerks (occupation code 43-4199), $78.04 for a manager (occupation code 11-0000), and $66.45 for an electrical engineer (occupation code 17-2071). (The figures are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 figures at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm.)

    57 The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) is $37.50. The BLS wage category code is 34-4199. This figure is also taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 figures at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm.

    Action: Collection of Information.

    OMB Control No: 1902-0252.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency of Responses: One time and on-going.

    Necessity of the Information: Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 will implement the Congressional mandate of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards to better ensure the reliability of the nation's Bulk-Power System. Specifically, the Reliability Standard will address undesirable relay operation due to power swings.

    32. Internal review: The Commission has reviewed the requirements pertaining to the Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 and made a determination that the requirements of this standard are necessary to implement section 215 of the FPA. These requirements conform to the Commission's plan for efficient information collection, communication and management within the energy industry. The Commission has assured itself, by means of its internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with the information requirements.

    33. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].

    34. Comments concerning the information collections approved in this Final Rule and the associated burden estimates, should be sent to the Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, phone: (202) 395-0710, fax: (202) 395-7285]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the following email address: [email protected] Please reference the docket number of this Final Rule (Docket No. RM15-8-000) in your submission.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    35. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 58 generally requires a description and analysis of this Final Rule that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 sets forth requirements that prevent the unnecessary tripping of bulk electric system elements in response to stable power swings. As shown in the information collection section, an estimated 1,092 entities are expected to evaluate bulk electric system elements and load-responsive protective relay(s) according to Attachment B criteria of PRC-026-1. Comparison of the applicable entities with the Commission's small business data indicates that approximately 661 are small entities 59 or 60.53 percent of the respondents affected by Reliability Standard PRC-026-1.

    58 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    59 The Small Business Administration sets the threshold for what constitutes a small business. Public utilities may fall under one of several different categories, each with a size threshold based on the company's number of employees, including affiliates, the parent company, and subsidiaries. For the analysis in this rule, we apply a 500 employee threshold for each affected entity. Each entity is classified as Electric Bulk Power Transmission and Control (NAICS code 221121).

    36. As discussed above, Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 will serve to enhance reliability by imposing mandatory requirements governing generator relay loadability, thereby reducing the likelihood of premature or unnecessary tripping of generators during system disturbances. The Commission estimates that each of the small entities to whom the Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 applies will incur paperwork and record retention costs of $935.28 per entity (annual ongoing).

    37. The Commission does not consider the estimated costs per small entity to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    V. Environmental Analysis

    38. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.60 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this requirement as not having a significant effect on the human environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the effect of the regulations being amended.61 The actions herein fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.

    60Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    61 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii) (2015).

    VI. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    39. This Final Rule is effective May 23, 2016. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, that this rule is not a “major rule” as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This Final Rule is being submitted to the Senate, House, and Government Accountability Office.

    VII. Document Availability

    40. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    41. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number of this document, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field.

    42. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By the Commission.

    Issued: March 17, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    Note:

    The following Appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendix Commenters Abbreviation Commenter EEI Edison Electric Institute. Idaho Power Idaho Power Company. ITC International Transmission Company. Luminant Luminant Generation Company LLC. NERC North American Electric Reliability Corporation. NAGF North American Generator Forum. Tri-State Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. [FR Doc. 2016-06508 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration 19 CFR Part 351 [Docket No. 140929814-6136-02] RIN 0625-AB02 Modification of Regulations Regarding Price Adjustments in Antidumping Duty Proceedings AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is modifying its regulations pertaining to price adjustments in antidumping duty proceedings. These modifications clarify that the Department does not intend to accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale unless the interested party demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Department, its entitlement to such an adjustment. The Department has further adopted in this final rule a non-exhaustive list of factors that it may consider in determining whether to accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale.

    DATES:

    Effective date: April 25, 2016. Applicability date: This rule will apply to all proceedings initiated on or after April 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Link at (202) 482-1411, James Ahrens at (202) 482-3558, or Melissa Skinner at (202) 482-0461.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 731 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) provides that when a company is selling foreign merchandise into the United States at less than fair value, and material injury or threat of material injury is found by the International Trade Commission, the Department shall impose an antidumping duty. An antidumping duty analysis involves a comparison of the company's sales price in the United States (known as the export price or constructed export price) with the price or cost in the foreign market (known as the normal value). See 19 CFR 351.401(a). See also section 772 of the Act (defining export price and constructed export price) and section 773 of the Act (defining normal value). The prices used to establish export price, constructed export price, and normal value involve certain adjustments. See, e.g., 19 CFR 351.401(b). In its May 19, 1997 final rulemaking, the Department promulgated regulatory provisions governing the use of price adjustments in the calculation of export price, constructed export price, and normal value in antidumping duty proceedings. Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296 (May 19, 1997) (“1997 Final Rule”). In particular, the Department promulgated the current regulation at 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38), which provides a definition of “price adjustment.” In providing this definition, the Department stated that “[t]his term is intended to describe a category of changes to a price, such as discounts, rebates and post-sale price adjustments, that affect the net outlay of funds by the purchaser.” 1997 Final Rule, 62 FR at 27300.

    The Department also enacted 19 CFR 351.401(c) that explains how the Department will use a price net of price adjustments. In the 1997 Final Rule, the Department explained that 19 CFR 351.401(c) was intended to “restate[] the Department's practice with respect to price adjustments, such as discounts and rebates.” Id., 62 FR at 27344.

    The Department also addressed the following comment received on the 1997 Final Rule's proposed rulemaking, regarding whether “after the fact” price adjustments, that were not contemplated at the time of sale, would be accepted under 19 CFR 351.401(c):

    One commenter suggested that, at least for purposes of normal value, the regulations should clarify that the only rebates Commerce will consider are ones that were contemplated at the time of sale. This commenter argued that foreign producers should not be allowed to eliminate dumping margins by providing “rebates” only after the existence of margins becomes apparent.

    The Department has not adopted this suggestion at this time. We do not disagree with the proposition that exporters or producers will not be allowed to eliminate dumping margins by providing price adjustments “after the fact.” However, as discussed above, the Department's treatment of price adjustments in general has been the subject of considerable confusion. In resolving this confusion, we intend to proceed cautiously and incrementally. The regulatory revisions contained in these final rules constitute a first step at clarifying our treatment of price adjustments. We will consider adding other regulatory refinements at a later date.

    Id., 62 FR at 27344. Since enacting these regulations, the Department has consistently applied its practice of not granting price adjustments where the terms and conditions were not established and known to the customer at the time of sale (sometimes referred to as determining the “legitimacy” of a price adjustment) because of the potential for manipulation of the dumping margins through so-called “after-the-fact”, or post-sale, adjustments. See, e.g., Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Taiwan: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 41979 (July 18, 2014) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum, Cmt. 3; Lightweight Thermal Paper From Germany: Notice of Final Results of the First Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 76 FR 22078 (April 20, 2011) (Lightweight Thermal Paper from Germany) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum, Cmt. 3; Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 71 FR 70948 (Dec. 7, 2006) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum, Cmt. 1; Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, 71 FR 40064 (July 14, 2006) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum, Cmt. 19.

    On March 25, 2014, the Court of International Trade issued Papierfabrik August Koehler AG v. United States, 971 F. Supp. 2d 1246 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2014) (Koehler AG), remanding the Department's decision in Lightweight Thermal Paper from Germany, noted above. The Court ordered the Department to reconsider Papierfabrik August Koehler AG's rebate program. The Court disagreed with the Department's determination that the regulations permitted it to disregard certain price adjustments, the terms and conditions of which were not established or known to the customer at the time of sale, stating that “the regulations set forth a broad definition of price adjustment encompassing `any change in the price charged for . . . the foreign like product' that `are reflected in the purchaser's net outlay.' ” 971 F. Supp. 2d at 1251-52 (quoting 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38)) (emphasis added by Court). In accordance with the Court's order, on remand, under protest, the Department granted an adjustment for the rebates at issue. See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand, Lightweight Thermal Paper from Germany, Papierfabrik August Koehler AG v. United States, Court No.11-00147, Slip Op.14-31 (Ct. Int'l Trade March 25, 2014), dated June 20, 2014.

    On December 31, 2014, the Department published a proposed modification of its regulations, 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) and 19 CFR 351.401(c), which concern price adjustments in antidumping duty proceedings. See Modification of Regulations Regarding Price Adjustments in Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 79 FR 78742 (December 31, 2014) (Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule explained the Department's proposal, in light of the Court of International Trade's decision in Koehler AG, to clarify that the Department generally will not consider a price adjustment that reduces or eliminates dumping margins unless the party claiming such price adjustment demonstrates that the terms and conditions of the adjustment were established and known to the customer at the time of sale.

    The Department received numerous comments on the Proposed Rule and has addressed these comments below. The Proposed Rule, comments received, and this final rule can be accessed using the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.Regulations.gov under Docket Number ITA-2014-0001. After analyzing and carefully considering all of the comments that the Department received in response to the Proposed Rule, the Department has adopted the modification with certain changes, and is amending its regulations accordingly.

    Explanation of Regulatory Provision and Final Modification

    The Department is modifying two of its regulations relating to price adjustments in antidumping duty proceedings: the definition of the term “price adjustment” in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38), and the Department's explanation of its use of prices net of price adjustments in 19 CFR 351.401(c).

    In the Proposed Rule, the Department proposed minor refinements to the definition of price adjustment in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38). In this final rule, and in light of a party's comment, as discussed in further detail below, the Department is modifying 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) to refine the definition of price adjustment. In particular, we are including language in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) to clarify that a price adjustment is not limited to discounts or rebates, but encompasses other adjustments as well.

    Prior to the Proposed Rule, 19 CFR 351.401(c) provided an explanation of the Department's use of prices net of price adjustment in calculating export price (or constructed exported price) and normal value (where price is used as the basis for normal value). In the Proposed Rule, the Department proposed to modify 19 CFR 351.401(c), in light of the Court of International Trade's decision on Koehler AG, in two respects. First, in the first sentence of 19 CFR 351.401(c), the Department proposed language indicating that it would normally use a price that is net of any price adjustment. Second, the Department proposed to add a second sentence to 19 CFR 351.401(c) that clarified the Department generally would not consider a price adjustment that reduces or eliminates a dumping margin unless the party claiming such price adjustment demonstrates that the terms and conditions of the adjustment were established and known to the customer at the time of sale.

    In the final rule, as discussed below, in light of comments received from interested parties, the Department is modifying 19 CFR 351.401(c) to clarify that the Department does not intend to accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale unless the interested party demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Department, its entitlement to such an adjustment. The Department has further provided in this final rule, as discussed in further detail below, a non-exhaustive list of factors which it may consider in determining whether to accept price adjustments that are made after the time of sale, also referred to as “after-the-fact” or “post-sale” adjustments.

    Response to Comments on the Proposed Rule

    The Department received numerous comments on its Proposed Rule. Below is a summary of the comments, grouped by issue category, followed by the Department's response.

    1. Whether Any Changes to 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) and 19 CFR 351.401(c) Are Necessary

    Several commenters argue that the Proposed Rule is the appropriate response to Koehler AG and is necessary to maintain the integrity of the Department's proceedings and to prevent the manipulation of dumping margins through “after-the-fact” adjustments. These commenters argue that in Koehler AG, the Court improperly found that the plain language of the current regulations precludes the disallowance of any post-sale price adjustments. Without the Proposed Rule, these commenters argue that foreign producers and exporters would have every incentive to calculate the U.S. price reduction necessary to eliminate dumping, and then lower their prices accordingly through retroactive rebates to customers in the home or third-country market, thereby reducing or eliminating the dumping margins and undermining the integrity of the Department's proceedings.

    One commenter argues that the Proposed Rule is unnecessary because the Department has provided no evidence of respondents utilizing manipulative post-sale price adjustments and that existing regulations are sufficient to maintain the integrity of the Department's proceedings because, under 19 CFR 351.401(b)(1), the Department can already deny a price adjustment if it determines that the adjustment is not bona fide. This commenter further argues that the Proposed Rule unduly burdens respondents operating in industries where many discounts and rebates are agreed to on an ad hoc basis without documentation over the course of multiple transactions many months before the Department's proceedings.

    Response: The Department finds that the proposed changes will help protect the integrity of our proceedings and are an appropriate response to Koehler AG, which hinders the Department's ability to address after-the-fact rebates which present the potential for manipulation of dumping margins. In Koehler AG the Court of International Trade held that the Department did not have the discretion under 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) and 19 CFR 351.401(c)—as currently written—to address such manipulative after-the-fact rebates. See 971 F. Supp. 2d at 1251-52. The Proposed Rule, and the further modifications adopted in this final rule, codify the Department's intent and discretion to prevent certain post-sale price adjustments, like those at issue in Koehler AG, and therefore are appropriate to protect the integrity of our proceedings. We believe that these further modifications, discussed below, should address any concerns that the Proposed Rule was unduly burdensome and does not account for actual business practices.

    2. Whether the Proposed Rule Is Consistent With the Statute and U.S. International Obligations

    Several commenters state that the Proposed Rule is consistent with the Department's general statutory authority to impose antidumping duties pursuant to section 731 of the Act. One commenter argues that the Proposed Rule is inconsistent with section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act. This commenter argues that a discount or rebate, regardless of when it is established and known to the customer, is a circumstance of sale which falls within the statute's instruction that normal value shall be increased or decreased by the amount of any difference between export price (or constructed export price) and normal value established to the Department's satisfaction to be due to differences in the circumstances of sale. This commenter notes that the statute does not include a requirement that the customer have knowledge of the adjustment prior to the sale.

    This same commenter argues that the Proposed Rule is inconsistent with Article 2.4 of the Antidumping (AD) Agreement, which provides that due allowance shall be made for differences that affect price comparability, including differences in conditions and terms of sale. This commenter notes the opinion of Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in United States—Stainless Steel (Korea) that a condition or term of sale within the meaning of Article 2.4 is a condition or term that reasonably can be anticipated and accounted for at the time of sale. An additional commenter argues that any regulation that would necessarily disallow an adjustment only if it reduced or eliminated dumping margins could be construed as violating the “fair comparison” requirement of Article 2.4 of the AD Agreement.

    Response: The Department disagrees with the commenter's argument that the Department's proposed modifications to 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) and 19 CFR 351.401(c) are inconsistent with the statute. As an initial matter, the commenter argues that these modifications are inconsistent with section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act, which states that normal value shall be increased or decreased by the amount of any difference between export price (or constructed export price) and normal value established to the Department's satisfaction to be due to differences in the circumstances of sale. However, the statutory basis for the price adjustments addressed in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) and 19 CFR 351.401(c) is not section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act, but rather, is found in sections 772(a) and 773(a)(1)(B)(i), which provide that in determining export price or normal value the Department begins with the price at which the subject merchandise or foreign like product is first sold—in other words, the basic “starting price” provisions. See 1997 Final Rule, 62 FR at 27344 (“[The] use of a net price is consistent with the view that discounts, rebates and similar price adjustments are not expenses, but instead are items taken into account to derive the price paid by the purchaser.”) This is confirmed by the Department's treatment of the price adjustments described in 19 CFR 351.401(c) as something other than a circumstance of sale adjustment. Compare 19 CFR 351.401(c) (addressing use of price net of price adjustments) with 19 CFR 351.410 (addressing circumstances of sale adjustments which specifically cover direct selling expenses and assumed expenses between the seller and the buyer).

    We disagree with the commenter's contention that the Proposed Rule was nevertheless inconsistent with the statute, which requires the Department to make adjustments for differences which affect price comparability, as well as the Department's obligation under U.S. law to calculate dumping margins as accurately as possible. As several commenters recognized, and as discussed in further detail below, the Department has a longstanding practice of denying certain post-sale price adjustments where there exists a potential for manipulation of the dumping margins, and the courts have affirmed this practice as consistent with the statute. See Koenig & Bauer-Albert AG v. United States, 15 F. Supp. 2d 834, 840 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1998) (“Commerce's decision to reject price amendments that present the potential for price manipulation was a permissible interpretation of the statute.”); Mitsubishi Elec. Corp. v. United States, 700 F. Supp. 538, 555 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1988) (“The ITA has been vested with authority to administer the antidumping laws in accordance with the legislative intent. To this end, the ITA has a certain amount of discretion [to act] . . . with the purpose in mind of preventing the intentional evasion or circumvention of the antidumping duty law.”), aff'd 898 F.2d 1577 (1990).

    The Proposed Rule, in proposing certain modifications to 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) and 19 CFR 351.401(c), was intended to codify the Department's intent to prevent such potentially manipulative post-sale price adjustments. As discussed below, in this final rule the Department has made further modifications to these regulations to clarify that the Department does not intend to accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale unless the interested party demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Department, its entitlement to such an adjustment. These final modifications continue to be consistent with the Department's statutory authority, in setting the “starting price” of normal value or export price, and prevent the potential manipulation of dumping margins through certain post-sale price adjustments.

    Finally, the Department disagrees with those commenters that argue that the Proposed Rule was inconsistent with the United States' WTO obligations. To the contrary, the Department finds that the Proposed Rule was consistent with U.S. law, which is consistent with our obligations under the AD Agreement. In any case, the relevant language which one commenter objected to with respect to specifically disallowing adjustments which reduce or eliminate dumping margins does not appear in the final rule.

    3. Whether the Proposed Rule Is Consistent With the Department's Practice

    Several commenters argue that the Proposed Rule codifies the Department's longstanding practice of disallowing price adjustments that reduce or eliminate dumping margins where the terms and conditions of the adjustment were not established and known to the customer at the time of sale. Several of these commenters argue that the Proposed Rule is consistent with other aspects of the Department's practice based on the principle that the Department's proceedings should be free from outcome-driven manipulation and that dumping margins should reflect the respondent's pricing behavior in the ordinary course of business.

    One commenter argues that the Proposed Rule in its current form is overly broad and, if adopted, threatens to eliminate certain legitimate post-sale price adjustments that were previously granted by the Department. This commenter argues that the Department's practice has allowed for at least three categories of post-sale price adjustments that the Proposed Rule would preclude: (1) Price protection adjustments whereby a buyer seeks a price adjustment to sell a commodity downstream when commodity prices are rapidly changing; (2) post-invoice consumer rebates that offer the buyer a rebate at the time it sells the product to an end user, where such rebates often are not fixed at the time of the first sale; and (3) quality-upon-receipt discounts, which are common for perishable goods.

    Response: We find that the Proposed Rule was intended to codify the Department's intent and discretion to prevent certain post-sale price adjustments. However, in light of certain comments, we recognize that the proposed modifications to 19 CFR 351.401(c) could have the unintended effect of limiting the Department's discretion to accept certain post-sale price adjustments which the Department has previously accepted. Therefore, as discussed below, we have made further modifications to 19 CFR 351.401(c) to ensure that the Department maintains its intended discretion.

    4. Whether the Department Should Implement Any Changes to the Proposed Rule

    Several commenters argue that the Department should adopt the Proposed Rule in its entirety, as it is an appropriate and necessary codification of the Department's established practice of disallowing certain post-sale price adjustments.

    One commenter argues that the Department should clarify that the Proposed Rule is not intended to limit the Department's discretion to address post-sale price adjustments other than rebates or discounts, such as billings adjustments. This commenter observes that whereas prior to this modification 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) listed discounts, rebates, and post-sale price adjustments as examples of changes in price that could qualify as price adjustments, the Proposed Rule does not include the term “post-sale price adjustments.” This same commenter suggests that the Department consider a set of factors in determining whether to grant a price adjustment normally under its regulations. This commenter suggests that the Department could consider the following: (1) How common such post-sale price adjustments are for the industry; (2) the timing of the adjustment; (3) the number of such adjustments in the proceeding; (4) whether the reported changes reflect both increases and decreases to the originally negotiated prices in the relevant markets; (5) whether there is commercial documentation maintained in the ordinary course of business demonstrating that the price changes were negotiated by the parties and resulted in a change in the purchaser's net outlay and a change in the producer's net revenues; and (6) any other factors tending to reflect on the legitimacy of the claimed adjustment.

    Other commenters argue that the Proposed Rule in its current form is inconsistent with normal business practices in many industries investigated by the Department.

    One commenter proposes modifying 19 CFR 351.401(c) to allow for a price adjustment if the party seeking the adjustment can demonstrate that the adjustment at issue is within the party's standard business practice that existed prior to the initiation of the proceeding.

    Response: With respect to the proposed changes to 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) in the Proposed Rule, these modifications were not intended to foreclose other types of price adjustments, such as billing adjustments and post-sale decreases to home market prices or increases to U.S. prices. Nonetheless, in light of a party's comment, the Department is modifying 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) to refine the definition of price adjustment and to clarify that a price adjustment is not just limited to discounts or rebates, but encompasses other adjustments as well.

    With respect to 19 CFR 351.401(c), in light of concerns that the modifications in the Proposed Rule may have the unintended consequence of being overly restrictive and limiting the Department's discretion to accept certain post-sale price adjustments which it has previously accepted, the Department is modifying 19 CFR 351.401(c) to clarify that the Department generally will not accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale unless the interested party demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Department, its entitlement to such an adjustment.

    In determining whether a party has demonstrated its entitlement to such an adjustment, the Department may consider: (1) Whether the terms and conditions of the adjustment were established and/or known to the customer at the time of sale, and whether this can be demonstrated through documentation; (2) how common such post-sale price adjustments are for the company and/or industry; (3) the timing of the adjustment; (4) the number of such adjustments in the proceeding; and (5) any other factors tending to reflect on the legitimacy of the claimed adjustment. The Department may consider any one or a combination of these factors in making its determination, which will be made on a case-by-case basis and in light of the evidence and arguments on each record.

    As demonstrated above, the Department is expressly referencing in this final rule certain of the factors suggested by one commenter. Other factors which are not expressly adopted here might fall under the last category we identify, i.e., “any other factors tending to reflect on the legitimacy of the claimed adjustment.”

    We have not adopted the one commenter's suggestion, either in the regulation itself, or in this final rule, to accept post-sale price adjustments if a company can demonstrate that the adjustment at issue is part of its standard business practice that existed prior to the initiation of the proceeding. We believe that the list we have identified above provides adequate factors for the Department to consider in determining whether a company has demonstrated its entitlement to an adjustment. We also note that the timing of the adjustment is one of those criteria. However, we believe that allowing a company to simply show that certain adjustments are part of its standard business practice might permit certain adjustments, such as those at issue in Koehler AG, that have the potential to manipulate the dumping margins. As discussed above, it is the Department's intention to codify its discretion to reject those types of adjustments.

    5. Effective Date of Final Rule

    One commenter agrees with the Department's proposal in the Proposed Rule to set the effective date of the final rule to apply to proceedings initiated on or after 30 days following the publication of the final rule. This commenter states that the proposed effective date is appropriate, and that it would be unfair to apply the final rule to shipments that took place prior to publication of the final rule.

    Response: The Department agrees that it is appropriate that the final rule be effective for proceedings which are initiated on or after 30 days following the date of publication of the final rule. We note that the final rule will therefore apply to entries of merchandise that took place prior to publication of the final rule. However, we believe this does not result in unfairness as the regulations, both in their current form and in this final rulemaking, merely guide the Department on what adjustments to make to export price or constructed export price and normal value under certain factual scenarios in the course of an antidumping duty proceeding. The final rule therefore impacts the way in which the Department makes certain calculations in antidumping duty proceedings, and no entities would be required to undertake additional compliance measures or expenditures on entries that have already taken place.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    In the final rule, the Department has added further refinements to the definition of price adjustment in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(38) to clarify that a price adjustment is not limited to discounts or rebates, but encompasses other adjustments as well. The Department has also made certain modifications to the new second sentence of 19 CFR 351.401(c) to clarify that the Department does not intend to accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale unless the interested party demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Department, its entitlement to such an adjustment.

    Classifications Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this rule is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule contains no new collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Executive Order 13132

    This rule does not contain policies with federalism implications as that term is defined in section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132, dated August 4, 1999 (64 FR 43255 (August 10, 1999)).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., the Chief Counsel for Regulation at the Department of Commerce has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this certification was published with the Proposed Rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding the economic impact of this rule. As a result, the conclusion in the certification memorandum for the Proposed Rule remains unchanged and a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and one has not been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 351

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antidumping, Business and industry, Cheese, Confidential business information, Countervailing duties, Freedom of information, Investigations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    For the reasons stated, 19 CFR part 351 is amended as follows:

    PART 351—ANTIDUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTIES 1. The authority citation for 19 CFR part 351 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 1202 note; 19 U.S.C. 1303 note; 19 U.S.C. 1671 et seq.; and 19 U.S.C. 3538.

    2. In § 351.102, revise paragraph (b)(38) to read as follows:
    § 351.102 Definitions.

    (b) * * *

    (38) Price adjustment. “Price adjustment” means a change in the price charged for subject merchandise or the foreign like product, such as a discount, rebate, or other adjustment, including, under certain circumstances, a change that is made after the time of sale (see § 351.401(c)), that is reflected in the purchaser's net outlay.

    3. In § 351.401, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 351.401 In general.

    (c) Use of price net of price adjustments. In calculating export price, constructed export price, and normal value (where normal value is based on price), the Secretary normally will use a price that is net of price adjustments, as defined in § 351.102(b), that are reasonably attributable to the subject merchandise or the foreign like product (whichever is applicable). The Secretary will not accept a price adjustment that is made after the time of sale unless the interested party demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, its entitlement to such an adjustment.

    [FR Doc. 2016-06698 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION 45 CFR Chapter XVI Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final changes to Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients.

    SUMMARY:

    The Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) is updating its Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients for fiscal years ending April 30, 2016, and thereafter. The revisions primarily affect certain regulatory requirements to be audited pursuant to LSC regulations. In addition, the LSC OIG has included for audit certain regulatory requirements which impact recipient staff's involvement in the outside practice of law. Finally, suggested audit procedures for several regulations have been updated and revised for clarification and simplification purposes.

    DATES:

    The Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients will be effective on April 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony M. Ramirez, Director of Planning, Policy & Reporting, Legal Services Corporation Office of Inspector General, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 295-1668 (phone), (202) 337-6616 (fax), or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. History of This Action

    The purpose of the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients is to set forth the LSC regulatory requirements to be audited by the Independent Public Accountants (“IPA”) as part of the recipients' annual financial statement audit and to provide suggested guidance to the IPAs in accomplishing this task. Pursuant to 45 CFR part 1641, IPAs are subject to suspension, removal, and/or debarment for not following OIG audit guidance as set out in the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients. Since the last revision of the LSC OIG's Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients, LSC has significantly revised and updated several regulations. By revising the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients, the LSC OIG intends that the Compliance Supplement accurately reflects these regulatory revisions and updates, including the corresponding changes to suggested audit guidance provided to the IPAs. A summary of the proposed changes follows.

    The LSC OIG has included regulatory requirements under 45 CFR part 1604 in the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients. The inclusion sets forth the requirements dealing with the permissibility of recipient staff engaged in the outside practice of law along with suggested audit guidance for use by the IPAs.

    The LSC OIG made major revisions to several regulatory summaries to reflect LSC's revisions to its regulations. Revised summaries include those for 45 CFR parts 1609 (fee generating cases); 1611 (eligibility); 1614 (private attorney involvement); 1626 (restrictions on legal assistance to aliens); and to a lesser extent, 1635 (timekeeping requirement). The summaries now follow the existing law and LSC regulations. The suggested audit procedures for each of these sections have been revised and updated to incorporate and take into consideration the regulatory changes.

    The LSC OIG revised the case sampling methodology by reducing criteria utilized in the case selection process to clarify and simplify the process.

    The LSC OIG updated and revised suggested audit procedures for the regulations. The updates and revisions are intended for clarification and simplification purposes and to provide added emphasis on internal controls.

    II. General Discussion of Comments

    The LSC OIG received ten comments during the public comment period. Four comments were submitted by LSC funded recipients: Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS), Colorado Legal Services (CLS), Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (LOLLAF) and Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF). Three comments were submitted by IPAs. One comment was submitted by the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois (LTFI), separately joined by LAF. One comment was submitted by the Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) of the American Bar Association. One comment was submitted by the non-LSC funded non-profit National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) through its Civil Policy Group and its Regulations and Policy Committee, which was also separately joined by LAF. All commenters appeared generally supportive of the changes the LSC OIG proposed to the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients.

    The LSC OIG proposed making the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients effective for audits of fiscal years ending on or after December 31, 2015. Four commenters (PSLS, NLADA, CLS, LTFI) expressed concern over retroactive application of the revised Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients which they believed would result in additional audit costs, delays in submission and impact the current audit process that may be underway. The LSC OIG will make the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients effective for audits of fiscal years ending on or after April 30, 2016.

    As part of finalizing the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients, typos were corrected and formatting problems were resolved in both the regulatory summaries and in the suggested audit procedures. One commenter (SCLAID) identified a formatting issue and typos in separate regulatory summaries that were all corrected.

    III. Section-by-Section Discussion of Comments A. Proposed Inclusion of 45 CFR Part 1604—Outside Practice of Law

    The LSC OIG proposed inclusion of 45 CFR part 1604 in the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients and provided a regulatory summary of the applicable compliance requirements.

    Comment—Two commenters (NLADA, CLS) expressed concern that the regulatory summary did not fully list all the permissible circumstances for the outside practice of law, specifically those contained in 45 CFR 1604.4(c)(2) and (c)(3).

    Response—The LSC OIG has revised the regulatory summary to include the language contained in 45 CFR 1604.4(c)(2), (c)(3) and (c)(4).

    B. Proposed Regulatory Summary for 45 CFR Part 1611—Financial Eligibility

    The LSC OIG proposed revisions to update the regulatory summary for 45 CFR part 1611 in order to follow the current LSC regulation. The LSC OIG also proposed what it believed to be clarifying language relating to Older Americans Act (OAA) funds.

    Comment 1—Six commenters (including NLADA, PSLS, CLS, LOLLAF, LTFI, LAF) expressed significant concern on the inclusion of the language relating to the OAA funds, arguing that it changed longstanding LSC policy and would have a detrimental impact on providing services to the elderly. NLADA stated “This section significantly changes longstanding guidance regarding eligibility determinations for senior citizens that would result in a reduction of services available to individuals age 60 and over.” This was mirrored by several other LSC funded commenters.

    Response—To avoid confusion and unintended consequences, the LSC OIG has removed the language referring to OAA funds from this section.

    Comment 2—NLADA also expressed concern relating to a suggested audit procedure for assessing the waiver of eligibility requirements. NLADA believed that the language needed revision “so that an auditor does not waste time looking for evidence of a waiver determination, but rather reviews whether the appropriate factors allowing income eligibility have been identified for households with income between 125% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.”

    Response—The LSC OIG has modified the suggested audit procedure to provide better clarity by including the following language at the end of the suggested audit procedure: “or the recipient determined the client was eligible based on the factors set forth in 45 CFR 1611.5(a)(3) or (4).”

    C. Regulatory Summary Adjustment for Part 1612—Restrictions on Lobbying and Certain Other Activities

    Comment—Two commenters (NLADA, CLS) expressed concern over the regulatory summary language regarding the prohibitions contained in 45 CFR 1612.6(c), describing it as “overly broad and/or confusing.” NLADA stated “The regulation does not contain a general prohibition on providing information in connection with legislation or rulemaking.” CLS stated “This sentence omits key elements in the actual Regulation that employees are only prohibited from soliciting or arranging for a request from any official to testify or otherwise provide information in connection with legislation or rulemaking.”

    Response—The LSC OIG has revised the regulatory summary language pertaining to 45 CFR 1612.6(c) to more accurately reflect the prohibitions. Also, a technical correction was made to the 45 CFR 1612.3 language contained in the regulatory summary in order to include phraseology that had been inadvertently omitted from the initial draft publication. The language added is as follows (with emphasis placed on the additions and corrections):

    (5) the issuance, amendment or revocation of any executive order. Recipients shall not use any funds to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone communication, letter, printed or written matter, administrative expense, or related expense, associated with an activity prohibited in (1)—(5) detailed above (45 CFR 1612.3).

    D. Proposed Regulatory Summary for Part 1614—Private Attorney Involvement

    The LSC OIG proposed revisions to update the regulatory summary for 45 CFR part 1614 in order to follow the current LSC regulation.

    Comment—Two commenters (NLADA, CLS) expressed concern that the revised regulatory summary discussing § 1614.4(b)(1) omitted an important clause. NLADA stated that “The sentence in the Draft Supplement currently only references including support provided by private attorneys to the recipient” and does not mention subrecipient, an entire category of organizations that may receive private attorney support.

    Response—The LSC OIG has revised the regulatory summary language as follows:

    Activities undertaken by the recipient to meet the requirements of this Part may also include, but are not limited to: (1) support provided by private attorneys to the recipient or a subrecipient as part of its delivery of legal assistance. . . .

    E. Audit Considerations and Proposed Suggested Audit Procedures

    Comment 1—Two commenters (NLADA, CLS) expressed concern over the LSC OIG policy on high risk designation for LSC grantees, stating that it is unwarranted, could be confusing to stakeholders and be a misnomer to a specific auditee. NLADA recommended the elimination of this blanket designation by the LSC OIG.

    Response—The LSC OIG will retain the policy of high risk designation at this time. If the LSC OIG accepted the requested modification to this section, it could allow IPAs to designate LSC grantees as low risk. Such a designation would result in audits not in compliance with statutory requirements.

    Comment 2—NLADA also expressed concern relating to the suggested audit procedure on obtaining an understanding of internal controls in place associated with specific regulations. NLADA recommended that the LSC OIG include clarification that “. . . understanding internal controls means that the auditor has identified that there are systems in place to assure compliance.”

    Response—The LSC OIG believes that the current language is sufficiently clear to the IPA that the internal controls relate to compliance with the applicable LSC regulatory requirement. No additional changes were made.

    Comments provided by all three IPAs related to non-audit questions, satisfaction with improved procedures and commentary on utilizing the suggested audit procedures. No additional changes were made.

    For the reasons stated above, the Legal Services Corporation Office of Inspector General revises the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients. The Revised Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients is available on the LSC OIG Web site at: https://www.oig.lsc.gov/images/pdfs/ipa_resources/April_2016_Compliance_Supplement.pdf.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06451 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 51 [GN Docket No. 13-5, RM-11358; WC Docket No. 05-25, RM-10593; FCC 15-97] Technology Transitions, Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers and Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange Carriers AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collection associated with the Commission's network change disclosure rules pertaining to copper retirement notices. This document is consistent with the Emerging Wireline Networks and Services (EWNS) Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 15-97, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those rules.

    DATES:

    The amendments to 47 CFR 51.325(a)(4) and (e), 51.332, and 51.333(b) and (c) published at 80 FR 63322, October 19, 2015, are effective March 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Levy Berlove, Attorney Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-1477, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on March 17, 2016, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the information collection requirements relating to the network change disclosure rules pertaining to copper retirement notices contained in the Commission's EWNS Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 15-97, published at 80 FR 63322, October 19, 2015.

    The OMB Control Number is 3060-0741. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective date of the rules. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Nicole Ongele, Federal Communications Commission, Room A-C620, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-0741, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via email at [email protected]

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

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received final OMB approval on March 17, 2016, for the information collection requirements contained in the modifications to the Commission's rules in 47 CFR part 51. Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0741.

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

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

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0741.

    OMB Approval Date: March 17, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: March 31, 2019.

    Title: Technology Transitions, GN Docket No. 13-5, et al.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 5,357 respondents; 573,767 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-8 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirements; recordkeeping; third party disclosure.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority is contained in 47 U.S.C. 222 and 251.

    Total Annual Burden: 575,840 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission is not requesting that the respondents submit confidential information to the FCC. Respondents may, however, request confidential treatment for information they believe to be confidential under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Privacy Act: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: Section 251 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 251, is designed to accelerate private sector development and deployment of telecommunications technologies and services by spurring competition. Section 222(e) is also designed to spur competition by prescribing requirements for the sharing of subscriber list information. These OMB collections are designed to help implement certain provisions of sections 222(e) and 251, and to eliminate operational barriers to competition in the telecommunications services market. Specifically, these OMB collections will be used to implement (1) local exchange carriers' (“LECs”) obligations to provide their competitors with dialing parity and non-discriminatory access to certain services and functionalities; (2) incumbent local exchange carriers' (“ILECs”) duty to make network information disclosures; and (3) numbering administration. The Commission estimates that the total annual burden of the entire collection, as revised, is 575,840 hours. This revision relates to a change in one of many components of the currently approved collection—specifically, certain reporting, recordkeeping and/or third party disclosure requirements under section 251(c)(5). In August 2015, the Commission adopted new rules concerning certain information collection requirements implemented under section 251(c)(5) of the Act, pertaining to network change disclosures. The changes to those rules apply specifically to a certain subset of network change disclosures, namely notices of planned copper retirements. The changes are designed to provide interconnecting entities adequate time to prepare their networks for the planned copper retirements and to ensure that consumers are able to make informed choices. There is also a change in the number of potential respondents to the rules promulgated under that section. The number of respondents as to the information collection requirements implemented under section 251(c)(5) of the Act, has changed from 1,300 to 750, a decrease of 550 respondents from the previous submission. Under section 251(f)(1) of the Act, rural telephone companies are exempt from the requirements of section 251(c) “until (i) such company has received a bona fide request for interconnection, services, or network elements, and (ii) the State commission determines . . . that such request is not unduly economically burdensome, is technically feasible, and is consistent with section 254 . . . .” The Commission has determined that the number of potential respondents set forth in the previous submission inadvertently failed to take this exemption into account. There are 1,429 ILECs nationwide. Of those, 87 are non-rural ILECs and 1,342 are rural ILECs. The Commission estimates that of the 1,342 rural ILECs, 679 are entitled to the exemption and 663 are not entitled to the exemption and thus must comply with rules promulgated under section 251(c) of the Act, including the rules that are the subject of this information collection. Thus, the Commission estimates that there are 87 (non-rural) + 663 (rural) = 750 potential respondents. The Commission estimates that the revision does not result in any additional outlays of funds for hiring outside contractors or procuring equipment.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06683 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [GN Docket No. 12-268; FCC 14-50] Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, certain information collection requirements associated with the Commission's Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions Report and Order (Incentive Auction Report and Order), FCC 14-50. This document is consistent with the Incentive Auction Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of the new information collection requirements.

    DATES:

    47 CFR 73.3700(e)(2) through (6) and FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399, published at 79 FR 48442, August 15, 2014, are effective March 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on March 17, 2016, OMB approved the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Incentive Auction Report and Order, FCC 14-50, published at 79 FR 48442, August 15, 2014. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1178. The Commission publishes this document as an announcement of the effective date of the requirements. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-1194, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the Internet if you send them to [email protected]

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

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on March 17, 2016, for the information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.3700(e)(2) through (6).

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

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1178. The foregoing document is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

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

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1178.

    OMB Approval Date: March 17, 2016.

    OMB Expiration Date: March 31, 2019.

    Title: TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund Reimbursement Form, FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399, Section 73.3700(e), Reimbursement Rules.

    Form Number: FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,900 respondents and 22,800 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 1-4 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement; on occasion reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 31,000 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: $5,625,000.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 157 and 309(j) as amended; and Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, §§ 6402 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(G)), 6403 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1452), 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Spectrum Act).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is some need for confidentiality with this collection of information. Invoices, receipts, contracts and other cost documentation submitted along with the form will be kept confidential in order to protect the identification of vendors and the terms of private contracts between parties. Vendor name and Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) will not be disclosed to the public.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The collection was submitted to the Office of Management (OMB) and approved for the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Incentive Auction Order, FCC 14-50, which adopted rules for holding an Incentive Auction, as required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act). The information gathered in this collection will be used to provide reimbursement to television broadcast stations that are relocated to a new channel following the Federal Communications Commission's Incentive Auction, and to multichannel video programming distributors (MVDPs) that incur costs in carrying the signal of relocated television broadcast stations. Relocated television broadcasters and MVPDs (“eligible entities”) will be reimbursed for their reasonable costs incurred as a result of relocation from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund. Eligible entities will use the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund Reimbursement Form (FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399) to submit an estimate of their eligible relocation costs; to submit actual cost documentation (such as receipts and invoices) throughout the construction period, as they incur expenses; and to account for the total expenses incurred at the end of the project.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06685 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742-6210-02] RIN 0648-XE523 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from catcher vessels less than 50 ft. length overall (LOA) using hook-and line gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot gear and vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the A season apportionment of the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective March 21, 2016 through 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), June 10, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 3,411 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016).

    The A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 2,054 mt, as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016).

    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear will not be able to harvest 1,700 mt of the A season apportionment of the 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(12)(i)(B)(1) and (2). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(12)(ii)(B), the Regional Administrator has also determined that vessels using pot gear and vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA currently have the capacity to harvest this excess allocation and reallocates 1,500 mt to vessels using pot gear and 200 mt to vessels using jig gear. Therefore, NMFS apportions 1,000 mt of Pacific cod from the A season apportionments for catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear and 500 mt of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS also apportions 200 mt of Pacific cod from the A season apportionment for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA

    The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016) are revised as follows: 2,411 mt to the A season apportionment and 4,347 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels less than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear, 1,354 mt to the A season apportionment and 1,756 mt to the annual amount for catcher vessels equal to or greater than 50 ft. LOA using hook-and-line gear, 8,028 mt to the A season apportionment and 11,680 mt to the annual amount to vessels using pot gear, and 422 mt to the A season apportionment and 570 mt to the annual amount to vessels using jig gear.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear to vessels using pot or jig gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 18, 2016.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06686 Filed 3-21-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742-6210-02] RIN 0648-XE519 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; opening.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 21, 2016, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2016.

    Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2015-0110 by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= NOAA-NMFS-2015-0110, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The A season allowance of the 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 222 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016).

    NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on March 1, 2016 (81 FR 11452, March 4, 2016).

    As of March 18, 2016, NMFS has determined that approximately 200 mt of Pacific cod remain in the A season directed fishing allowance for Pacific cod apportioned to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the A season allowance of the 2016 TAC of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 18, 2016.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until April 8, 2016.

    This action is required by § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06688 Filed 3-21-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 57 Thursday, March 24, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 9 CFR Parts 56, 145, 146, and 147 [Docket No. APHIS-2014-0101] RIN 0579-AE16 National Poultry Improvement Plan and Auxiliary Provisions AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are proposing to amend the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP, the Plan), its auxiliary provisions, and the indemnity regulations for the control of H5 and H7 low pathogenic avian influenza to clarify participation in the NPIP and amend participation requirements, amend definitions for poultry and breeding stock, amend the approval process for new diagnostic tests, and amend laboratory inspection and testing requirements. These changes would align the regulations with international standards and make them more transparent to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service stakeholders and the general public. The proposed changes were voted on and approved by the voting delegates at the Plan's 2014 National Plan Conference.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0101.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2014-0101, 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-2014-0101 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:

    Dr. Denise Brinson, DVM, Director, National Poultry Improvement Plan, VS, APHIS, USDA, 1506 Klondike Road, Suite 101, Conyers, GA 30094-5104; (770) 922-3496.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP, also referred to below as “the Plan”) is a cooperative Federal-State-industry mechanism for controlling certain poultry diseases. The Plan consists of a variety of programs intended to prevent and control poultry diseases. Participation in all Plan programs is voluntary, but breeding flocks, hatcheries, and dealers must first qualify as “U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean” as a condition for participating in the other Plan programs.

    The Plan identifies States, flocks, hatcheries, dealers, and slaughter plants that meet certain disease control standards specified in the Plan's various programs. As a result, customers can buy poultry that has tested clean of certain diseases or that has been produced under disease-prevention conditions.

    The regulations in 9 CFR parts 145, 146, and 147 (referred to below as the regulations) contain the provisions of the Plan. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS, also referred to as “the Service”) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA, also referred to as “the Department”) amends these provisions from time to time to incorporate new scientific information and technologies within the Plan. In addition, the regulations in 9 CFR part 56 set out conditions for the payment of indemnity for costs associated with poultry that are infected with or exposed to H5/H7 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and provisions for a cooperative control program for the disease.

    The proposed amendments discussed in this document are consistent with the recommendations approved by the voting delegates to the last National Plan Conference, which was held on July 10 through 12, 2014. Participants in the National Plan Conference represented flockowners, breeders, hatcherymen, slaughter plants, poultry veterinarians, laboratory personnel, Official State Agencies from cooperating States, and other poultry industry affiliates. The proposed amendments are discussed in the order they would appear in the regulations.

    Description of Plan Intention

    The NPIP regulations in 9 CFR parts 145 and 146 contain requirements that must be observed by flocks that participate in the Plan. Currently, § 145.3 details the process by which a person becomes eligible to participate in the Plan. Any person producing or dealing in products may participate when he/she has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Official State Agency, that his/her facilities, personnel, and practices are adequate for carrying out the applicable provisions of the Plan, and has signed an agreement with the Official State Agency to comply with the general and the applicable specific provisions of the Plan and any regulations of the Official State Agency under § 145.2. Affiliated flockowners may participate in the plan without signing an agreement with the Official State Agency. We are proposing to add additional language to this section to clarify that the NPIP is a cooperative Federal-State-Industry program through which new or existing diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to improve poultry and poultry products by controlling or eliminating specific poultry diseases. Because the Plan consists of programs that identify States, flocks, hatcheries, dealers, and slaughter plants that meet specific disease control standards specified in the Plan, we also propose to clarify that recordkeeping is important to demonstrate that participants adhere to the disease control programs in which they participate. We are proposing to add this language to paragraph (a) of § 145.3.

    Revision of Records Retention Requirement for Hatchery Inspections

    The regulations in § 145.12 contain requirements for the retention and examination of records for all flocks maintained primarily for hatching eggs. Historically, testing records were retained at the hatchery, which allowed for examination of the records during annual inspections. However, not many commercial hatcheries currently keep testing records for their breeder flocks at the hatchery and may instead keep the records at the corporate office. Therefore, we are proposing a minor change to the regulations to specify that records for all breeder flock hatcheries must be made available for annual examination by a State inspector. This change also maintains flexibility in who must make the records available. Such people may include the hatchery manager, the quality assurance manager, the laboratory manager, the breeder manager, or the hatchery information specialist.

    Clarification of Official Testing Requirements for Pullorum-Typhoid, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, and M. synoviae

    The regulations in § 145.14 contain requirements for conducting official tests for pullorum-typhoid, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, M. synoviae, and avian influenza. Paragraph (a) outlines specific testing requirements for pullorum-typhoid. Currently, paragraph (a)(5) states that the official blood test for pullorum-typhoid shall include the testing of a sample of blood from each bird in the flock, provided that, under specified conditions in §§ 145.23, 145.33, 145.43, 145.53, and 145.63, the testing of a portion or sample of birds may be used in lieu of testing each bird. We are proposing to add §§ 145.73, 145.83, and 145.93 to the list of sections referenced in § 145.14(a)(5) as those sections are also applicable to pullorum-typhoid blood testing.

    Paragraph (b) outlines specific testing requirements for M. gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, and M. synoviae. Currently, official tests for M. gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, and M. synoviae include the serum plate agglutination test, the tube agglutination test, the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test, the microhemagglutination inhibition test, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test. We are proposing to remove references to the tube agglutination test because that test is outdated and no longer in use. We are also proposing to remove references to the microhemagglutination test as the term microhemagglutination is an outdated term. In addition, we are proposing to remove the reference to the PCR test and replace it with the words “molecular based test.” This change is necessary because there are other molecular based tests in addition to the PCR test. Also, changing the language in the regulations to “molecular based test” allows for greater testing flexibility in the event that a better and more cost-effective or efficient molecular based test is developed in the future. Finally, while the widely accepted industry standard has been to use either the HI test or a molecular based test to confirm the positive results of serological screening tests, this requirement has not previously been included in our regulations. Therefore, we are proposing to amend the regulations to make that clarification.

    Requirements for Nest Clean Hatching Eggs for Breeding Turkeys

    In a final rule 1 published in the Federal Register on July 9, 2014 (79 FR 38752-38768, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0101), with an effective date of August 8, 2014, we amended the regulations by, among other things, amending the requirements for participation in the Plan by multiplier egg-type breeding chickens, multiplier meat-type breeding chickens, primary egg-type breeding chickens, and primary meat-type breeding chickens to state that hatching eggs produced by the relevant flocks should be nest clean, and that they may be fumigated in accordance with part 147 or otherwise sanitized. “Nest clean” eggs are eggs that are collected from nests frequently to keep them clean without further processing. These changes were necessary because it has become standard practice within the industry to avoid sanitizing eggs and instead insist on nest clean eggs, which have been found to hatch better and provide a better chick than other eggs, even when they are sanitized. In addition, removing the requirement for fumigation and instead stating that hatching eggs “may be” fumigated or otherwise sanitized addresses changes made due to health restrictions and concerns related to staff safety, as well as aligning with changes made to the provisions for multiplier egg-type and meat-type chicken breeding flocks and primary egg-type and meat-type breeding flocks, following the 2010 NPIP Plan Conference.

    1 To view the final rule and related documents, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0101.

    The regulations in § 145.42 outline the requirements with which turkey flocks, and the eggs and poults produced from them, must comply in order to participate in the Plan. Due to the same restrictions and concerns for staff safety for workers in the turkey industry and the same standard practice and benefits of requiring nest clean eggs, we are proposing to make the same changes to paragraph (b) of this section that were made in the July 2014 final rule for §§ 145.22(b), 145.32(b), 145.72(b), and 145.82(b).

    We are also proposing to amend the definition of breeding flock in § 56.1 in order to be more inclusive of both chicken and turkey flocks. Currently, the definition for breeding flock refers to a “flock that is composed of stock that has been developed for commercial egg or meat production and is maintained for the principal purpose of producing chicks for the ultimate production of eggs or meat for human consumption.” We propose to amend this definition to remove the word “chicks” and replace it with the word “progeny.” This change is also consistent with the definition of multiplier breeding flock in § 145.1.

    Changes to U.S. M. gallisepticum Clean and U.S. M. synoviae Clean Classification for Breeding Flocks of Hobbyist and Exhibition Waterfowl, Exhibition Poultry, and Game Birds

    The regulations in § 145.53 set out classifications for hobbyist and exhibition waterfowl, exhibition poultry, and game bird breeding flocks and products. Paragraph (c) in § 145.53 sets out the U.S. M. gallisepticum Clean classification for such poultry while paragraph (d) of that section sets out the U.S. M. synoviae Clean classification for such poultry.

    We are proposing to require targeted bird sampling of the choanal palatine cleft/fissure area using appropriate swabs as an alternative to the random serum or egg yolk sampling currently required for retention of the U.S. M. gallisepticum Clean classification. The choanal palatine cleft/fissure area is easier to swab and is also a very reliable site for detection of M. gallisepticum and M. synoviae. The targeted sampling of this area would provide a greater likelihood of detecting the organism of concern than either the random serum or egg yolk sampling methods.

    We are also proposing to change the size of the sample for U.S. M. gallisepticum testing from the current 5 percent of birds in the flock to at least 30 birds, or all birds in the flock if the flock size is less than 30. We would make the same change for a multiplier breeding flock which originated as U.S. M. gallisepticum Clean baby poultry from primary breeding flocks. Currently, sampling of such flocks must consist of at least 2 percent of birds in the flock. These changes would provide for a more appropriate level of sampling for M. gallisepticum, particularly for those flocks that contain fewer than 30 birds.

    Because M. gallisepticum and M. synoviae spread and infect birds similarly, we are proposing to amend the U.S. M. synoviae Clean classification to require that retention of that classification may also be obtained either by random sampling of serum or egg yolk or a targeted bird sample of the choanal palatine cleft/fissure area using appropriate swabs. Currently, the regulations do not specify how sampling is to be conducted. In addition, we are proposing to change the size of the sample for U.S. M. synoviae testing from at least 150 birds in the flock to at least 30 birds, or all birds in the flock if the flock size is less than 30. Finally, for a multiplier breeding flock which originated as U.S. M. synoviae Clean baby poultry from primary breeding flocks, we would remove the requirement for sampling a minimum of 75 birds and instead require that a random sample contain 50 percent of the birds in the flock with a maximum of 200 birds and a minimum of 30 birds, or all birds in the flock if the flock is less than 30 birds. This sampling would have to be conducted on birds that are at least 4 months of age or upon reaching sexual maturity.

    Assuming a normal distribution and an infection rate of 1 percent, changing the sample sizes as proposed does not greatly affect the chance of detecting a positive sample (confidence interval approximately 95 percent). These proposed sample size changes would allow us to increase the efficiency of the NPIP program by allowing resources to be used elsewhere.

    Changes to U.S. Salmonella Monitored Certification Requirements

    The regulations in § 145.83 set out the requirements for the classification of participating flocks, and the eggs and chicks produced from them, with respect to certain diseases. Paragraph (f) of § 145.83 sets out requirements for preventing and controlling Salmonella in the breeding-hatching industry. Currently, a flock may be designated as U.S. Salmonella Monitored when, among other things, feed used for the flock, if containing animal proteins, adheres to certain processing requirements. We are proposing to remove these requirements because we believe that the rendering industry has appropriate standards to deal with the transmission of Salmonella through poultry feed and, therefore, these requirements are not necessary in the NPIP regulations. In addition, most of the primary meat type chicken industry today does not use animal protein products in their feed due to concerns of disease transmission. Therefore, we propose to amend the regulations in paragraph (f)(1)(i) to instead state that “measures shall be implemented to control Salmonella challenge through the feed, feed storage, and feed transport.” We also propose to remove paragraphs (f)(1)(ii) and (f)(1)(iii) and renumber paragraphs (f)(1)(iv) through (f)(1)(viii) as paragraphs (f)(1)(ii) through (f)(1)(vi).

    Revision to Sanitation Requirements for Meat-Type Waterfowl

    The regulations in §§ 145.91 and 145.92 set out special provisions for meat-type waterfowl and the eggs and baby poultry produced from them. Currently, paragraph (b) of § 145.92 requires that hatching eggs produced by primary breeding flocks be fumigated in accordance with part 147 or otherwise sanitized. We are proposing to remove the requirement for fumigation and instead state that hatching eggs should be “nest clean” and that they “may be” fumigated or otherwise sanitized. We would also extend these requirements to multiplier breeding flocks, as these proposed requirements are meant to mirror the changes made to the provisions for multiplier egg-type and meat-type chicken breeding flocks and primary egg-type and meat-type breeding flocks, following the 2010 NPIP conference as well as the changes we are proposing to the regulations for breeding turkeys in § 145.42.

    Revision to Sample Size for U.S. H5/H7 Avian Influenza Clean Classification

    The regulations in § 145.93 set out requirements for the classification of participating flocks of meat-type waterfowl and the eggs and baby poultry produced from them, with respect to certain diseases. Paragraph (c) of § 145.93 sets out requirements for the classification of such flocks as U.S. H5/H7 Avian Influenza Clean. Currently, the regulations state that, in order for multiplier breeding flocks to retain this classification, a sample of at least 30 birds must either be tested negative for avian influenza at intervals of 180 days, a sample of fewer than 30 birds may be tested and found negative for avian influenza at any one time if all pens are equally represented and a total of 30 birds are tested within each 180-day period, or a sample of at least 30 birds are tested and found negative to H5/H7 avian influenza within 21 days prior to movement to slaughter.

    In the July 2014 final rule, we amended the regulations by changing the number of breeding birds required to be tested for avian influenza prior to movement to slaughter in §§ 145.23, 145.33, and 145.73. Rather than requiring 30 spent fowl to be tested, we now require the testing of a sample of 11 birds prior to movement to slaughter. This change was necessary because, generally, the entire flock of egg-type breeding chickens will be moved to slaughter at one time. Testing 11 birds per flock is also consistent with the testing requirements for meat-type commercial chickens moved to slaughter under the U.S. H5/H7 Avian Influenza Monitored program in § 146.33, and provides adequate assurance that the flock is free of avian influenza. We are proposing to make the same change for meat-type waterfowl breeding flocks. Aligning sample numbers across similar flocks simplifies plan participation.

    Changes to the List of Commercial Poultry Plan Participants

    Part 146 of the regulations contains the NPIP provisions for commercial poultry. Section 146.3 provides requirements for participation in the Plan by commercial table-egg producers, raised-for-release upland game bird or waterfowl premises, commercial upland game bird or waterfowl slaughter plants, and meat-type chicken or turkey slaughter plants. We propose to amend the regulations to add commercial table-egg layer pullet flocks to the list of Plan participants in paragraph (c)(1) of § 146.2 and paragraph (a) in § 146.3. A commercial table-egg layer pullet flock is currently defined in § 146.1 as a table-egg layer flock prior to the onset of egg production. The inclusion of these flock owners as Plan participants provides a means for NPIP staff to identify participation in the Plan and to help facilitate the movement of birds within States and across State lines.

    Finally, we are proposing to amend the definition of poultry in § 146.1 to make it more inclusive of all domesticated fowl bred for the purpose of providing eggs or meat, including waterfowl and game birds. This change would be consistent with the poultry definition in § 56.1 and § 145.1.

    Amendment to Slaughter Plant Inspection Requirements

    Section 146.11 of the regulations sets out the audit process for participating slaughter plants. Paragraph (b) states that flocks slaughtered at a slaughter plant will be considered to be not conforming to the required protocol of the classifications if there are no test results available, if the flock was not tested within 21 days before slaughter, or if the test results for the flocks were not returned before slaughter. We are proposing to amend paragraph (b) to state that a flock will be considered to be conforming to protocol if it meets the requirements described in §§ 146.33(a), 146.43(a), or 146.53(a). This change would correct problems inadvertently caused by combining all allowed testing requirements in 9 CFR part 146, subparts C, D, and E for participating slaughter plants into one set of testing requirements. One such problem was that the language in paragraph (b) directly contradicted the requirement allowing for testing at the slaughter plant on a shift basis. This change would also allow for future amendments to testing requirements for each subpart independent of one another and without having to amend the regulations in § 146.11.

    Addition of Testing Commercial Table-Egg Producing Upland Game Birds and Waterfowl for Avian Influenza

    The regulations in §§ 146.51 through 146.53 contain special provisions related to the participation in the NPIP program by commercial upland game birds, commercial waterfowl, raised-for-release upland game birds, and raised-for-release waterfowl and the classification of such flocks as U.S. H5/H7 Avian Influenza Monitored. Commercial upland game birds and waterfowl are sometimes grown for the primary purpose of producing eggs for human consumption, notably in specialty markets, restaurants, and health food outlets. Because a significant number of these flocks are large in size, we believe that the creation of a mechanism for NPIP participation and avian influenza surveillance for such flocks would be beneficial to the poultry industry as a whole. Therefore, we are proposing to amend the definition for commercial upland game birds and commercial waterfowl in § 146.51 to include birds grown for egg production. Currently, the definitions for these categories of birds include only those birds grown for the primary purpose of producing meat for human consumption.

    We are also proposing to add commercial upland game birds and commercial waterfowl producing eggs for human consumption to the list of Plan participants in paragraphs (a) and (c) of § 146.52. We would also change the word “purpose” under both the definition for commercial upland game birds and commercial waterfowl to “purposes.”

    Paragraph (a) of § 146.53 contains the U.S. H5/H7 Avian Influenza Monitored classification for commercial waterfowl and commercial upland game birds. Currently, the commercial waterfowl and commercial upland game bird industry may earn U.S. H5/H7 Influenza Monitored classification by participating in routine surveillance for H5/H7 avian influenza through participating slaughter plants. We are proposing to add provisions for the regular surveillance of commercial waterfowl and game bird egg-producing flocks for avian influenza in new paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5). These provisions would require that a minimum of 11 birds per flock be tested negative to H5/H7 avian influenza as provided in § 146.13 within 30 days of disposal or within a 12 month period or that the participating flock has an on-going active and passive surveillance program for H5/H7 avian influenza approved by the Official State Agency and the Service.

    Amendments to Authorized Laboratory Requirements

    Subpart F of part 147 contains provisions for authorized laboratories and approved test and sanitation procedures under the NPIP. Section 147.52 contains the current provisions for approving authorized laboratories. While these provisions currently require laboratories to undergo an annual site visit and recordkeeping audit by their Official State Agency in order to maintain authorization, laboratory procedures and personnel generally do not change on a yearly basis. In addition, the need for Official State Agencies to inspect laboratories in other States serving industry members within their own States has proven to unnecessarily consume time and travel funds best utilized in other areas of the Plan. Therefore, we are proposing to amend the regulations to require that site visits take place at least once every 2 years.

    Amendments to the Approval Process for New Diagnostic Tests

    Section 147.54 outlines the required procedures for the approval of diagnostic test kits that are not licensed by APHIS. Current paragraph (a) states that the sensitivity of the kit will be estimated by testing known positive samples, as determined by official NPIP procedures found in the NPIP program standards or via other procedures approved by the Administrator. Because it is difficult to define a minor test modification versus a major test modification and to determine what data might be needed beforehand for a new test, we are proposing to allow the conditional use of a modified test side by side with the approved versions using field samples. This would make it easier for laboratories to participate in the test validation process. Field samples would have to be composed of those samples for which the presence or absence of the target organism or analyte has been determined by the current NPIP test rather than spiked samples or pure cultures. In addition, samples would have to come from a variety of field cases representing a range of low, medium, and high analyte concentrations. Spiked samples should only be used in the event that no other sample types are available. These changes would ensure that samples used for validation represent real samples and contain the same analytes and extraneous material that would be found in clinical samples. Realistic samples are critical to ensuring that a test will perform adequately with normal use. We are also proposing to clarify that laboratories should only be selected for their experience with testing for the target organism or analyte with the current NPIP approved test. Finally, we are proposing to remove the requirement that authorized laboratories be selected by the Service and clarify that the specificity of the kit will be “evaluated” rather than “estimated” in both current paragraphs (a) and (b) to provide more specific information on test performance. We are proposing this change because authorized NPIP laboratories use the same standards and guidelines. Therefore, any NPIP-authorized laboratory should be able to be utilized by any company seeking approval of a new test.

    We are also proposing to revise the regulations in current paragraph (c) to remove the requirement for clinical samples to be supplied by the manufacturer of the test kit. Further, we propose to require that at least 50 known negative samples be tested by each laboratory rather than the currently required 50 known negative clinical samples. Because it can be difficult to find clinical samples and to share clinical samples for logistical reasons, removing the requirements for clinical samples and for samples to be supplied by the test kit manufacturer would allow any entity to provide clinical samples. However, the negative samples would have to contain relevant sample matrices/extraneous material which would be found in clinical samples. In addition, requiring at least 50 known negative samples rather than 50 known negative samples is necessary because, in the past, we have received fewer than 50 samples from a company when more samples were unavailable. This change would make it clearer that we view any sample sets consisting of fewer than 50 samples as incomplete and that we would not review such sample sets. We are also proposing to add language allowing cooperating laboratories to perform a current NPIP procedure or test on samples alongside the test kit for comparison, and specific testing procedures for Salmonella, Mycoplasma, and avian influenza, as well as molecular-based testing procedures to better account for the differences among the three agents.

    Paragraph (d) states that laboratories must submit assay response data to the kit manufacturer along with the official NPIP procedure. We are proposing to require that a worksheet for diagnostic test evaluation be submitted along with the raw data from the assay response and that the data and completed worksheet be submitted to the NPIP Senior Coordinator 4 months before the next General Conference Committee meeting, which is when test approval would be sought. Worksheets would be obtained by contacting the NPIP Senior Coordinator. The diagnostic test evaluation worksheet is intended to provide a standardized template to ensure that all needed data for test evaluation has been prepared and that the data is available in a uniform manner. This would make review of the data easier for the NPIP Technical Committee, which would facilitate the test approval process.

    Paragraph (e) puts forth the process by which the NPIP Technical Committee will make their decision about whether to approve a new diagnostic test. We propose to clarify that a majority of the members of the Technical Committee would have to recommend whether to approve the test kit and that this recommendation would have to occur at the next scheduled General Conference Committee meeting.

    Currently, the regulations do not provide procedures for modifying or removing diagnostic tests. Therefore, we are proposing to redesignate the introductory paragraph for § 147.54 as paragraph (a) and the following paragraphs (a) through (f) as paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) and add a new paragraph (b) to describe how diagnostic tests may be modified or removed. The proposed requirements would require the submission of data in support of modifying or removing the test in question to the NPIP Technical Committee in a manner similar to that in place for the approval of new test kits in current paragraph (e).

    Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).

    The changes in this proposed rule are recommended by the NPIP General Conference Committee, which represents cooperating State agencies and poultry industry members and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues pertaining to poultry health. The proposed amendments to these regulations would improve the regulatory environment for poultry and poultry products.

    This rulemaking would result in various changes to 9 CFR parts 56 and 145-147, modifying provisions of the NPIP. The proposed rule would clarify participation in the NPIP and amend participation requirements, amend definitions for poultry and breeding stock, amend the approval process for new diagnostic tests, and amend inspection and laboratory testing requirements. The proposed amendments to these regulations would improve the regulatory environment for poultry and poultry products.

    The establishments that would be affected by the proposed rule—principally entities engaged in poultry production and processing—are predominantly small by Small Business Administration standards. In those instances in which an addition or modification could potentially result in a cost to certain entities, we do not expect the costs to be significant. This rule embodies changes decided upon by the NPIP General Conference Committee on behalf of Plan members, that is, changes recognized by the poultry industry as in their interest. We note that NPIP membership is voluntary.

    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Executive Order 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 2 CFR chapter IV.)

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Please send written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-2014-0101. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document, and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, Room 404-W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication of this proposed rule.

    We are proposing to amend the NPIP, its auxiliary provisions, and the indemnity regulations for the control of H5 and H7 low pathogenic avian influenza to clarify participation in the NPIP and amend participation requirements, amend definitions for poultry and breeding stock, amend the approval process for new diagnostic tests, and amend laboratory inspection and testing requirements. These changes would align the regulations with international standards and make them more transparent to APHIS stakeholders and the general public.

    Implementing this rule will require certain new information collection activities such as Waterfowl and Game Bird Surveillance and Diagnostic Test Evaluation Worksheets. APHIS is asking OMB to approve, for 3 years, its use of these information collection activities in connection with APHIS' efforts to continually improve the health of the U.S. poultry population and the quality of U.S. poultry products. The NPIP has an existing information collection under OMB control number 0579-0007. At the next renewal of 0579-0007, we will merge the activities added by this proposed rule, subject to OMB approval.

    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to respond (such as 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).

    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.8 hours per response.

    Respondents: Flock owners, breeders, hatchery owners, table egg producers, laboratory personnel, and State animal health officials.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 10.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 10.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 18 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

    E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to compliance 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. For information pertinent to E-Government Act compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

    List of Subjects 9 CFR Part 56

    Animal diseases, Indemnity payments, Low pathogenic avian influenza, Poultry.

    9 CFR Parts 145, 146, and 147

    Animal diseases, Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR parts 56, 145, 146, and 147 as follows:

    PART 56—CONTROL OF H5/H7 LOW PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA 1. The authority citation for part 56 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    2. Section 56.1 is amended by revising the definition of breeding flock to read as follows:
    § 56.1 Definitions.

    Breeding flock. A flock that is composed of stock that has been developed for commercial egg or meat production and is maintained for the principal purpose of producing progeny for the ultimate production of eggs or meat for human consumption.

    PART 145—NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY 3. The authority citation for part 145 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    § 145.2 [Amended]
    4. In § 145.2, paragraph (d) is amended by removing the words “§ 145.3(d)” and adding the words “§ 145.3(e)” in their place. 5. Section 145.3 is amended as follows: a. By redesignating paragraphs (a) through (f) as paragraphs (b) through (g), respectively. b. By adding a new paragraph (a).

    The addition reads as follows:

    § 145.3 Participation.

    (a) The National Poultry Improvement Plan is a cooperative Federal-State-Industry program through which new or existing diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to improve poultry and poultry products by controlling or eliminating specific poultry diseases. The Plan consists of programs that identify States, flocks, hatcheries, dealers, and slaughter plants that meet specific disease control standards specified in the Plan. Participants shall maintain records to demonstrate that they adhere to the disease control programs in which they participate.

    § 145.12 [Amended]
    6. Section 145.12 is amended by adding, in paragraph (b), the words “made available to and” before the word “examined”. 7. Section 145.14 is amended as follows: a. By revising paragraph (a)(5). b. By revising paragraph (b)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 145.14 Testing.

    (a) * * *

    (5) The official blood test shall include the testing of a sample of blood from each bird in the flock: Provided, That under specified conditions (see applicable provisions of §§ 145.23, 145.33, 145.43, 145.53, 145.63, 145.73, 145.83, and 145.93) the testing of a portion or sample of the birds may be used in lieu of testing each bird.

    (b) * * *

    (1) The official tests for M. gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, and M. synoviae shall be the serum plate agglutination test, the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test 3, or a molecular based test. The HI test or molecular based test shall be used to confirm the positive results of other serological screening tests. HI titers of 1:40 or more may be interpreted as suspicious, and final judgment must be based on further samplings and/or culture of reactors. Tests must be conducted in accordance with this paragraph (b) and in accordance with part 147 of this subchapter.

    3 Procedures for the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test are set forth in the following publications:

    A.A. Ansari, R.F. Taylor, T.S. Chang, “Application of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Detecting Antibody to Mycoplasma gallisepticum Infections in Poultry,” Avian Diseases, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 21-35, January-March 1983; and H.M. Opitz, J.B. Duplessis, and M.J. Cyr, “Indirect Micro-Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for the Detection of Antibodies to Mycoplasma synoviae and M. gallisepticum,” Avian Diseases, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 773-786, July-September 1983; and H.B. Ortmayer and R. Yamamoto, “Mycoplasma Meleagridis Antibody Detection by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA),” Proceedings, 30th Western Poultry Disease Conference, pp. 63-66, March 1981.
    8. In § 145.42, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 145.42 Participation.

    (b) Hatching eggs should be nest clean. They may be fumigated in accordance with part 147 of this subchapter or otherwise sanitized.

    9. Section 145.53 is amended as follows: a. By revising paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (c)(1)(ii) introductory text, and (c)(1)(ii)(A). b. By revising paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(ii) introductory text, and (d)(1)(ii)(A).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 145.53 Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) It is a flock in which all birds or a sample of at least 300 birds has been tested for M. gallisepticum as provided in § 145.14(b) when more than 4 months of age or upon reaching sexual maturity: Provided, That to retain this classification, a random sample of serum or egg yolk or a targeted bird sample of the choanal palatine cleft/fissure area using appropriate swabs from all the birds in the flock if the flock size is less than 30, but at least 30 birds, shall be tested at intervals of not more than 90 days: And provided further, That a sample comprised of less than 30 birds may be tested at any one time, with the approval of the Official State Agency and the concurrence of the Service, provided that a total of at least 30 birds, or all birds in the flock if flock size is less than 30, is tested within each 90-day period; or

    (ii) It is a multiplier breeding flock which originated as U.S. M. Gallisepticum Clean baby poultry from primary breeding flocks and a random sample comprised of 50 percent of the birds in the flock, with a maximum of 200 birds and a minimum of 30 birds per flock or all birds in the flock if the flock size is less than 30 birds, has been tested for M. gallisepticum as provided in § 145.14(b) when more than 4 months of age or upon reaching sexual maturity: Provided, That to retain this classification, the flock shall be subjected to one of the following procedures:

    (A) At intervals of not more than 90 days, a random sample of serum or egg yolk or a targeted bird sample of the choanal palatine cleft/fissure area using appropriate swabs from all the birds in the flock if flock size is less than 30, but at least 30 birds, shall be tested; or

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) It is a flock in which all birds or a sample of at least 300 birds has been tested for M. synoviae as provided in § 145.14(b) when more than 4 months of age or upon reaching sexual maturity: Provided, That to retain this classification, a random sample of serum or egg yolk or a targeted bird sample of the choanal palatine cleft/fissure area using appropriate swabs (C.P. swabs) from all the birds in the flock if flock size is less than 30, but at least 30 birds, shall be tested at intervals of not more than 90 days: And provided further, That a sample comprised of less than 30 birds may be tested at any one time with the approval of the Official State Agency and the concurrence of the Service, provided that a total of at least 30 birds is tested within each 90-day period; or

    (ii) It is a multiplier breeding flock that originated as U.S. M. Synoviae Clean chicks from primary breeding flocks and from which a random sample comprised of 50 percent of the birds in the flock, with a maximum of 200 birds and a minimum of 30 birds per flock or all birds in the flock if the flock is less than 30 birds, has been tested for M. synoviae as provided in § 145.14(b) when more than 4 months of age or upon reaching sexual maturity: Provided, That to retain this classification, the flock shall be subjected to one of the following procedures:

    (A) At intervals of not more than 90 days, a random sample of serum or egg yolk or a targeted bird sample of the choanal palantine cleft/fissure area using appropriate swabs from all the birds in the flock if the flock size is less than 30, but at least 30 birds shall be tested: Provided, That a sample of fewer than 30 birds may be tested at any one time with the approval of the Official State Agency and the concurrence of the Service, provided that a total of at least 30 birds, or the entire flock if flock size is less than 30, is tested each time and a total of at least 30 birds is tested within each 90-day period; or

    10. Section 145.83 is amended as follows: a. By revising paragraph (f)(1)(i). b. By removing paragraphs (f)(1)(ii) and (f)(1)(iii). c. By redesignating paragraphs (f)(1)(iv) through (f)(1)(viii) as paragraphs (f)(1)(ii) through (f)(1)(vi). d. In newly redesignated paragraphs (f)(1)(v) and (f)(1)(vi) by removing the words “(f)(1)(vi)” and adding the words “(f)(1)(iv)” in their place. e. By revising paragraph (f)(3).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 145.83 Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    (f) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) Measures shall be implemented to control Salmonella challenge through feed, feed storage, and feed transport.

    (3) In order for a hatchery to sell products of paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(vi) of this section, all products handled shall meet the requirements of the classification.

    11. In § 145.92, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 145.92 Participation.

    (b) Hatching eggs produced by primary and multiplier breeding flocks should be nest clean. They may be fumigated in accordance with part 147 of this subchapter or otherwise sanitized.

    § 145.93 [Amended]
    12. In § 145.93, paragraph (c)(3) is amended by removing the number “30” and adding the number “11” in its place. PART 146—NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR COMMERCIAL POULTRY 13. The authority citation for part 146 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    14. Section 146.1 is amended by revising the definition of poultry to read as follows:
    § 146.1 Definitions.

    Poultry. Domesticated fowl, including chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, and game birds, except doves and pigeons, that are bred for the primary purpose of producing eggs or meat.

    15. Section 146.2 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 146.2 Administration.

    (c)(1) An Official State Agency may accept for participation a commercial table-egg layer pullet flock, commercial table-egg layer flock, or a commercial meat-type flock (including an affiliated flock) located in another participating State under a mutual understanding and agreement, in writing, between the two Official State Agencies regarding conditions of participation and supervision.

    (2) An Official State Agency may accept for participation a commercial table-egg layer pullet flock, commercial table-egg layer flock, or a commercial meat-type flock (including an affiliated flock) located in a State that does not participate in the Plan under a mutual understanding and agreement, in writing, between the owner of the flock and the Official State Agency regarding conditions of participation and supervision.

    § 146.3 [Amended]
    16. In § 146.3, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the words “commercial table-egg layer pullet flock,” before the words “table-egg producer”. 17. In § 146.11, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 146.11 Inspections.

    (b) A flock will be considered to be conforming to protocol if it meets the requirements as described in § 145.33(a), § 146.43(a), or § 146.53(a) of this chapter.

    § 146.51 [Amended]
    18. Section 146.51 is amended as follows: a. In the definition of commercial upland game birds by changing the word “purpose” to “purposes” and adding the words “eggs and/or” before the word “meat”. b. In the definition of commercial waterfowl, by changing the word “purpose” to “purposes” and adding the words “eggs and/or” before the word “meat”. 19. Section 146.52 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 146.52 Participation.

    (a) Participating commercial upland game bird slaughter plants, commercial waterfowl slaughter plants, raised-for-release upland game bird premises, raised-for-release waterfowl premises, and commercial upland game bird and commercial waterfowl producing eggs for human consumption premises shall comply with the applicable general provisions of subpart A of this part and the special provisions of this subpart E.

    (c) Raised-for-release upland game bird premises, raised-for-release waterfowl premises, and commercial upland game bird and commercial waterfowl producing eggs for human consumption premises that raise fewer than 25,000 birds annually are exempt from the special provisions of this subpart E.

    20. Section 146.53 is amended as follows: a. In paragraph (a) introductory text, by adding the words “or, in the case of egg-producing flocks, the regular surveillance of these flocks” after the words “participating slaughter plant”. b. By adding paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 146.53 Terminology and classification; slaughter plants and premises.

    (a) * * *

    (4) It is a commercial upland game bird or waterfowl flock that produces eggs for human consumption where a minimum of 11 birds per flock have been tested negative to the H5/H7 subtypes of avian influenza as provided in § 146.13 (b) within 30 days of disposal or within a 12 month period.

    (5) It is a commercial upland game bird or waterfowl flock that has an on-going active and passive surveillance program for H5/H7 subtypes of avian influenza that is approved by the Official State Agency and the Service.

    PART 147—AUXILIARY PROVISIONS ON NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN 21. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    22. In § 147.52, paragraph (d) is revised to read as follows:
    § 147.52 Authorized laboratories.

    (d) State site visit. The Official State Agency will conduct a site visit and recordkeeping audit at least once every 2 years. This will include, but may not be limited to, review of technician training records, check test proficiency, and test results. The information from the site visit and recordkeeping audit will be made available to the NPIP upon request.

    23. Section 147.54 is revised to read as follows:
    § 147.54 Approval of diagnostic test kits not licensed by the Service.

    (a) Diagnostic test kits that are not licensed by the Service (e.g., bacteriological culturing kits) may be approved through the following procedure:

    (1) The sensitivity of the kit will be evaluated in at least three NPIP authorized laboratories by testing known positive samples, as determined by the official NPIP procedures found in the NPIP Program Standards or through other procedures approved by the Administrator. Field samples for which the presence or absence of the target organism or analyte has been determined by the current NPIP test should be used, not spiked samples or pure cultures. Samples from a variety of field cases representing a range of low, medium, and high analyte concentrations should be used. In some cases it may be necessary to utilize samples from experimentally infected animals. Spiked samples (clinical sample matrix with a known amount of pure culture added) should only be used in the event that no other sample types are available. Pure cultures should never be used. Additionally, laboratories should be selected for their experience with testing for the target organism or analyte with the current NPIP approved test. If certain conditions or interfering substances are known to affect the performance of the kit, appropriate samples will be included so that the magnitude and significance of the effect(s) can be evaluated.

    (2) The specificity of the kit will be evaluated in at least three NPIP authorized laboratories by testing known negative samples, as determined by tests conducted in accordance with the NPIP Program Standards or other procedures approved by the Administrator in accordance with § 147.53(d)(1). If certain conditions or interfering substances are known to affect the performance of the kit, appropriate samples will be included so that the magnitude and significance of the effect(s) can be evaluated.

    (3) The kit will be provided to the cooperating laboratories in its final form and include the instructions for use. The cooperating laboratories must perform the assay exactly as stated in the supplied instructions. Each laboratory must test a panel of at least 25 known positive samples. In addition, each laboratory will be asked to test at least 50 known negative samples obtained from several sources, to provide a representative sampling of the general population. The cooperating laboratories must perform a current NPIP procedure or NPIP approved test on the samples alongside the test kit for comparison.

    (4) Cooperating laboratories will submit to the kit manufacturer all raw data regarding the assay response. Each sample tested will be reported as positive or negative, and the official NPIP procedure used to classify the sample must be submitted in addition to the assay response value. A completed worksheet for diagnostic test evaluation is required to be submitted with the raw data and may be obtained by contacting the NPIP Senior Coordinator. Raw data and the completed worksheet for diagnostic test evaluation must be submitted to the NPIP Senior Coordinator 4 months prior to the next scheduled General Conference Committee meeting, which is when approval will be sought.

    (5) The findings of the cooperating laboratories will be evaluated by the NPIP Technical Committee, and the Technical Committee will make a majority recommendation whether to approve the test kit to the General Conference Committee at the next scheduled General Conference Committee meeting. If the Technical Committee recommends approval, the final approval will be granted in accordance with the procedures described in §§ 147.46, 147.47, and 147.48.

    (6) Diagnostic test kits that are not licensed by the Service (e.g., bacteriological culturing kits) and that have been approved for use in the NPIP in accordance with this section are listed in the NPIP Program Standards.

    (b) Approved tests modification and removal. (1) The specific data required for modifications of previously approved tests will be taken on a case-by-case basis by the technical committee.

    (2) If the Technical Committee determines that only additional field data is needed at the time of submission for a modification of a previously approved test, allow for a conditional approval for 60 days for data collection side-by-side with a current test. The submitting party must provide complete protocol and study design, including criteria for pass/fail to the Technical Committee. The Technical Committee must review the data prior to final approval. This would only apply to the specific situation where a modified test needs additional field data with poultry to be approved.

    (3) Approved diagnostic tests may be removed from the Plan by submission of a proposed change from a participant, Official State Agency, the Department, or other interested person or industry organization. The data in support of removing an approved test will be compiled and evaluated by the NPIP Technical Committee, and the Technical Committee will make a majority recommendation whether to remove the test kit to the General Conference Committee at the next scheduled General Conference Committee meeting. If the Technical Committee recommends removal, the final decision to remove the test will be granted in accordance with the procedures described in §§ 147.46, 147.47, and 147.48.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of March 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06664 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 241 [Release No. 34-77407; File No. S7-03-16] Notice of Proposed Commission Interpretation Regarding Automated Quotations Under Regulation NMS AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed interpretation; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is publishing for comment a proposed interpretation with respect to the definition of automated quotation under Rule 600(b)(3) of Regulation NMS.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before April 14, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number S7-03-16 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number S7-03-16. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml). Comments are also available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Holley III, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-5614, Michael Bradley, Special Counsel, at (202) 551-5594, or Michael Ogershok, Attorney-Advisor, at 202-551-5541, all in the Office of Market Supervision, Division of Trading and Markets, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-7010.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A. IEX's Form 1

    On August 21, 2015, Investors' Exchange LLC (“IEX”) submitted to the Commission a Form 1 application seeking registration as a national securities exchange under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”).1 On September 9, 2015, IEX submitted Amendment No. 1 to its Form 1 application.2 Notice of IEX's filing of its Form 1 application, as amended, was published for comment in the Federal Register on September 22, 2015.3 Recently, IEX submitted three additional amendments to its Form 1 application.4 Simultaneously with the issuance of this proposed interpretation, the Commission issued a release to notice Amendment Nos. 2, 3, and 4 to IEX's Form 1 application, instituted proceedings to consider whether to grant or deny IEX's application, and designated a longer period for Commission action to accommodate those proceedings.5

    1 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    2 In Amendment No. 1, IEX submitted updated portions of its Form 1 application, including revised exhibits, a revised version of the proposed IEX Rule Book, and revised Addenda C-2, C-3, C-4, D-1, D-2, F-1, F-2, F-3, F-4, F-5, F-6, F-7, F-8, F-9, F-10, F-11, F-12, and F-13. IEX's Form 1 application, as amended, including all of the Exhibits referenced above, is available online at www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml as well as at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75925 (September 15, 2015), 80 FR 57261. On December 18, 2015, IEX consented to an extension of time to March 21, 2016 for Commission consideration of its Form 1 application. See Letter from Sophia Lee, General Counsel, IEX, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated December 18, 2015.

    4 In Amendment No. 2, filed on February 29, 2016, IEX proposed changes to its Form 1 application to, among other things, redesign its outbound routing functionality to direct routable orders first to the IEX router instead of directly to the IEX matching engine. See Letter from Sophia Lee, General Counsel, IEX, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated February 29, 2016, at 1. In this manner, the IEX router would “interact with the IEX matching system over a 350 microsecond speed-bump in the same way an independent third party broker would be subject to a speed bump.” See id. In Amendment No. 3, filed on March 4, 2016, IEX proposed changes to its Form 1 application to clarify and correct revisions to its rulebook that it made in Amendment No. 2. See Letter from Sophia Lee, General Counsel, IEX, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated March 4, 2016. In Amendment No. 4, filed on March 7, 2016, IEX proposed changes to its Form 1 application to update Exhibit E to reflect changes it proposed in Amendment No. 2. See Letter from Sophia Lee, General Counsel, IEX, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated March 7, 2016.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 77406 (March 18, 2016) (File No. 10-222).

    The Commission has received extensive comments on IEX's Form 1 application,6 and IEX has submitted several letters in response to concerns raised by commenters.7 Among other things, a number of commenters on IEX's Form 1 application asserted that a unique feature of IEX's design—specifically, its Point-of-Presence (“POP”) and “coil” access delay—would preclude IEX's best-priced quotation from being a “protected quotation” under Regulation NMS if the Commission grants IEX's exchange registration.8 IEX contests this assertion, as do certain other commenters.9

    6 The public comment file for IEX's Form 1 application (File No. 10-222) is available on the Commission's Web site at: http://www.sec.gov/comments/10-222/10-222.shtml.

    7See Letters from Sophia Lee, General Counsel, IEX, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated November 13, 2015 (“IEX First Response”); November 23, 2015 (“IEX Second Response”); and February 9, 2016 (“IEX Third Response”). See also Letter from Donald Bollerman, Head of Markets and Sales, IEX Group, Inc., to File No. 10-222, dated February 16, 2016 (“IEX Fourth Response”) and Letter from IEX Group, Inc., to File No. 10-222, dated February 19, 2016 (“IEX Fifth Response”).

    8See, e.g., FIA First Letter; NYSE First Letter; Citadel First Letter.

    9See IEX First Response and IEX Second Response. See also, e.g., Verret Letter; Leuchtkafer Second Letter.

    As discussed more fully below and as highlighted by a number of commenters on IEX's Form 1 application,10 the Commission preliminarily believes that IEX's proposed POP/coil structure raises questions about prior Commission statements with respect to the definition of an “automated quotation” under Regulation NMS. In light of market and technological developments since the adoption of Regulation NMS in 2005, the Commission is proposing and requesting comment on an updated interpretation to permit more flexibility for trading centers with respect to automated quotations to allow them to develop innovative business models that do not undermine the goals of Rule 611 of Regulation NMS. Specifically, the Commission is proposing to interpret “immediate” when determining whether a trading center maintains an “automated quotation” for purposes of Rule 611 to include response time delays at trading centers that are de minimis, whether intentional or not.

    10See infra text accompanying notes 49-57 (discussing comments on IEX's Form 1).

    B. Regulation NMS Concept of an Automated Quotation and Protected Quotation

    In general, Rule 611 under Regulation NMS (the “Order Protection Rule,” or “Trade-Through Rule”) protects the best automated quotations of exchanges by obligating other trading centers to honor those quotes by not executing trades at inferior prices or “trading through” such best automated quotations.11 Only an exchange that is an “automated trading center” 12 displaying an “automated quotation” 13 is entitled to this protection.14 Trading centers must establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to prevent trade-throughs of protected quotations, unless an exception or exemption applies.15

    11See 17 CFR 242.611.

    12See 17 CFR 242.600(b)(4).

    13See 17 CFR 242.600(b)(3).

    14See 17 CFR 242.600(b)(57) (defining “protected bid or protected offer”), 242.600(b)(58) (defining “protected quotation”); see also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005) 70 FR 37496, 37504 (June 29, 2005) (“Regulation NMS Adopting Release”) (stating that “[t]o qualify for protection, a quotation must be automated”).

    15 17 CFR 242.611(a)(1).

    When it adopted Regulation NMS, the Commission explained that the purpose of the Order Protection Rule was to incentivize greater use of displayed limit orders, which contribute to price discovery and market liquidity.16 In discussing whether to apply order protection to manual quotations, the Commission stated that “providing protection to manual quotations, even limited to trade-throughs beyond a certain amount, potentially would lead to undue delays in the routing of investor orders, thereby not justifying the benefits of price protection.” 17 The Commission also noted that “those who route limit orders will be able to control whether their orders are protected by evaluating the extent to which various trading centers display automated versus manual quotations.” 18

    16See Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37516 and 37517.

    17Id. at 37518.

    18Id.

    There are several provisions in Regulation NMS that impact whether the Order Protection Rule applies. First, Rule 600(b)(58) defines a “protected quotation” as a “protected bid or a protected offer.” 19 Rule 600(b)(57), in turn, defines a “protected bid or protected offer” as a quotation in an NMS stock that is: (i) Displayed by an “automated trading center,” (ii) disseminated pursuant to an effective national market system plan, and (iii) an “automated quotation” that is the best bid or best offer of a national securities exchange.20

    19 17 CFR 242.600(b)(58).

    20 17 CFR 242.600(b)(57).

    In order for an exchange to operate as an “automated trading center,” it must, among other things, have “implemented such systems, procedures, and rules as are necessary to render it capable of displaying quotations that meet the requirements for an `automated quotation' set forth in [Rule 600(b)(3) of Regulation NMS].” 21 Rule 600(b)(3) defines an “automated quotation” as one that:

    21 17 CFR 242.600(b)(4). Rule 600(b)(4) contains additional requirements that must be satisfied in order to be an automated trading center. Those requirements are not at issue for purposes of this proposed interpretation.

    i. Permits an incoming order to be marked as immediate-or-cancel;

    ii. Immediately and automatically executes an order marked as immediate-or-cancel against the displayed quotation up to its full size;

    iii. Immediately and automatically cancels any unexecuted portion of an order marked as immediate-or-cancel without routing the order elsewhere;

    iv. Immediately and automatically transmits a response to the sender of an order marked as immediate-or-cancel indicating the action taken with respect to such order; and

    v. Immediately and automatically displays information that updates the displayed quotation to reflect any change to its material terms.22

    22See 17 CFR 242.600(b)(3). See also Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37504.

    Any quotation that does not meet the requirements for an automated quotation is defined in Rule 600(b)(37) as a “manual” quotation.23

    23 Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37534. See also 17 CFR 242.600(b)(37) (defining “manual quotation”).

    In the Regulation NMS Adopting Release, the Commission elaborated on the meaning of the terms “immediate” and “automatic” as those terms are used in the Rule 600(b)(3) definition of an automated quotation. Specifically, with respect to the meaning of the term “immediate,” the Commission stated that “[t]he term `immediate' precludes any coding of automated systems or other type of intentional device that would delay the action taken with respect to a quotation,” 24 and that the standard for responding to an incoming order “should be `immediate,' i.e., a trading center's systems should provide the fastest response possible without any programmed delay.” 25

    24 Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37534. The Commission also stated that, for a quotation “[t]o qualify as `automatic,' no human discretion in determining any action taken with respect to an order may be exercised after the time an order is received,” and “a quotation will not qualify as `automated' if any human intervention after the time an order is received is allowed to determine the action taken with respect to the quotation.” Id. at 37519 and 37534.

    25Id. at 37519. In the case of IEX, its access delay involves hardware (i.e., coiled cable) and geographic dispersion, not software programming. See infra text accompanying notes 40-45. Nevertheless, it is an intentional delay. See id.

    The Commission provided context in the Regulation NMS Adopting Release as to the intent behind the Order Protection Rule and the distinction between “automated quotations” and “manual quotations.” At the time of the adoption of Regulation NMS, manual quotations and markets that primarily were centered around human interaction in a floor-based trading environment, including “hybrid” trading facilities that offer automatic execution of orders seeking to interact with displayed quotations while also maintaining a physical trading floor, experienced processing delays for inbound orders that were measured in multiple seconds.26 In contrast to floor-based and hybrid markets, at the time Regulation NMS was adopted, newer automated matching systems removed the human element and instead immediately matched buyers and sellers electronically. The Commission sought to achieve the goals of the Order Protection Rule and maintain the efficiencies of the markets by protecting only automated quotations that were “immediately” accessible, and allowing trade-throughs of those that were not.27

    26See Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37500 n.21 (“One of the primary effects of the Order Protection Rule adopted today will be to promote much greater speed of execution in the market for exchange-listed stocks. The difference in speed between automated and manual markets often is the difference between a 1-second response and a 15-second response. . . .”).

    27See id. at 37501. More broadly, the Commission stated that the definition of “automated trading center” in Rule 600(b)(4) “offers flexibility for a hybrid market to display both automated and manual quotations, but only when such a market meets basic standards that promote fair and efficient access by the public to the market's automated quotations.” Id. at 37520. This definition was an outgrowth of two floor-based exchanges' intention to operate “hybrid” trading facilities that would offer automatic execution against their displayed quotations, while at the same time maintaining a traditional trading floor. See id. at 37518. The Commission also explained that the Order Protection Rule took a substantially different approach to intermarket price protection than the existing trade-through protection regime at the time—the Intermarket Trading System (“ITS”) Plan. See id. at 37501. As the Commission noted, the ITS provisions did not distinguish between manual and automated quotations and “fail[ed] to reflect the disparate speed of response between manual and automated quotations” as they “were drafted for a world of floor-based markets.” Id. As a result, “[b]y requiring order routers to wait for a response from a manual market, the ITS trade-through provisions can cause an order to miss both the best price of a manual quotation and slightly inferior prices at automated markets that would have been immediately accessible.” Id. See also supra note 26 (citing to footnote 21 of the Regulation NMS Adopting Release).

    In Rules 600 and 611, the Commission did not set a maximum response time for a quotation to be an “automated quotation.” 28 While a number of commenters on Regulation NMS advocated for a specific time standard, ranging from one second down to 250 milliseconds,29 for distinguishing between manual and automated quotations,30 the Commission declined to set such a standard, noting that “[t]he definition of automated quotation as adopted does not set forth a specific time standard for responding to an incoming order.” 31 Rather, the Commission specifically sought to avoid “specifying a specific time standard that may become obsolete as systems improve over time,” and agreed with commenters that “the standard should be `immediate' i.e., a trading center's systems should provide the fastest response possible without any programmed delay.” 32

    28See also id. at 37519 (“The definition of automated quotation as adopted does not set forth a specific time standard for responding to an incoming order.”).

    29 A millisecond is one thousandth of a second.

    30See id. at 37518.

    31Id. at 37519.

    32Id.

    However, the Commission believed that “immediate” should not be construed in a way to frustrate the purposes of Rule 611 and crafted several exceptions to Rule 611, two of which use a one second standard.33 Specifically, Rule 600(b)(1) addresses the applicability of the trade-through requirements with respect to quotations of automated trading centers that experience a “failure, material delay, or malfunction,” by allowing other trading centers to trade-through such quotations.34 In the Regulation NMS Adopting Release, the Commission provided an interpretation of the phrase “material delay” as one where a market was “repeatedly failing to respond within one second after receipt of an order.” 35 The Commission similarly established a one-second standard for the exception in Rule 611(b)(8), which excepts trade-throughs where the trading center that was traded-through had displayed, within the prior one second, a price equal or inferior to the price of the trade-through transaction.36 In discussing the 611(b)(8) exception, the Commission stated that it “generally does not believe that the benefits would justify the costs imposed on trading centers of attempting to implement an intermarket price priority rule at the level of sub-second time increments. Accordingly, Rule 611 has been formulated to relieve trading centers of this burden.” 37

    33See 17 CFR 242.611(b)(1) and (8).

    34See 17 CFR 242.611(b)(1).

    35See Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37519.

    36See 17 CFR 242.611(b)(8).

    37See Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37523.

    C. IEX's Access Delay

    IEX, which currently operates a trading platform as an alternative trading system, is seeking to register as a national securities exchange. If its registration is granted, IEX would operate an electronic order book for NMS stocks.38 IEX's POP and coil infrastructure is how IEX users (“Users”) would connect to IEX.39

    38 For more detail on IEX's proposed trading system, see IEX's full Form 1 application and Exhibits, as amended, which are available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/otherarchive/other2015.shtml.

    39 To obtain authorized access to the IEX System, each User must enter into a User Agreement with the Exchange. See IEX Rule 11.130(a). The term “Users,” for purposes of this notice, does not include IEX Services LLC, IEX's affiliated outbound routing broker-dealer.

    IEX has represented that access to IEX by all Users would be obtained through a POP located in Secaucus, New Jersey.40 According to IEX, after entering through the POP, a User's electronic message sent to the IEX trading system would traverse the IEX “coil,” which is a box of compactly coiled optical fiber cable equivalent to a prescribed physical distance of 61,625 meters (approximately 38 miles).41 After exiting the coil, the User's message would travel an additional physical distance to the IEX system, located in Weehawken, New Jersey.42 IEX has represented that routable orders would thereafter be directed to the IEX routing logic, and non-routable orders would be directed to the IEX matching engine.43 According to IEX, the coil, when combined with the physical distance between the POP and the IEX system, would provide IEX Users sending non-routable orders to IEX with 350 microseconds 44 of one-way latency.45 For purposes of this notice, IEX's process for handling non-routable orders is hereinafter referred to as the “POP/coil delay.”

    40See IEX Second Response at 2.

    41See IEX First Response at 3.

    42See Exhibit E to IEX's Form 1 submission, at 12. See also IEX First Response at 3.

    43See Amendment Nos. 2 and 3 to IEX's Form 1 application.

    44 A microsecond is one millionth of a second.

    45See IEX First Response at 3. See also Amendment Nos. 2 and 3. Users sending routable orders would experience 700 microseconds of one-way latency. See Letter from Sophia Lee, General Counsel, IEX, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated February 29, 2016, at 2.

    According to IEX, all incoming messages (e.g., orders to buy or sell and any modification to a previously sent open order) from any User would traverse the proposed POP/coil delay.46 In addition, all outbound messages from IEX back to a User (e.g., confirmations of an execution that occurred on IEX) would pass through the same route in reverse.47 IEX's direct proprietary market data feed, which is an optional data feed that IEX would make available to subscribers, also would traverse the coil before exiting at the POP.48 As a result, a non-routable immediate-or-cancel (“IOC”) order, which is a type of order that IEX would permit Users to send to the IEX system, would traverse the proposed POP/coil (and its attendant 350 microsecond delay) before arriving at the IEX system and potentially executing against a displayed quotation on IEX. Likewise, the response from the IEX system to the User indicating the action taken by the IEX system with respect to such IOC order also would traverse the POP/coil and experience a 350 microsecond delay.49

    46See IEX First Response at 3-4.

    47See id.

    48See id.

    49See id. at 3. Outbound transaction and quote messages from IEX to the applicable securities information processor (“SIP”) would not pass through the POP/coil, but instead would be sent directly from the IEX system to the SIP processor. See id. at 3-4.

    D. Comments on IEX's Proposed Access Delay

    Several commenters on IEX's Form 1 application questioned whether IEX's operation of the proposed POP/coil would be consistent with the Order Protection Rule.50 Their main assertion is that the 350 microsecond latency caused by the POP/coil calls into question whether IEX's quotations meet the definition of “automated quotation,” and therefore would be a “protected quotation,” under Regulation NMS and Rule 611 in particular.51 These commenters generally cited to language, discussed above, from the Regulation NMS Adopting Release where the Commission elaborated on what it means for a quotation to be an “automated quotation,” including statements that the term “immediate,” as it relates to the definition of an automated quotation, means that “a trading center's systems should provide the fastest response possible without any programmed delay”  52 and “precludes any coding of automated systems or other type of intentional device that would delay the action taken with respect to a quotation” (emphasis added).53 Based on this language, these commenters contended that IEX's quotation is not consistent with the definition of automated quotation, or at least questioned whether it can be so considered.54

    50See, e.g., NYSE First Letter at 5; BATS First Letter at 3; FIA First Letter at 2; Nasdaq First Letter at 2; Citadel First Letter at 3.

    51See, e.g., BATS First Letter at 2-4; FIA First Letter at 2; NYSE First Letter at 5-7; Nasdaq First Letter at 2; Citadel First Letter at 2-4.

    52See, e.g., Nasdaq First Letter at 2; NYSE First Letter at 6. See also Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37519.

    53See, e.g., BATS First Letter at 3; FIA First Letter at 2; Citadel First Letter at 3; Citadel Second Letter at 3; see also Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37534.

    54See BATS First Letter at 3; FIA First Letter at 2; NYSE First Letter at 6-7; Nasdaq First Letter at 2-3; Citadel First Letter at 3-4; Citadel Second Letter at 3-4; Hudson River Trading Second Letter at 3-4.

    Several commenters urged the Commission not to decide this question in the context of IEX's Form 1 application.55 One commenter urged the Commission, should it disagree with the contention that IEX's quotation cannot be protected, to explain its reasoning in a rulemaking proceeding or exemptive order that is subject to public vetting.56 Another commenter urged the Commission “to articulate clear standards regarding the precise amount of time an intentional device can delay access to the quotation of a registered exchange and still be considered an automated quotation.” 57 This commenter supported an interpretation of the definition of an automated quotation that would include the delay resulting from IEX's POP/coil, but further urged the Commission to articulate clear regulatory standards that would be applicable to all trading venues and market participants.58

    55See, e.g., Citadel Second Letter at 4; Nasdaq Second Letter at 1-4; Direct Match Letter at 2-4; Scott Letter.

    56See, e.g., Citadel Second Letter at 4.

    57 BATS First Letter at 3; see also BATS First Letter at 4, 6. A second commenter writing in support of IEX's POP/coil similarly urged the Commission to articulate the extent of permissible intentional, geographical, or technological delays for registered exchanges. See T. Rowe Price Letter at 2. A third commenter urged the Commission to not approve IEX's POP/coil without also establishing a maximum permissible delay for registered exchanges. See Jon D. Letter.

    58See BATS Second Letter at 2.

    Other commenters offered support for IEX's proposed access delay, and challenged the assertion that IEX's quotation would not meet the definition of “automated quotation” under Regulation NMS.59 According to one commenter, the Commission's “larger plan” in requiring protected quotes to be “immediately and automatically” accessible under Regulation NMS was “to encourage automated markets and prevent exchanges from favoring their own manual markets, so the SEC protected an exchange's lit, automated quotes and banned any programmed tricks or devices an exchange might use to give human traders a chance to intervene or any kind of an edge over automated quotes.” 60 In addition, this commenter further asserted, “[t]hat `immediately' simply prohibits discrimination favoring manual markets is all the more obvious in the [Regulation NMS] Adopting Release's discussion of self-help” where, according to the commenter, “[t]he SEC had every opportunity to define `immediately' in absolute terms and declined to do it,” and instead “only went as far as suggesting one second was a reasonable upper bound for declaring self-help and left it up to the marketplace to reward fast markets or punish slow markets.” 61

    59 One commenter argued that such an assertion “rests on an overly formalistic reading of Regulation NMS that fails to account for the rise of high speed trading in the last decade.” See Verret Letter at 4. Another commenter similarly criticized that assertion as dependent “on a self-serving read of Reg NMS, leaving out its history, its original meaning, and its subsequent interpretation.” See Leuchtkafer Second Letter at 1.

    60 Leuchtkafer Second Letter at 1-2 (emphasis in original). This commenter pointed out that “[t]he standard by which to measure automated and protected quotes was ITS, or, more precisely, human intervention, because it was human intervention the SEC wanted to firewall” and asserted that “`[i]mmediately and automatically' means without human intervention and with no chance of human intervention” and “does not mean as fast as an exchange, or any exchange, can go.” Id. at 2.

    61Id. at 2. Another commenter asserted that IEX's POP/coil structure is “entirely consistent with the overall policy objectives of Regulation NMS.” Franklin Templeton Letter at 2. One commenter argued that IEX's proposed POP/coil delay does not constitute an “intentional device” under Rule 600 of Regulation NMS because IEX's dissemination of quote information to the SIP would not be subject to the delay, and thus IEX's POP/coil would not increase the uncertainty of the NBBO relative to current latencies. See Upson Letter at 2. One commenter noted that “the flip side of faster access is slower access if you don't pay” and with co-location “[t]he problem is that you have to pay to get into their data centers in the first place, and if you don't it sure looks like you are intentionally delayed compared to those who can and do pay.” See Leuchtkafer First Letter at 1. That commenter noted that “if the IEX critics are right, by their own reasoning the exchanges will have to dismantle their co-location facilities and stop offering tiered high-speed network facilities. They are selling faster access to their markets, and if you don't pay, aren't you slower than you could be, aren't you intentionally delayed?” Id. at 2.

    Several commenters noted that there is latency associated with the transmission of orders to protected quotations at existing market venues—and in some cases, those latencies are greater than that associated with transmitting orders to IEX even factoring in the proposed POP/coil delay.62 One commenter argued that the 350 microsecond proposed POP/coil delay “would be so de minimis as to have no appreciable impact on market behavior” and is “not much more than the normal latency that all trading platforms impose.” 63 Another commenter did not find the proposed POP/coil delay “particularly problematic, as the time gap is minimal, and (even including the speed bump) IEX matches orders faster than a number of other markets.” 64 One commenter noted that the POP/coil 350 microsecond delay “is orders of magnitude shorter than the variable lags between the SIP and the proprietary feeds,” and asserted that the proposed POP/coil delay is consistent with existing practices already approved by the Commission.65

    62See, e.g., BATS First Letter at 4; BATS Second Letter at 2-3; Healthy Markets Letter at 4; Angel Letter at 2; Kim Letter; Mannheim Letter; Wilcox Letter.

    63 Angel Letter at 3.

    64 Tabb Letter at 1.

    65 Healthy Markets Letter at 3.

    IEX asserted that the language of the Order Protection Rule and the Regulation NMS Adopting Release, when considered in light of the context in which the Order Protection Rule was adopted, do not compel the conclusion that IEX's quotes should be considered “manual quotations” instead of “automated quotations.” 66 In addition, IEX noted that not all exchange matching systems are located in the same vicinity and asserted that “there is no reason to think that the Commission by referring to `intentional device' meant somehow to set geographic standards with regard to exchange matching system connections generally, or to prescribe the exact length of cable that is or is not allowable.” 67

    66See IEX First Response at 6-7; see also IEX Third Response at 1-3. IEX noted that the Regulation NMS Adopting Release does not define a maximum allowable latency in order for quotations to qualify as automated quotations, and stated that “[t]he POP does not enable any human intervention to determine the action taken with respect to a quote or the order itself” and that “the POP clearly does not involve a `coding of automated systems'. . . .” IEX First Response at 6-7. IEX suggested that the POP is consistent with the purpose of Regulation NMS because “the POP helps to promote access to quotations by limiting the chance that a party displaying a quote on an exchange will use a signal from an execution on IEX to cancel its quote on that other market within microseconds.” See IEX Second Response at 4 (emphasis in original).

    67 IEX First Response at 7; see also IEX Second Response at 4.

    According to IEX, its POP/coil structure “represents a form of prescribed physical distance to which all users are subject when submitting orders to IEX's trading system” and “[i]n this sense, it is no different from means that all exchanges impose to set the terms by which users can connect to their systems.” 68 IEX stated that “the amount of latency imposed by the POP is less than or not materially different than that currently involved in reaching various exchanges based on geographic factors,” and refers, by way of example, to the geographic distance that an order from the Chicago Stock Exchange's Secaucus, New Jersey data center must physically traverse before reaching the Chicago Stock Exchange's trading system in Chicago.69 IEX also provided data from certain subscribers to IEX's ATS that, according to IEX, indicate that those subscribers' average latency when trading on IEX is comparable to that when trading on certain other exchanges, “is an order of magnitude less than that of the Chicago Stock Exchange,” and “is on average less than the round-trip latency of the NYSE as well.” 70

    68 IEX First Response at 5.

    69See id. at 6; see also IEX Third Response at 2. One commenter made the same observation, noting that “[t]he NBBO already includes quotes with varied degrees of time lag” and that the length of IEX's coiled cable “is far less than the distance between NY and Chicago, and is remarkably similar to the distance between Carteret and Mahwah (36 miles).” See Healthy Markets Letter at 4. See also IEX Second Response at 11 (noting that the distance between Nasdaq's Carteret facility and NYSE's Mahwah facility is 42.8 miles (compared to the IEX coil's approximately 38 mile equivalent)). Other commenters similarly understood that the POP/coil latency is comparable to or shorter than natural and geographic latencies in today's market. See Angel Letter at 2; BATS First Letter at 4; BATS Second Letter at 2-3; Kim Letter; Mannheim Letter; T. Rowe Price Letter at 2-3; Wilcox Letter. Two commenters specifically suggested that such a delay would be inconsequential or de minimis. See Angel Letter at 2; Abel/Noser Letter at 2.

    70 IEX Second Response at 4 and 7. IEX compared its POP to the coiling of cable that existing exchanges utilize in their respective data centers for purposes of co-location access. See IEX First Response at 3-6; IEX Third Response at 2. IEX further contended that “the POP should no more be considered prohibited than existing access arrangements could be considered as designed to intentionally delay access to quotes by anyone who declines to pay for the privilege of the fastest access.” IEX First Response at 7. According to IEX, “the POP clearly is not a `programmed delay' any more than the coiled cables connecting to every other exchange's matching systems could be considered as such.” IEX Second Response at 4. IEX claimed that its 350 microsecond latency on inbound orders is actually less than the latency differential between the non-co-located access and the highest level of co-location offered by the Nasdaq Stock Market. See id. at 5-6.

    II. Commission's Proposed Interpretation

    As discussed above, at the time Regulation NMS was adopted, the concept of an “automated quotation” was intended to address manual and hybrid automated-manual trading systems in relation to the trade-through requirements of Rule 611. Under Regulation NMS, a trading center must provide an “immediate” response for its quotation to be an “automated quotation.” 71 Although the Commission did not set a maximum response time in Rule 600 or Rule 611 for a quotation to be an automated quotation, in the Regulation NMS Adopting Release the Commission stated that an immediate response meant “the fastest response possible without any programmed delay.” 72 When Regulation NMS was adopted, however, the Commission was focused on the response time delays generated by manual interaction, and crafted exceptions to Rule 611 based on response times of one second.73 Delays in the realm of sub-milliseconds, as presented by the IEX Form 1 application, were not contemplated by the Commission because they generally were not relevant or material for the slower trading technologies used by market participants at the time.74

    71See 17 CFR 242.600(b)(3) (defining “automated quotation”).

    72 Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37519.

    73See supra note 26 (citing to footnote 21 of the Regulation NMS adopting release where the Commission noted that “[t]he difference in speed between automated and manual markets often is the difference between a 1-second response and a 15-second response—a disparity that clearly can be important to many investors”).

    74 The Commission notes that the smallest time increment suggested by commenters at the time Regulation NMS was adopted—250 milliseconds—is magnitudes slower than the latency introduced by IEX's proposed POP/coil delay. See Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37518.

    As the speed of trading technology has increased since the adoption of Regulation NMS,75 some trading centers have begun to explore ways to reduce the relevance of speed differentials of very small increments.76 Proposals like IEX's POP/coil that intentionally delay access to an exchange's quotation, albeit by a sub-millisecond amount, raise questions about the prior interpretation with respect to the definition of an automated quotation under Regulation NMS. Accordingly, the Commission is proposing and soliciting comment on an updated interpretation from that provided in the Regulation NMS Adopting Release.77

    75 A number of factors affect the speed at which a market participant can receive market and quote data, submit orders, obtain an execution, and receive information on trades, including hardware, software, and physical distance. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61358 (January 14, 2010), 75 FR 3594, 3610-11 (January 21, 2010) (Concept Release on Equity Market Structure). Recent technological advances have reduced the “latency” that these factors introduce into the order handling process, both in absolute and relative terms, and some market participants and liquidity providers have invested in low-latency systems that take into account the advances in technology. See id. at 3606.

    76See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67639 (August 10, 2012), 77 FR 49034 (August 15, 2012) (SR-NASDAQ-2012-071) (order approving proposed rule change to provide for simultaneous routing).

    77 In particular, the POP/coil, because it delays inbound and outbound messages to and from IEX Users, raises a question as to whether IEX will, among other things, “immediately” execute IOC orders under Rule 600(b)(3)(ii), ”immediately” transmit a response to an IOC order sender under Rule 600(b)(3)(iv), and “immediately” display information that updates IEX's displayed quotation under Rule 600(b)(3)(v). See 17 CFR 242.600(b)(3); see also Regulation NMS Adopting Release, supra note 14, at 37504.

    Specifically, the Commission preliminarily believes that, in the current market, delays of less than a millisecond in quotation response times may be at a de minimis level that would not impair a market participant's ability to access a quote, consistent with the goals of Rule 611 and because such delays are within the geographic and technological latencies experienced by market participants today. For example, IEX's proposed POP/coil would introduce a 350 microsecond delay for a non-routable IOC order before it could access the IEX matching engine. The additional delay introduced by the coil itself, which is approximately 38 miles long, is effectively equivalent to the communications latency between venues that are 38 miles apart.78 The Commission understands that today the distances between exchange data centers, or between the order entry systems of market participants and exchange data centers, may exceed, sometimes by many multiples, a distance of 38 miles. The Commission does not believe that these naturally-occurring response time latencies resulting from geography are inconsistent with the purposes of Rule 611.79 At the same time, permitting the quotations of trading centers with very small response time delays, such as those proposed by IEX, to be treated as automated quotations, and thereby benefit from trade-through protection under Rule 611, could encourage innovative ways to address market structure issues.

    78See supra note 69 (citing to the Healthy Markets Letter, which observed that the length of IEX's coiled cable “is far less than the distance between NY and Chicago, and is remarkably similar to the distance between Carteret and Mahwah (36 miles)”). See also IEX Second Response at 11 (noting that the distance between Nasdaq's Carteret facility and NYSE's Mahwah facility is 42.8 miles).

    79See supra note 69 (citing to commenters who believe that IEX's POP/coil latency is comparable to or shorter than natural and geographic latencies in today's market). One market maker and liquidity provider on the IEX ATS notes that it “engages in precisely the same market making strategies on IEX as [it does] on automated trading systems run by other broker-dealers . . . as well as on registered stock exchanges” and that “IEX's `speed bump' has had no impact on [its] market making and liquidity provisioning on the platform.” Virtu Letter at 1-2.

    Accordingly, the Commission today is proposing to interpret “immediate” when determining whether a trading center maintains an “automated quotation” for purposes of Rule 611 of Regulation NMS to include response time delays at trading centers that are de minimis, whether intentional or not.80

    80 An exchange that proposed to provide any member or user (including the exchange's inbound or outbound routing functionality, or the exchange's affiliates) with exclusive privileged faster access to its facilities over any other member or user would raise concerns under the Act, including under Section 6(b)(5) and 6(b)(8) of the Act, and would need to address those concerns in a Form 1 exchange registration application or a proposed rule change submitted pursuant to Section 19 of the Act, as applicable.

    III. Solicitation of Comment

    The Commission requests comment all aspects of this proposed interpretation, including:

    1. Would delays of less than a millisecond in quotation response times impair a market participant's ability to access a quote or impair efficient compliance with Rule 611?

    2. In the current market, should the Commission interpret “immediate” as including a de minimis delay of less than one millisecond? Should the Commission consider other lengths? If so, what should they be?

    3. Should the Commission be concerned about market manipulation? If so, specifically, what should the Commission focus on?

    4. Should the Commission consider an alternative interpretation? If so, what should it be?

    By the Commission.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06633 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Parts 270, 271, and 272 RIN 1810-AB26 [Docket ID ED-2016-OESE-0006] Equity Assistance Centers (Formerly Desegregation Assistance Centers) AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary proposes to revise the regulations that govern the Equity Assistance Centers (EAC) program, authorized under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and to remove the regulations that govern the State Educational Agency Desegregation (SEA) program, authorized under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Once final and effective, these amended EAC regulations would govern the application process for new EAC grant awards. The proposed regulations would update the definitions applicable to this program; remove the existing selection criteria; and provide the Secretary with flexibility to determine the number and composition of geographic regions for the program. Additionally, the proposed regulations would remove the regulations for the SEA program, which is no longer funded.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “Are you new to the site?”

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to: Britt Jung, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E231, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 205-4513.

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Britt Jung, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E231, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 205-4513 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding these proposed regulations. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the final regulations, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section or sections of the proposed regulations that each of your comments addresses and to arrange your comments in the same order as the proposed regulations.

    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from these proposed regulations. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the Department's programs and activities.

    Specific Issues Open for Comment

    In addition to your general comments, we are interested in your feedback on the proposed flexibility in selecting the number and boundaries of the geographic regions. The Department currently plans to reduce the number of regional centers in the first competition after these final regulations become effective. We are particularly interested in your feedback on the following questions:

    • Do applicants or program beneficiaries support the proposed flexibility allowing the Secretary to choose the number of regional centers?

    • What factors should the Secretary consider when determining the composition of States in each geographic region?

    • Are there potential costs or benefits associated with the proposed approach that we have not addressed?

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about these proposed regulations by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also inspect the comments in person in room 3E231, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for these proposed regulations. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Background

    The Secretary proposes to revise the general regulations in 34 CFR part 270 that apply to both the EAC and the SEA programs and to revise the regulations in 34 CFR part 272 that apply only to the EAC program. We propose five key changes to these regulations. First, we propose to amend the section that governs the existing geographic regions to allow the Secretary flexibility in choosing the number and composition of geographic regions to be funded with each competition. Second, we propose to add religion to the areas of desegregation assistance, add a definition for “special educational problems occasioned by desegregation,” and amend the definition of “sex desegregation” to clarify the protected individuals identified by this term. Third, we propose to remove the existing selection criteria (to instead rely on the General Selection Criteria listed under the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) at 34 CFR 75.210). Fourth, we propose to remove the limitations and exceptions established in current 34 CFR 270.6 on providing desegregation assistance, to align these regulations with those of other technical assistance centers. Fifth, we propose to remove 34 CFR part 271, as the SEA program has not been funded in twenty years. We also propose to merge part 272 into part 270, so that a single part covers the EAC program.

    We propose regulations that would permit the Secretary to establish the geographic regions for the EAC program with each competition, so the Department could respond to the magnitude of the need for desegregation assistance across the nation, taking into account funding levels and the circumstances that exist at the time of each competition. The Department currently plans to fund four regional centers in the first competition after these final regulations become effective.

    The proposed regulations would allow the Department to reduce the current number of regional centers while still providing technical assistance to beneficiaries across the nation. Presuming funding levels for the program remain constant, this would increase the funding available for each center and enable the centers to operate in the most effective and efficient manner. Reducing the current number of regions would limit the duplication of effort for overhead costs (such as start-up costs, administrative support, rent, etc.), and redirect those funds to technical assistance and support using the latest technology available. Furthermore, reducing the number of regions would allow the Department to provide more thorough support and monitoring of those consolidated centers, while ensuring technical assistance is still available to reach beneficiaries across the country. However, the proposed regulations would provide the flexibility to change the number and the composition of the regions in the future, in the event that funding levels or technical assistance delivery platforms were to change significantly. These decisions would necessarily take into consideration the need for centers to continue to provide support for communities across the country.

    The proposed regulations would add religion to the areas of desegregation assistance, as religion is specifically cited in Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an area of desegregation assistance, and add a definition for the term “religion desegregation” that is consistent with the terms describing race, sex, and national origin desegregation. The Department would amend the definition of a “Desegregation Assistance Center” to refer to it as an Equity Assistance Center. The proposed regulations would also amend the definition of “sex desegregation” to explain that the Department interprets sex discrimination under Title IX to include discrimination based on transgender status, gender identity, sex stereotypes, and pregnancy and related conditions. Finally, the proposed regulations would add a definition for “special educational problems occasioned by desegregation” to clarify that this term does not refer to the provision of special education and related services as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Children with disabilities or staff providing services to them could be potential beneficiaries of technical assistance if they are affected by desegregation efforts.

    The proposed regulations would also eliminate the selection criteria and the prescribed point values under § 272.30. At present, the prescribed point values are unduly restrictive on the Secretary's ability to structure each grant competition. Furthermore, there is significant overlap between the existing selection criteria and 34 CFR 75.210. As such, this change would provide the Secretary with greater flexibility to address program needs at the time of each competition, by allowing the use of any of the General Selection Criteria listed in 34 CFR 75.210, while ensuring that the selected projects for any competition meet the highest standards of professional excellence.

    The proposed regulations would remove current § 270.6(b) in its entirety and amend current § 270.6(a) to broaden this section to address all technical assistance activities under this program, rather than only those for race and national origin desegregation assistance. We propose to amend current § 270.6 for clarity, and to align these regulations with the limitations on developing curriculum that apply to other technical assistance centers, such as the Comprehensive Centers. Consistent with the General Education Provisions Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232(a), we cannot and do not authorize centers to exercise direction or control over the curriculum. As currently drafted, § 270.6(b) could be misconstrued to permit the development or implementation of activities for direct instruction; removing this provision will ensure clarity. Moreover, this approach is similar to that taken in the most recent notice of final requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for the Comprehensive Centers Program published in the Federal Register on June 6, 2012 (77 FR 33573). In that notice, we included a reminder that an applicant could not meet the program requirements by proposing a technical assistance plan that included designing or developing curricula or instructional materials for use in classrooms.

    Finally, the proposed regulations would remove 34 CFR part 271, and merge current parts 270 and 272 into a single part under proposed 34 CFR part 270. The current regulations for the Desegregation of Public Education Programs under 34 CFR part 270 govern both the SEA Program and the EAC Program. The current regulations for part 272 govern the EAC program. The current regulations for part 271 govern the SEA program. We propose to remove 34 CFR part 271 (and any references to part 271 in current parts 270 and 272), because the SEA Program has not received funding in two decades and is no longer administered by the Department. As the only program currently administered under the Desegregation of Public Education Programs is the EAC Program, we propose to move sections in current part 272 into part 270 so that there is a single part governing the EAC program. As a result of merging parts 270 and 272, we would reorder the sections within proposed part 270. Additionally, we propose to remove current sections §§ 270.1 (desegregation of public education programs), 270.4 (types of projects funded by the desegregation of public education programs), 272.3 (applicable regulations), and 272.4 (definitions), as these sections would become redundant with the merger.

    Table Demonstrating How the Current Regulations Would Be Renumbered Under the Proposed Regulations Current section Proposed section Substantive changes 270.1 (removed) N/A. 270.2 270.6 None. 270.3 270.7 The proposed regulations would update certain definitions applicable to this program including adding a new definition of religion desegregation. 270.4 (removed) N/A. 270.5 270.31 None. 270.6 270.32 The proposed regulations would revise the prohibition against providing materials for the direct instruction of students and remove the exception under current 270.6(b). Part 271 (removed) The proposed regulations would remove the regulations for the SEA program, which is no longer funded. 272.1 270.1 The proposed regulations would update program name to Equity Assistance Centers. 272.2 270.2 None. 272.3 (removed) N/A. 272.4 (removed) N/A. 272.10 270.4 The proposed regulations would add “community organizations” to the list of parties that may receive desegregation assistance under this program. 272.11 270.3 None. 272.12 270.5 The proposed regulations would revise the number of geographic regions served by the EACs. 272.30 (removed). The proposed regulations would remove the existing selection criteria. 272.31 270.20 None. 272.32 270.21 The proposed regulations would replace “expected need” with “evidence supporting the magnitude of the demonstrated need” as it relates to the Secretary's determination of the amount of a grant. 272.40 270.30 The proposed regulations would broaden EAC coordination of technical assistance to include “Comprehensive Centers, Regional Educational Laboratories, and other Federal technical assistance centers.” Significant Proposed Regulations

    We discuss substantive issues under the sections of the proposed regulations to which they pertain. Generally, we do not address proposed regulatory changes that are technical or otherwise minor in effect.

    PART 270—DESEGREGATION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION Section 270.1 What is the Equity Assistance Center Program?

    Statute: Under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2 and 2000c-5, the Secretary is authorized, upon the application of any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools, to render technical assistance to such applicant in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools.

    Current Regulations: Current § 270.1 refers to the “Desegregation of Public Education programs,” which includes both the SEA Program and the DAC Program.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to replace this section with the language of current § 272.1; in addition, we propose to change the name of the centers from Desegregation Assistance Centers (DACs) to Equity Assistance Centers. Our proposed regulations would also remove the reference to the SEA Program.

    Reasons: When first implemented, the Desegregation of Public Education Programs under 34 CFR part 270 covered both the SEA Program (current part 271) and the DAC Program (current part 272). The SEA Program under current part 271 has not received funding since 1995 and is not currently administered by the Department. Therefore, we propose to remove all regulations for this program.

    We propose to change the name from Desegregation Assistance Centers to Equity Assistance Centers because the term “equity” better reflects the breadth of the types of desegregation issues faced in schools now, as students from different backgrounds and experiences are brought together. Ultimately, the purpose of the regional centers is to ensure access to educational opportunities for all students without regard to their race, sex, national origin, or religion. In the 21st century, issues related to desegregation include harassment, school climate, resource equity gaps, discrimination, and instructional practices designed to reach all students. The Department has for some time referred to the regional assistance centers as “Equity Assistance Centers” in the notices inviting applications, in cooperative agreements, and on OESE's Web page for the grant program. The majority of the current regional centers refer to themselves as “Equity Centers” or “Equity Assistance Centers.” Therefore, we believe it is appropriate to formally refer to the regional centers as “Equity Assistance Centers.”

    Section 270.2 Who is eligible to receive a grant under this program?

    Statute: Section 403 of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that the Secretary may render technical assistance upon the application of any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools.

    Current Regulations: Under current § 272.2, any public agency (other than an SEA or school board) or private, nonprofit organization is eligible to receive an EAC grant.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to move current § 272.2 (without any changes) to part 270 as § 270.2.

    Reasons: We propose to move this section so that there is a single part covering the EAC program.

    Section 270.3 Who may receive assistance under this program?

    Statute: Under section 403 of title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools may, upon request, receive technical assistance. The Secretary has the authority to prescribe how the technical assistance is provided, i.e., through regional centers, and who the beneficiaries are of the technical assistance under this program in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: The current regulation § 272.11 states that a recipient of a grant under these parts, i.e., the regional centers, may provide assistance only if requested by a governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools located in its geographical service area. The regional centers are permitted to provide assistance to public school personnel and students enrolled in public schools, parents of those students, and other community members.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to move current § 272.11 to part 270 as § 270.3. We also propose to expand the list of beneficiaries who may receive technical assistance from the regional centers to include “community organizations” in addition to “community members.”

    Reasons: We propose to include community organizations within the list of beneficiaries who may receive assistance from the regional centers to clarify that all stakeholders with significant ties to public schools and students may assist in preparing, adopting, and implementing plans for the desegregation of public schools.

    Section 270.4 What types of projects are authorized under this program?

    Statute: Section 403 of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizes the Secretary to provide for technical assistance to any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools, upon request, by making available information regarding effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation, and by making available the Department's personnel or other persons specially equipped to advise and assist in coping with such problems. The statute specifies that this technical assistance may include these actions “among other activities.” The Secretary has the authority to regulate other technical assistance activities that apply to the Equity Assistance Centers program under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Current § 272.10 states that the Secretary may award funds to DACs for projects offering technical assistance to governmental units legally responsible for operating a public school or schools, at their request, for assistance in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of desegregation plans. These projects must provide technical assistance in each of the following three areas of desegregation assistance: (1) Race, (2) sex, and (3) national origin. The section includes a non-exhaustive list of categories of desegregation assistance activities that are permissible under the statute, including training designed to improve the ability to effectively address special educational problems occasioned by desegregation, and identifies certain beneficiaries of such training.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to move current § 272.10 to part 270 as § 270.4 and to make the following changes in proposed § 270.4. We propose to amend the reference to DACs in current § 272.10(a) to “EACs.” We also propose to add “community organizations” to the list of beneficiaries of desegregation technical assistance activities in current § 272.10(c)(3). Finally, we propose to update the number of desegregation assistance areas from “all three” in current § 272.10(b) to “all four.”

    Reasons: We propose to update all references to DACs to now refer to EACs, to be consistent with our change to describe the centers as “Equity Assistance Centers” set forth in proposed § 270.7. We propose to add “community organizations” to the list of beneficiaries of desegregation technical assistance activities because the Department believes that community organizations with substantive ties to a public school can be effective stakeholders in working with schools and other responsible governmental agencies on issues this program seeks to address. We propose to revise § 272.10(b) to refer to four desegregation assistance areas, instead of three, to reflect the addition of religion desegregation to the existing desegregation assistance areas, as discussed in the explanation of proposed § 270.6.

    Section 270.5 What geographic regions do the EACs serve?

    Statute: Under section 403 of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Secretary may render technical assistance upon application to any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools. The statute does not prescribe the specific number of centers or geographic regions under the program. The Secretary has the authority to regulate the provision of technical assistance under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Current § 272.12 provides that the Secretary awards grants for desegregation assistance in ten geographic regions. The current regulations specify the States located within each of the ten geographic regions.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to eliminate the current requirement that EACs serve ten geographic regions and reduce the number of regional centers. The proposed regulations state that the Secretary would announce in the Federal Register the number of centers and regions to be covered for each competition and identify the criteria the Secretary considers when determining the number and boundaries of the geographic regions. Thus, the proposed regulations would allow the Secretary to choose the number of centers and the geographic composition of each center in any given grant cycle. The criteria the Secretary considers when determining the number and boundaries of the regions would include (1) size and diversity of the student population; (2) the number of LEAs; (3) the composition of urban, city, and rural LEAs; (4) the history of Equity Assistance Center and other Department technical assistance activities carried out in each geographic region; and (5) the amount of funding available for the competition. We also propose to move current § 272.12 to proposed § 270.5.

    Reasons: The proposed regulations would allow the Secretary to choose the number of centers and the geographic composition of each center in any given grant cycle, which would allow the Secretary to reduce the number of regional centers moving forward. The proposed regulations identify criteria the Secretary considers when determining the number and boundaries of geographic regions for a given grant year, which are designed to provide a variety of criteria the Secretary would use to determine the demand and underlying needs of each geographic region.

    This proposed change would allow the Secretary the flexibility to consider the amount of available funding for the EAC program and distribute it among an appropriate number of geographic regions. Since the Department was created, the amount of funding for the EAC program has dropped significantly, from $45 million in FY 1980 (for all Desegregation of Public Education programs) to $6.6 million in FY 2016 for EAC grants. In developing the proposed regulations for this section, the Department reasoned that limiting the number of centers may be appropriate at times to reduce overhead costs and to ensure that a greater percentage of funds are used to directly serve beneficiaries. We also believe this change would improve each individual center's capacity to carry out robust technical assistance. Consolidating the number of regional centers would also help the Department to award grants to the highest-quality applications in future grant cycles.

    The proposed regulations would enable the centers to operate in the most effective and efficient manner by limiting the duplication of effort for overhead costs and redirecting those funds to technical assistance. In addition, providing each center with more resources would help each individual center attract and retain the highest-quality experts in the field. Similarly, flexibility to determine the boundaries of geographic regions may enable more effective responses to new or emerging issues in the field by allowing the Secretary to create geographic regions based on areas facing similar issues. Furthermore, the capabilities of technology have changed dramatically since this program's enactment; the Internet now allows EACs to provide effective and coordinated technical assistance across much greater geographic distances than would have been possible when the current regulations were promulgated in 1987. Finally, allowing the Secretary to establish the number of regional centers for each competition will allow the Department to try different numbers to reach the optimal number of regional centers, without undergoing rulemaking each time it is necessary to alter the regions served under this program.

    Section 270.6 What definitions apply to this program?

    Statute: Under section 401 of title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the terms “Secretary,” “Desegregation,” “Public school,” and “School board” are defined. The Secretary has the authority to define through regulation other terms that apply to the Equity Assistance Centers program under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Current § 270.3 defines key terms used by the Department in administering the program. Under the current regulations:

    • “Desegregation assistance” means the provision of technical assistance (including training) in the areas of race, sex, and national origin desegregation of public elementary and secondary schools.

    • “Desegregation assistance areas” means the areas of race, sex, and national origin desegregation.

    • “Desegregation Assistance Center” means a regional desegregation technical assistance and training center funded under 34 CFR part 272.

    • “Limited English proficiency” has the same meaning under this part as the same term defined in 34 CFR 500.4 of the General Provisions regulations for the Bilingual Education Program.

    • “National origin desegregation” means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their national origin, including providing students of limited English proficiency with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs.

    • “Race desegregation” means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their race including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their race. “Race desegregation” does not mean the assignment of students to public schools to correct conditions of racial separation that are not the result of State or local law or official action.

    • “Sex desegregation” means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their sex including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their sex.

    Proposed Regulations: First, we propose to change the name from “Desegregation Assistance Center” to “Equity Assistance Center.” “Equity Assistance Center” would be defined as a regional desegregation technical assistance and training center funded under this part. Second, we propose to clarify and update the definition of “sex desegregation” to explain that sex desegregation includes desegregation based on transgender status, gender identity, sex stereotypes, and pregnancy and related conditions. Third, we propose to add religion desegregation to the definition of “desegregation assistance” and the “desegregation assistance areas,” and to define “religion desegregation” in this section. Fourth, we propose to replace the current definition of “limited English proficiency (LEP)” with the definition of “English learner” under section 8101(20) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Public Law 114-95 (2015) (ESSA), and make conforming changes to the definition of “national origin discrimination” including replacing the reference to students of “limited English .proficiency” to “English learner” students. Fifth, we propose to add a definition of “special educational problems occasioned by desegregation” to clarify this term. We would also move current § 270.3 to proposed § 270.7.

    Reasons: In the definitions we propose to change the name of the centers from “Desegregation Assistance Centers” to “Equity Assistance Centers” for the reasons discussed under proposed § 270.1.

    We propose to update the definition of “sex desegregation” to clarify the protected individuals identified by this term. We propose to clarify that “sex desegregation” includes the treatment of students on the basis of pregnancy and related conditions, which include childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and recovery therefrom, consistent with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR 106.40. We also propose to clarify that “sex desegregation” includes the treatment of students without regard to sex stereotypes, or their transgender status or gender identity, to highlight some emerging issues for which EACs may provide technical assistance in this area. This change reflects the Supreme Court's reasoning that discrimination based on “sex” includes differential treatment based on any “sex-based conditions,” Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 242 (1989) (case decided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), and subsequent court decisions recognizing that the prohibitions on sex discrimination protect transgender individuals from discrimination. See e.g., Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2011); Smith v. City of Salem, 378 F.3d 566 (6th Cir. 2004); Schwenk v. Hartford, 204 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 2000). The change also aligns with our Office for Civil Rights' interpretation of the prohibition of sex discrimination in Title IX and its regulations as reflected in its “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence” (Apr. 29, 2014), www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/qa-201404-title-ix.pdf; “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Single-Sex Elementary and Secondary Classes and Extracurricular Activities” (Dec. 1, 2014), www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/faqs-title-ix-single-sex-201412.pdf; and “Title IX Resource Guide” (Apr. 24, 2015), www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/dcl-title-ix-coordinators-guide-201504.pdf. The Department interprets “sex discrimination” under Title IX and its regulations in a similar manner. See amicus brief filed in G.G v. Gloucester County Sch. Bd., No. 15-2056 (4th Cir.), available at www.justice.gov/crt/case-document/gg-v-gloucester-county-school-board-brief-amicus. These interpretations of Title IX and its regulations are particularly relevant to the meaning of “sex” under Title IV because Congress's 1972 amendment to Title IV to add sex as an appropriate desegregation assistance area was included in Title IX of the Education Amendments. This change is also consistent with other Federal agencies' recent regulatory proposals to codify similar interpretations of sex discrimination, including treatment of students without regard to transgender status, gender identity, or sex stereotypes (such as treating a person differently because he or she does not conform to sex-role expectations by being in a relationship with a person of the same sex). 80 FR 5246, 5277, 5279 (Jan. 30, 2015) (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Department of Labor; proposed 41 CFR 60-20.2(a) and 60-20.7); 80 FR 54172, 54216-217 (Sept. 8, 2015) (Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services; proposed 41 CFR 92.4); 81 FR 4494, 4550 (Jan. 26, 2016) (Office of the Secretary, Department of Labor; proposed 29 CFR 38.7). Thus, the proposed definition would more accurately reflect the Office for Civil Rights' and the Department's interpretation of Title IX and its regulations, our existing practices regarding sex desegregation and equity, and would be consistent with the interpretations and rulemakings of other Federal agencies.

    We propose to add a definition of “religion desegregation,” and to incorporate religion into the definitions of “desegregation assistance” and “desegregation assistance areas.” Sections 401 and 403 of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorize the Secretary to render technical assistance to support the desegregation of public schools and the assignment of students to schools without regard to religion. While the current regulations do not address religion desegregation, the Secretary's authority to render technical assistance for the desegregation of public schools is clear under sections 401 and 403 of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and desegregation is therein defined to include the assignment of students to public schools and within such schools without regard to their religion. Given the increasing religious diversity in the United States, and the increased tension that has developed in many of our schools related to a student's actual or perceived religion, the Department believes it would be beneficial to provide resources for schools to assist in developing effective strategies to ensure all students have a full opportunity to participate in educational programs, regardless of religion. Further, adding religion desegregation to the desegregation assistance areas will allow the Department to build upon and support the work of the United States Department of Justice under Title IV to ensure compliance with Federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion.

    We propose to amend the current definition of “limited English proficiency (LEP)” so that this term is identical to, and has the same meaning as, “English Learner” under ESEA section 8101(20), as the statutory definition reflects the Department's current understanding of this target population. We also propose to amend the definition of “national origin desegregation” to clarify that this term includes providing students who are English learners with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs “regardless of their national origin.”

    Lastly, we propose to add a definition of “special educational problems occasioned by desegregation.” This phrase is included within the statute and regulations, but could be confused with requirements to provide special education and related services under IDEA. The new definition clarifies the distinction between the term “special educational problems occasioned by desegregation” under Title IV and “special education and related services” under the IDEA. Under this proposed definition, children with disabilities or staff providing services to them would not be precluded from being potential beneficiaries of technical assistance if they are affected by desegregation efforts.

    Section 270.20 How does the Secretary evaluate an application for a grant?

    Statute: Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not address how the Secretary evaluates an application for a grant under these programs, and the Secretary has the authority to regulate these requirements under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Current § 272.31 provides that the Secretary evaluates the application on the basis of all of the selection criteria in § 272.30. The Secretary cannot pick and choose from the selection criteria. These selection criteria include mission and strategy, organizational capacity, plan of operation, quality of key personnel, budget and cost effectiveness, evaluation plan, and adequacy of resources. The Secretary then selects the highest ranking application for each geographical service area to receive a grant.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to remove the program specific selection criteria and the associated point values in current § 272.30. We propose to amend current § 272.31(a) to state that the Secretary evaluates applications on the basis of criteria in 34 CFR 75.210, and may select from among the list of factors under each criterion in 34 CFR 75.210. We also propose to move current § 272.31 to proposed part 270, as § 270.20.

    Reasons: We propose to remove the selection criteria and the associated point values in current § 272.30, and revise current § 272.31, to provide the Secretary with greater flexibility in identifying the most relevant factors for each grant competition.

    Under current § 272.30, the Secretary is required to use all of the established selection criteria and the associated point values for each competition. As a result, the Secretary has no flexibility to adjust the selection criteria in accordance with the needs of the program at the time of each competition. The current selection criteria also limit the opportunities to improve the selection process, based upon experience gained in running the program.

    Using the general selection criteria listed in 34 CFR 75.210 would ensure that the program selection process can be refined over time, based upon the needs and concerns identified at the time of each competition. The general selection criteria have been vetted and tested across many Departmental programs, and provide a wide range of factors for evaluating applications in any competition.

    Substantively, there is significant overlap between current § 272.30 and the general selection criteria of 34 CFR 75.210, which would allow the Secretary to continue to use some similar elements of the selection criteria, if those elements are deemed the most appropriate choices for ensuring high-quality applicants.

    Similarly, allowing the Secretary to identify the point values for each selection criterion at the time of the competition would allow the Secretary to hone the selection process over time. The Secretary will have the flexibility to weight more heavily those selection criteria determined to be most important in identifying effective centers.

    Finally, this change will bring the EAC regulations into alignment with many other Departmental regulations for discretionary grant programs.

    Section 270.21 How does the Secretary determine the amount of a grant?

    Statute: Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is silent about how the Secretary may determine the amount of each grant. The Secretary has the authority to regulate this issue under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Under current § 272.32, the Secretary determines the amount of an EAC grant award on the basis of the amount of funds available under this part. The Secretary also conducts a cost analysis of the project. The Secretary considers the magnitude of the expected needs of responsible governmental agencies for desegregation assistance in the geographic region, as well as the costs required to meet the expected needs. Further, under current § 272.32(d), the Secretary considers the size and racial or ethnic diversity of the student population of the geographic region. Finally, the Secretary considers any other information concerning desegregation problems and proposed activities that the Secretary finds relevant in the applicant's geographic region.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to amend current § 272.32(c) to consider the “evidence supporting the magnitude of the demonstrated need of the responsible governmental agencies for desegregation assistance,” instead of “expected need.” We propose to update current § 272.32(d) to replace the reference to “the DAC” with “the EAC.” We also propose to move current § 272.32 to part 270, as proposed § 270.21.

    Reasons: We propose that the Secretary determines the amount of a grant on the basis of “evidence supporting the magnitude of the demonstrated need” rather than “expected need” to encourage applicants to support their stated needs with data demonstrating the technical assistance needs of the geographic region.

    An approach to technical assistance informed by data and evidence would promote comprehensive and preventative policies to combat segregation. Encouraging applicants to analyze needs of their geographic regions during the application process will jumpstart these efforts. Finally, a data-driven approach to geographic need will help potential applicants anticipate the future needs of their regions and make better use of existing resources.

    Section 270.30 What conditions must be met by a recipient of a grant?

    Statute: Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is silent about the conditions that must be met by a recipient. The Secretary has the authority to regulate on this issue under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Pursuant to current § 272.40, a recipient of EAC grant funds must operate an EAC in the geographic region to be served and have a full-time project director. The EAC must also coordinate assistance in its geographic region with appropriate SEAs funded under 34 CFR part 271.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to replace all references to “DAC” or “DACs” with “EAC” or “EACs.” We also propose to amend current § 272.40(c) to state that a recipient of a grant under this part must coordinate assistance in its geographic region with appropriate SEAs, Comprehensive Centers, Regional Educational Laboratories, and other Federal technical assistance centers. As part of this coordination, the recipient would seek to prevent duplication of assistance where an SEA, Comprehensive Center, or Regional Educational Laboratory may have already provided assistance to the responsible governmental agency. Finally, we propose to move current § 272.40 to part 270, as proposed § 270.30.

    Reasons: The Department is proposing to replace all reference to DACs with the equivalent reference to EACs to reflect the proposal to change the term to Equity Assistance Centers.

    Proposed § 270.30(c) would specify that a recipient of a grant under this part must coordinate assistance in its geographic region with appropriate SEAs, Comprehensive Centers, Regional Educational Laboratories and other Federal technical assistance centers. This change is meant to reflect two important updates: First, the EACs would not be required to coordinate with SEAs funded under the SEA program, because the SEA Program no longer exists and no SEAs are funded under this program. Second, the proposed regulations would highlight the centers' responsibilities to work with a variety of stakeholders by noting that they “must coordinate” with appropriate SEAs, Comprehensive Centers, Regional Educational Laboratories, and other Federal technical assistance centers. We propose to promote this coordination to prevent technical assistance centers from duplicating work and to encourage technical assistance centers to share expertise regarding equity and desegregation issues.

    Section 270.32 What limitation is imposed on providing Equity Assistance under this program?

    Statute: Under section 403 of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Secretary may render technical assistance upon application to any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools. The Secretary has the authority to regulate the provision of technical assistance under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

    Current Regulations: Current § 270.6(a) states that a recipient of a grant for race or national origin desegregation assistance may not use funds to assist in the development or implementation of activities or the development of curriculum materials for the direct instruction of students to improve their academic and vocational achievement levels. However, current § 270.6(b) provides that a recipient of a grant for national origin desegregation assistance may use funds to assist in the development and implementation of activities or the development of curriculum materials for the direct instruction of students of limited English proficiency, to afford these students a full opportunity to participate in all educational programs.

    Proposed Regulations: We propose to remove current § 270.6(b) in its entirety. We also propose to amend current § 270.6(a) to simply state that a recipient of a grant under this program may not use funds to assist in the development or implementation of activities or the development of curriculum materials for the direct instruction of students to improve their academic and vocational achievement levels.

    Reasons: We propose to clarify that the prohibition on the development of curriculum materials for direct instruction applies to technical assistance activities under this program. Consistent with the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(a), we cannot and do not authorize centers to exercise direction or control over the curriculum. As currently drafted, these provisions could be misconstrued to permit the development or implementation of activities for direct instruction; removing the provisions will ensure clarity. Moreover, this approach is similar to that taken in the most recent notice of final priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for the Comprehensive Centers Program published in the Federal Register on June 6, 2012 (77 FR 33573). In that notice, we stated that an applicant could not meet the program requirements by proposing a technical assistance plan that included designing or developing curricula or instructional materials for use in classrooms. Finally, we have removed the limitation under current § 270.6(a) that these regulations only apply to grants “for race or national origin desegregation assistance” because the limitations on curriculum development under GEPA 1232(a) apply to all technical assistance activities under this program. Thus, the proposed changes align these regulations with the statutory limitations on developing curriculum that apply to other technical assistance centers.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

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

    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement 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 stated in the Executive order.

    This proposed regulatory action is a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    We have also reviewed these regulations under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing these proposed regulations only on a reasoned determination that their benefits would justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that these proposed regulations are consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    We have also determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs associated with this regulatory action are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.

    Discussion of Costs and Benefits: We have determined that the potential costs associated with this regulatory action would be minimal while the potential benefits are significant.

    For Equity Assistance Center grants, applicants may anticipate costs in developing their applications. Application, submission, and participation in a competitive discretionary grant program are voluntary. The proposed regulations would create flexibility for us to use general selection criteria listed in EDGAR 75.210. We believe that any criterion from EDGAR 75.210 that would be used in a future grant competition would not impose a financial burden that applicants would not otherwise incur in the development and submission of a grant application. Other losses may stem from the reduction of the number of regional centers for those applicants that do not receive a grant in future funding years, including the costs of eliminating those centers and associated job losses.

    Notably, we do not believe that reducing the number of regions would prevent EACs from providing technical assistance to beneficiaries across the country. Technological advancements allow EACs to provide effective and coordinated technical assistance across much greater geographic distances than when the current regulations were promulgated in 1987.

    The benefits include enhancing project design and quality of services to better meet the statutory objectives of the programs. These proposed changes would also allow more funds to be used directly for providing technical assistance to responsible governmental agencies for their work in equity and desegregation by reducing the amount of funds directed to overhead costs. The proposed flexibility of the geographic regions would increase the Department's ability to be strategic with limited resources. In addition, these changes would result in each center receiving a greater percentage of the overall funds for the program, and this greater percentage and amount of funds for each selected applicant would help to incentivize a greater diversity of applicants.

    In addition, the Secretary believes that students covered under sex desegregation and religion desegregation would strongly benefit from the proposed regulations. The revised definition of “sex desegregation” would eliminate lost opportunities for assistance by providing clarification regarding the scope of issues covered under sex desegregation, thus removing any confusion for EACs and the beneficiaries they serve as to which parties are entitled to assistance under this term. For religion desegregation, grantees would need to provide technical assistance to responsible governmental agencies seeking assistance on this subject, but the costs associated with these new technical assistance activities would be covered by program funds.

    Elsewhere in this section under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we identify and explain burdens specifically associated with information collection requirements.

    Clarity of the Regulations

    Executive Order 12866 and the Presidential memorandum “Plain Language in Government Writing” require each agency to write regulations that are easy to understand.

    The Secretary invites comments on how to make these proposed regulations easier to understand, including answers to questions such as the following:

    • Are the requirements in the proposed regulations clearly stated?

    • Do the proposed regulations contain technical terms or other wording that interferes with their clarity?

    • Does the format of the proposed regulations (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce their clarity?

    • Would the proposed regulations be easier to understand if we divided them into more (but shorter) sections? (A “section” is preceded by the symbol “§ ” and a numbered heading; for example, § 270.1 What is the Equity Assistance Center Program?)

    • Could the description of the proposed regulations in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this preamble be more helpful in making the proposed regulations easier to understand? If so, how?

    • What else could we do to make the proposed regulations easier to understand?

    To send any comments that concern how the Department could make these proposed regulations easier to understand, see the instructions in the ADDRESSES section.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that these proposed regulations would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The U.S. Small Business Administration Size Standards define institutions as “small entities” if they are for-profit or nonprofit institutions with total annual revenue below $15,000,000, and defines “non-profit institutions” as small organizations if they are independently owned and operated and not dominant in their field of operation, or as small entities if they are institutions controlled by governmental entities with populations below 50,000. The Secretary invites comments from small entities as to whether they believe the proposed changes would have a significant economic impact on them and, if so, requests evidence to support that belief. The Secretary believes that the small entities which will be primarily affected by these regulations are public agencies and private, nonprofit organizations that would be eligible to receive a grant under this program. However, the Secretary believes that the proposed regulations would not have a significant economic impact on these small entities because the regulations do not impose excessive regulatory burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision, and will not affect the current status quo for the burden imposed on these small entities under existing regulations. However, the Secretary specifically invites comments on the effects of the proposed regulations on small entities, and on whether there may be further opportunities to reduce any potential adverse impact or increase potential benefits resulting from these proposed regulations without impeding the effective and efficient administration of the Equity Assistance Center grant program.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    These proposed regulations do not contain any information collection requirements.

    Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for these programs.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    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 Adobe Portable Document Format (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.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.004D) List of Subjects in 34 CFR Parts 270, 271, and 272

    Elementary and secondary education, Equal educational opportunity, Grant programs—education, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Ann Whalen, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, and under the authority of 20 U.S.C. 3474, the Secretary of Education proposes to amend parts 270, 271, and 272 of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    1. Part 270 is revised to read as follows: PART 270— EQUITY ASSISTANCE CENTER PROGRAM Subpart A—General Sec. 270.1 What is the Equity Assistance Center Program? 270.2 Who is eligible to receive a grant under this program? 270.3 Who may receive assistance under this program? 270.4 What types of projects are authorized under this program? 270.5 What geographic regions do the EACs serve? 270.6 What regulations apply to this program? 270.7 What definitions apply to this program? Subpart B—[RESERVED] Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Award a Grant? Sec. 270.20 How does the Secretary evaluate an application for a grant? 270.21 How does the Secretary determine the amount of a grant? Subpart D—What Conditions Must I Meet After I Receive a Grant? Sec. 270.30 What conditions must be met by a recipient of a grant? 270.31 What stipends and related reimbursements are authorized under this program? 270.32 What limitation is imposed on providing Equity Assistance under this program? Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2, 2000c-5, unless otherwise noted.

    PART 270—EQUITY ASSISTANCE CENTER PROGRAM Subpart A—General
    § 270.1 What is the Equity Assistance Center Program?

    This program provides financial assistance to operate regional Equity Assistance Centers (EACs), to enable them to provide technical assistance (including training) at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools, and in the development of effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation.

    § 270.2 Who is eligible to receive a grant under this program?

    A public agency (other than a State educational agency or a school board) or private, nonprofit organization is eligible to receive a grant under this program.

    § 270.3 Who may receive assistance under this program?

    (a) The recipient of a grant under this part may provide assistance only if requested by school boards or other responsible governmental agencies located in its geographic region.

    (b) The recipient may provide assistance only to the following persons:

    (1) Public school personnel.

    (2) Students enrolled in public schools, parents of those students, community organizations and other community members.

    § 270.4 What types of projects are authorized under this program?

    (a) The Secretary may award funds to EACs for projects offering technical assistance (including training) to school boards and other responsible governmental agencies, at their request, for assistance in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools.

    (b) A project must provide technical assistance in all four of the desegregation assistance areas, as defined in § 270.7.

    (c) Desegregation assistance may include, among other activities:

    (1) Dissemination of information regarding effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation;

    (2) Assistance and advice in coping with these problems; and

    (3) Training designed to improve the ability of teachers, supervisors, counselors, parents, community members, community organizations, and other elementary or secondary school personnel to deal effectively with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation.

    § 270.5 What geographic regions do the EACs serve?

    (a) The Secretary awards a grant to provide race, sex, national origin, and religion desegregation assistance under this program to regional Equity Assistance Centers serving designated geographic regions.

    (b) The Secretary announces in the Federal Register the number of centers and geographic regions for each competition.

    (c) The Secretary determines the number and boundaries of each geographic region for each competition on the basis of one or more of the following:

    (1) Size and diversity of the student population;

    (2) The number of LEAs;

    (3) The composition of urban, city, and rural LEAs;

    (4) The history of the Equity Assistance Center technical assistance activities, and other Department technical assistance activities, carried out in each geographic region; and

    (5) The amount of funding available for the competition.

    § 270.6 What regulations apply to this program?

    The following regulations apply to this program:

    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR part 75 (Direct Grant Programs), part 77 (Definitions That Apply to Department Regulations), part 79 (Intergovernmental Review of Department of Education Programs and Activities), and part 81 (General Education Provisions Act—Enforcement), except that 34 CFR 75.232 (relating to the cost analysis) does not apply to grants under this program.

    (b) The regulations in this part.

    (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted in 2 CFR part 3474 and the OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted in 2 CFR part 3485.

    § 270.7 What definitions apply to this program?

    In addition to the definitions in 34 CFR 77.1, the following definitions apply to the regulations in this part:

    Desegregation assistance means the provision of technical assistance (including training) in the areas of race, sex, national origin and religion desegregation of public elementary and secondary schools.

    Desegregation assistance areas means the areas of race, sex, national origin and religion desegregation.

    Equity Assistance Center means a regional desegregation technical assistance and training center funded under this part.

    English learner has the same meaning under this part as the same term defined in section 8101(20) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended.

    (Authority: Section 8101(20) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Pub. L. 114-95 (2015) (ESSA))

    National origin desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their national origin, including providing students such as those who are English learners with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their national origin.

    Public school means any elementary or secondary educational institution operated by a State, subdivision of a State, or governmental agency within a State, or operated wholly or predominantly from or through the use of governmental funds or property, or funds or property derived from governmental sources.

    Public school personnel means school board members and persons who are employed by or who work in the schools of a responsible governmental agency, as that term is defined in this section.

    Race desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their race, including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their race. “Race desegregation” does not mean the assignment of students to public schools to correct conditions of racial separation that are not the result of State or local law or official action.

    Religion desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their religion, including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their religion.

    Responsible governmental agency means any school board, State, municipality, school district, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools.

    School board means any agency or agencies that administer a system of one or more public schools and any other agency that is responsible for the assignment of students to or within that system.

    Sex desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their sex (including transgender status, gender identity, sex stereotypes, and pregnancy and related conditions), including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their sex.

    Special educational problems occasioned by desegregation means those issues that arise in classrooms, schools, and communities as a result of desegregation efforts based on race, national origin, sex, or religion. The phrase does not refer to the provision of special education and related services for students with disabilities as defined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)

    Subpart B—[Reserved] Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Award a Grant?
    § 270.20 How does the Secretary evaluate an application for a grant?

    (a) The Secretary evaluates the application on the basis of the criteria in 34 CFR 75.210.

    (b) The Secretary selects the highest ranking application for each geographic region to receive a grant.

    § 270.21 How does the Secretary determine the amount of a grant?

    The Secretary determines the amount of a grant on the basis of:

    (a) The amount of funds available for all grants under this part;

    (b) A cost analysis of the project (that shows whether the applicant will achieve the objectives of the project with reasonable efficiency and economy under the budget in the application), by which the Secretary:

    (1) Verifies the cost data in the detailed budget for the project;

    (2) Evaluates specific elements of costs; and

    (3) Examines costs to determine if they are necessary, reasonable, and allowable under applicable statutes and regulations;

    (c) Evidence supporting the magnitude of the need of the responsible governmental agencies for desegregation assistance in the geographic region and the cost of providing that assistance to meet those needs, as compared with the evidence supporting the magnitude of the needs for desegregation assistance, and the cost of providing it, in all geographic regions for which applications are approved for funding;

    (d) The size and the racial, ethnic, or religious diversity of the student population of the geographic region for which the EAC will provide services; and

    (e) Any other information concerning desegregation problems and proposed activities that the Secretary finds relevant in the applicant's geographic region.

    Subpart D—What Conditions Must I Meet After I Receive a Grant?
    § 270.30 What conditions must be met by a recipient of a grant?

    (a) A recipient of a grant under this part must:

    (1) Operate an EAC in the geographic region to be served; and

    (2) Have a full-time project director.

    (b) A recipient of a grant under this part must coordinate assistance in its geographic region with appropriate SEAs, Comprehensive Centers, Regional Educational Laboratories, and other Federal technical assistance centers. As part of this coordination, the recipient shall seek to prevent duplication of assistance where an SEA, Comprehensive Center, Regional Educational Laboratory, or other Federal technical assistance center may have already provided assistance to the responsible governmental agency.

    § 270.31 What stipends and related reimbursements are authorized under this program?

    (a) The recipient of an award under this program may pay:

    (1) Stipends to public school personnel who participate in technical assistance or training activities funded under this part for the period of their attendance, if the person to whom the stipend is paid receives no other compensation for that period; or

    (2) Reimbursement to a responsible governmental agency that pays substitutes for public school personnel who:

    (i) Participate in technical assistance or training activities funded under this part; and

    (ii) Are being compensated by that responsible governmental agency for the period of their attendance.

    (b) A recipient may pay the stipends and reimbursements described in this section only if it demonstrates that the payment of these costs is necessary to the success of the technical assistance or training activity, and will not exceed 20 percent of the total award.

    (c) If a recipient is authorized by the Secretary to pay stipends or reimbursements (or any combination of these payments), the recipient shall determine the conditions and rates for these payments in accordance with appropriate State policies, or in the absence of State policies, in accordance with local policies.

    (d) A recipient of a grant under this part may pay a travel allowance only to a person who participates in a technical assistance or training activity under this part.

    (e) If the participant does not complete the entire scheduled activity, the recipient may pay the participant's transportation to his or her residence or place of employment only if the participant left the training activity because of circumstances not reasonably within his or her control.

    § 270.32 What limitation is imposed on providing Equity Assistance under this program?

    A recipient of a grant under this program may not use funds to assist in the development or implementation of activities or the development of curriculum materials for the direct instruction of students to improve their academic and vocational achievement levels.

    PART 271 [REMOVED AND RESERVED] 2. Part 271 is removed and reserved. PART 272 [REMOVED AND RESERVED] 3. Part 272 is removed and reserved.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06439 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    81 57 Thursday, March 24, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2013-0003] Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program; Record of Decision AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a record of decision for the final environmental impact statement for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program.

    DATES:

    Effective March 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may read the documents referenced in this notice and any comments we received in our reading room. The reading room 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. Those documents are posted with the comments we received on the Regulations.gov Web site at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0003.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions related to the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program, contact Dr. Robyn Rose, National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program Manager, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 26, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2283. For questions related to the environmental impact statement, contact Dr. Jim E. Warren, Environmental Protection Specialist/Environmental Toxicologist, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 149, Riverdale, MD 20737; (202) 316-3216.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 16, 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register (78 FR 50022-50023) announcing the agency's plans to prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the effects of a program to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle from wherever it might occur in the United States. The notice identified potential issues and alternatives that would be studied in the environmental impact statement and requested public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives and environmental impacts and issues.

    A notice of availability for the draft EIS was initially published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Federal Register on March 13, 2015 (80 FR 13373, Docket No. ER-FRL-9019-9), and a notice of availability regarding the final EIS was published by EPA in the Federal Register on September 11, 2015 (80 FR 54785-54786, Docket No. ER-FRL-9022-8).

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations in 40 CFR 1506.10 require a minimum 30-day waiting period between the time a final EIS is published and the time an agency makes a decision on an action covered by the EIS. APHIS has reviewed the final EIS and comments received during the 30-day waiting period and has concluded that the final EIS fully analyzes the issues covered by the draft EIS and the comments and suggestions submitted by commenters. Based on our final EIS, the responses to public comments, and other pertinent scientific data, APHIS has prepared a record of decision.

    The record of decision has been prepared in accordance with: (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of March 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06660 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0094] Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Live Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Other Poultry Products From Specified Regions AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request approval of a revision to and extension of an information collection associated with regulations for the importation of live poultry, poultry meat, and other poultry products from specified regions.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0094.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0094, 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-2015-0094 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the importation of live poultry, poultry meat, and other poultry products from specified regions into the United States, contact Dr. Magde Elshafie, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3332. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Importation of Live Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Other Poultry Products From Specified Regions.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0228.

    Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: Under the authority of the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture is authorized, among other things, to prohibit or restrict the importation and interstate movement of animals and animal products to prevent the introduction into and dissemination within the United States of livestock diseases and pests. To carry out the mission, APHIS regulates the importation of animals and animal products into the United States. The regulations are contained in 9 CFR parts 92 through 98.

    In part 94, § 94.33 allows the importation, subject to certain conditions, of live poultry, poultry meat, and other poultry products from certain regions, including Argentina and the Mexican States of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan, that are free of Newcastle disease. The conditions for importation require, among other things, certification from a full-time salaried veterinary officer of the national government of the exporting region that poultry and poultry products exported from one of these regions originated in that region (or in another region recognized by APHIS as free of Newcastle disease) and that before the export to the United States, the poultry and poultry products were not commingled with poultry and poultry products from regions where Newcastle disease exists.

    In addition, the regulations in § 94.6 include provisions that allow poultry meat that originates in the United States to be shipped, for processing purposes, to a region where Newcastle disease exists and then returned to the United States. These provisions require the use of four information collection activities: (1) A certificate of origin that must be issued, including serial numbers that must be recorded; (2) maintenance of records; (3) cooperative service agreements that must be signed; and (4) certificates for shipment back to the United States.

    The information collection requirements above are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the importation of live poultry, poultry meat, and other poultry products from specified regions under number 0579-0228, and U.S. origin poultry meat shipped, for processing purposes, to a region where Newcastle disease exists and returned to the United States under number 0579-0141. After OMB approves and combines the burden for both collections under one collection (number 0579-0228), the Department will retire number 0579-0141.

    We are asking OMB to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.

    Respondents: Federal animal health authorities of certain regions that export live poultry, poultry meat, and other poultry products; importers; pet bird owners; and zoological facilities.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 48.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 4.229.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 203.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 205 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of March 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06659 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2013-0044] Environmental Impact Statement; Animal Carcass Management: Record of Decision AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a record of decision for the programmatic environmental impact statement titled “Carcass Management During a Mass Animal Health Emergency.”

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may read the documents referenced in this notice and any comments we received in our reading room. The reading room 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. Those documents are also posted with the comments we received on the Regulations.gov Web site athttp://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0044.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions related to the carcass management program, contact Ms. Lori P. Miller, PE, Senior Staff Officer, Science, Technology and Analysis Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 41, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3512. For questions related to the programmatic environmental impact statement and record of decision, contact Ms. Samantha Floyd, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 149, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3053.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 25, 2013, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register (78 FR 63959, Docket No. APHIS-2013-0044) a notice of intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for the purpose of analyzing the use of various carcass management options during a mass animal health emergency. On August 24, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register (80 FR 51256) a notice of the availability of the draft PEIS. The public comment period for the draft PEIS was 60 days. APHIS accepted comments on the draft PEIS during and after the comment period until November 3, 2015.

    On December 11, 2015, APHIS published and distributed the final PEIS, which included responses to all comments received by November 3, 2015. On December 18, 2015, EPA published in the Federal Register (80 FR 79041) a notice of availability of the final PEIS.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations in 40 CFR 1506.10 require a minimum 30-day waiting period between the time a final EIS is published and the time an agency makes a decision on an action covered by the EIS. APHIS has reviewed the final PEIS and comments received during the 30-day waiting period and has concluded that the final PEIS fully analyzes the issues covered by the draft PEIS and addresses the comments and suggestions submitted by commenters. This notice advises the public that the waiting period has elapsed, and APHIS has issued a record of decision (ROD) to implement the preferred alternative described in the final PEIS.

    The ROD has been prepared in accordance with: (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of March 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06657 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0099] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for the Biological Control of Cape Ivy AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment relative to the control of Cape ivy, Delairea odorata. The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the field release of a gall-forming fly, Parafreutreta regalis, into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of Cape Ivy infestations. We are making the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0099.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0099, 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-2015-0099 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. Robert Tichenor, Senior Entomologist, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2198.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Cape ivy (Delairea odorata), a native of South Africa, has become one of the most pervasive non-native plants to invade the coastal west region of the United States, particularly in California and Oregon. Cape ivy is a weedy vine that prefers moist, partly-shaded environments along the Pacific coast; however, there are reports of infestations at inland riparian locations. Fragments of the plant easily root, which facilitates the spread of this invasive plant. Overgrowth of cape ivy, a climbing vine, causes native plants to die. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to issue permits for the field release of a gall-forming fly, Parafreutreta regalis, into the continental United States to reduce the severity of cape ivy infestations.

    APHIS' review and analysis of the proposed action are documented in detail in a draft environmental assessment (EA) entitled “Field Release of the Gall-forming Fly, Parafreutreta regalis Munro (Diptera: Tephritidae), for Biological Control of Cape-ivy, Delairea ordorata (Asterales: Asteraceae), in the Contiguous United States” (February 2015). We are making the EA available to the public for review and comment. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before the date listed under the heading DATES at the beginning of this notice.

    The EA may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the draft EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMAITON CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the EA when requesting copies.

    The EA has been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of March 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06658 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Hiawatha East Resource Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Hiawatha East Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Kincheloe, Michigan. 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.comlFSSRSlRAC_Page?id=OOIt0000002JcwPAAS.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on April 28, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Chippewa County 911 Center, 4657 West Industrial Park Drive, Kincheloe, Michigan.

    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 Hiawatha National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janel Crooks, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 906-428-5800 or via email [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Provide updates regarding implementation of past projects; 2. Review the role of the RAC, especially for new members; 3. Review and discuss proposals; and 4. Vote to recommend proposals to the Deciding Federal Official.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by April 8, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Hiawatha National Forest; Attention: RAC; 820 Rains Drive, Gladstone, Michigan 49837; by email to [email protected]; or via facsimile to 906-428-9030.

    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. Robert West, District Ranger.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06647 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Cheryl H. Lee, Chief, State Finance and Tax Statistics Branch, Economy-Wide Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Headquarters: 8K057, Washington, DC 20233; telephone: 301.763.5635; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Census Bureau conducts the Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue, using the F-71 (Quarterly Survey of Property Tax Collections), F-72 (Quarterly Survey of State Tax Collections), and F-73 (Quarterly Survey of Non-Property Taxes) forms. The Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue provides quarterly estimates of state and local government tax revenue at the national level, as well as detailed tax revenue data for individual states. The information contained in this survey is the most current information available on a nationwide basis for state and local government tax collections.

    The Census Bureau needs state and local tax data to publish benchmark statistics on taxes, to provide data to the Bureau of Economic Analysis for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) calculations and other economic indicators, and to provide data for economic research and comparative studies of governmental finances. Tax collection data are used to measure economic activity for the Nation as a whole, as well as for comparison among the various states. Economists and public policy analysts use the data to assess general economic conditions and state and local government financial activities.

    The Census Bureau is requesting an extension of the approval of the current forms. No changes to the forms are being requested.

    For the Quarterly Survey of Non-Property Taxes (Form F-73) we will mail letters quarterly to a sample of approximately 1,800 local tax collection agencies known to have substantial collections of local general sales and/or local individual/corporation net income taxes requesting their online data submissions.

    For the Quarterly Survey of Property Tax Collections (Form F-71) we will mail letters quarterly to a sample of approximately 5,500 local tax collection agencies known to have substantial collections of property tax requesting their online data submissions.

    For the Quarterly Survey of State Tax Collections (F-72) we will mail letters to each of the 50 state governments quarterly requesting their online data submissions or continued coordinated submission through the state government revenue office.

    II. Method of Collection

    F-71 and F-73 survey data will be collected via the Internet. Data for the F-72 survey are collected via the Internet or compilation of data in coordination with the state government revenue office.

    In addition to reporting current quarter data, respondents may report data for the previous eight quarters or submit revisions to their previously submitted data. In the event that a respondent cannot report online, they may request a form as a last resort.

    In those instances when we are not able to obtain a response, we conduct follow-up operations using email and phone calls. Nonresponse weighting adjustments are used to adjust for any unreported units in the sample from the latest available data.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0112.

    Form Number: F-71, F-72, F-73.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: State and Local governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,350.

    Estimated Time per Response: F-71 = 15 minutes, F-72 = 30 minutes, F-73 = 20 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 8,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $0.

    Respondents Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. 161 and 182.

    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 21, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06649 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-14-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 7—Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Lilly Del Caribe, Inc., Subzone 7K (Pharmaceutical Products), Carolina and Guayama, Puerto Rico

    The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, grantee of FTZ 7, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Lilly Del Caribe, Inc. (Lilly), located within Subzone 7K in Carolina and Guayama, Puerto Rico. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on March 08, 2016.

    Lilly already has FTZ authority for the production of finished pharmaceuticals and their intermediates, including the active ingredients humalog and duloxetine. The current request would add finished products and foreign-status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Lilly from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Lilly would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to finished abemaciclib capsules (breast cancer treatment) and barcitinib tablets (rheumatoid arthritis treatment) (duty free) for the foreign-status inputs noted below and in the existing scope of authority. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include abemaciclib and barcitinib active ingredients (duty rate, 6.5%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is May 3, 2016.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06584 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States—Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (US-PERU TPA) AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On behalf of the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), the Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Laurie Mease, Office of Textiles and Apparel, Telephone: 202-482-2043, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The United States and Peru negotiated the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (the “Agreement”), which entered into force on February 1, 2009. Subject to the rules of origin in Annex 4.1 of the Agreement, and pursuant to the textile provisions of the Agreement, fabric, yarn, and fiber produced in Peru or the United States and traded between the two countries are entitled to duty-free tariff treatment. Annex 3-B of the Agreement also lists specific fabrics, yarns, and fibers that the two countries agreed are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from producers in Peru or the United States. The items listed are commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers. Articles containing these items are entitled to duty-free or preferential treatment despite containing inputs not produced in Peru or the United States.

    The list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers may be changed pursuant to the commercial availability provision in Chapter 3, Article 3.3, Paragraphs 5-7 of the Agreement. Under this provision, interested entities from Peru or the United States have the right to request that a specific fabric, yarn, or fiber be added to, or removed from, the list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers in Annex 3-B.

    Chapter 3, Article 3.3, paragraph 7 of the Agreement requires that the President publish procedures for parties to exercise the right to make these requests. The President delegated the responsibility for publishing the procedures and administering commercial availability requests to the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (“CITA”), which issues procedures and acts on requests through the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel (“OTEXA”) (See Proclamation No. 8341, 74 FR 4105, January 22, 2009). Interim procedures to implement these responsibilities were published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2009. (See Interim Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States—Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act and Estimate of Burden for Collection of Information, 74 FR 41111, August 11, 2009).

    The intent of the U.S.-Peru TPA Commercial Availability Procedures is to foster the use of U.S. and regional products by implementing procedures that allow products to be placed on or removed from a product list, on a timely basis, and in a manner that is consistent with normal business practice. The procedures are intended to facilitate the transmission of requests; allow the market to indicate the availability of the supply of products that are the subject of requests; make available promptly, to interested entities and the public, information regarding the requests for products and offers received for those products; ensure wide participation by interested entities and parties; allow for careful review and consideration of information provided to substantiate requests and responses; and provide timely public dissemination of information used by CITA in making commercial availability determinations.

    CITA must collect certain information about fabric, yarn, or fiber technical specifications and the production capabilities of Peruvian and U.S. textile producers to determine whether certain fabrics, yarns, or fibers are available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the United States or Peru, subject to Section 203(o) of the Agreement.

    II. Method of Collection

    Participants in a commercial availability proceeding must submit public versions of their Requests, Responses or Rebuttals electronically (via email) for posting on OTEXA's Web site. Confidential versions of those submissions which contain business confidential information must be delivered in hard copy to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0265.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 16 (10 for Requests; 3 for Responses; 3 for Rebuttals).

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours per Request, 2 hours per Response, and 1 hour per Rebuttal.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 89.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $5,340.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06599 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE515 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); SEDAR Data Best Practices Standing Panel Webinar AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR Data Best Practices Standing Panel Webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR Data Best Practices Panel will develop, review, and evaluate best practice recommendations for SEDAR Data Workshops, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR Data Best Practices Standing Panel Webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julia Byrd at SEDAR (see Contact Information below) to request an invitation providing Webinar access information. Please request Webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each Webinar.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405. www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Byrd, SEDAR Coordinator, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a three-step process including: (1) Data Workshop; (2) Assessment Process utilizing webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a data report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report which describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The SEDAR Data Best Practices Standing Panel is charged with developing, reviewing, and evaluating best practice recommendations for SEDAR Data Workshops. This will be the first meeting of this group. The items of discussion for this webinar are as follows:

    1. Select Panel Chair.

    2. Develop terms of reference specifying the Panel's purpose and approach.

    3. Recommend organizing committee for Stock ID/Meristics workshop.

    4. Provide input on topic for next SEDAR Procedural Workshop.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least ten working days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06671 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE492 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that Exempted Fishing Permits to facilitate the use of monkfish research set-aside days-at-sea warrants further consideration. This notice is to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on the proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “Comments on 2016 Monkfish RSA EFP.”

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on 2016 Monkfish RSA EFP.”

    Fax: (978) 281-9135.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 282-9112, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    These Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) would facilitate monkfish research set-aside (RSA) compensation fishing in support of projects funded under the 2016 monkfish RSA competition. Project proposals are currently under review. Consistent with previous monkfish RSA compensation fishing EFPs, vessels fishing under a RSA days-at-sea (DAS) would be authorized to harvest monkfish in excess of the landing limits in the Northern and Southern Monkfish Fishery Management Areas.

    The monkfish RSA program has been allocated 500 monkfish RSA DAS as established by the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (70 FR 21929, April 28, 2005). These monkfish RSA DAS would be divided between research award recipients and sold to fishermen to fund approved monkfish research projects. Award recipients receive an allocation of RSA DAS and a maximum amount of landed weight that may be landed under available DAS. Projects are constrained to the total DAS or maximum available landing weight, whichever is reached first. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service uses 32,000 lb (14.51 mt) of whole monkfish for each RSA DAS to calculate a maximum allocation of 1,600,000 lb (725.75 mt) to be harvested under these projects. As an example, a project awarded 100 RSA DAS would receive a maximum RSA harvest limit of 320,000 lb (144.1 mt) of whole monkfish (or tail weight equivalent) to be landed. Allowing vessels an exemption from monkfish landing limits provides an incentive for vessels to purchase RSA DAS to catch more monkfish per-trip, while constraining each project to a maximum available harvest limit ensures that the overall monkfish RSA allocation will not be exceeded.

    If approved, the applicants may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06687 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE517 Endangered Species; File No. 19697 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Carlos E. Diez, Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales de Puerto Rico, Programa de Especies Protegidas, P.O. Box 366147, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00936, has applied in due form for a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 19697 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected]. Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rosa L. González or Amy Hapeman, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The applicant requests a five-year research permit to continue long-term projects studying green and hawksbill sea turtle aggregations in the coastal waters of Puerto Rico, including Mona, Monito, and Desecheo Islands, and Culebra Archipelago. Proposed research would involve vessel surveys for abundance counts and capture by hand or tangle nets to assess the population structure, trends in relative abundance, habitat utilization, genetics, zoogeography, and epidemiology of sea turtles in their foraging habitats. Annually, up to 150 green and 150 hawksbill sea turtles would be captured. Each turtle would be flipper and passive integrated transponder tagged, measured, weighed, photographed/videoed, and may be blood and tissue sampled. A subset of up to 10 sea turtles annually of each species may also be outfitted with satellite transmitters to track movements post-release. Another subset of up to 10 green sea turtles would also be authorized for ultrasound and tumor removal surgery in a local facility.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06682 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE503 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Monitoring and Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, 2016 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS (hereinafter, “we” or “our”) received an application from Glacier Bay National Park (Glacier Bay NP) requesting an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting proposed seabird monitoring and research activities within Glacier Bay National Park from May through September, 2016. Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we request comments on our proposal to issue an Authorization to Point Blue to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, one species of marine mammal, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) during the specified activity.

    DATES:

    NMFS must receive comments and information no later than April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address comments on the application to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is [email protected]. You must include 0648-XE503 in the subject line. We are not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here.

    Instructions: All submitted comments are a part of the public record and NMFS will post them to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    To obtain an electronic copy of the renewal request, application, our Environmental Assessment (EA), or a list of the references, write to the previously mentioned address, telephone the contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visit the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm.

    Information in Glacier Bay NP's application, NMFS' EA, and this notice collectively provide the environmental information related to proposed issuance of the Authorization for public review and comment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Pauline, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals of a species or population stock, by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if, after NMFS provides a notice of a proposed authorization to the public for review and comment: (1) NMFS makes certain findings; and (2) the taking is limited to harassment.

    An Authorization for incidental takings for marine mammals shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting of such taking are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Summary of Request

    On January 12, 2016, NMFS received an application from Glacier Bay NP requesting taking by harassment of marine mammals, incidental to conducting monitoring and research studies on glaucus-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. We considered the renewal request for the 2016 activities as adequate and complete on February 25, 2016. NMFS previously issued two Authorizations to Glacier Bay NP for the same activities in 2014 and 2015 (79 FR 56065, September 18, 2014 and 80 FR 28229, May 18, 2015).

    For the 2016 research season, Glacier Bay NP again proposes to conduct ground-based and vessel-based surveys to collect data on the number and distribution of nesting gulls within five study sites in Glacier Bay, AK. The proposed activities would occur over the course of five months, from May through September, 2016.

    The following aspects of the proposed seabird research activities have the potential to take marine mammals: Acoustic stimuli from noise generated by motorboat approaches and departures; noise generated by researchers while conducting ground surveys; and human presence during the monitoring and research activities. Harbor seals hauled out in the five research areas may flush into the water or exhibit temporary modification in behavior and/or low-level physiological effects (Level B harassment). Thus, Glacier Bay NP has requested an authorization to take 500 harbor seals by Level B harassment only. Although Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) may be present in the action area, Glacier Bay NP has proposed to avoid any site used by Steller sea lions.

    To date, we have issued two, five-month Authorizations to Glacier Bay NP for the conduct of the same activities in 2014 and 2015 (79 FR 56065, September 18, 2014 and 80 FR 28229, May 18, 2015). This is Glacier Bay NP's third request for an Authorization. Their 2015 Authorization expired on September 30, 2015 and the monitoring report associated with the 2015 Authorization is available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. The report provides additional environmental information related to proposed issuance of this Authorization for public review and comment.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    Glacier Bay NP proposes to identify the onset of gull nesting; conduct mid-season surveys of adult gulls, and locate and document gull nest sites within the following study areas: Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock. Each of these study sites contains harbor seal haulout sites and Glacier Bay NP proposes to visit each study site up to five times during the research season.

    Glacier Bay NP must conduct the gull monitoring studies to meet the requirements of a 2010 Record of Decision for a Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (NPS, 2010) which states that Glacier Bay NP must initiate a monitoring program for the gulls to inform future native egg harvests by the Hoonah Tlingit in Glacier Bay, AK. Glacier Bay NP actively monitors harbor seals at breeding and molting sites to assess population trends over time (e.g., Mathews & Pendleton, 2006; Womble et al., 2010). Glacier Bay NP also coordinates pinniped monitoring programs with NMFS' National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and plans to continue these collaborations and sharing of monitoring data and observations in the future.

    Dates and Duration

    Glacier Bay NP proposes to conduct the proposed activities from the period of May through September, 2016. Glacier Bay NP proposes to conduct a maximum of three ground-based surveys per each study site and a maximum of two vessel-based surveys per each study site.

    Thus, the proposed Authorization, if issued, would be effective from May 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. NMFS refers the reader to the Detailed Description of Activities section later in this notice for more information on the scope of the proposed activities.

    Specified Geographic Region

    The proposed study sites would occur in the vicinity of the following locations: Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Glacier Bay NP will also conduct studies at Tlingit Point Islet located at 58°45′16.86″ N.; 136°10′41.74″ W.; however, there are no reported pinniped haulout sites at that location.

    EN24MR16.011 Detailed Description of Activities

    Glacier Bay NP proposes to conduct: (1) Ground-based surveys at a maximum frequency of three visits per site; and (2) vessel-based surveys at a maximum frequency of two visits per site from the period of May 1 through September 30, 2016.

    Ground-Based Surveys: These surveys involve two trained observers visiting the largest gull colony on each island to: (1) Obtain information on the numbers of nests, their location, and contents (i.e., eggs or chicks); (2) determine the onset of laying, distribution, abundance, and predation of gull nests and eggs; and (3) record the proximity of other species relative to colony locations.

    The observers would access each island using a kayak, a 32.8 to 39.4-foot (ft) (10 to 12 meter (m)) motorboat, or a 12 ft (4 m) inflatable rowing dinghy. The landing craft's transit speed would not exceed 4 knots (4.6 miles per hour (mph). Ground surveys generally last from 30 minutes to up to two hours depending on the size of the island and the number of nesting gulls. Glacier Bay NP will discontinue ground surveys after they detect the first hatchling to minimize disturbance to the gull colonies.

    Vessel-Based Surveys: These surveys involve two trained observers observing and counting the number of adult and fledgling gulls from the deck of a motorized vessel which would transit around each island at a distance of approximately 328 ft (100 m) to avoid flushing the birds from the colonies. Vessel-based surveys generally last from 30 minutes to up to two hours depending on the size of the island and the number of nesting gulls.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    The marine mammals most likely to be harassed incidental to conducting the proposed seabird research activities within the research areas are primarily harbor seals. Table 1 in this notice provides the following information: All marine mammal species with possible or confirmed occurrence in the proposed survey areas on land; information on those species' regulatory status under the MMPA and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); abundance; occurrence and seasonality in the activity area.

    Table 1—General Information on Marine Mammals That Could Potentially Haul Out in the Proposed Study Areas in May Through September 2016 Species Stock name Regulatory status 1 2 Stock/species
  • abundance 3
  • Occurrence and range Season
    Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) Glacier Bay/Icy Strait MMPA-NC, ESA-NL 7,210 common coastal year-round. Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Eastern U.S MMPA-D, S, ESA-NL 60,131-74,448 uncommon coastal year-round. Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Western U.S MMPA-D, S, ESA-T 49,497 rare coastal unknown. 1 MMPA: D = Depleted, S = Strategic, NC = Not Classified. 2 ESA: EN = Endangered, T = Threatened, DL = Delisted, NL = Not listed. 3 2015 NMFS Draft Stock Assessment Report (Muto and Angliss, 2015).

    NMFS refers the public to Muto and Angliss (2015) for additional information on the status, distribution, seasonal distribution, and life history of these species. The publications are available on the internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/draft.htm.

    Other Marine Mammals in the Proposed Action Area

    Northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) and polar bears (Ursis maritimus) listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act could occur in the proposed area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages these species and NMFS does not consider them further in this notice.

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activities on Marine Mammals

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity (e.g., exposure to vessel noise and approaches and human presence), including mitigation, may impact marine mammals. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that we expect Glacier Bay NP to take during this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis” section will include the analysis of how this specific activity would impact marine mammals. We will consider the content of the following sections: “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” and “Proposed Mitigation” to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals—and from that consideration—the likely impacts of this activity on the affected marine mammal populations or stocks.

    In the following discussion, we provide general background information on sound and marine mammal hearing. Acoustic and visual stimuli generated by: (1) Motorboat operations; and (2) the appearance of researchers may have the potential to cause Level B harassment of any pinnipeds hauled out on Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock. The effects of sounds from motorboat operations and the appearance of researchers might include hearing impairment or behavioral disturbance (Southall, et al., 2007).

    Hearing Impairment

    Marine mammals produce sounds in various important contexts—social interactions, foraging, navigating, and responding to predators. The best available science suggests that pinnipeds have a functional aerial hearing sensitivity between 75 hertz (Hz) and 75 kilohertz (kHz) and can produce a diversity of sounds, though generally from 100 Hz to several tens of kHz (Southall, et al., 2007).

    Exposure to high intensity sound for a sufficient duration may result in auditory effects such as a noise-induced threshold shift—an increase in the auditory threshold after exposure to noise (Finneran, Carder, Schlundt, and Ridgway, 2005). Factors that influence the amount of threshold shift include the amplitude, duration, frequency content, temporal pattern, and energy distribution of noise exposure. The magnitude of hearing threshold shift normally decreases over time following cessation of the noise exposure. The amount of threshold shift just after exposure is called the initial threshold shift. If the threshold shift eventually returns to zero (i.e., the threshold returns to the pre-exposure value), it is called temporary threshold shift (Southall et al., 2007).

    Pinnipeds have the potential to be disturbed by airborne and underwater noise generated by the small boats equipped with outboard engines (Richardson, Greene, Malme, and Thomson, 1995). However, there is a dearth of information on acoustic effects of motorboats on pinniped hearing and communication and to our knowledge there has been no specific documentation of hearing impairment in free-ranging pinnipeds exposed to small motorboats during realistic field conditions.

    Behavioral Disturbance

    Disturbances resulting from human activity can impact short- and long-term pinniped haul out behavior (Renouf et al., 1981; Schneider and Payne, 1983; Terhune and Almon, 1983; Allen et al., 1984; Stewart, 1984; Suryan and Harvey, 1999; Mortenson et al., 2000; and Kucey and Trites, 2006). Disturbance includes a variety of effects, including subtle to conspicuous changes in behavior, movement, and displacement. Reactions to sound, if any, depend on species, state of maturity, experience, current activity, reproductive state, time of day, and many other factors (Richardson et al., 1995; Wartzok et al., 2004; Southall et al., 2007; Weilgart, 2007). If a sound source displaces marine mammals from an important feeding or breeding area for a prolonged period, impacts on individuals and populations could be significant (e.g., Lusseau and Bejder, 2007; Weilgart, 2007).

    Numerous studies have shown that human activity can flush pinnipeds off haul-out sites and beaches (Kenyon, 1972; Allen et al., 1984; Calambokidis et al., 1991; Suryan and Harvey, 1999; and Mortenson et al., 2000). And in one case, human disturbance appeared to cause Steller sea lions to desert a breeding area at Northeast Point on St. Paul Island, Alaska (Kenyon, 1962).

    In 1997, Henry and Hammil (2001) conducted a study to measure the impacts of small boats (i.e., kayaks, canoes, motorboats and sailboats) on harbor seal haul-out behavior in Métis Bay, Quebec, Canada. During that study, the authors noted that the most frequent disturbances (n=73) were caused by lower speed, lingering kayaks and canoes (33.3 percent) as opposed to motorboats (27.8 percent) conducting high speed passes. The seal's flight reactions could be linked to a surprise factor by kayaks-canoes which approach slowly, quietly and low on water making them look like predators. However, the authors note that once the animals were disturbed, there did not appear to be any significant lingering effect on the recovery of numbers to their pre-disturbance levels. In conclusion, the study showed that boat traffic at current levels has only a temporary effect on the haul-out behavior of harbor seals in the Métis Bay area.

    In 2004, Johnson and Acevedo-Gutierrez (2007) evaluated the efficacy of buffer zones for watercraft around harbor seal haul-out sites on Yellow Island, Washington state. The authors estimated the minimum distance between the vessels and the haul-out sites; categorized the vessel types; and evaluated seal responses to the disturbances. During the course of the seven-weekend study, the authors recorded 14 human-related disturbances which were associated with stopped powerboats and kayaks. During these events, hauled out seals became noticeably active and moved into the water. The flushing occurred when stopped kayaks and powerboats were at distances as far as 453 and 1,217 ft (138 and 371 m) respectively. The authors note that the seals were unaffected by passing powerboats, even those approaching as close as 128 ft (39 m), possibly indicating that the animals had become tolerant of the brief presence of the vessels and ignored them. The authors reported that on average, the seals quickly recovered from the disturbances and returned to the haul-out site in less than or equal to 60 minutes. Seal numbers did not return to pre-disturbance levels within 180 minutes of the disturbance less than one quarter of the time observed. The study concluded that the return of seal numbers to pre-disturbance levels and the relatively regular seasonal cycle in abundance throughout the area counter the idea that disturbances from powerboats may result in site abandonment (Johnson and Acevedo-Gutierrez, 2007).

    As a general statement from the available information, pinnipeds exposed to intense (approximately 110 to 120 decibels re: 20 μPa) non-pulse sounds often leave haul-out areas and seek refuge temporarily (minutes to a few hours) in the water (Southall et al., 2007). Based on the available data, previous monitoring reports from Glacier Bay NP, and studies described here, we anticipate that any pinnipeds found in the vicinity of the proposed project could have short-term behavioral reactions to the noise attributed to motorboat operations and human presence related to the seabird research activities. We would expect the pinnipeds to return to a haul-out site within 60 minutes of the disturbance (Allen et al., 1985). The effects to pinnipeds appear at the most, to displace the animals temporarily from their haul-out sites and we do not expect that the pinnipeds would permanently abandon a haul-out site during the conduct of the proposed research.

    There are three ways in which disturbance, as described previously, could result in more than Level B harassment of marine mammals. All three are most likely to be consequences of stampeding, a potentially dangerous occurrence in which large numbers of animals succumb to mass panic and rush away from a stimulus. The three situations are: (1) Falling when entering the water at high-relief locations; (2) extended separation of mothers and pups; and (3) crushing of pups by large males during a stampede. However, NMFS does not expect any of these scenarios to occur at the proposed survey sites.

    Because hauled-out animals may move towards the water when disturbed, there is the risk of injury if animals stampede towards shorelines with precipitous relief (e.g., cliffs). However, while high-elevation sites exist on the islands, the haulout sites consist of ridges with unimpeded and non-obstructive access to the water. If disturbed, the small number of hauled-out adult animals may move toward the water without risk of encountering barriers or hazards that would otherwise prevent them from leaving the area.

    The probability of vessel and marine mammal interactions (i.e., motorboat strike) occurring during the proposed research activities is unlikely due to the motorboat's slow operational speed, which is typically 2 to 3 knots (2.3 to 3.4 mph) and the researchers continually scanning the water for marine mammals presence during transit to the islands. Thus, NMFS does not anticipate that strikes or collisions would result from the movement of the motorboat.

    In summary, NMFS does not anticipate that the proposed activities would result in the injury, serious injury, or mortality of pinnipeds because the timing of research visits would preclude separation of mothers and pups, as activities would not occur in pupping/breeding areas or if pups are present in the research areas. The potential effects to marine mammals described in this section of the document do not take into consideration the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures described later in this document (see the “Proposed Mitigation” and “Proposed Monitoring and Reporting” sections).

    Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    NMFS does not expect the proposed research activities to have any habitat-related effects, including to marine mammal prey species, which could cause significant or long-term consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations. NMFS anticipates that the specified activity may result in marine mammals avoiding certain areas due to noise generated by: (1) Motorboat approaches and departures; (2) human presence during restoration activities and loading operations while resupplying the field station; and (3) human presence during seabird and pinniped research activities. NMFS considers this impact to habitat as temporary and reversible and considered this aspect in more detail earlier in this document, as behavioral modification. The main impact associated with the proposed activity will be temporarily elevated noise levels and the associated direct effects on marine mammals, previously discussed in this notice.

    Proposed Mitigation

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    Glacier Bay NP has based the mitigation measures which they will implement during the proposed research, on the following: (1) Protocols used during previous seabird research activities as required by our previous authorizations for these activities; and (2) Recommended best practices in Womble et al. (2013); Richardson et al. (1995); Pierson et al. (1998); and Weir and Dolman (2007).

    To reduce the potential for disturbance from acoustic and visual stimuli associated with the activities Glacier Bay NP and/or its designees has proposed to implement the following mitigation measures for marine mammals:

    • Perform pre-survey monitoring before deciding to access a study site;

    • Avoid accessing a site based on a pre-determined threshold number of animals present; sites used by pinnipeds for pupping; or sites used by Steller sea lions;

    • Perform controlled and slow ingress to the study site to prevent a stampede and select a pathway of approach to minimize the number of marine mammals harassed;

    • Monitor for offshore predators at study sites. Avoid approaching the study site if killer whales (Orcinus orca) are present. If Glacier Bay NP and/or its designees see predators in the area, they must not disturb the pinnipeds until the area is free of predators.

    • Maintain a quiet research atmosphere in the visual presence of pinnipeds.

    Pre-Survey Monitoring

    Prior to deciding to land onshore to conduct the study, the researchers would use high-powered image stabilizing binoculars from the watercraft to document the number, species, and location of hauled out marine mammals at each island. The vessels would maintain a distance of 328 to 1,640 ft (100 to 500 m) from the shoreline to allow the researchers to conduct pre-survey monitoring. During every visit, the researchers will examine each study site closely using high powered image stabilizing binoculars before approaching at distances of greater than 500 m (1,640 ft) to determine and document the number, species, and location of hauled out marine mammals.

    Site Avoidance

    Researchers would decide whether or not to approach the island based on the species present, number of individuals, and the presence of pups. If there are high numbers (more than 25) harbor seals hauled out (with or without young pups present), any time pups are present, or any time that Steller sea lions are present, the researchers would not approach the island and would not conduct gull monitoring research.

    Controlled Landings

    The researchers would determine whether to approach the island based on the number and type of animals present. If the island has 25 or fewer individuals without pups, the researchers would approach the island by motorboat at a speed of approximately 2 to 3 knots (2.3 to 3.4 mph). This would provide enough time for any marine mammals present to slowly enter the water without panic or stampede. The researchers would also select a pathway of approach farthest from the hauled out harbor seals to minimize disturbance.

    Minimize Predator Interactions: If the researchers visually observe marine predators (i.e. killer whales) present in the vicinity of hauled out marine mammals, the researchers would not approach the study site.

    Noise Reduction Protocols: While onshore at study sites, the researchers would remain vigilant for hauled out marine mammals. If marine mammals are present, the researchers would move slowly and use quiet voices to minimize disturbance to the animals present.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    We have carefully evaluated Glacier Bay NP's proposed mitigation measures in the context of ensuring that we prescribe the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by us should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed here:

    1. Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    2. A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    3. A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to stimuli that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    4. A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    5. Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    6. For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on the evaluation of Glacier Bay NP's proposed measures, as well as other measures that may be relevant to the specified activity, we have preliminarily determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Proposed Monitoring

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act states that we must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The Act's implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for an incidental take authorization must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and our expectations of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals present in the action area.

    Glacier Bay NP submitted a marine mammal monitoring plan in section 13 of their Authorization application. We may modify or supplement the plan based on comments or new information received from the public during the public comment period. Any monitoring requirement we prescribe should improve our understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species in action area (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) Affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) Co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) Biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas).

    • Individual responses to acute stressors, or impacts of chronic exposures (behavioral or physiological).

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of an individual; or (2) Population, species, or stock.

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat and resultant impacts to marine mammals.

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    As part of its 2016 application, Glacier Bay NP proposes to sponsor marine mammal monitoring during the present project, in order to implement the mitigation measures that require real-time monitoring, and to satisfy the monitoring requirements of the incidental harassment authorization. The researchers will monitor the area for pinnipeds during all research activities. Monitoring activities will consist of conducting and recording observations on pinnipeds within the vicinity of the proposed research areas. The monitoring notes would provide dates, location, species, the researcher's activity, behavioral state, numbers of animals that were alert or moved greater than one meter, and numbers of pinnipeds that flushed into the water.

    The method for recording disturbances follows those in Mortenson (1996). Glacier Bay NP would record disturbances on a three-point scale that represents an increasing seal response to the disturbance (Table 2). Glacier Bay will record the time, source, and duration of the disturbance, as well as an estimated distance between the source and haul-out. We note that we would consider only responses falling into Mortenson's Levels 2 and 3 as harassment under the MMPA, under the terms of this proposed Authorization.

    Table 2—Seal Response to Disturbance Level Type of response Definition 1 Alert Seal head orientation in response to disturbance. This may include turning head towards the disturbance, craning head and neck while holding the body rigid in a u-shaped position, or changing from a lying to a sitting position. 2 Movement Movements away from the source of disturbance, ranging from short withdrawals over short distances to hurried retreats many meters in length. 3 Flight All retreats (flushes) to the water, another group of seals, or over the beach.

    Glacier Bay NP has complied with the monitoring requirements under the previous authorizations. We have posted the 2015 l report on our Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm and the results from the previous Glacier Bay NP monitoring reports support our findings that the proposed mitigation measures required under the 2014 and 2015 Authorizations, provide the means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species or stock.

    Glacier Bay NP can add to the knowledge of pinnipeds in the proposed action area by noting observations of: (1) Unusual behaviors, numbers, or distributions of pinnipeds, such that any potential follow-up research can be conducted by the appropriate personnel; (2) tag-bearing carcasses of pinnipeds, allowing transmittal of the information to appropriate agencies and personnel; and (3) rare or unusual species of marine mammals for agency follow-up.

    Encouraging and Coordinating Research

    Glacier Bay NP actively monitors harbor seals at breeding and molting haul out locations to assess trends over time (e.g., Mathews & Pendleton, 2006; Womble et al. 2010, Womble and Gende, 2013b). This monitoring program involves collaborations with biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the National Marine Mammal Laboratory. Glacier Bay NP will continue these collaborations and encourage continued or renewed monitoring of marine mammal species. Additionally, they would report vessel-based counts of marine mammals, branded, or injured animals, and all observed disturbances to the appropriate state and federal agencies.

    Proposed Reporting

    Glacier Bay NP will submit a draft monitoring report to us no later than 90 days after the expiration of the Incidental Harassment Authorization, if issued. The report will include a summary of the information gathered pursuant to the monitoring requirements set forth in the Authorization. Glacier Bay NP will submit a final report to the NMFS Director, Office of Protected Resources within 30 days after receiving comments from NMFS on the draft report. If Glacier Bay NP receives no comments from NMFS on the report, NMFS will consider the draft report to be the final report.

    The report will describe the operations conducted and sightings of marine mammals near the proposed project. The report will provide full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring. The report will provide:

    1. A summary and table of the dates, times, and weather during all research activities.

    2. Species, number, location, and behavior of any marine mammals observed throughout all monitoring activities.

    3. An estimate of the number (by species) of marine mammals exposed to acoustic or visual stimuli associated with the research activities.

    4. A description of the implementation and effectiveness of the monitoring and mitigation measures of the Authorization and full documentation of methods, results, and interpretation pertaining to all monitoring.

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the authorization, such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality (e.g., vessel-strike, stampede, etc.), Glacier Bay NP shall immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Description and location of the incident (including water depth, if applicable);

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Glacier Bay NP shall not resume its activities until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. We will work with Glacier Bay to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. Glacier Bay NP may not resume their activities until notified by us via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that Glacier Bay NP discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead researcher determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as we describe in the next paragraph), Glacier Bay NP will immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the same information identified in the paragraph above this section. Activities may continue while we review the circumstances of the incident. We will work with Glacier Bay NP to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that Glacier Bay NP discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead visual observer determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the authorized activities (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), Glacier Bay will report the incident to the incident to the Division Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, at 301-427-8401 and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator at (907) 586-7248 within 24 hours of the discovery. Glacier Bay NP researchers will provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to us. Glacier Bay NP can continue their research activities.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    All anticipated takes would be by Level B harassment, involving temporary changes in behavior. NMFS expects that the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures would minimize the possibility of injurious or lethal takes. NMFS considers the potential for take by injury, serious injury, or mortality as remote. NMFS expects that the presence of Glacier Bay NP personnel could disturb animals hauled out and that the animals may alter their behavior or attempt to move away from the researchers.

    As discussed earlier, NMFS considers an animal to have been harassed if it moved greater than 1 m (3.3 ft) in response to the surveyors' presence or if the animal was already moving and changed direction and/or speed, or if the animal flushed into the water. NMFS does not consider animals that became alert without such movements as harassed.

    Based on pinniped survey counts conducted by Glacier Bay NP (e.g., Mathews & Pendleton, 2006; Womble et al., 2010), NMFS estimates that the research activities could potentially affect by Level B behavioral harassment 500 harbor seals over the course of the Authorization (Table 3). This estimate represents 6.9 percent of the Glacier Bay/Icy Strait stock of harbor seals and accounts for a maximum disturbance of 25 harbor seals each per visit at Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock, Alaska over a maximum level of five visits.

    Table 3—Estimates of the Possible Numbers of Marine Mammals Exposed to Acoustic and Visual Stimuli During the Proposed Research Activities on Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock, Alaska, May Through September, 2015. Species Est. number
  • of individuals exposed
  • Proposed
  • take
  • authorization
  • Percent
  • of species
  • or stock 1
  • Population trend 2
    Harbor seal 500 500 9.9 Declining. Steller sea lion 0 0 0 Increasing. 1 Table 1 in this notice lists the stock species abundance estimates that NMFS used to calculate the percentage of species/stock. 2 The population trend information is from Muto and Angliss, 2015.

    Harbor seals tend to haul out in small numbers (on average, less than 50 animals) at most sites with the exception of Flapjack Island (Womble, Pers. Comm.). Animals on Flapjack Boulder Islands generally haul out on the south side of the Islands and are not located near the research sites located on the northern side of the Islands. Aerial survey maximum counts show that harbor seals sometimes haul out in large numbers at all four locations (see Table 2 in Glacier Bays NP's application), and sometimes individuals and mother/pup pairs occupy different terrestrial locations than the main haulout (J. Womble, personal observation).

    Considering the conservation status for the Western stock of the Steller sea lion, the Glacier Bay NP researchers would not conduct ground-based or vessel-based surveys if they observe Steller sea lions before accessing Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock. Thus, NMFS expects no takes to occur for this species during the proposed activities.

    NMFS does not propose to authorize any injury, serious injury, or mortality. NMFS expect all potential takes to fall under the category of Level B harassment only.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Preliminary Determinations

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, we consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    To avoid repetition, the discussion below applies to all four species discussed in this notice. In making a negligible impact determination, we consider:

    • The number of anticipated injuries, serious injuries, or mortalities;

    • The number, nature, and intensity, and duration of Level B harassment;

    • The context in which the takes occur (e.g., impacts to areas of significance, impacts to local populations, and cumulative impacts when taking into account successive/contemporaneous actions when added to baseline data);

    • The status of stock or species of marine mammals (i.e., depleted, not depleted, decreasing, increasing, stable, impact relative to the size of the population);

    • Impacts on habitat affecting rates of recruitment/survival; and The effectiveness of monitoring and mitigation measures to reduce the number or severity of incidental take.

    For reasons stated previously in this document and based on the following factors, NMFS does not expect Glacier Bay NP's specified activities to cause long-term behavioral disturbance, abandonment of the haul-out area, injury, serious injury, or mortality:

    1. The takes from Level B harassment would be due to potential behavioral disturbance. The effects of the research activities would be limited to short-term startle responses and localized behavioral changes due to the short and sporadic duration of the research activities. Minor and brief responses, such as short-duration startle or alert reactions, are not likely to constitute disruption of behavioral patterns, such as migration, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

    2. The availability of alternate areas for pinnipeds to avoid the resultant acoustic and visual disturbances from the research operations. Anecdotal observations and results from previous monitoring reports also show that the pinnipeds returned to the various sites and did not permanently abandon haul-out sites after Glacier Bay NP conducted their research activities.

    3. There is no potential for large-scale movements leading to injury, serious injury, or mortality because the researchers would delay ingress into the landing areas only after the pinnipeds have slowly entered the water.

    4. Glacier Bay NP would limit access to Boulder, Lone, and Flapjack Islands, and Geikie Rock when there are high numbers (more than 25) harbor seals hauled out (with or without young pups present), any time pups are present, or any time that Steller sea lions are present, the researchers would not approach the island and would not conduct gull monitoring research.

    We do not anticipate that any injuries, serious injuries, or mortalities would occur as a result of Glacier Bay NP's proposed activities and we do not propose to authorize injury, serious injury, or mortality. These species may exhibit behavioral modifications, including temporarily vacating the area during the proposed seabird and pinniped research activities to avoid the resultant acoustic and visual disturbances. Further, these proposed activities would not take place in areas of significance for marine mammal feeding, resting, breeding, or calving and would not adversely impact marine mammal habitat. Due to the nature, degree, and context of the behavioral harassment anticipated, we do not expect the activities to impact annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    NMFS does not expect pinnipeds to permanently abandon any area surveyed by researchers, as is evidenced by continued presence of pinnipeds at the sites during annual seabird monitoring. In summary, NMFS anticipates that impacts to hauled-out harbor seals during Glacier Bay NP's research activities would be behavioral harassment of limited duration (i.e., up to two hours per visit) and limited intensity (i.e., temporary flushing at most). NMFS does not expect stampeding, and therefore injury or mortality, to occur (see “Mitigation” for more details).

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS preliminarily finds that the total marine mammal take from Glacier Bay NP's proposed research activities will not adversely affect annual rates of recruitment or survival and therefore will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    As mentioned previously, NMFS estimates that Glacier Bay NP's activities could potentially affect, by Level B harassment only, one species of marine mammal under our jurisdiction. For harbor seals, this estimate is small (6.9 percent) relative to the population size.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species or Stock for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA also requires us to determine that the taking will not have an unmitigable adverse effect on the availability of marine mammal species or stocks for subsistence use. There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Glacier Bay National Park prohibits subsistence harvest of harbor seals within the Park (Catton, 1995). Thus, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    NMFS does not expect that Glacier Bay NP's proposed research activities (which include mitigation measures to avoid harassment of Steller sea lions) would affect any species listed under the ESA. Therefore, NMFS has determined that a section 7 consultation under the ESA is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    In 2014, NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzing the potential effects to the human environment from NMFS' issuance of an Authorization to Glacier Bay NP for their seabird research activities.

    In September 2014, NMFS issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the issuance of an Authorization for Point Blue's research activities in accordance with section 6.01 of the NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 (Environmental Review Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, May 20, 1999). Glacier Bay NP's proposed activities and impacts for 2015 are within the scope of the 2014 EA and FONSI. NMFS provided relevant environmental information to the public through a previous notice for the proposed Authorization (79 FR 32226, June 4, 2014) and considered public comments received in response prior to finalizing the 2014 EA and deciding whether or not to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NMFS has reviewed the 2014 EA and determined that there are no new direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts to the human and natural environment associated with the Authorization requiring evaluation in a supplemental EA and NMFS,

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to authorize the take of marine mammals incidental to Glacier Bay NP's seabird research activities, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. The next section provides the proposed Authorization language which we propose for inclusion in the Authorization (if issued).

    Glacier Bay National Park, P.O. Box 140, Gustavus, Alaska 99826 and/or its designees (holders of the Authorization) are hereby authorized under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(D)) to harass small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting monitoring and research studies on glaucus-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

    1. This Authorization is valid from May 1 through September 30, 2016.

    2. This Authorization is valid only for research activities that occur in the following specified geographic areas: Boulder (58°33′18.08″ N; 136°1′13.36″ W); Lone (58°43′17.67″ N; 136°17′41.32″ W), and Flapjack (58°35′10.19″ N; 135°58′50.78″ W) Islands, and Geikie Rock (58°41′39.75″ N; 136°18′39.06″ W); and Tlingit Point Islet (58°45′16.86″ N; 136°10′41.74″ W) in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

    3. Species Authorized and Level of Takes

    a. The taking, by Level B harassment only, is limited to the following species: 500 Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).

    b. The taking by injury (Level A harassment), serious injury or death of any of the species listed in Condition 3(a) or the taking of any kind of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited and may result in the modification, suspension or revocation of this Authorization.

    c. The taking of any marine mammal in a manner prohibited under this Authorization must be reported immediately to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS.

    4. General Conditions

    A copy of this Authorization must be in the possession of Glacier Bay National Park, its designees, and field crew personnel (including research collaborators) operating under the authority of this Authorization at all times.

    5. Mitigation Measures

    The Holder of this Authorization is required to implement the following mitigation measures:

    a. Conduct pre-survey monitoring before deciding to access a study site. Prior to deciding to land onshore of Boulder, Lone, or Flapjack Island or Geikie Rock, the Holder of this Authorization will use high-powered image stabilizing binoculars before approaching at distances of greater than 500 m (1,640 ft) to determine and document the number, species, and location of hauled out marine mammals. The vessels will maintain a distance of 328 to 1,640 ft (100 to 500 m) from the shoreline.

    i. If the Holder of the Authorization determines that there are 25 or more harbor seals (with or without young pups present) hauled out on the shoreline, the holder will not access the island and will not conduct the study at that time.

    ii. If the Holder of the Authorization determines that any Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) are present at the study site, the Holder will not access the island and will not conduct the study at that time.

    iii. If the Holder of the Authorization determines that there are any pups hauled out on the shoreline and vulnerable to being separated from their mothers, the Holder will not access the island and will not conduct the study at that time.

    b. Minimize the potential for disturbance by: (1) Performing controlled and slow ingress to the study site to prevent a stampede; and (2) selecting a pathway of approach farthest from the hauled out harbor seals to minimize disturbance.

    c. Monitor for offshore predators at the study sites and avoid research activities when predators area present. Avoid approaching the study site if killer whales (Orcinus orca) are present. If the Holder of this Authorization observes predators in the area, they must not disturb the pinnipeds until the area is free of predators.

    d. Maintain a quiet working atmosphere, avoid loud noises, and use hushed voices in the presence of hauled out pinnipeds.

    6. Monitoring

    Glacier Bay NP is required to record the following:

    a. BLM and/or its designees shall record the following:

    i. Species counts (with numbers of adults/juveniles); and:

    ii. Numbers of disturbances, by species and age, according to a three-point scale of intensity including: (1) Head orientation in response to disturbance, which may include turning head towards the disturbance, craning head and neck while holding the body rigid in a u-shaped position, or changing from a lying to a sitting position and/or slight movement of less than 1 meter; “alert” (2) Movements in response to or away from disturbance, typically over short distances (1-3 meters) and including dramatic changes in direction or speed of locomotion for animals already in motion; “movement” and (3) All flushes to the water as well as lengthier retreats (>3 meters); “flight”.

    iii. Information on the weather, including the tidal state and horizontal visibility.

    b. If applicable, the observer shall note observations of marked or tag-bearing pinnipeds or carcasses, as well as any rare or unusual species of marine mammal.

    c. If applicable, the observer shall note the presence of any offshore predators (date, time, number, and species).

    7. Reporting

    The holder of this Authorization is required to:

    a. Draft Report: Submit a draft monitoring report to the Division Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service within 90 days after the Authorization expires. NMFS will review the Draft Report which is subject to review and comment by NMFS. Glacier Bay NP must address any recommendations made by NMFS in the Final Report prior to submission to NMFS. If NMFS decides that the draft final report needs no comments, NMFS will consider the draft report as the Final Report.

    b. Final Report: Glacier Bay shall prepare and submit a Final Report to NMFS within 30 days following resolution of any comments on the draft report from NMFS.

    8. Reporting Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by the authorization, such as an injury (Level A harassment), serious injury, or mortality (e.g., vessel-strike, stampede, etc.), BLM and/or its designees shall immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Division Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Description and location of the incident (including water depth, if applicable);

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Glacier Bay NP shall not resume its activities until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS will work with Glacier Bay NP to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. Glacier Bay NP may not resume their activities until notified by us via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that Glacier Bay NP discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the marine mammal observer determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as we describe in the next paragraph), Glacier Bay NP will immediately report the incident to the Division Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator. The report must include the same information identified in the paragraph above this section. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with Glacier Bay NP to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that Glacier Bay NP discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead visual observer determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the authorized activities (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), Glacier Bay NP will report the incident to the Division Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Regional Stranding Coordinator within 24 hours of the discovery. Glacier Bay NP personnel will provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to us. Glacier Bay NP can continue their survey activities while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident.

    Request for Public Comments

    NMFS requests comment on the analyses, the draft Authorization, and any other aspect of the Notice of Proposed Incidental Harassment Authorization for Glacier Bay NP's activities.

    Please include any supporting data or literature citations with your comments to help inform our final decision on Glacier Bay NP's request for an Authorization.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06673 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2016-0008] Request for Information Related to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Request for Comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is requesting information from its stakeholders regarding issues to be discussed in upcoming World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) meetings related to intellectual property, genetic resources, and associated traditional knowledge.

    DATES:

    Submission Deadline Date: To be ensured of consideration, submissions must be received on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written submissions should be sent by electronic mail over the Internet addressed to: [email protected] Submissions may also be submitted by postal mail addressed to: Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Karin Ferriter, Office of Policy and International Affairs. Although submissions may be sent by postal mail, the USPTO prefers to receive submissions by electronic mail message over the Internet because sharing submissions with the public is more easily accomplished.

    Electronic submissions are preferred to be formatted in plain text, but also may be submitted in ADOBE® portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD® format. Submissions not sent electronically should be on paper in a format that facilitates convenient digital scanning into ADOBE® portable document format.

    Timely filed submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of Policy and International Affairs, currently located in Madison West, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Submissions also will be available for viewing via the USPTO's Internet Web site (http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/patent-policy). Because submissions will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included. It would be helpful to the USPTO if written submissions include the following information: (1) The name and affiliation of the individual responding; and (2) an indication of whether submissions offered represent the views of the respondent's organization or are the respondent's personal views.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karin Ferriter, Attorney-Advisor (telephone (571) 272-9300; electronic mail message [email protected]) or Dominic Keating, Director, Intellectual Property Attaché Program (telephone (571) 272-9300; electronic mail message [email protected]), of the Office of Policy and International Affairs.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) will conduct its thirtieth session from May 30 to June 3, 2016. The United States will participate in that meeting.

    At the meeting, the IGC will continue a longstanding discussion as to whether WIPO members should require patent applicants to disclose the source or origin of traditional knowledge and genetic resources used in an invention, as well as practices to prevent the granting of patents for inventions that are not patentable. These discussions have included definitional issues, including the definitions of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. See http://www.wipo.int/tk/en/igc/ for more information. Such practices include searching publicly available databases of genetic resource information and traditional knowledge.

    The IGC decided to invite relevant parties to provide information that could aid the IGC in its deliberations. The USPTO welcomes comments from the public on issues related to these topics. Comments regard the issues below would be particularly helpful to the USPTO.

    • Currently, several resources are available which enable USPTO patent examiners to search prior art traditional knowledge and medicine, many of which are also available to the public,1 and some of which are available only to patent examiners through the USPTO Science and Technology Information Center.

    1See http://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/comments-public/traditional-knowledge-and-medicine-resources.

    ○ Are there additional databases with information about genetic resources and traditional knowledge that patent examiners should use to assess patentability?

    ○ What are the best practices for establishing such a database?

    ○ Before such a database is made publicly available, what steps should be taken to ensure that it does not include confidential information?

    ○ What studies have been done regarding national laws and practices that require patent applications to disclose the country of source or origin for genetic resources or traditional knowledge that may be implicated in the patent application?

    • The meeting is also expected to consider a wide range of views among IGC delegations as to whether the intellectual property system should play a role in ensuring that researchers obtain informed consent before obtaining genetic resources or traditional knowledge from indigenous peoples.

    ○ What codes of conduct (e.g., University or industry regarding research), practices (e.g., State park procedures to obtain prior informed consent), and laws (e.g., tribal laws regarding sharing of culture and granting prior informed consent) are relevant to the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge?

    ○ What studies have been done regarding national laws and practices requiring patent applications to disclose the country of source or origin for genetic resources or traditional knowledge?

    • At various times, different IGC delegations have referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    ○ How, if at all, should these Declarations inform the discussions at the IGC?

    Interested parties are invited to share their views on these matters. The information obtained can help ensure that the United States delegation has the most current views on relevant issues for discussion at the WIPO IGC meetings. Studies, citations of databases, codes of conduct, and laws that are provided in response to this notice may be collected and submitted to WIPO for compilation as part of the reference materials for the WIPO IGC.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Michelle K. Lee Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06681 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2016-HQ-0010] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to alter a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army proposes to alter a system of records, A0600-43 DAPE, entitled “DA Conscientious Objector Review Board”. This system is used to investigate claims of a service member that he/she is a conscientious objector to participation in war or to the bearing of arms and to make final determination resulting in assignment of appropriate status or awarding of discharge.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before April 25, 2016. This proposed action will be effective on the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Tracy Rogers, Department of the Army, Privacy Office, U.S. Army Records Management and Declassification Agency, 7701 Telegraph Road, Casey Building, Suite 144, Alexandria, VA 22325-3905 or by calling (703) 428-7499.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of the Army's 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 the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/. The proposed systems reports, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act, as amended, were submitted on March 18, 2016, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. A0600-43 DAPE System name:

    DA Conscientious Objector Review Board (February 14, 2000, 65 FR 7365)

    Changes: System location:

    Delete entry and replace with “Army Review Boards Agency, 251 18th Street South, Suite 385, Arlington, VA 22202-3531.”

    Categories of records in the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “Name, grade/rank, Social Security Number (SSN), duty status, results of interview evaluation by military chaplain and a psychiatrist, command's report of investigation, evidence submitted by applicant, witness statements, hearing transcript or summary, information or records from the Selective Service System if appropriate, applicant's rebuttal to commander's recommendation, DA Conscientious Objector Review Board (DACORB) correspondence with applicant, summary of evidence considered, discussion, conclusions, names of voting DACORB members, and disposition of application.”

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “10 U.S.C. 3013, Secretary of the Army; DoDI 1300.06, Conscientious Objectors; Army Regulation 600-43, Conscientious Objection; and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended.”

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    Delete entry and replace with “In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the records contained therein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To the Selective Service System Headquarters for the purpose of identifying individuals who have less than 180 days active duty, and who have been discharged by reason of conscientious objection.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Army's compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    The DOD Health Information Privacy Regulation (DOD 6025.18-R) issued pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, applies to most such health information. DOD 6025.18-R may place additional procedural requirements on the uses and disclosures of such information beyond those in the Privacy Act of 1974 or mentioned in this system of records notice.”

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Delete entry and replace with “Paper records and electronic storage media.”

    Retrievability:

    Delete entry and replace with “By applicant's name and SSN.”

    Safeguards:

    Delete entry and replace with “Records are maintained in a controlled facility. Physical entry is restricted by the use of locks, guards, and is accessible only to authorized personnel. Access to records is limited to person(s) with an official need-to-know who are responsible for servicing the record in the performance of their official duties. Access to computerized data is restricted by use of Common Access Cards (CACs) and is accessible only by users with an authorized account. Persons are properly screened and cleared for access. Access to computerized data is role-based and further restricted by passwords, which are changed periodically. In addition, the integrity of automated data is ensured by internal audit procedures, database access accounting reports, and controls to preclude unauthorized disclosure.”

    Notification procedure:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records may write to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Headquarters, Department of the Army, ATTN: DAPE-ZXI-IC (PA Officer), 300 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-0300.

    Individuals should provide their full name, SSN, current address, year of Conscientious Objector Review Board decision, and the request must be signed.

    In addition, the requester must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: `I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United State of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)'.

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: `I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)'.”

    Record access procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system of records may write to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Headquarters, Department of the Army, ATTN: DAPE-ZXI-IC (PA Officer), 300 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-0300.

    Individual should provide their full name, SSN, current address, and the request must be signed.

    In addition, the requester must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: `I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United State of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)'.

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: `I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature)'.”

    Contesting record procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “The Army's rules for accessing records, and for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are contained in 32 CFR part 505, Army Privacy Program or may be obtained from the system manager.”

    Record source categories:

    Delete entry and replace with “From the individual, his/her commander, and/or official records.”

    [FR Doc. 2016-06640 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2016-OS-0024] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the DFAS announces a proposed 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 23, 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 the Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Office of Financial Operations; Retired and Annuitant Pay Quality Product Assurance Division ATTN: Chuck Moss, Cleveland, OH 44199-2001, or call at (216) 204-4426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; And OMB Number: Age 18 Notice—Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Child Coverage; DD Form 2862; OMB Control Number 0730-XXXX.

    Needs And Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to identify a dependent child in the Defense Military Retired and Annuity Pay System to prevent overpayment to ineligible children.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 3,600.

    Number of Respondents: 14,400.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 14,400.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Notice is sent to Survivor Benefit Plan child beneficiaries when they are about to turn age 18. They need to indicate any future school attendance or if the child is incapacitated in order to determine continuing entitlement.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06634 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2016-OS-0026] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service announces a proposed 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 23, 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 the Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Office of Financial Operations; Retired and Annuitant Pay Quality Product Assurance Division ATTN: Chuck Moss, Cleveland, OH 44199-2001, or call at (216) 204-4426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) Beneficiary Designation; DD Form 2864; OMB Control Number 0730-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to determine the beneficiary(ies) of a deceased military member for entitlement and payment of authorized VSI benefits. This certification is required to identify the designated beneficiary(ies) of the member upon his or her death.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 24 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 96.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 96.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    The form is completed initially upon establishment of the VSI entitlement. If this designation needs to be changed, for various reasons, then another form DD 2864 will be completed.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06670 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Judicial Proceedings since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (“the Judicial Proceedings Panel” or “the Panel”). The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    A meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel will be held on Friday, April 8, 2016. The Public Session will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Julie Carson, Judicial Proceedings Panel, One Liberty Center, 875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203. Email: [email protected] Phone: (703) 693-3849. Web site: http://jpp.whs.mil.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This public meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: In Section 576(a)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), as amended, Congress tasked the Judicial Proceedings Panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of judicial proceedings conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) involving adult sexual assault and related offenses since the amendments made to the UCMJ by section 541 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. 112-81; 125 Stat. 1404), for the purpose of developing recommendations for improvements to such proceedings. At this meeting, the Panel will continue deliberations on military justice case data for sexual assault offenses for fiscal years 2012-2014, hear a staff briefing about sexual assault legislation and a report on a recent special victims' counsel training course, and assess trends in the development, utilization, and effectiveness of the special victims capabilities required by section 573 of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The Panel is interested in written and oral comments from the public, including non-governmental organizations, relevant to these issues or any of the Panel's tasks.

    Agenda 8:30-9:00: Administrative Work (41 CFR 102-3.160, not subject to notice & open meeting requirements) 9:00-10:00: Deliberations on Military Justice Case Data for Sexual Assault Offenses (Public Meeting Begins) 10:00-10:30: Informational Brief—Legislative Update and Report on the Army's SVC Course held in January 2016 10:30-12:00: Updates on the Special Victims' Counsel (Victims' Legal Counsel) Program 12:00-1:00: Lunch 1:00-2:00 MCIO Overview and Perspective of the SVIP Policies, Practices, and Procedures 2:00-3:00: JAG Prosecutor and Paralegal Overview and Perspective of the SVIP Policies, Practices, and Procedures 3:00-3:15: Break 3:15-4:15: Victim Witness Liaison Overview and Perspective of the SVIP Policies, Practices, and Procedures 4:15-4:30: Public Comment

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: A copy of the April 8, 2016 public meeting agenda or any updates or changes to the agenda, to include individual speakers not identified at the time of this notice, as well as other materials provided to Panel members for use at the public meeting, may be obtained at the meeting or from the Panel's Web site at http://jpp.whs.mil. In the event the Office of Personnel Management closed the government due to inclement weather or any other reason, please consult the Web site for any changes in the public meeting date or time.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis.

    Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact the Judicial Proceedings Panel at [email protected] at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Procedures for Providing Public Comments: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Panel about its mission and topics pertaining to this public session. Written comments must be received by the JPP at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date so that they may be made available to the Judicial Proceedings Panel for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments should be submitted via email to the Judicial Proceedings Panel at [email protected] in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Please note that since the Judicial Proceedings Panel operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection. If members of the public are interested in making an oral statement, a written statement must be submitted along with a request to provide an oral statement. Oral presentations by members of the public will be permitted from 4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 8, 2016 in front of the Panel members. The number of oral presentations to be made will depend on the number of requests received from members of the public on a first-come basis. After reviewing the requests for oral presentation, the Chairperson and the Designated Federal Officer will, if they determine the statement to be relevant to the Panel's mission, allot five minutes to persons desiring to make an oral presentation.

    Committee's Designated Federal Officer: The Panel's Designated Federal Officer is Ms. Maria Fried, Department of Defense, Office of the General Counsel, 1600 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B747, Washington, DC 20301-1600.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06602 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2016-OS-0025] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the DFAS announces a proposed 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 23, 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 the Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Office of Financial Operations; Retired and Annuitant Pay Quality Product Assurance Division ATTN: Chuck Moss, Cleveland, OH 44199-2001, or call at (216) 204-4426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Authorization for Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) and/or Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Cost Deduction; DD Form 2891; OMB Control Number 0730-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to obtain the military member's authorization to deduct the costs for either RSFPP and/or SBP from the member's Department of Veteran Affairs monthly compensation or pension payments.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 15.

    Number of Respondents: 30.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 30.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    This form is completed by the retiree and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) whenever the retired member elects to have costs deducted from his DVA benefits.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06637 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy and are available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patents are available for licensing: Patent No. 8,911,145: METHOD TO MEASURE THE CHARACTERISTICS IN AN ELECTRICAL COMPONENT//Patent No. 8,336,054: HAND LAUNCHABLE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE//Patent No. 8,855,961: BINARY DEFINTION FILES//Patent No. 8,904,934: SEGMENTED LINEAR SHAPED CHARGE//Patent No. 9,081,409: EVENT DETECTION CONTROL SYSTEM FOR OPERATING A REMOTE SENSOR OR PROJECTILE SYSTEM//Patent No. 8,977,507: EVENT DETECTION SYSTEM USER INTERFACE SYSTEM COUPLED TO MULTIPLE SESNOR OR PROJECTILE SYSTEMS//Patent No. 8,905,282 ACCESSORY MOUNTING APPARATUS FOR A VEHICLE//Patent No. 9,083,078 UNIVERSAL ANTENNA MOUNTING BRACKET//Patent No. 8,967,049 SOLID LINED FABRIC AND A METHOD FOR MAKING//Patent No. 8,850,950 HELICOPTER WEAPON MOUNTING SYSTEM.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patents cited should be directed to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, telephone 812-854-4100.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06653 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0031] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Federal Perkins Loan Program Regulations 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 23, 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-0031. 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-105, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    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: Federal Perkins Loan Program Regulations.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0023.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector; Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 8,217,172.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 149,369.

    Abstract: Institutions of higher education make Federal Perkins loans. This information is necessary in order to monitor a school's due diligence in its contact with the borrower regarding repayment, billing and collections, reimbursement to its Perkins loan revolving fund, rehabilitation of defaulted loans as well as institutions use of third party collections. There has been no change to the regulations. This is a request for revision of the current approval of reporting and record-keeping requirements contained in the regulations related to the administrative requirements of the Perkins Loan Program. We are requesting a revision of the current collection due to errors in previous burden calculations.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06589 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Hanford AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Hanford. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Thursday, April 14, 2016, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Red Lion Hanford House, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Holmes, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy Richland Operations Office, 825 Jadwin Avenue, P.O. Box 550, A7-75, Richland, WA 99352; Phone: (509) 376-5803; or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Potential Draft Advice 2018 Hanford Cleanup Priorities • Discussion Topics Tri-Party Agreement Agencies' Updates Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) Committee Reports Safety Culture Presentation Waste Treatment Plant Communication Approach HAB Leadership Workshop Overview Board Business

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The EM SSAB, Hanford, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Kristen Holmes at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Kristen Holmes at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Kristen Holmes's office at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.hanford.gov/page.cfm/hab.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on March 18, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06656 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket Nos. 14-111-NG; et al.] Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, To Vacate Authorization, and To Dismiss Application During February 2016 FE Docket Nos. NUTRECO CANADA INC 14-111-NG FORTUNA (US) L.P 14-146-NG PIERIDAE ENERGY (USA) LTD 14-179-LNG BEAR HEAD LNG CORPORATION AND BEAR HEAD LNG (USA), LLC 15-14-LNG BEAR HEAD LNG CORPORATION AND BEAR HEAD LNG (USA), LLC 15-33-LNG CONSOLIDATED EDISON ENERGY, INC 15-186-NG BROOKFIELD ENERGY MARKETING LP 16-03-NG PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY 16-07-NG CENTRAL LOMAS DE REAL, S.A. DE C.V 16-06-NG GOLDEN PASS LNG TERMINAL LLC 16-08-NG CONOCOPHILLIPS ALASKA NATURAL GAS CORPORATION 15-149-LNG NOCO ENERGY CORP 16-09-NG SHELL NA LNG LLC 16-10-LNG SHELL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA (US), L.P 16-11-NG EXCELERATE ENERGY L.P 16-12-NG NEW WORLD GLOBAL LLC 16-16-LNG CNE GAS SUPPLY, LLC 16-14-NG CONSTELLATION ENERGY GAS CHOICE, INC 16-13-NG AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during February 2016, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), to vacate authority, and to dismiss applications. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://energy.gov/fe/listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-issued-2016.

    They are also available for inspection and copying in the U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Division of Natural Gas Regulation, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Docket Room 3E-033, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478. The Docket Room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 18, 2016. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas. Appendix—DOE/FE Orders Granting Import/Export Authorizations 3488-A 02/25/16 14-111-NG Nutreco Canada Inc. Order 3488-A vacating blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3531-A 02/25/16 14-146-NG Fortuna (US) L.P. Order 3531-A vacating blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3768 02/05/16 14-179-LNG Pieridae Energy (USA) Ltd. (NFTA) Order 3768 granting long-term, multi-contract authority to export U.S.-Sourced natural gas by pipeline to Canada for liquefaction and re-export in the form of LNG to Non-FTA countries. 3769 02/05/16 15-14-LNG Bear Head LNG Corporation and Bear Head LNG (USA), LLC Order 3769 dismissing application for In-Transit shipments of Canadian-Sourced natural gas and directing submission of information concerning In-Transit shipments returning to the country of origin. 3770 02/05/16 15-33-LNG Bear Head LNG Corporation and Bear Head LNG (USA), LLC Order 3768 granting long-term, multi-contract authority to export U.S.-Sourced natural gas by pipeline to Canada for liquefaction and re-export in the form of LNG to Non-FTA countries. 3774 02/04/16 15-186-NG Consolidated Edison Energy, Inc Order 3774 granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3780 02/02/16 16-03-NG Brookfield Energy Marketing LP Order 3780 granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3781 02/02/16 16-07-NG Phillips 66 Company Order 3781 granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3782 02/02/16 16-06-NG Central Lomas de Real, S.A. de C.V Order 3782 granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3783 02/02/16 16-08-NG Golden Pass LNG Terminal LLC Order 3783 granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3784 02/08/16 15-149-LNG ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corporation Order 3784 granting blanket authority to export LNG by vessel from the Kenai LNG Facility near Kenai, Alaska, and vacating prior authority in Order 3418. 3785 02/25/16 16-09-NG NOCO Energy Corp Order 3785 granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3786 02/25/16 16-10-LNG Shell NA LNG LLC Order 3786 granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3787 02/25/16 16-11-NG Shell Energy North America (US), L.P Order 3787 granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3788 02/25/16 16-12-NG Excelerate Energy L.P Order 3788 granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3789 02/25/16 16-16-LNG New World Global LLC Order 3789 granting blanket authority to export LNG to Mexico by truck. 3790 02/25/16 16-14-NG CNE Gas Supply, LLC Order 3790 granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada/Mexico. 3791 02/25/16 16-13-NG Constellation Energy Gas Choice, Inc Order 3791 granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06662 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9944-20-Region 2] New York State Prohibition of Discharges of Vessel Sewage; Notice of Proposed Determination AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed determination.

    SUMMARY:

    By petition dated September 20, 2012 and submitted pursuant to 33 CFR 1322(f)(3) and 40 CFR 140.4(a), the State of New York certified that the protection and enhancement of the waters of the New York State portion of the St. Lawrence River and the numerous navigable tributaries, harbors and embayments thereof, requires greater environmental protection than the applicable Federal standards provide, and petitioned the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 2, for a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for those waters, so that the State may completely prohibit the discharge from all vessels of any sewage, whether treated or not, into such waters. On April 22, 2013, the EPA requested additional information regarding the population of commercial vessels using the subject waters and the availability of options for sewage removal from those vessels. Upon consideration of the petition, and subsequently obtained information regarding commercial vessels that has been made part of the administrative record, the EPA proposes to make the requested determination and hereby invites the public to comment.

    DATES:

    Comments relevant to this proposed determination are due by April 25, 2016.

    Petition: To receive a copy of the petition and/or any other part of the administrative record, please contact Moses Chang at 212 637 3867 or email at [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]. Include “Comments on Proposed Determination on New York State portion of St. Lawrence River NDZ Petition” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail and Hand Delivery/Courier: Moses Chang, U.S. EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866. Deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays), and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Moses Chang, (212) 637-3867, Email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Proposed No Discharge Zone: The proposed Vessel Waste No Discharge Zone (NDZ) for the New York State portion of the St. Lawrence River includes the waters of the River within the New York State boundary, stretching from its southwestern boundary at Tibbetts Point, where the river meets Lake Ontario, to its northeastern boundary at the St. Lawrence-Franklin County Line, near Akwesasne, New York.1 The proposed NDZ encompasses approximately 112 miles of river and shoreline, and the numerous navigable tributaries, harbors, and embayments of the River—including, but not limited to, the New York State portions of the Raquette River, the Grass River, Brandy Brook, Sucker Brook, Whitehouse Bay, Oswegatchie River, Morristown Bay, Blind Bay, Chippewa Creek, Chippewa Bay, Crooked Creek, Goose Bay, Lake of the Isles, Eel Bay, South Bay, Carnegie Bay, Greens Creek, Otter Creek, Swan Bay, Spicer Bay, Carrier Bay, French Creek Bay, Sawmill Bay, Sand Bay, Dodge Bay, Millen Bay, Peos Bay and Grass Bay—and other formally designated habitats and waterways of local, state and national significance.

    1 New York State's petition proposes to establish a NDZ that extends, in the northeast, to the U.S.-Canadian border. However, New York State's jurisdiction over waters of the St. Lawrence River ends, in the northeast, at the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation border at the St. Lawrence-Franklin county line. Therefore, New York State does not have the authority under the Clean Water Act to establish a NDZ for the 2.9 miles of the St. Lawrence River that lie within the United States, between the St. Lawrence-Franklin county line and the U.S.-Canadian border. Accordingly, this tentative determination only regards the approximately 112 miles of the St. Lawrence River over which New York State has jurisdiction.

    Certification of Need: New York's petition contains a certification by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) that the protection and enhancement of the New York State portion of the St. Lawrence River and the numerous navigable tributaries, harbors and embayments thereof, requires greater environmental protection than the applicable Federal standards provide. The certification states that the subject waters are of unique ecological, economic and public health significance, and that pathogens and chemicals contained in the currently-lawful effluent from discharging marine sanitation devices (MSDs) threaten public health and the environment and contravene the State's ongoing efforts to control point and non-point source pollution from, among other things, municipal discharges, combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff.

    In support of the certification, the Commissioner notes that the St. Lawrence River supports a diversity of uses, including providing drinking water for approximately 17,000 people in New York, valuable wildlife habitat, a commercial shipping corridor, recreational boating and numerous sites for aquatic recreation. The River serves as an economic engine for the region, and is heavily used and enjoyed by the citizens of the many lakeshore communities and throughout the watershed. The River is also home to the Thousand Islands Region, an international tourism destination encompassing communities on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border along the River and the eastern shores of Lake Ontario. While New York acknowledges that a No Discharge Zone designation alone will not obviate the need for other water quality improvement efforts, a NDZ for the St. Lawrence River would complement the benefits of the State's other efforts to protect and improve water quality in the River.

    Adequacy of Sewage Removal and Treatment Facilities: In determining whether adequate facilities exist for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels using a water body, the EPA relies on the “Clean Vessel Act: Pumpout Station and Dump Station Technical Guidelines,” (CVA Guidelines) published by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which provides that at least one pumpout station should be provided for every 300 to 600 vessels over 16 feet in length. See 59 FR 11297. The guidelines also provide that approximately 20% of vessels between 16 and 26 feet, 50% of vessels between 26 and 40 feet and all vessels over 40 feet in length can be assumed to have an installed toilet with some type of Marine Sanitation Device (MSD). Vessels below 16 feet in length are generally presumed not to have an MSD onboard.

    Estimated Recreational Vessel Population

    There is no single definitive source of information on the number of vessels, or vessels with MSDs, that frequent the St. Lawrence River. The number and distribution fluctuates depending on the time of year, day of the week, weather conditions and special events. In order to develop a reasonable estimate of recreational vessel population, New York relied on two major sources of information. The first was the New York Department of State's (DOS's) Clean Vessel Act Plan (“Statewide Plan”), released in 1996. The purpose of the plan was to characterize pumpout adequacy across New York State. From August 1994 to July 1995, DOS surveyed municipalities to assess the availability of public sewage pumpout facilities. Many private marina operators were also contacted. Private pumpouts and dump stations were initially estimated from the NYSDEC and New York Sea Grant boating guides, augmented with information on vessel registration, aerial photographs of peak season use and local plans and studies. Using data from the Statewide Plan, the estimated number of recreational vessels in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, which border the St. Lawrence River, is a total of 3,775 vessels (3,170 and 605, respectively).

    The second, and more recent, source for information about the recreational vessel population in the proposed NDZ is the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation's 2012 Boating Report (OPRHP Report) for the counties of Jefferson and St. Lawrence, which encompass the proposed NDZ. The OPRHP Report provides a breakdown of the of the vessel registrations by vessel length for each county. Applying the CVA Guidelines, above, on the relationship between vessel length and MSDs to the data in the OPRHP Report yields an estimate of 2,611 vessels with MSDs registered in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, all of which, conservatively, were assumed to operate on the St. Lawrence River.

    Available Pumpout Facilities to Recreational Vessels

    The federal Clean Vessel Act of 1992 made grants available to states for construction, replacement and renovation of recreational vessel pumpouts. The NYSDEC applied for the first federal grant in 1994 and initiated a statewide program known as the Clean Vessel Assistance Program (CVAP), managed and administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYSEFC). The NYSEFC provides three distinct grant programs: CVAP Construction Grants (for new installations or replacement), CVAP Upgrade Grants (for improvements to existing pumpouts) and CVAP Operation & Maintenance Grants (for annual upkeep of pumpouts). The NYSEFC also provides funding for information and education on the benefits, use and availability of pumpouts. New York's petition listed 22 currently operating stationary CVAP pumpout facilities that serve the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties in the state, but the EPA's review has determined the number to be 21. These facilities are summarized in Table 1, below.

    Ratio of Pumpout Facilities-to-Recreational Vessels

    In calculating the ratio of pumpout facilities-to-vessels, only CVAP-funded facilities were considered. (If all pumpout facilities (CVAP and non-CVAP) are considered, the ratios would show even greater coverage.) This calculation shows that overall, within the proposed St. Lawrence River NDZ, there are an adequate number of stationary pumpout facilities to support the proposed NDZ, with a pumpout-to-vessel ratio as high as 1:180 (using the estimate of 3,775 vessels from the 1996 CVAP Statewide Plan) and as low as 1:119 (using the estimate of 2,611 registered vessels from the 2012 OPRHP Report). By either of the methods discussed above, there are currently sufficient pumpout facilities to meet the upper/maximum 1:600 ratio, and both ratios fall well below the lower/minimum 1:300 ratio used to determine adequacy of pumpout facilities.

    Adequacy of Available Pumpout Facilities to Commercial Vessels

    Commercial vessel populations were estimated using data from the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse (NBIC), which records ballast water discharge reports for ships arriving at the two main commercial ports on the St. Lawrence River (U.S. side)—Ogdensburg and Massena. In calendar year 2011, ballast manifests showed eight vessels arriving in Ogdensburg and one in Massena. These vessels were either bulkers or passenger cruise ships. Most passenger cruise ships using ports in the proposed NDZ are smaller, chartered site-seeing boats, but this commercial traffic also includes two cruise passenger vessels (the St. Laurent and Pearl Mist), which can hold 200 to 300 passengers each. In calendar year 2010, there were four commercial arrivals at Ogdensburg and seven at Massena. Overall, at both ports combined, annual commercial traffic averages approximately one vessel per month. While other commercial vessels move through the proposed NDZ, they do not stop at the main commercial ports.

    Commercial vessels in the proposed NDZ that are too large to use a CVAP stationary pumpout facility may dock at either commercial port, and call a mobile septic waste hauler (pumpout truck) to meet the vessel and provide pumpout services at the dock. There are at least four mobile septic waste hauling companies with trucks that have the capacity to pumpout and transfer a combined total of 36,400 gallons of sewage to a local sewage treatment plant. Based on the low level of commercial vessel traffic using the ports in the proposed NDZ, and the transience of these vessels, the availability of four septic hauler pumpout truck companies provides adequate pumpout capacity for commercial vessels. These services are summarized in Table 2, below.

    Table 1—List of Stationary Sewage Pumpout Facilities Serving Vessels in the Proposed St. Lawrence River No Discharge Zone Number Marina name Location
  • lat./long.
  • Contact information * Days and hours of operation Water depth (feet) Fee
    1 Navy Point Marina Black River Bay, 43.950172/−76.120633 315-646-3364, VHF-Channel 9 May 1-November 30, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m 10 $0.00 2 Kitto's Marina Chaumont Bay, 44.003881/−76.171825 315-639-6043, 315-639-6922 April-October 15, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m 7 5.00 3 Henchen Marina Henderson Bay and Harbor, 43.862222/−76.202500 315-345-4294, VHF-Channel 16 April 1-October 31, 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m 8 10.00 4 Village of Morristown—Bayside Park Morristown Bay, 44.585944/−75.650281 315-375-8822 May 1-October 30, Dawn to Dusk 6 5.00 5 Spicer Marina Basin Spicer Bay, 44.255990/−76.036610 315-686-3141, VHF-Channel 16 May 1-October 15, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m 8 5.00 6 Northern Marine, Inc. Spicer Bay, 44.257500/−76.035833 315-686-4398, VHF-Channel 16 April 1-September 30, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m 8 5.00 7 French Bay French Creek Bay, 44.234444/−76.090833 315-686-5574, VHF-Channel 16 April 1-November 15, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m 8 3.00 8 Madison Barracks Marina Black River Bay, 43.953333/−76.113333 315-646-3374 May 15-October 15, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m 10 0.00 9 French Creek Marina—North French Creek Bay, 44.235160/−76.089050 315-686-3621, VHF-Channel 16 April 15-October 15, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m 8 2.00 10 French Creek Marina—South French Creek Bay, 44.232689/−76.086183 315-686-3621, VHF-Channel 16 April 15-October 15, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m 4 2.00 11 Harbor's End, Inc. Henderson Bay and Harbor, 43.849083/−76.210714 315-938-5425, VHF-Channel 67 April 1-November 1, 8:00 a.m.—4:30 p.m 4.5 5.00 12 Chaumont Yacht Club Black River Bay, 44.063200/−76.131360 315-523-5055 April 15-November 1, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m 6.5′-7 0.00 13 Bonnie Castle Yacht Basin Alexandria Bay, 44.342780/−75.911980 315-482-2526, VHF-Channel 16 May15-October 15, 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m 5′-6 5.00 14 Hutchinson's Boat Works, Inc. Alexandria Bay, 44.334053/−75.920244 315-482-9931 April-October, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m 6 0.00 15 RJ Marine Associates, Ltd. French Creek Bay, 44.239989/−76.090391 315-686-9805 April-October, 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m 11 15.00 16 City of Ogdensburg Ogdensburg 44.700478/−75.495156 315-393-1980, VHF-Channel 16 May 1-October 15, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m 11 5.00 17 Cedar Point State Park Alexandria Bay, 44.204810/−76.196740 315-654-2522, VHF-Channel 16 Memorial Day to Labor Day, 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m 3 to 4 5.00 18 Village of Waddington—Island View Park Lisbon-Waddington, 44.865264/−75.206024 315-388-5534
  • None
  • April-November, 24 Hours 3-4 5.00
    19 Millens Bay Marina Cape Vincent, 44.171790/−76.244780 315-654-2174, VHF-Channel 16 April-November, 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m 8 5.00 20 Village of Waddington—Whitaker Park Dock St. Lawrence River, 44.867821/−75.193852 315-388-5534
  • None
  • April-November, 24 Hours 8 5.00
    21 Blind Bay Marina Corp. Chippewa Bay, 44.477440/−75.776520 315-322-3762
  • None
  • May 15-September 15, 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m 5 5.00
    * Please note that the actual days of operation depend on the weather.
    Table 2—List of Mobile Sewage Pumpout Services Serving Vessels in the Proposed St. Lawrence River No Discharge Zone Number Name of company Location and contact information Number of sewage hauler pumpout trucks/holding capacity Days and hours of operation Hose fittings & length (feet) Truck serves the port area Estimated fee/cost per 1,000 gal 1 Pomerville's Septic Service 27440 Ridge Road, Watertown, NY 13601, Tel. 315-782-6056 2 trucks—1 × 4,600 gal and 1 × 2,500 gal Mon-Fri, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; or by appointment Flexible up to 250 ft Yes $225 2 Gleason's Septic Service Route 3, Black River, NY 13612, Tel. 315-773-4135 3 trucks—2 × 2,500 gal and 1 × 4,400 gal Mon-Fri, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; or by appointment Flexible up to 175 ft Yes 250 3 Bach & Co 11176 County Road 9, Clayton, NY 13624, Tel. 315-686-3083 1 truck × 1,500 gal Mon-Fri, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; or by appointment Flexible up to 100 ft Yes 250 4 Gilco Trucking Co 20892 NYS Route 411, P.O. Box 112, LaFargeville, NY 13656, Tel. 315-658-9916 2 trucks × 9,200 gal Mon-Fri, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; or by appointment Flexible up to 250 ft Yes NA

    Based on a total recreational vessel population of 3,775 and 21 currently available pumpout facilities, the ratio of vessels to pumpouts is 180:1, which means there are significantly more pumpouts than the recommended range of 300-600:1. Also, based on the low level of commercial vessel traffic (approximately one vessel per month) at the two St. Lawrence River commercial ports and the transience of these vessels, the availability of four septic hauler pumpout truck companies provides adequate pumpout capacity for vessels that are too large to use the stationary pumpout facilities. Therefore, the EPA proposes to issue a determination that adequate pumpout facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage for all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of the New York portion of the St. Lawrence River.

    A 30-day period for public comment has been opened on this matter and the EPA invites any comments relevant to its proposed determination. If, after the public comment period ends, the EPA makes a final determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of the New York State portion of the St. Lawrence River, the State may completely prohibit the discharge from all vessels of any sewage, whether treated or not, into such waters.

    Dated: March 4, 2016. Judith A. Enck, Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06701 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OARM-2016-0210; FRL 9944-18-OA] National and Governmental Advisory Committees to the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives notice of a meeting of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to the U.S. Representative to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The National and Governmental Advisory Committees advise the EPA Administrator in her capacity as the U.S. Representative to the CEC Council. The committees are authorized under Articles 17 and 18 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Public Law 103-182, and as directed by Executive Order 12915, entitled “Federal Implementation of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.” The NAC is composed of 15 members representing academia, environmental non-governmental organizations, and private industry. The GAC consists of 14 members representing state, local, and tribal governments. The committees are responsible for providing advice to the U.S. Representative on a wide range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, and economic issues related to implementation and further elaboration of the NAAEC.

    The purpose of the meeting is to provide advice on issues related to the CEC's 2016 Council Session theme and to discuss additional trade and environment issues in North America. The meeting will also include a public comment session. The agenda, meeting materials, and general information about the NAC and GAC will be available at http://www2.epa.gov/faca/nac-gac.

    DATES:

    The National and Governmental Advisory Committees will hold an open meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. EPA, Conference Room 2138, located in the William Jefferson Clinton South Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. Telephone: 202-564-2294. The meeting is open to the public, with limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Oscar Carrillo, Designated Federal Officer, [email protected], 202-564-0347, U.S. EPA, Office of Diversity, Advisory Committee Management and Outreach (1601-M), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Requests to make oral comments, or provide written comments to the NAC/GAC should be sent to Oscar Carrillo at [email protected] by Friday, April 8, 2016. The meeting is open to the public, with limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public wishing to participate in the teleconference should contact Oscar Carrillo at [email protected] or (202) 564-0347 by April 8, 2016.

    Meeting Access: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Oscar Carrillo at 202-564-0347 or [email protected] To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Oscar Carrillo, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: March 14, 2016. Oscar Carrillo, Designated Federal Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06700 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0016] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before May 23, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0016.

    Title: FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule C (Former FCC Form 346); Sections 74.793(d) and 74.787, LPTV Out-of-Core Digital Displacement Application; Section 73.3700(g)(1)-(3), Post-Incentive Auction Licensing and Operations; Section 74.800, Low Power Television and TV Translator Channel Sharing.

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule C.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,450 respondents and 4,450 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5-7 hours (total of 9.5 hours).

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement; on occasion reporting requirement; third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Section 154(i), 303, 307, 308 and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 42,275 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $24,688,600.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

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

    Needs and Uses: On December 17, 2015, the Commission adopted the Third Report and Order and Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, In the Matter of Amendment of Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission's Rules to Establish Rules for Digital Low Power Television Translator, and Television Booster Stations and to Amend Rules for Digital Class A Television Stations, MB Docket No. 03-185, FCC 15-175 (“LPTV Digital Third Report and Order and Fourth Notice”). This document approved channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations as well as created a new digital-to-digital replacement translator.

    There are changes to FCC Form 2100, Schedule C to implement channel sharing between low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations. There are also changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs for the collection.

    47 CFR 74.800 permits LPTV and TV translator stations to seek approval to share a single television channel. Stations interested in terminating operations and sharing another station's channel must submit FCC Form 2100 Schedule C in order to have the channel sharing arrangement approved. If the sharing station is proposing to make changes to its facility to accommodate the channel sharing, it must also file FCC Form 2100 Schedule C.

    47 CFR 74.787 permits full power television stations to obtain a digital-to-digital replacement translator to replace service areas lost as a result of the incentive auction and repacking processes. Stations submit FCC Form 2100 Schedule C to obtain a construction permit for the new replacement translator.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06684 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] `BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (3064-0169) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, 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 the renewal of an existing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Currently, the FDIC is soliciting comment on the renewal of the information collection described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Gary A. Kuiper (202.898.3877), Counsel, MB-3016 or Manuel E. Cabeza (202.898.3767), Counsel MB-3105, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary Kuiper or Manuel Cabeza, at the FDIC address above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently-approved collection of information:

    Title: Qualifications for Failed Bank Acquisitions.

    OMB Number: 3064-0169.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Affected Public: Private sector and insured state nonmember banks and savings associations.

    Burden Estimate:

    Number of
  • respondents
  • Average hours per response Responses per year Total hours
    Investor Reports on Affiliates (reporting burden) 20 2 12 480 Maintenance of Business Books (record keeping burden) 5 2 4 40 Disclosures Regarding Investors and Entities in Ownership Chain (reporting burden) 20 4 4 >320 Total Burden Hours 840

    General Description: The FDIC's policy statement on Qualifications for Failed Bank Acquisitions provides guidance to private capital investors interested in acquiring or investing in failed insured depository institutions regarding the terms and conditions for such investments or acquisitions. The information collected pursuant to the policy statement allows the FDIC to evaluate, among other things, whether such investors (and their related interests) could negatively impact the Deposit Insurance Fund, increase resolution costs, or operate in a manner that conflict with statutory safety and soundness principles and compliance requirements.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 21st day of March 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06648 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY [No. 2016-N-03] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    30-day Notice of Submission of Information Collection for Approval from Office of Management and Budget.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA or the Agency) is seeking public comments concerning the information collection known as the “American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers” (in a prior PRA Notice, this information collection was referred to as the “National Survey of Existing Mortgage Borrowers”). This is a new collection that has not yet been assigned a control number by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). FHFA intends to submit the information collection to OMB for review and approval of a three-year control number.

    DATES:

    Interested persons may submit comments on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Washington, DC 20503, Fax: (202) 395-3047, Email: [email protected] Please also submit comments to FHFA, identified by “Proposed Collection; Comment Request: `American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, (No. 2016-N-03)' ” by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the Agency.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219, ATTENTION: Proposed Collection; Comment Request: “American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, (No. 2016-N-03)”.

    We will post all public comments we receive without change, including any personal information you provide, such as your name and address, email address, and telephone number, on the FHFA Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov. In addition, copies of all comments received will be available for examination by the public on business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. To make an appointment to inspect comments, please call the Office of General Counsel at (202) 649-3804.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Forrest Pafenberg, Supervisory Policy Analyst, Office of the Chief Operating Officer, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 649-3129; or Eric Raudenbush, Assistant General Counsel, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 649-3084, (these are not toll-free numbers), Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The Telecommunications Device for the Deaf is (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Need For and Use of the Information Collection

    FHFA is seeking OMB clearance under the PRA for a new collection of information known as the “American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers” (ASMB).1 The ASMB will be a periodic, voluntary survey of individuals who currently have a first mortgage loan secured by single-family residential property. The survey questionnaire will consist of approximately 90 questions designed to learn directly from mortgage borrowers about their mortgage experience, any challenges they may have had in maintaining their mortgage and, where applicable, terminating a mortgage. It will request specific information on: The mortgage; the mortgaged property; the borrower's experience with the loan servicer; and the borrower's financial resources and financial knowledge. FHFA is also seeking clearance to pretest the survey questionnaire and related materials from time to time through the use of focus groups. A draft of the survey questionnaire appears at the end of this notice.

    1 In the initial PRA Notice published in the Federal Register for this information collection, the survey was referred to as the “National Survey of Existing Mortgage Borrowers.” See 80 FR 69664 (Nov. 10, 2015).

    The ASMB will be a component of the larger “National Mortgage Database” (NMDB) Project, which is a multi-year joint effort of FHFA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (although the ASMB is being sponsored only by FHFA). The NMDB Project is designed to satisfy the Congressionally-mandated requirements of section 1324(c) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.2 Section 1324(c) requires that FHFA conduct a monthly survey to collect data on the characteristics of individual prime and subprime mortgages, and on the borrowers and properties associated with those mortgages, in order to enable it to prepare a detailed annual report on the mortgage market activities of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for review by the appropriate Congressional oversight committees. Section 1324(c) also authorizes and requires FHFA to compile a database of timely and otherwise unavailable residential mortgage market information to be made available to the public.

    2 12 U.S.C. 4544(c).

    In order to fulfill those and other statutory mandates, as well as to support policymaking and research efforts, FHFA and CFPB committed in July 2012 to fund, build and manage the NMDB Project. When fully complete, the NMDB will be a de-identified loan-level database of closed-end first-lien residential mortgages. It will: (1) Be representative of the market as a whole; (2) contain detailed, loan-level information on the terms and performance of mortgages, as well as characteristics of the associated borrowers and properties; (3) be continually updated; (4) have an historical component dating back before the financial crisis of 2008; and (5) provide a sampling frame for surveys to collect additional information.

    The core data in the NMDB are drawn from a random 1-in-20 sample of all closed-end first-lien mortgage files outstanding at any time between January 1998 and the present in the files of Experian, one of the three national credit repositories. A random 1-in-20 sample of mortgages newly reported to Experian is added each quarter. The NMDB also draws information on mortgages in the NMDB datasets from other existing sources, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database that is maintained by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), property valuation models, and data files maintained by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and by federal agencies. Currently, FHFA obtains additional data from its quarterly National Survey of Mortgage Borrowers (NSMB), which provides critical and timely information on newly-originated mortgages and those borrowing that are not available from any existing source, including: The range of nontraditional and subprime mortgage products being offered, the methods by which these mortgages are being marketed, and the characteristics of borrowers for these types of loans.3

    3 OMB has cleared the NSMB under the PRA and assigned it control no. 2590-0012. The current OMB clearance expires on December 31, 2016.

    While the quarterly NSMB provides information on newly-originated mortgages, it does not solicit borrowers' experience with maintaining their existing mortgages; nor is detailed information on that topic available from any other existing source. The ASMB will solicit such information, including information on borrowers' experience with maintaining a mortgage under financial stress, their experience in soliciting financial assistance, their success in accessing federally-sponsored programs designed to assist them, and, where applicable, any challenges they may have had in terminating a mortgage loan. The ASMB questionnaire will be sent out to a stratified random sample of 10,000 borrowers in the NMDB. The ASMB assumes a 25 percent overall response rate, which would yield 2,500 survey responses.

    The information collected through the ASMB questionnaire will be used, in combination with information obtained from existing sources in the NMDB, to assist FHFA in understanding how the performance of existing mortgages is influencing the residential mortgage market, what different borrower groups are discussing with their servicers when they are under financial stress, and consumers' opinions of federally-sponsored programs designed to assist them. This important, but currently unavailable, information will assist the Agency in the supervision of its regulated entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks) and in the development and implementation of appropriate and effective policies and programs. The information may also be used for research and analysis by other federal agencies that have regulatory and supervisory responsibilities/mandates related to mortgage markets and to provide a resource for research and analysis by academics and other interested parties outside of the government.

    FHFA expects that, in the process of developing the initial and any subsequent ASMB survey questionnaires and related materials, it will sponsor one or more focus groups to pretest those materials. Such pretesting will ultimately help to ensure that the survey respondents can and will answer the survey questions and will provide useful data on their experiences with maintaining their existing mortgages. FHFA will use information collected through the focus groups to assist in drafting and modifying the survey questions and instructions, as well as the related communications, to read in the way that will be most readily understood by the survey respondents and that will be most likely to elicit usable responses. Such information will also be used to help the Agency decide on how best to organize and format the survey questionnaire.

    B. Burden Estimate

    While FHFA currently has firm plans to conduct the survey only once—in the second quarter of 2016—it may decide to conduct further periodic ASMB surveys once the first survey is completed. The Agency therefore estimates that the survey will be conducted, on average, once annually over the next three years and that it will conduct pre-testing on each set of annual survey materials. FHFA has analyzed the hour burden on members of the public associated with conducting the survey (5,000 hours) and with pre-testing the survey materials (24 hours) and estimates the total annual hour burden imposed on the public by this information collection to be 5,024 hours. The estimate for each phase of the collection was calculated as follows:

    I. Conducting the Survey

    FHFA estimates that the ASMB questionnaire will be sent to 10,000 recipients each time it is conducted. Although the Agency expects only 2,500 of those surveys to be returned, it assumes that all of the surveys will be returned for purposes of this burden calculation. Based on the reported experience of respondents to the quarterly NSMB questionnaire, which contains a similar number of questions, FHFA estimates that it will take each respondent 30 minutes to complete each survey, including the gathering of necessary materials to respond to the questions. This results in a total annual burden estimate of 5,000 hours for the survey phase of this collection (1 survey per year × 10,000 respondents per survey × 30 minutes per respondent = 5,000 hours).

    II. Pre-Testing the Materials

    FHFA estimates that it will sponsor two focus groups prior to conducting each survey, with 12 participants in each focus group, for a total of 24 focus group participants. It estimates the participation time for each focus group participant to be one hour, resulting in a total annual burden estimate of 24 hours for the pre-testing phase of the collection (2 focus groups per year × 12 participants in each group × 1 hour per participant = 24 hours).

    C. Comment Request Comments Received in Response to the Initial Notice

    In accordance with the requirements of 5 CFR 1320.8(d), FHFA published a request for public comments regarding this information collection in the Federal Register on November 10, 2015.4 The 60-day comment period closed on January 11, 2016. FHFA received two comment letters—one from an individual and one from a group of trade associations representing various constituencies in the financial services industry. The letter from the individual was not responsive to any of the questions in the notice and contained no comments relating to the ASMB, the NMBD Project, or any issues arising under the PRA.

    4See 80 FR 69664 (Nov. 10, 2015).

    The trade associations' letter raised two issues that are relevant to the compliance of the ASMB with the PRA. First, the trade associations asserted that the information FHFA seeks to collect through the ASMB is, or could soon be, available from other sources and urged the Agency “to again review existing surveys and data collection efforts to identify redundancies.” The letter cites numerous existing sources of quantitative data about mortgage borrowers, loan terms, mortgaged properties and the origination and maintenance of first lien mortgages. However, most of the data sources cited are those from which the NMDB has drawn the bulk of its existing data. None of those sources (nor any other sources of which FHFA is aware) provide the type of qualitative information regarding borrowers' experience with maintaining a mortgage or their interactions with mortgage servicers that FHFA seeks to obtain through this information collection.

    Second, noting that the draft ASMB questionnaire published with the initial PRA Notice in the Federal Register was not the final version of the survey instrument, the trade associations urged FHFA “to solicit additional public input on the substance of the survey when it is complete and before FHFA puts it into use.” An updated draft of the survey questionnaire appears at the end of this notice. The trade associations, as well as any other interested parties, will have 30 days within which to review the updated survey and to provide comments to both OMB and FHFA.

    Further Comments Requested in Response to This Notice

    FHFA requests written comments on the following: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FHFA functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (2) The accuracy of FHFA's estimates of the burdens of the collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on survey respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Kevin Winkler, Chief Information Officer, Federal Housing Finance Agency. EN24MR16.002 EN24MR16.003 EN24MR16.004 EN24MR16.005 EN24MR16.006 EN24MR16.007 EN24MR16.008 EN24MR16.009 EN24MR16.010
    [FR Doc. 2016-06590 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activites; New Information Collection Request AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Maritime Commission (Commission) is giving public notice that the agency has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval the new information collection described in this notice. The public is invited to comment on the proposed information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted at the addresses below on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Chandana Achanta, Desk Officer for Federal Maritime Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, [email protected], Fax (202) 395-6974 and to: Vern W. Hill, Managing Director, Office of the Managing Director, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573, Telephone: (202) 523-5800, [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the submission may be obtained by contacting Donna Lee on 202-523-5800 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Requests for Comments

    Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), the Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed information collections. On September 3, 2015, the Commission published a notice and request for comments in the Federal Register (80 FR 53310) regarding the agency's request for an approval from OMB for a new information collection as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Commission received no comments on the request for OMB clearance. The Commission has submitted the described information collection to OMB for approval. The FMC solicits written comments from all interested persons about the proposed new collection of information. The Commission specifically solicits information relevant to the following topics: (1) Whether the collection of information described above is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, including whether the information would have practical utility; (2) whether the estimated burden of the proposed collection of information is accurate; (3) whether the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected could be enhanced; and (4) whether the burden imposed by the collection of information could be minimized by use of automated, electronic, or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Open for Comment

    Title: Request for Dispute Resolution Service.

    OMB Control Number: New.

    Type of Review: New Generic Information Collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Companies or individuals seeking ombuds or mediation assistance from the Federal Maritime Commission's Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS).

    Estimated Total Number of Potential Annual Responses: 1,000.

    Estimated Total Number of Responses for each Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours per Response: 20 minutes.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 333.

    Abstract: As requested by the shipping public and the regulated industry, the FMC, through CADRS, provides ombuds and mediation services to assist parties in resolving international ocean cargo shipping or passenger vessel (cruise) disputes without resorting to litigation or administrative adjudication. These functions focus on addressing issues that members of the regulated industry and the shipping public may encounter at any stage of a commercial or customer dispute. In order to provide its ombuds and mediation services, CADRS needs certain identifying information about the involved parties, shipments, and nature of the dispute. In response to requests for assistance from the public, CADRS requests this information from parties seeking its assistance. The collection and use of this information on a cargo or cruise dispute is integral to CADRS staff's ability to efficiently review the matter and provide assistance. Aggregated information may be used for statistical purposes. Currently, this information is collected in a non-uniform manner in response to requests for CADRS assistance. http://www.fmc.gov/resources/requesting_cadrs_assistance.aspx.

    As required by the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA), 5 U.S.C. 571-574, the information contained in these forms is treated as confidential and subject to the same confidentiality provisions as administrative dispute resolutions pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 574. Except as specifically set forth in 5 U.S.C. 574, neither CADRS staff nor the parties to a dispute resolution shall disclose any informal dispute resolution communication.

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. The FMC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6.

    Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 40101 et seq.

    Rachel Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06578 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreement Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreement to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement is available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 012395.

    Title: MSC/ACL Trans-Atlantic Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Atlantic Container Line A.B. and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor LLP; 1200 Nineteenth St. NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes MSC to charter space to ACL in the trade between North Europe and New York/New Jersey.

    Agreement No.: 012396.

    Title: CMA CGM/ELJSA Slot Exchange Agreement Asia—U.S. West Coast.

    Parties: CMA CGM S.A. and Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement.

    Filing Party: Paul M. Keane, Esq.; Cichanowicz, Callan, Keane & DeMay, LLP; 50 Main Street, Suite 1045, White Plains, NY 10606.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the parties to exchange slots in the trade between the U.S. West Coast on the one hand, and Taiwan and China on the other hand.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06577 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than April 18, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (William Spaniel, Senior Vice President) 100 North 6th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105-1521. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania, Souderton, Pennsylvania; to merge with Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire Fox Chase Bank, both in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (David L. Hubbard, Senior Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Columbia Bancshares, Inc., Clarence, Missouri; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Clarence State Bank, Clarence, Missouri.

    C. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Elkcorp, Inc., Clyde, Kansas; to merge with Baileyville Banchares, and thereby indirectly acquire Baileyville State Bank, both of Seneca, Kansas.

    D. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. First ULB Corp., Oakland, California; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of United Business Bank, Oakland, California.

    2. Sierra Bancorp, Porterville, California; to acquire Coast Bancorp, and thereby indirectly acquire Coast National Bank, both in San Luis Obispo, California.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 21, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06643 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM [Docket No. OP-1511] Privacy Act of 1974; Notice of Amended System of Records AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Amended System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, notice is given that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is modifying BGFRS-39 (General File of the Community Advisory Council), to correct the legal authority cited for maintenance of the system and to clarify the types of records that are maintained about a member's service on the Community Advisory Council (CAC).

    DATES:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (11), the public is given a 30-day period in which to comment; and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which has oversight responsibility under the Privacy Act, requires a 40-day period in which to conclude its review of the system. Therefore, please submit any comments on or before April 25, 2016. The amended system of records will become effective May 3, 2016, without further notice, unless comments dictate otherwise.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public, OMB, and Congress are invited to submit comments, identified by the docket number above, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    Fax: 202/452-3819 or 202/452-3102.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alye S. Foster, Senior Special Counsel, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551, or (202) 452-5289, or [email protected] Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Board proposes to modify BGFRS-39 (General File of the Community Advisory Council) to correct the legal authority cited for maintenance of the system and to clarify the types of records that are maintained about the member's service on the Community Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC meets semi-annually with the Board to offer diverse perspectives on the economic circumstances and financial services needs of consumers and communities, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income populations. The Board's system of records, BGFRS-39, maintains records relating to the appointment and selection of individuals to the CAC and, for selectees, records relating to the individual's membership on the CAC. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), a report of this system of records is being filed with the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget.

    Dated: March 21, 2016. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board. SYSTEM OF RECORDS BGFRS-39 SYSTEM NAME:

    FRB—General File of the Community Advisory Council

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    This system maintains information on individuals considered for membership on the CAC and individuals selected to serve on the CAC.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    Records in the system include identifying information about candidates and members of the CAC relating to the selection and appointment to the CAC and records relating to service on the CAC. Individual information in the system includes, but is not limited to, name, work address, telephone number, email address, organization, and title. The system stores additional information including, but not limited to, the candidate's or CAC member's education, work experience, qualifications, and service on the CAC (such as travel and contact information).

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    12 U.S.C. 225a and 244.

    PURPOSE(S):

    The system of records aids the Board in its operation and management of the CAC, including the selection, appointment, and service of members of the CAC.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDNIG CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    General routine uses A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I apply to this system. Records are routinely used in the Board's operation and management of the CAC, including in the selection, appointment, and service of members of the CAC.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    Storage: Records in this system are stored securely in paper and stored on a secure server as electronic records.

    Retrievability: Records may be retrieved by any one or a combination of choices by authorized users to include name, zip code, and state.

    Access Controls: Access to records is limited to those whose official duties require it. Paper records are secured by lock and key and access to electronic records is password controlled. The electronic storage system has the ability to track individual actions within the application. The audit and accountability controls are based on Board standards which, in turn, are based on applicable laws and regulations. The controls assist in detecting security violations and performance or other issues within the electronic storage system.

    Access is restricted to authorized employees who require access for official business purposes. Board users are classified into different roles and common access and usage rights are established for each role. User roles are used to delineate between the different types of access requirements such that users are restricted to data that is required in the performance of their duties. Periodic audits and reviews are conducted to determine whether authenticated users still require access and whether there have been any unauthorized changes in any information maintained.

    Retention and Disposal: The retention for these records is currently under review. Until review is completed, these records will not be destroyed.

    SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

    Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th St. and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    An individual desiring to learn of the existence of, or to gain access to, his or her record in this system of records shall submit a request in writing to the Secretary of the Board, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551. The request should contain: (1) A statement that the request is made pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, (2) the name of the system of records (i.e., BGFRS-39, General File of the Community Advisory Council), (3) information necessary to verify the identity of the requester (e.g., two forms of identification, including one photo identification, or a notarized statement attesting to the requester's identity), and (4) any other information that may assist in the identification of the record for which access is being requested.

    RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    See “Notification Procedure,” above.

    CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    Same as “Notification procedures,” above except that the envelope should be clearly marked “Privacy Act Amendment Request.” The request for amendment of a record should: (1) Identify the system of records containing the record for which amendment is requested, (2) specify the portion of that record requested to be amended, and (3) describe the nature of and reasons for each requested amendment.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    Information is provided by the individual to whom the record pertains.

    EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2016-06655 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MA-2016-01; Docket No. 2016-0002; Sequence No. 5] Federal Management Regulation; Best Practices in Warehouse Asset Management AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    GSA's Office of Government-wide Policy is announcing the availability of a warehouse best practices resource page that is publicly available on http://www.gsa.gov. This page features several effective and efficient practices in warehouse asset management. The purpose of this resource page is to provide strategic guidance, best practices and information about successful initiatives. Through the warehouse best practices resource page on www.gsa.gov, GSA will assist federal agencies with their warehouse challenges.

    GSA will continually supplement this site with current warehouse management efficiency studies, articles and practical information on warehouse space utilization.

    DATES:

    Effective: March 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Aluanda Drain, Office of Government-wide Policy (MAC), Office of Asset and Transportation Management, General Services Administration, at 202-501-1624, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in its report GAO-15-41: Strategic Focus Needed to Help Manage Vast and Diverse Warehouse Portfolio (November 12, 2014), found that the Federal Real Property Profile database contains inconsistent warehouse data and agencies face a wide range of challenges in acquiring, managing and disposing of warehouse space. GSA developed a corrective action plan committing to research best practices in warehouse and inventory management and publish lessons learned through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Troy Cribb, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06473 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-0639; Docket No. CDC-2016-0033] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, 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. This notice invites comment on an extension of the information collection request entitled “Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) Special Exposure Cohort Petitions”. Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to designate such classes of employees for addition to the Cohort when NIOSH lacks sufficient information to estimate with sufficient accuracy the radiation doses of the employees Program Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0033 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    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 collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (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; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    EEOICPA Special Exposure Cohort Petitions (OMB Control No. 0920-0639 exp. 7/31/2016)—Extension—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    On October 30, 2000, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), 42 U.S.C. 7384-7385 [1994, supp. 2001] was enacted. The Act established a compensation program to provide a lump sum payment of $150,000 and medical benefits as compensation to covered employees suffering from designated illnesses incurred as a result of their exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while in the performance of duty for the Department of Energy and certain of its vendors, contractors and subcontractors. This legislation also provided for payment of compensation for certain survivors of these covered employees. This program has been mandated to be in effect until Congress ends the funding.

    Among other duties, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was directed to establish and implement procedures for considering petitions by classes of nuclear weapons workers to be added to the “Special Exposure Cohort” (the “Cohort”). In brief, EEOICPA authorizes HHS to designate such classes of employees for addition to the Cohort when NIOSH lacks sufficient information to estimate with sufficient accuracy the radiation doses of the employees, and if HHS also finds that the health of members of the class may have been endangered by the radiation dose the class potentially incurred. HHS must also obtain the advice of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (the “Board”) in establishing such findings. On May 28, 2004, HHS issued a rule that established procedures for adding such classes to the Cohort (42 CFR part 83). The rule was amended on July 10, 2007.

    The HHS rule authorizes a variety of respondents to submit petitions. Petitioners are required to provide the information specified in the rule to qualify their petitions for a complete evaluation by HHS and the Board. HHS has developed two forms to assist the petitioners in providing this required information efficiently and completely. Form A is a one-page form to be used by EEOICPA claimants for whom NIOSH has attempted to conduct dose reconstructions and has determined that available information is not sufficient to complete the dose reconstruction. Form B, accompanied by separate instructions, is intended for all other petitioners. Forms A and B can be submitted electronically as well as in hard copy.

    Respondent/petitioners should be aware that HHS is not requiring respondents to use the forms. Respondents can choose to submit petitions as letters or in other formats, but petitions must meet the informational requirements stated in the rule. NIOSH expects, however, that all petitioners for whom Form A would be appropriate will actually use the form, since NIOSH will provide it to them upon determining that their dose reconstruction cannot be completed and encourage them to submit the petition. NIOSH expects the large majority of petitioners for whom Form B would be appropriate will also use the form, since it provides a simple, organized format for addressing the informational requirements of a petition.

    NIOSH will use the information obtained through the petition for the following purposes: (a) Identify the petitioner(s), obtain their contact information, and establish that the petitioner(s) is qualified and intends to petition HHS; (b) establish an initial definition of the class of employees being proposed to be considered for addition to the Cohort; (c) determine whether there is justification to require HHS to evaluate whether or not to designate the proposed class as an addition to the Cohort (such an evaluation involves potentially extensive data collection, analysis, and related deliberations by NIOSH, the Board, and HHS); and, (d) target an evaluation by HHS to examine relevant potential limitations of radiation monitoring and/or dosimetry-relevant records and to examine the potential for related radiation exposures that might have endangered the health of members of the class.

    Finally, under the rule, petitioners may contest the proposed decision of the Secretary to add or deny adding classes of employees to the cohort by submitting evidence that the proposed decision relies on a record of either factual or procedural errors in the implementation of these procedures. NIOSH estimates that the time to prepare and submit such a challenge is 45 minutes. Because of the uniqueness of this submission, NIOSH is not providing a form. The submission will typically be in the form of a letter to the Secretary.

    There are no costs to respondents unless a respondent/petitioner chooses to purchase the services of an expert in dose reconstruction, an option provided for under the rule.

    Estimate of Annualized Burden Hours Type of
  • respondents
  • Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Petitioners Form A 42 CFR 83.9 2 1 3/60 1 Form B 42 CFR 83.9 5 1 5 25 Petitioners using a submission format other than Form B (as permitted by rule) 42 CFR 83.9 1 1 6 6 Petitioners Appealing final HHS decision (no specific form is required) 42 CFR 83.18 2 1 45/60 2 Claimant authorizing a party to submit petition on his/her behalf Authorization Form 42 CFR 83.7 3 1 3/60 1 Total 35
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06708 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16UW; Docket No. CDC-16-0031] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, 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. This notice invites comment on the proposed information collection request entitled “Case Investigation of Cervical Cancer (CICC) Study,” which is designed to identify self-reported barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer screening and follow-up among women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Medical charts will also be reviewed to further evaluate verify screening and follow-up of abnormal tests results prior to diagnosis.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0031 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    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 collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (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; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Case Investigation of Cervical Cancer (CICC) Study—New—National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Invasive cervical cancer occurs when cervical cancer spreads from the surface of the cervix to deeper cervical tissue or to other parts of the body. In the United States, invasive cervical cancer is largely preventable due to the availability of (1) screening tests, which allow for early detection and treatment of cervical precancers, and (2) a vaccine that prevents infection with types of human papillomavirus (HPV) which are associated with over 80% of cervical cancers. However, one previous study showed that half of the women who developed cervical cancer had not been adequately screened, and a more recent study showed that there were still approximately 8 million women in the U.S. who had not been screened for cervical cancer in the previous five years.

    CDC plans to conduct the Case Investigation of Cervical Cancer (CICC) study to improve understanding of the facilitators and barriers to cervical cancer screening and timely follow-up to abnormal test results. The study is designed to address the following research questions: (1) Did women get a cervical cancer screening test during the five years prior to cervical cancer diagnosis? (2) What were facilitators or barriers to getting a screening test? (3) Did women get recommended follow-up of an abnormal test in a timely manner? (4) What were the facilitators or barriers to getting follow-up for an abnormal test? (5) What were the women's patterns when seeking medical care (i.e., routine medical care or symptoms)?

    To answer these questions, CDC will collect and analyze information from three sources, in collaboration with central cancer registries (CCR) in three states and a contract research organization.

    First, CCR will use existing information to recruit participants who are eligible for the study, i.e., women who were diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016. Information about tumor characteristics, date of diagnosis, and cancer stage is already maintained by CCR and reported to CDC (National Program of Cancer Registries: Cancer Surveillance System, OMB Control No. 0920-0469).

    Second, women who agree to participate in the CICC study will be asked to complete a survey assessing facilitators and barriers to screening and follow-up health care. The estimated burden per response for completing the mail-in questionnaire is 15 minutes. In addition, respondents will be asked to provide contact information for all health care providers they have seen in the five years prior to their diagnosis with cervical cancer, and to complete a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release form that allows study staff to access the medical records maintained by these providers. For each CICC participant, the estimated burden per response for the health care provider list and HIPAA Release form is five minutes.

    Third, medical chart abstractors will collect information from the health care providers who provided relevant services to study participants in the five years prior to their diagnosis with invasive cervical cancer. The medical record abstraction process does not entail burden to study participants, or to the medical chart abstractors who will review the medical charts on a fee-for-service basis. The medical record abstraction process does entail additional recordkeeping burden to office assistants for health care providers, who are required to maintain records of disclosures of medical information, e.g., the HIPAA Release Form for the CICC study. The estimated burden for support activities associated with each medical record abstraction is five minutes.

    CDC has identified three states as potential study sites. Based on preliminary data from their state cancer registries, a total of approximately 1,670 eligible cervical cancer survivors are eligible for participation. CDC estimates a survey response rate of 50% of across the entire sample (N = 835) followed by an 80% acceptance of medical chart verification (N = 668). These estimates yield approximately 668 women with complete data for both surveys and chart verification. For each CICC participant, the medical chart abstraction process is expected to require follow-up with 1-5 (average of 3) health care providers (N = 2004).

    Findings from this study will be used to inform interventions targeted to reach women who are never or rarely screened for cervical cancer. Study findings will be disseminated through reports, presentations, and publications. Results will also be used by participating sites, CDC, and other federal agencies to improve services provided to women at risk of invasive cervical cancer.

    OMB approval is requested for two years. All personal identifier information will be maintained by the cancer registries where it is stored as part of the standard registry data repository. No identifiable information will be collected by CDC or CDC's main contractor. Participation is voluntary and there are no costs to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Invasive cervical cancer survivors Case Investigation of Cervical Cancer Study Survey 418 1 15/60 105 HIPAA Release and Listing of medical providers in last 5 years 314 1 5/60 28 Health care office assistant Support for medical record abstraction 1,002 1 5/60 84 Total 217
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06706 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16VB; Docket No. CDC-2016-0032] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, 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. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collection request entitled “HIV Knowledge, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Practices of Providers in the Southeast (K-BAP Study)”. CDC is requesting a three-year approval for new data collection to identify areas of HIV prevention knowledge and practice strengths and deficits among primary care providers, in order to target limited HIV prevention resources to achieve the greatest reduction in new HIV infections and optimize HIV clinical care in clinical settings. The target population will be primary care providers practicing in high-prevalence metropolitan statistical geographic areas with large at-risk African American populations.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0032 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    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 collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (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; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    HIV Knowledge, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Practices of Providers in the Southeast (K-BAP Study)—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Persons at high risk of HIV infection have often had one or more contacts with a health care provider within a year of their diagnoses. These health care encounters represent missed opportunities to: (1) Review and discuss sexual health and risk reduction, (2) screen for HIV infection and other STDs, (3) recognize and diagnose acute HIV infection and offer immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) if indicated, (4) discuss the prevention benefit of treatment (with subsequent referral or prescription) and re-engagement in care, as appropriate, and (5) provide PrEP and nPEP if not infected and at high risk, consistent with current HIV prevention guidelines and recommendations.

    Health care providers in high-prevalence geographic areas could substantially reduce new HIV infections among the patient populations they serve, as well as their communities. Health care providers are a trusted source of reliable information. They also have the capacity to perform STD/HIV testing and to prescribe medication with appropriate clinical follow-up.

    Review of the literature published between January 2000 and June 2014 indicates we know little about providers' knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices (K-BAP) in at-risk jurisdictions about HIV risk, HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral drug interventions in these domains, especially primary care providers serving high-risk patients in high-prevalence communities. K-BAP Study is an effort to assess providers' K-BAP using a cross sectional survey in the five priority HIV prevention domains noted above.

    This K-BAP Study aligns with multiple goals and objectives of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and CDC's “winnable battles.”

    The project's specific objectives are to (1) Characterize knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices of providers in five key HIV prevention domains in high-HIV prevalence communities with disproportionate numbers of blacks/African Americans, and (2) Educate providers about prevention interventions related to these domains based on survey-identified knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices of providers' deficits.

    The respondent population of medical providers will be pulled from the Healthcare Data Solutions (HDS) ProviderPRO and MidLevelPRO databases. Respondents will be recruited to participate in the survey through a combination of emails and phone calls. This strategy will consist of four emails spaced one week apart followed by phone calls to non-responders. The emails will explain the purpose of the survey, the availability of continuing education (CE) credits, and the $20 cash token of appreciation.

    A large two-part internet-based survey will be conducted among a representative random sample of providers in the selected six (6) metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with the highest HIV burden among the African American population. Part one of survey will be administered to participants at the beginning of project. The part-one survey findings will used to identify providers' knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices of providers that might require additional educational reinforcement. Based on survey responses, providers will be linked to continuing education (CE) credit-eligible educational modules to improve their educational deficits. The educational modules are all web-based using either video or case-based methods of learning. The length of the course range from 1-3 hours accounting for 0.25—1.0 credit hours. Part two of survey will be administered six months later comprising of only the core questions in part one of survey to assess impact of CE modules on providers' practices regarding HIV prevention and treatment.

    There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total annual burden hours are 1,172.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in Hours)
  • Total burden (in hours)
    Providers K-BAP Provider Baseline Screener and Survey 1,827 1 29/60 883 Providers K-BAP Provider Follow-Up Screener and Survey 914 1 19/60 289 Total 1,172
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06707 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3662] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance on Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A Viruses AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0584. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Guidance on Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A Viruses—21 CFR Part 866 OMB Control Number 0910-0584—Extension

    In accordance with section 513 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c), FDA evaluated an application for an in vitro diagnostic device for detection of influenza subtype H5 (Asian lineage), commonly known as avian flu. FDA concluded that this device is properly classified into class II in accordance with section 513(a)(1)(B) of the FD&C Act, because it is a device for which the general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide such assurance. The statute permits FDA to establish as special controls many different things, including postmarket surveillance, development and dissemination of guidance recommendations, and “other appropriate actions as the Secretary deems necessary” (section 513(a)(1)(B) of the FD&C Act). This information collection is a measure that FDA determined to be necessary to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of reagents for detection of specific novel influenza A viruses.

    FDA issued an order classifying the H5 (Asian lineage) diagnostic device into class II on March 22, 2006 (71 FR 14377), establishing the special controls necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of that device and similar future devices. The new classification was codified in 21 CFR 866.3332, a regulation that describes the new classification for reagents for detection of specific novel influenza A viruses and sets forth the special controls that help to provide a reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of devices classified under that regulation. The regulation refers to the special controls guidance document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A Viruses,” which provides recommendations for measures to help provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for these reagents. The guidance document recommends that sponsors obtain and analyze postmarket data to ensure the continued reliability of their device in detecting the specific novel influenza A virus that it is intended to detect, particularly given the propensity for influenza viruses to mutate and the potential for changes in disease prevalence over time. As updated sequences for novel influenza A viruses become available from the World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and other public health entities, sponsors of reagents for detection of specific novel influenza A viruses will collect this information, compare them with the primer/probe sequences in their devices, and incorporate the result of these analyses into their quality management system, as required by 21 CFR 820.100(a)(1). These analyses will be evaluated against the device design validation and risk analysis required by 21 CFR 820.30(g) to determine if any design changes may be necessary.

    FDA estimates that 10 respondents will be affected annually. Each respondent will collect this information twice per year; each response is estimated to take 15 hours. This results in a total data collection burden of 300 hours.

    The guidance also refers to previously approved information collections found in FDA regulations. The collections of information in 21 CFR part 801 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485; the collections of information in 21 CFR part 807 subpart E have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120; and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 820 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0073.

    In the Federal Register of October 19, 2015 (80 FR 63230), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 FD&C Act section Number of recordkeepers Number of records per recordkeeper Total annual records Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total hours
    513(g) 10 2 20 15 300 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: March 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06710 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-P-0159] Medical Devices; Exemption From Premarket Notification: Method, Metallic Reduction, Glucose (Urinary, Non-Quantitative) Test System in a Reagent Tablet Format AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that it has received a petition requesting exemption from the premarket notification requirements for a method, metallic reduction, glucose (urinary, non-quantitative) test system in a reagent tablet format that is intended to measure glucosuria (glucose in urine). Method, metallic reduction, glucose (urinary, non-quantitative) test systems in a reagent tablet format are used in the diagnosis and treatment of carbohydrate metabolism disorders including diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, and hyperglycemia. FDA is publishing this notice to obtain comments in accordance with procedures established by the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (FDAMA).

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments by April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-P-0159 for “Medical Devices; Exemption From Premarket Notification: Method, Metallic Reduction, Glucose (Urinary, Non-Quantitative) Test System in a Reagent Tablet Format.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION”. The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, 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:

    Ana Loloei Marsal, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4552, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8774, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Statutory Background

    Under section 513 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c), FDA must classify devices into one of three regulatory classes: Class I, class II, or class III. FDA classification of a device is determined by the amount of regulation necessary to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. Under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (1976 amendments) (Pub. L. 94-295), as amended by the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-629), devices are to be classified into class I (general controls) if there is information showing that the general controls of the FD&C Act are sufficient to assure safety and effectiveness; into class II (special controls) if general controls, by themselves, are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide such assurance; and into class III (premarket approval) if there is insufficient information to support classifying a device into class I or class II and the device is a life sustaining or life supporting device, or is for a use which is of substantial importance in preventing impairment of human health or presents a potential unreasonable risk of illness or injury.

    Most generic types of devices that were on the market before the date of the 1976 amendments (May 28, 1976) (generally referred to as preamendments devices) have been classified by FDA under the procedures set forth in section 513(c) and (d) of the FD&C Act through the issuance of classification regulations into one of these three regulatory classes. Devices introduced into interstate commerce for the first time on or after May 28, 1976 (generally referred to as postamendments devices), are classified through the premarket notification process under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)). Section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and the implementing regulations, 21 CFR part 807, require persons who intend to market a new device to submit a premarket notification (510(k)) containing information that allows FDA to determine whether the new device is “substantially equivalent” within the meaning of section 513(i) of the FD&C Act to a legally marketed device that does not require premarket approval.

    On November 21, 1997, the President signed into law FDAMA (Pub. L. 105-115). Section 206 of FDAMA, in part, added a new section, 510(m), to the FD&C Act. Section 510(m)(1) of the FD&C Act requires FDA, within 60 days after enactment of FDAMA, to publish in the Federal Register a list of each type of class II device that does not require a report under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act further provides that a 510(k) will no longer be required for these devices upon the date of publication of the list in the Federal Register. FDA published that list in the Federal Register of January 21, 1998 (63 FR 3142).

    Section 510(m)(2) of the FD&C Act provides that 1 day after date of publication of the list under section 510(m)(1), FDA may exempt a device on its own initiative or upon petition of an interested person if FDA determines that a 510(k) is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. This section requires FDA to publish in the Federal Register a notice of intent to exempt a device, or of the petition, and to provide a 30-day comment period. Within 120 days of publication of this document, FDA must publish in the Federal Register its final determination regarding the exemption of the device that was the subject of the notice. If FDA fails to respond to a petition under this section within 180 days of receiving it, the petition shall be deemed granted.

    II. Criteria for Exemption

    There are a number of factors FDA may consider to determine whether a 510(k) is necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of a class II device. These factors are discussed in the guidance the Agency issued on February 19, 1998, entitled “Procedures for Class II Device Exemptions from Premarket Notification, Guidance for Industry and CDRH Staff” (Ref. 1).

    III. Proposed Class II Device Exemptions

    FDA has received the following petition requesting an exemption from premarket notification for a class II device: Evelyn Mirza, Biorex Labs, LLC, 194 E. Wallings Rd., Suite 201, Broadview Heights, OH 44147 for its method, metallic reduction, glucose (urinary, non-quantitative) test system in a reagent tablet format classified under 21 CFR 862.1340.

    IV. Reference

    The following reference is on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and is available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; it is also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. FDA has verified the Web site address, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    1. “Procedures for Class II Device Exemptions from Premarket Notification, Guidance for Industry and CDRH Staff,” February 1998, available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/UCM080199.pdf. Dated: March 17, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06709 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0961] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Environmental Impact Considerations AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA).

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0322. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Environmental Impact Considerations—21 CFR Part 25 OMB Control Number 0910-0322—Extension

    FDA is requesting OMB approval for the reporting requirements contained in the FDA collection of information “Environmental Impact Considerations.” The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) states national environmental objectives and imposes upon each Federal Agency the duty to consider the environmental effects of its actions. Section 102(2)(C) of NEPA requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for every major Federal action that will significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

    FDA's NEPA regulations are in part 25 (21 CFR part 25). All applications or petitions requesting Agency action require the submission of a claim for categorical exclusion or an environmental assessment (EA). A categorical exclusion applies to certain classes of FDA-regulated actions that usually have little or no potential to cause significant environmental effects and are excluded from the requirements to prepare an EA or EIS. Section 25.15(a) and (d) specifies the procedures for submitting to FDA a claim for a categorical exclusion. Extraordinary circumstances (§ 25.21), which may result in significant environmental impacts, may exist for some actions that are usually categorically excluded. An EA provides information that is used to determine whether an FDA action could result in a significant environmental impact. Section 25.40(a) and (c) specifies the content requirements for EAs for non-excluded actions.

    This collection of information is used by FDA to assess the environmental impact of Agency actions and to ensure that the public is informed of environmental analyses. Firms wishing to manufacture and market substances regulated under statues for which FDA is responsible must, in most instances, submit applications requesting approval. Environmental information must be included in such applications for the purpose of determining whether the proposed action may have a significant impact on the environment. Where significant adverse events cannot be avoided, the Agency uses the submitted information as the basis for preparing and circulating to the public an EIS, made available through a Federal Register document also filed for comment at the Environmental Protection Agency. The final EIS, including the comments received, is reviewed by the Agency to weigh environmental costs and benefits in determining whether to pursue the proposed action or some alternative that would reduce expected environmental impact.

    Any final EIS would contain additional information gathered by the Agency after the publication of the draft EIS, a copy or a summary of the comments received on the draft EIS, and the Agency's responses to the comments, including any revisions resulting from the comments or other information. When the Agency finds that no significant environmental effects are expected, the Agency prepares a finding of no significant impact.

    In the Federal Register of September 8, 2015 (80 FR 53807), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Human Drugs (Including Biologics in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research)

    Under §§ 312.23(a)(7)(iv)(c), 314.50(d)(1)(iii), and 314.94(a)(9)(i) (21 CFR 312.23(a)(7)(iv)(c), 314.50(d)(1)(iii), and 314.94(a)(9)(i), each investigational new drug application (IND), new drug application (NDA), and abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) must contain a claim for categorical exclusion under § 25.30 or § 25.31, or an EA under § 25.40. Annually, FDA receives approximately 3,677 INDs from 2,501 sponsors; 120 NDAs from 87 applicants; 2,718 supplements to NDAs from 399 applicants; 9 biologic license applications (BLAs) from 8 applicants; 317 supplements to BLAs from 43 applicants; 1,475 ANDAs from 300 applicants; and 5,448 supplements to ANDAs from 318 applicants. FDA estimates that it receives approximately 13,663 claims for categorical exclusions as required under § 25.15(a) and (d), and 11 EAs as required under § 25.40(a) and (c). Based on information provided by the pharmaceutical industry, FDA estimates that it takes sponsors or applicants approximately 8 hours to prepare a claim for a categorical exclusion and approximately 3,400 hours to prepare an EA.

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Human Drugs 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    25.15(a) and (d) 3,416 4 13,664 8 109,312 25.40(a) and (c) 11 1 11 3,400 37,400 Total 146,712 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Human Foods

    Under 21 CFR 71.1, 171.1, 170.39, and 170.100, food additive petitions, color additive petitions, requests from exemption from regulation as a food additive, and submission of a food contact notification for a food contact substance must contain either a claim of categorical exclusion under § 25.30 or § 25.32 or an EA under § 25.40. Annually, FDA receives approximately 97 industry submissions. FDA received an annual average of 42 claims of categorical exclusions as required under § 25.15(a) and (d) and 33 EAs as required under § 25.40(a) and (c). FDA estimates that approximately 42 respondents will submit an average of 1 application for categorical exclusion and 33 respondents will submit an average of 1 EA. FDA estimates that, on average, it takes petitioners, notifiers, or requestors approximately 8 hours to prepare a claim of categorical exclusion and approximately 210 hours to prepare an EA.

    Table 2—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Human Foods 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    25.15(a) and (d) 42 1 42 8 336 25.40(a) and (c) 33 1 33 210 6,930 Total 7,266 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Medical Devices

    Under § 814.20(b)(11) (21 CFR 814.20(b)(11)), premarket approvals (PMAs) (original PMAs and supplements) must contain a claim for categorical exclusion under § 25.30 or § 25.34 or an EA under § 25.40. In 2012 to 2014, FDA received an average of 39 claims (original PMAs and supplements) for categorical exclusions as required under § 25.15(a) and (d), and 0 EAs as required under § 25.40(a) and (c). FDA estimates that approximately 39 respondents will submit an average of 1 application for categorical exclusion annually. Based on information provided by sponsors, FDA estimates that it takes approximately 6 hours to prepare a claim for a categorical exclusion.

    Table 3—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Medical Devices 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    25.15(a) and (d) 39 1 39 6 234 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Biological Products, Drugs, and Medical Devices in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

    Under 21 CFR 601.2(a), BLAs as well as INDs (§ 312.23), NDAs (§ 314.50), ANDAs (§ 314.94), and PMAs (§ 814.20) must contain either a claim of categorical exclusion under § 25.30 or § 25.32 or an EA under § 25.40. Annually, FDA receives approximately 34 BLAs from 18 applicants, 801 BLA supplements to license applications from 156 applicants, 345 INDs from 256 sponsors, 1 NDA from 1 applicant, 26 supplements to NDAs from 8 applicants, 1 ANDA from 1 applicant, 1 supplement to ANDAs from 1 applicant, 8 PMAs from 3 applicants, and 33 PMA supplements from 16 applicants. FDA estimates that approximately 10 percent of these supplements would be submitted with a claim for categorical exclusion or an EA.

    FDA has received approximately 481 claims for categorical exclusion as required under § 25.15(a) and (d) annually and 2 EAs as required under § 25.40(a) and (c) annually. Therefore, FDA estimates that approximately 247 respondents will submit an average of 2 applications for categorical exclusion and 2 respondents will submit an average of 1 EA. Based on information provided by industry, FDA estimates that it takes sponsors and applicants approximately 8 hours to prepare a claim of categorical exclusion and approximately 3,400 hours to prepare an EA for a biological product.

    Table 4—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Biological Products 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    25.15(a) and (d) 247 2 494 8 3,952 25.40(a) and (c) 2 1 2 3,400 6,800 Total 10,752 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Animal Drugs

    Under 21 CFR 514.1(b)(14), new animal drug applications (NADAs) and abbreviated new animal drug applications (ANADAs); 21 CFR 514.8(a)(1) supplemental NADAs and ANADAs; 21 CFR 511.1(b)(10) investigational new animal drug applications (INADs), and 21 CFR 571.1(c) food additive petitions must contain a claim for categorical exclusion under § 25.30 or § 25.33 or an EA under § 25.40. Annually, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has received approximately 698 claims for categorical exclusion as required under § 25.15(a) and (d), and 10 EAs as required under § 25.40(a) and (c). FDA estimates that approximately 70 respondents will submit an average of 10 applications for categorical exclusion and 10 respondents will submit an average of 1 EA. FDA estimates that it takes sponsors/applicants approximately 3 hours to prepare a claim of categorical exclusion and an average of 2,160 hours to prepare an EA.

    Table 5—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Animal Drugs 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    25.15(a) and (d) 70 10 700 3 2,100 25.40(a) and (c) 10 1 10 2,160 21,600 Total 23,700 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Tobacco Products

    Under sections 905, 910, and 911 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 387e, 387j, and 387k), product applications and supplements (PMTAs), SEs, Exemption from SEs, and modified risk tobacco products must contain a claim for categorical exclusion or an EA. In 2015, FDA estimated it will receive approximately 5 premarket reviews of new tobacco PMTAs from 5 respondents, 509 reports intended to demonstrate the substantial equivalence of a new tobacco product (SEs) from 509 respondents, 15 exemptions from substantial equivalence requirements applications (SE Exemptions) from 15 respondents, and 3 modified risk tobacco product applications (MRTPAs) from 3 respondents. FDA is not accepting claims for categorical exclusions at this time, and estimates that there will be 532 EAs from 532 respondents as required under §§ 25.40(a) and (c). Therefore, over the next 3 years, FDA estimates that approximately 532 respondents will submit an average of 1 application for environmental assessment. Part of the information in the EA will be developed while writing other parts of a PMTA, SE, Exemption from SE, or MRTPA. Based on FDA's experience, previous information provided by potential sponsors and knowledge that part of the EA information has already been produced in one of the tobacco product applications, FDA estimates that it takes approximately 80 hours to prepare an EA.

    Table 6—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden for Tobacco Products 1 21 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    25.40(a) and (c) 532 1 532 80 42,560 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: March 18, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06711 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary [Document Identifier: HHS-OS-0990-0406 30D] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, has submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The ICR is for renewal of the approved information collection assigned OMB control number 0990-0406, scheduled to expire on April 30, 2016. Comments submitted during the first public review of this ICR will be provided to OMB. OMB will accept further comments from the public on this ICR during the review and approval period.

    DATES:

    Comments on the ICR must be received on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or via facsimile to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information Collection Clearance staff, [email protected] or (202) 690-6162.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the OMB control number 0990-0406 for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Evaluation of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities

    Abstract: Office of Minority Health (OMH) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), Office of the Secretary (OS) is requesting approval for an extension from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a previously approved data collection activity for the Evaluation of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). The NPA was officially launched in April 2011 to mobilize a nationwide, comprehensive, community-driven, and sustained approach to combating health disparities and to move the nation toward achieving health equity. Using an approach that vests those at the front line with the responsibility of identifying and helping to shape core actions, new approaches and new partnerships are being established to help close the health gap in the United States.

    OMH proposes to continue to conduct the evaluation of the NPA. The evaluation's goal is to determine the extent to which the NPA has contributed to the elimination of health disparities and attainment of health equity in our nation. The evaluation will accomplish this goal by addressing the following questions: (1) To what extent has a multi-level structure been established to support actions that will contribute to the elimination of health disparities? (2) How are leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors engaged in collaborative, efficient, and equitable working partnerships to eliminate health disparities? (3) How many and what types of identifiable actions are being implemented at the community, state, tribal, regional, and national levels that relate directly to the five goals and 20 strategies in the National Stakeholder Strategy (NSS); (4) How much is the work to end health disparities integrated into stakeholder strategies and mainstream systems (e.g., health care quality improvement, public and community health improvement, economic and community planning and development) in and beyond the health sector? (5) What are the promising practices for implementing actions that contribute to ending health disparities?

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Type of respondent Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • RHEC co-chairs RHEC co-chairs interview 20 1 85 28 RHEC Subcommittee chairs RHEC Subcommittee chairs group interviews 50 1 90 75 RHEC members Survey of all RHEC members 350 1 20 117 Key NPA partner organizations Survey of Key NPA partner organizations 15 1 25 6 State Minority Health Office Directors or Coordinators and State Department of Health Representatives Survey of State Minority Health Office Directors or Coordinators and officials from State Departments of Health 110 1 20 37 Total 545 263
    Terry S. Clark, Asst Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06592 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-29-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflicts: Cardiovascular Sciences.

    Date: April 6, 2016.

    Time: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Sara Ahlgren, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, RM 4136, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0904, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 18, 2016. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06618 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel—Basic Research in HIV-Related Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases (R01) .

    Date: April 19, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Courtyard by Marriott, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

    Contact Person: Susan Wohler Sunnarborg, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7182, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel Basic Research in HIV-Related Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases (R21).

    Date: April 19, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Courtyard by Marriott, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

    Contact Person: Susan Wohler Sunnarborg, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7182, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: March 18, 2016. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06619 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5909-N-16] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Request for Acceptance of Changes in Approved Drawings and Specifications AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QMAC, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on October 9, 2015.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Request for Acceptance of Changes in Approved Drawings and Specifications.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0117.

    Type of Request: Revision of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: HUD-92577.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Contractors request approval for changes to accepted drawings and specifications of rehabilitation properties as required by homebuyers, or determined by the contractor to address previously unknown health and safety issues. Contractors submit the forms to lenders, who review them and submit them to HUD for approval.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): Business.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7500.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 7500.

    Frequency of Response: On Occasion.

    Average Hours per Response: 0.50.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 3750.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: March 16, 2016. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06702 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5909-N-17] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Housing Operating Subsidy—Appeals AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QMAC, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A. The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on January 06, 2016.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Public Housing Operating Subsidy—Appeals

    OMB Approval Number: 2577-0246.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: None.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Under the operating fund rule, PHAs that elect to file an appeal of their subsidy amounts are required to meet the appeal requirements set forth in subpart G of the rule. There are four grounds of appeal in 24 CFR 990.245 under which PHAs may appeal the amount of their subsidy: (1) A streamlined appeal; (2) an appeal for specific local conditions; (3) an appeal for changing market conditions; (4) and an appeal to substitute actual project cost data. To appeal the amount of subsidy on any one of these permitted bases of appeal, PHAs submit a written appeal request to HUD.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 105.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 105.

    Frequency of Response: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 20.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 2049.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: March 16, 2016. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06703 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R4-ES-2016-N038]; [FXES11120400000-167-FF04EC1000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Availability of Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Palmas Home Owners Association, Palmas Del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comment/information.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Palmas del Mar Home Owners Association requests a 10-year ITP. We request public comment on the permit application and accompanying proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), as well as on our preliminary determination that the plan qualifies as low-effect under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which are also available for review.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    If you wish to review the application and HCP, you may request documents by email, U.S. mail, or phone (see below). These documents are also available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the office below. Send your comments or requests by any one of the following methods.

    Email: [email protected] Use “Attn: Permit number TE85455B-0” as the subject line of your email.

    Fax: Deputy Field Supervisor, (787) 851-7440, Attn: Permit number TE85455B-0.

    Phone: 787-851-7297, x 206.

    U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office; Attn: Permit Number TE85455B-0; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; P.O. Box 491; Boquerón, PR 00622.

    In-person drop-off: You may drop off information or comments during regular business hours at the following office address: Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office; Road 301; Km. 5.1; Boquerón, Puerto Rico.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marelisa Rivera,via telephone at (787) 851-7297, x 206, or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and our implementing Federal regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17 prohibit the “take” of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act as “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct” (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under limited circumstances, we issue permits to authorize incidental take—i.e., take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The Act's take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plants on private lands unless such take would violate State law. In addition to meeting other criteria, an incidental take permit's proposed actions must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plants.

    Applicant's Proposal

    The Palmas Home Owners Association is proposing to renew and amend its existing HCP. They will be adding the following five new residential development areas to the HCP: Marbella Club, Solera, the Beach Club, Palmas Dorada, and Plaza del Mar. For the past 10 years, Palmas del Mar has had an ongoing sea turtle monitoring and conservation program, implemented sea turtle-friendly lighting in the existing developments, planted vegetation screens, and implemented avoidance and minimization measures during beach cleaning activities. These activities will continue and will be extended to the five new areas.

    Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the applicant's project, including the mitigation measures, will individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, our proposed issuance of the requested incidental take permit qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, as provided by Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215). We base our preliminary determination that issuance of the ITP qualifies as a low-effect action on the following three criteria: (1) This is a renewal of an existing project, and implementation of the project would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the project would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) Impacts of the project, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. This preliminary determination may be revised based on our review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice.

    Next Steps

    We will evaluate the HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the ITP application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the application meets these requirements, we will issue ITP # TE85455B-0. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITP. If the requirements are met, we will issue the permit to the applicant.

    Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the permit application, HCP, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods in ADDRESSES.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under Section 10 of the Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Edwin E. Muñiz, Field Supervisor, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, Southeast Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06652 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R6-ES-2016-N034; FXES11130600000-167-FF06E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit Applications AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct activities intended to enhance the survival of endangered or threatened species.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments or requests for copies or more information by any of the following methods. Alternatively, you may use one of the following methods to request hard copies or a CD-ROM of the documents. Please specify the permit you are interested in by number (e.g., Permit No. TE-XXXXXX).

    Email: [email protected] Please refer to the respective permit number (e.g., Permit No. TE-XXXXXX) in the subject line of the message.

    U.S. Mail: Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486-DFC, Denver, CO 80225.

    In-Person Drop-Off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call (719) 628-2670 to make an appointment during regular business hours at 134 Union Blvd., Suite 645, Lakewood, CO 80228.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathy Konishi, Recovery Permits Coordinator, Ecological Services, (719) 628-2670 (phone); [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits certain activities with endangered and threatened species unless authorized by a Federal permit. Along with our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 17, the Act provides for permits and requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits for endangered species.

    A permit granted by us under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act authorizes the permittees to conduct activities with U.S. endangered or threatened species for scientific purposes, enhancement of propagation or survival, or interstate commerce (the latter only in the event that it facilitates scientific purposes or enhancement of propagation or survival). Our regulations implementing section 10(a)(1)(A) for these permits are found at 50 CFR 17.22 for endangered wildlife species, 50 CFR 17.32 for threatened wildlife species, 50 CFR 17.62 for endangered plant species, and 50 CFR 17.72 for threatened plant species.

    Applications Available for Review and Comment

    We invite local, State, and Federal agencies and the public to comment on the following applications. Documents and other information the applicants have submitted with their applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).

    Permit Application Number TE047381

    Applicant: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Ute, Ignacio, CO.

    The applicant requests a permit to conduct presence/absence surveys for southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) in Colorado for the purpose of enhancing the species' survival.

    Permit Application Number TE13024B

    Applicant: Bureau of Land Management, Lakewood, CO.

    The applicant requests an amendment to an existing permit to continue presence/absence surveys for southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) in Colorado for the purpose of enhancing the species' survival.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), we have made an initial determination that the proposed activities in these permits are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement (516 DM 6 Appendix 1, 1.4C(1)).

    Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive in response to these requests will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Michael G. Thabault, Assistant Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06591 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R1-ES-2016-N042; FXES11120100000-167-FF01E00000] Proposed Template Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Fisher in Oregon and a Draft Environmental Action Statement AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed a proposed template Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the West Coast Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the fisher in Oregon, and proposes to issue enhancement of survival (EOS) permits under the CCAA, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The permits would authorize incidental take with assurances to eligible landowners who are willing to enroll in the template CCAA and carry out conservation measures that would benefit the West Coast DPS of the fisher. We request comments from the public on the proposed template CCAA, the issuance of EOS permits, and on the Service's draft Environmental Action Statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination that the CCAA and issuance of EOS permits qualify for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be received from interested parties no later than April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request or comments are in reference to the “Template Fisher CCAA.”

    Internet: Documents may be viewed on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/.

    Email: [email protected] Include “Template Fisher CCAA” in the subject line of the message or comments.

    U.S. Mail: State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 2600 SE. 98th Avenue, Suite 100; Portland, OR 97266.

    Fax: 503-231-6195, Attn: Template Fisher CCAA.

    In-Person Drop-off, Viewing or Pickup: Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection, by appointment (necessary for viewing or picking up documents only), during normal business hours at the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 2600 SE. 98th Avenue, Suite 100; Portland, OR 97266; telephone 503-231-6179. Written comments can be dropped off during regular business hours at the above address on or before the closing date of the public comment period (see DATES).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jody Caicco, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 503-231-6179; facsimile: 503-231-6195. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    A CCAA is a voluntary agreement whereby landowners agree to manage their lands to remove or reduce threats to species that may become listed under the ESA (64 FR 32726; June 17, 1999). CCAAs are intended to facilitate the conservation of proposed and candidate species, and species likely to become candidates in the near future by giving non-Federal property owners incentives to implement conservation measures for declining species by providing certainty with regard to land, water, or resource use restrictions that might be imposed should the species later become listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA. In return for managing their lands to the benefit of the covered species, enrolled landowners receive assurances that additional regulatory requirements pertaining to the covered species will not be required if the covered species becomes listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA so long as the CCAA remains in place and is being fully implemented.

    A CCAA serves as the basis for the Service to issue EOS permits to non-Federal participants pursuant section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. EOS permits are issued to applicants in association with an approved CCAA to authorize incidental take of the covered species from covered activities, should the species become listed. Through a CCAA and its associated EOS permit, the Service provides assurances to property owners that they will not be subjected to increased land use restrictions if the covered species become listed under the ESA in the future, provided certain conditions are met. Because enrollment in a CCAA is voluntary, participating landowners may subsequently choose to discontinue their participation and their ESA section 10(a)1(A) permit coverage would then lapse.

    Application requirements and issuance criteria for EOS permits for CCAAs are found in the Code of Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d), respectively. See also our joint policy on CCAAs that was published in the Federal Register by the Service and the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (64 FR 32726; June 17, 1999). Each prospective CCAA participant will need to complete and submit to the Service an ESA section 10(a)1(A) EOS permit application form.

    On April 8, 2004, the Service published a 12-month status review (69 FR 18769) finding that listing the West Coast Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) as threatened or endangered under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1538) was warranted, but precluded by higher priority actions. On October 7, 2014, the Service published a proposed rule (79 FR 60419) to list the West Coast DPS of the fisher as threatened under the ESA. In that proposed rule, the Service identified habitat loss from wildfire and vegetation management, toxicants (rodenticides), and the cumulative impact of these and other stressors in small populations as threats to the continued existence of the West Coast DPS of the fisher. On April 14, 2015, the Service issued a 6-month extension to the final determination based on substantial disagreement regarding available information (80 FR 19953). The Service will issue a final regulation implementing the proposed rule or a notice that the proposed regulation is being withdrawn by April 7, 2016. The Service's Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office developed the proposed template CCAA on behalf of non-Federal landowners in western Oregon to address some of the threats to the fisher that were identified in the 2014 proposed listing rule.

    Proposed Action

    The Service proposes to issue EOS permits pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA under a proposed template CCAA for the West Coast DPS of the fisher within Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Lincoln, Polk, Tillamook, Yamhill, Wasco, and Washington counties, Oregon. The geographic area covered by the proposed CCAA and EOS permits includes the known and potential range of the fisher in those portions of the above listed Oregon counties that contain suitable forested habitat. The term of the proposed CCAA and EOS permits is 30 years.

    The proposed template CCAA is between the Service and prospective non-Federal landowners and managers (participants) who would voluntarily commit to conservation measures, that when taken together with a sufficient number of other properties, may preclude or remove the need to list the West Coast DPS of the fisher as threatened or endangered. The CCAA is a template in that it establishes general guidelines and identifies minimum conservation measures for participants in the CCAA. Interested participants would enroll their property under the CCAA through individual “site plans.” Once the CCAA is signed, the documentation needs and approval process to enroll participants with their individual site plans will be significantly streamlined as they will be able to reference and rely upon the information and completed administrative procedures associated with finalizing the template CCAA and finalizing the EAS for purposes of compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (NEPA).

    To qualify for take coverage, all enrollees must agree to implement the following conservation measures on enrolled lands:

    • Allow the Service or its agents to access enrolled lands to evaluate fisher presence for the 30-year term of the CCAA and to determine if one or more female fisher are occupying dens and raising kits;

    • Protect confirmed denning female fisher and their young by limiting or preventing access and disturbance near occupied sites, including preventing the destruction of the denning structure itself;

    • Prohibit trapping and nuisance animal control activities on enrolled lands within 2.5 miles of known fisher occupied dens;

    • Report to the Service within 48 hours upon finding any potentially fisher occupied den sites or any dead, sick, or incidentally trapped and released fishers on enrolled lands; cover all man-made structures on enrolled lands that pose an entrapment risk to fishers; and,

    • Where suitable habitat exists and where agreed upon by the participant and the Service, allow for the reintroduction of fishers.

    Details regarding the actual reintroduction of fishers, including when the reintroduction might occur, the sources and numbers of fishers, the duration of the reintroduction effort, and the parties responsible for the capture and movement of fisher are unknown at this time. We anticipate that any required environmental or regulatory analysis for fisher reintroduction will be done by the Service or other responsible parties when a reintroduction plan is developed under the laws and policies in effect at that time.

    Covered activities include those activities that may be carried out by participating landowners or their authorized representatives on enrolled lands that may result in the incidental take of the fisher consistent with the provisions of the CCAA and their EOS permit. Covered activities under the proposed CCAA include the following land-management related activities commonly practiced on forest lands: Timber harvest and reforestation, road maintenance and construction, transport of timber and rock, collection of minor forest products, and recreational activities.

    National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The proposed issuance of an ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) permit with its associated CCAA is a Federal action that triggers the need for compliance with NEPA. We have made a preliminary determination that the proposed CCAA and the proposed issuance of EOS permits under the CCAA are eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA. The basis for our preliminary determination is contained in an EAS, which is available for public review (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on our proposed Federal action.

    Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).

    Next Steps

    After considering public comments, the Service will make a decision regarding the proposed CCAA, the draft EAS, and our preliminary determination that the proposed permit action is eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA, provided they meet the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA and the requirements of NEPA. We will not make a final decision on NEPA and the template CCAA until after the end of the 30-day public comment period on this notice, and we will fully consider all comments we receive during the public comment period. If we determine that all the requirements are met, we will sign the CCAA and be able to accept EOS permit applications submitted under the requirements of the CCAA and section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. The Service will then be able to issue EOS permits to interested, eligible landowners for the potential take of the West Coast DPS of the fisher incidental to otherwise lawful activities in accordance with the terms of the CCAA, the site plans, and appropriate EOS permit conditions.

    Authority

    We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and their implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, and 40 CFR 1506.6, respectively).

    Rollie White, Acting State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06627 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX16NM00FU5010] Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of revision of a currently approved information collection, (1028-0094).

    SUMMARY:

    We (the U.S. Geological Survey) are notifying the public that we have submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the information collection request (ICR) described below. To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this ICR. This collection is scheduled to expire on 3/31/2016.

    DATES:

    To ensure that your comments on this ICR are considered, OMB must receive them on or before April 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit written comments on this information collection directly to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior, via email: ([email protected]); or by fax (202) 395-5806; and identify your submission with `OMB Control Number 1028-0094 Energy Cooperatives to Support the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS). Please also forward a copy of your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 807, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); (703) 648-7195 (fax); or [email protected] (email). Please reference `OMB Information Collection 1028-0094: Energy Cooperatives to Support the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS) in all correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph East, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 956, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); 703-648-6450 (phone); or [email protected] (email). You may also find information about this ICR at www.reginfo.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The primary objective of the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS) is to advance the understanding of the energy endowment of the United States (U.S.) by gathering and organizing digital geologic information related to coal, coal bed gas, shale gas, conventional and unconventional oil and gas, geothermal, and other energy resources and related information regarding these resources, along with environmental impacts from using these resources. These data are needed to support regional or national assessments concerning energy resources. Requesting external cooperation is a way for NCRDS to collect energy data and perform research and analyses on the characterization of geologic material, and obtain other information (including geophysical or seismic data, sample collection for generation of thermal maturity data) that can be used in energy resource assessments and related studies.

    The USGS will issue a call for proposals to support researchers from State Geological Surveys and associated accredited state universities that can provide geologic data to support NCRDS and other energy assessment projects being conducted by the USGS.

    Data submitted to NCRDS by external cooperators constitute more than two-thirds of the USGS point-source stratigraphic database (USTRAT) on coal occurrence. In 2015, NCRDS supported 21 projects in 19 States. This program is conducted under various authorities, including 30 U.S.C. 208-1, 42 U.S.C. 15801, and 43 U.S.C. 31 et seq. This collection will consist of applications, proposals and reports (annual and final).

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1028-0094.

    Form Number: None.

    Title: Energy Cooperatives to Support the National Coal Resources Data System (NCRDS).

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Respondent Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Frequency of Collection: One time every 5 years for applications and final reports; annually for progress reports.

    Description of Respondents: State, local and tribal governments; State Geological Surveys, State universities.

    Estimated Total Number of Annual Responses: 21.

    Estimated Time per Response: We estimate that it will take 20 hours to complete an application and 4.6 hours to prepare annual reports.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 181.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: There are no “non-hour cost” burdens associated with this collection of information.

    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until the OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obliged to respond.

    Comments: On 11/23/2015, we published a Federal Register notice (80 FR 72985) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval and soliciting comments. The comment period closed on 1/22/2016. We received No comments.

    III. Request for Comments

    We again invite comments concerning this ICR as to: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) how to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) how to minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your personal mailing address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personally identifiable information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us and the OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Douglas Duncan, Associate Energy Resources Program Coordinator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06668 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [16X; LLIDB00100.LF1000000.HT0000.LXSS024D0000.241A00.4500091464] Meeting of the Tri-State Fuel Break Joint Subcommittee of the Boise and Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Councils to the Boise and Vale Districts AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tri-State Fuel Break Project Joint Subcommittee of the Boise District and Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) will hold meetings as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held on the following dates and at the following locations:

    • April 20, 2016—Vale District Office located at 100 Oregon St., Vale, OR 97918 • May 4, 2016—Boise District Office located at 3948 S. Development Avenue, Boise, ID 83705 • May 18, 2016—Vale District Office located at 100 Oregon St., Vale, OR 97918 • June 1, 2016—Boise District Office located at 3948 S. Development Avenue, Boise, ID 83705

    Meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. and adjourn by 3:00 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend. A public comment period will be held.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Krista Berumen, Bureau of Land Management Public Affairs Specialist, 1387 South Vinnell Way Boise, Idaho 83709, (208)-373-3826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Tri-State Fuel Break Joint Subcommittee advises the Boise District and Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) on potential areas to locate fuel breaks for the proposed Tri-State Fuel Break Project and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The RACs advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Idaho and Oregon. The joint subcommittee will be discussing potential fuel break locations within the proposed project area during the meetings. Agenda items and location may change due to changing circumstances. The public may present written or oral comments to members of the joint subcommittee. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance should contact the BLM Coordinator as provided above. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. Additional information about the RACs is available at www.blm.gov/id/st/en/res/resource_advisory.3.html.

    Dated: March 17, 2016. Lara Douglas, Boise District Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06651 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-D-COS-POL-20605; PPWODIREP0;PPMPSPD1Y.YM0000] Notice of June 2-3, 2016, Meeting of the National Park System Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Appendix, and Parts 62 and 65 of title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and in furtherance of the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. Section 1244(b)(3), that the National Park System Advisory Board will meet June 2-3, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska. The agenda will include the review of proposed actions regarding the National Historic Landmarks Program and the National Natural Landmarks Program. The Board also will consider a proposed extension to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and may consider proposed additions to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express National Historic Trails. Interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments and recommendations that will be presented to the Board. Interested parties also may attend the board meeting and upon request may address the Board concerning an area's national significance.

    DATES:

    (a) Written comments regarding any proposed National Historic Landmarks matter or National Natural Landmarks matter listed in this notice will be accepted by the National Park Service until May 23, 2016. (b) The Board will meet on June 2-3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Boyd Evison Conference Room 309 of the National Park Service Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, telephone (907) 644-3510.

    Agenda: On the morning of June 2, the Board will convene its business meeting at 9:00 a.m., Alaska Daylight Time, and adjourn for the day at 4:30 p.m. On June 3, the Board will reconvene at 9:00 a.m., and adjourn at 2:30 p.m. During the course of the two days, the Board may be addressed by National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis and briefed by other National Park Service officials regarding education, philanthropy, NPS urban initiatives, science, and the National Park Service Centennial; deliberate and make recommendations concerning National Historic Landmarks Program, National Natural Landmarks Program, and National Historic Trails Program proposals; and receive status briefings on matters pending before committees of the Board.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    (a) For information concerning the National Park System Advisory Board or to request to address the Board, contact Shirley Sears, Office of Policy, National Park Service, MC 0004-Policy, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240, telephone (202) 354-3955, email [email protected]. (b) To submit a written statement specific to, or request information about, any National Historic Landmarks matter listed below, or for information about the National Historic Landmarks Program or National Historic Landmarks designation process and the effects of designation, contact J. Paul Loether, Chief, National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW. (2280), Washington, DC 20240, email [email protected]. (c) To submit a written statement specific to, or request information about the proposed extension to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail listed below, or for information about the National Historic Trails Program or the National Trails System, contact Tokey Boswell, Acting Chief of Planning, Midwest Regional Office, National Park Service, 601 Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE 68102, telephone (402) 661-1534, email [email protected]. (d) To submit a written statement specific to, or request information about the proposed additions to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express National Historic Trails listed below, or for information about the National Historic Trails Program or the National Trails System, contact Aaron Mahr Yáñez, Superintendent, National Trails Intermountain Region, National Park Service, P.O. Box 728, Santa Fe, NM 87504, telephone (505) 988-6736, email [email protected]. (e) to submit a written statement specific to, or request information about, any National Natural Landmarks matter listed below, or for information about the National Natural Landmarks Program or National Natural Landmarks designation process and the effects of designation, contact Heather Eggleston, Acting Program Manager, National Natural Landmarks Program, National Park Service, 12795 W. Alameda Parkway, Lakewood, Colorado 80228, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Matters concerning the National Historic Landmarks Program, National Historic Trails Program, and National Natural Landmarks Program will be considered by the Board as follows:

    A. National Historic Landmarks (NHL) Program

    NHL Program matters will be considered at the morning session of the business meeting on June 2, during which the Board may consider the following:

    Nominations for New NHL Designations Connecticut • James Merrill House, Stonington, CT • The Steward's House, Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, CT Florida • Norman Film Manufacturing Company, Jacksonville, FL Indiana • Athenaeum (Das Deutsche Haus), Indianapolis, IN Michigan • Gaukler Pointe (Edsel and Eleanor Ford House), Macomb County, MI Mississippi • Mississippi State Capitol, Jackson, MS New York • St. Bartholomew's Church and Community House, New York, NY Ohio • Zoar Historic District, Zoar, OH Wisconsin • Man Mound, Sauk County, WI Wyoming • Ames Monument, Albany County, WY Proposed Amendments to Existing Designations Ohio • James A. Garfield Home, Mentor, OH (updated documentation) • William Howard Taft Home, Cincinnati, OH (updated documentation and name change) B. National Historic Trails (NHT) Program

    NHT Program matters will be considered at the morning session of the business meeting on June 2, during which the Board may consider the following:

    Proposed National Historic Trail Additions • Proposed Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Extension (National Historic Significance Recommendation) • Proposed additions to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express National Historic Trails, CA, CO, ID, IA, KS, MO, NE, NV, OK, OR, UT, WA, and WY (National Historic Significance Recommendation) C. National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Program

    NNL Program matters will be considered at the afternoon session of the business meeting on June 2, during which the Board may consider the following:

    Nominations for New NNL Designations Arizona • Silver Bell Mountains Desert Complex, Pima County, AZ Colorado • West Bijou Site, Arapahoe and Elbert Counties, CO

    The board meeting will be open to the public. The order of the agenda may be changed, if necessary, to accommodate travel schedules or for other reasons. Space and facilities to accommodate the public are limited and attendees will be accommodated on a first-come basis. Anyone may file with the Board a written statement concerning matters to be discussed. The Board also will permit attendees to address the Board, but may restrict the length of the presentations, as necessary to allow the Board to complete its agenda within the allotted time. Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Draft minutes of the meeting will be available for public inspection about 12 weeks after the meeting in the 7th floor conference room at 1201 I Street NW., Washington, DC.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Alma Ripps, Chief, Office of Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06631 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR01115000, 16XR0680A1, RX.R0336900.0019100] Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group Charter Renewal AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Following consultation with the General Services Administration, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is renewing the charter for the Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group (CAG). The purpose of the CAG is to provide recommendations to the Secretary and the State of Washington on the structure and implementation of the Yakima River Basin Water Conservation Program.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Timothy McCoy, Manager, Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, telephone (509) 575-5848, extension 209.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The basin conservation program is structured to provide economic incentives with cooperative Federal, State, and local funding to stimulate the identification and implementation of structural and nonstructural cost-effective water conservation measures in the Yakima River basin. Improvements in the efficiency of water delivery and use will result in improved streamflows for fish and wildlife and improve the reliability of water supplies for irrigation.

    This notice is published in accordance with Section 9(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended). The certification of renewal is published below.

    Certification

    I hereby certify that Charter renewal of the Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the Department of the Interior.

    Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06646 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4330-90-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-929] Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same; Commission's Final Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337 by Solofill LLC or DongGuan Hai Rui Precision Mould Co., Ltd.; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders to Defaulted Respondents; Termination of the Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (“section 337”) by Solofill LLC and DongGuan Hai Rui Precision Mould Co., Ltd., and has issued a limited exclusion order and cease desist orders to the defaulted respondents Eko Brands, LLC, Evermuch Technology Co., Ltd., and Ever Much Company, Ltd. The investigation is terminated.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Needham, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-5468. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission instituted this investigation on September 9, 2014, based on a complaint filed by Adrian Rivera of Whittier, California, and Adrian Rivera Maynez Enterprises, Inc., of Santa Fe Springs, California (together, “ARM”). 79 FR 53445-46. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain beverage brewing capsules, components thereof, and products containing the same that infringe claims 5-8 and 18-20 of U.S. Patent No. 8,720,320 (“the '320 patent”). Id. at 53445. The Commission's notice of investigation named as respondents Solofill LLC of Houston, Texas (“Solofill”); DongGuan Hai Rui Precision Mould Co., Ltd. of Dong Guan City, China (“DongGuan”); Eko Brands, LLC (“Eko Brands”), of Woodinville, Washington; Evermuch Technology Co., Ltd. (“Evermuch Technology”), of Hong Kong, China; Ever Much Company Ltd. (“Evermuch Company”) of Shenzhen, China; Melitta USA, Inc. (“Melitta”), of North Clearwater, Florida; LBP Mfg., Inc. of Cicero, Illinois and LBP Packaging (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. of Shenzhen, China (together, “LBP”); Spark Innovators Corp. (“Spark”), of Fairfield, New Jersey; B. Marlboros International Ltd. (HK) (“B. Marlboros”) of Hong Kong, China; and Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) of Seattle, Washington. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations was also named as a party to the investigation. Id.

    The Commission terminated the investigation with respect to Melitta, Spark, LBP, and B. Marlboros based on the entry of consent orders and terminated the investigation with respect to Amazon based on a settlement agreement. Notice (Dec. 18, 2014); Notice (Jan. 13, 2015); Notice (Mar. 27, 2015); Notice (Apr. 10, 2015). The Commission also found Eko Brands, Evermuch Technology, and Evermuch Company in default for failing to respond to the complaint and notice of investigation. Notice (May 18, 2015). Accordingly, Solofill and DongGuan (together, “Respondents”) are the only respondents actively participating in the investigation.

    On September 4, 2015, the ALJ issued his final initial determination (“ID”) finding no violation of section 337. The ID found that ARM had established every element for finding a violation of section 337 except for infringement. The ID found that Respondents were not liable for direct infringement because direct infringement required the combination of Respondents' products with a third-party single serve beverage brewer, and that Respondents were not liable for induced or contributory infringement because they did not have pre-suit knowledge of the '320 patent. The ID did find that Respondents' products directly infringed claims 5-7, 18, and 20 of the '320 patent (“the asserted claims”) when combined with a third-party single serve coffee brewer, that the asserted claims were not shown invalid by clear and convincing evidence, and that ARM satisfied both the technical and economic prongs of the domestic industry requirement. The ALJ also issued his recommendation on remedy and bonding along with his ID.

    On September 21, 2015, ARM petitioned for review of the ID's findings that Respondents were not liable for induced and contributory infringement because of a lack of pre-suit knowledge, and Respondents petitioned for review of several of the ID's findings. On September 29, 2015, the parties opposed each other's petitions, and the Commission Investigative Attorney (“IA”) opposed both petitions.

    On November 9, 2015, the Commission determined to review the final ID in part. Specifically the Commission determined to review the following: (1) The ID's findings on the construction, infringement, and technical prong of the domestic industry requirement for the limitation “a needle-like structure, disposed below the base”; (2) the ID's findings on induced and contributory infringement; (3) the ID's findings that the asserted claims are not invalid for a lack of written description, as anticipated by Beaulieu and the APA, or as obvious; and (4) the ID's findings on the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement. The Commission determined not to review the remaining findings in the ID. The Commission also requested briefing from the parties on the issue of pre-suit knowledge, and briefing from the parties and the public on the issues of remedy, the public interest, and bonding. The Commission received initial written submissions from ARM, Respondents, and the IA on November 20, 2015, and responsive written submissions from ARM, Respondents, and the IA on December 1, 2015. No submissions were received from the public.

    Having examined the record of this investigation, including the ALJ's final ID, the petitions, responses, and other submissions from the parties, the Commission has determined that ARM has not proven a violation of section 337 by Solofill and DongGuan. Specifically, the Commission has determined to modify the ID's construction of “a needle-like structure, disposed below the base,” and, under the modified construction, affirms under modified reasoning the ID's findings on infringement and the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement. The Commission has also determined to reverse the ID's finding that Respondents are not liable for contributory and induced infringement. The Commission has further determined that that claims 5 and 6 of the '320 patent are invalid as anticipated by Beaulieu and that claims 5-7, 18, and 20 of the '320 patent are invalid for a lack of written description (Commissioner Kieff dissenting on written description). Additionally, the Commission has determined that Respondents have not shown that claims 7, 18, and 20 are invalid as anticipated or that claims 5-7, 18, and 20 are invalid as obvious. Finally, the Commission has determined to affirm the ID's findings on the economic prong. All other findings in the ID that are consistent with the Commission's determinations are affirmed.

    The Commission also previously found the statutory requirements of section 337(g)(1) (19 U.S.C. § 1337(g)(1)) and Commission Rule 210.16(a)(1) (19 CFR 210.16(a)(1)) met with respect to Eko Brands, Evermuch Technology, and Evermuch Company, and found these respondents in default. See ALJ Order No. 19, unreviewed Notice (May 18, 2015).

    The Commission has determined that the appropriate form of relief in this investigation is: (1) A limited exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of beverage brewing capsules, components thereof, and products containing same that are manufactured abroad by or on behalf of, or imported by or on behalf of, Eko Brands, Evermuch Technology, or Evermuch Company, that infringe one or more of claims 8 and 19 of the '320 patent; (2) cease and desist orders prohibiting Eko Brands, Evermuch Technology, and Evermuch Company from importing, selling, marketing, advertising, distributing, transferring (except for exportation), soliciting United States agents or distributors, and aiding or abetting other entities in the importation, sale for importation, sale after importation, transfer (except for exportation), or distribution of beverage brewing capsules, components thereof, and products containing same that infringe one or more of claims 8 and 19 of the '320 patent. The Commission has further determined that the public interest factors enumerated in section 337(g)(1) (19 U.S.C. § 1337(g)(1)) do not preclude the issuance of the remedial orders. Finally, the Commission has determined that the bond during the period of Presidential review shall be in the amount of 100 percent of the entered value of the imported subject articles of Eko Brands, Evermuch Technology, and Evermuch Company. The Commission's orders were delivered to the President and the United States Trade Representative on the day of their issuance. A Commission Opinion concerning the Commission's finding of no violation by Solofill or DongGuan will issue shortly.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1337), and in Part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR part 210).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 17, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06654 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Height-Adjustable Desk Platforms and Components Thereof DN 3127; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing under section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.8(b)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS,1 and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    1 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at USITC.2 The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS.3 Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    2 United States International Trade Commission (USITC): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Varidesk LLC on March 18, 2016. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain height-adjustable desk platforms and components thereof. The complaint names as respondents Nortek, Inc. of Providence, RI; and Ergotron, Inc. of St. Paul, MN. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or section 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to section 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3127”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures.4) Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    4 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/rules/handbook_on_electronic_filing.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.5

    5 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of sections 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 18, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06639 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Carbon Spine Board, Cervical Collar and Various Medical Training Manikin Devices, and Accompanying Product Catalogues, Product Inserts, Literature and Components Thereof DN 3128; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing under section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.8(b)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS,1 and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    1 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at USITC.2 The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS.3 Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    2 United States International Trade Commission (USITC): http://edis.usitc.gov

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Laerdal Medical Corp. and Laerdal Medical AS on March 21, 2016. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain carbon spine board, cervical collar and various medical training manikin devices, and accompanying product catalogues, product inserts, literature and components thereof. The complaint names as respondents Shanghai Evenk International Trading Co., Ltd. of China; Shanghai Honglian Medical Instrument Development Co., Ltd. of China; Shanghai Jolly Medical Education Co., Ltd. of China; Zhangjiagang Xiehe Medical Apparatus & Instruments Co., Ltd. of China; Zhangjiagang New Fellow Med. Co., Ltd. of China; Jiangsu Yongxin Medical Equipment Co., Ltd. of China; Jiangsu Yongxin Medical-Use Facilities Making Co., Ltd. of China; Jiangyin Everise Medical Devices Co., Ltd. of China; Medsource International Co., Ltd. and Medsource Factory, Inc. of China; and Basic Medical Supply, LLC of Richmond, TX. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative issue a limited exclusion order, and issue a cease and desist orders.

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or section 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to section 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3128”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures 4 ). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    4 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/rules/handbook_on_electronic_filing.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.5

    5 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of sections 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: March 21, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06713 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) National Grants for Program Year (PY) 2016 AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

    Funding Opportunity Number: FOA-ETA-16-04

    SUMMARY:

    The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL, or the Department, or we), announces the availability of approximately $338,520,000 in grant funds authorized by Title V of the Older Americans Act (OAA) as amended in 2006, Public Law 109-365 for the Community Service Employment for Older Americans program commonly referred to as the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), for National Grants for Program Year (PY) 2016.

    SCSEP is the only Federally-sponsored employment and training program targeted specifically to low-income older individuals who are able to enter or reenter the workforce. Program participants receive paid work experience at local public or non-profit agencies and are paid the higher of the Federal, State, or local minimum wage, or the prevailing wage for similar employment, for approximately 20 hours per week while in community service and other job training (OAA Amendments § 502(b)(1)(J); 20 CFR 641.565(a)). The dual goals of the program are to promote useful opportunities in community service job training and to move SCSEP participants into unsubsidized employment.

    We anticipate awarding approximately 10-22 grants ranging from $2 million to $50 million each under this FOA. This is a four-year grant, renewable annually for each of those four years based on annual Departmental application requirements and subject to the availability of funds. The grant may be extended for a fifth year at the Department's discretion, contingent upon the grantee meeting or exceeding the minimum negotiated performance measures as required by section 514(a) of the OAA Amendments and 20 CFR 641.700.

    The complete FOA and any subsequent FOA amendments in connection with this funding opportunity are described in further detail on ETA's Web site at https://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm or on http://www.grants.gov. The Web sites provide application information, eligibility requirements, review and selection procedures, and other program requirements governing this funding opportunity.

    DATES:

    The closing date for receipt of applications under this announcement is April 29, 2016. Applications must be received no later than 4:00:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeannette Flowers, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-4716, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone: 202-693-3322.

    Jimmie Curtis is the Grant Officer for the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

    Donna Kelly, Grant Officer, Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-06611 Filed 3-23-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance

    In accordance with Section 223 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2273) the Department of Labor herein presents summaries of determinations regarding eligibility to apply for trade adjustment assistance for workers by (TA-W) number issued during the period of February 8, 2016 through February 26, 2016.

    In order for an affirmative determination to be made for workers of a primary firm and a certification issued regarding eligibility to apply for worker adjustment assistance, each of the group eligibility requirements of Section 222(a) of the Act must be met.

    I. Under Section 222(a)(2)(A), the following must be satisfied:

    (1) A significant number or proportion of the workers in such workers' firm have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated;

    (2) The sales or production, or both, of such firm have decreased absolutely; and

    (3) One of the following must be satisfied:

    (A) Imports of articles or services like or directly competitive with articles produced or services supplied by such firm have increased;

    (B) Imports of articles like or directly competitive with articles into which one or more component parts produced by such firm are directly incorporated, have increased;

    (C) Imports of articles directly incorporating one or more component parts produced outside the United States that are like or directly competitive with imports of articles incorporating one or more component parts produced by such firm have increased;

    (D) Imports of articles like or directly competitive with articles which are produced directly using services supplied by such firm, have increased; and

    (4) The increase in imports contributed importantly to such workers' separation or threat of separation and to the decline in the sales or production of such firm; or

    II. Section 222(a)(2)(B) all of the following must be satisfied:

    (1) A significant number or proportion of the workers in such workers' firm have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated;

    (2) One of the following must be satisfied:

    (A) There has been a shift by the workers' firm to a foreign country in the production of articles or supply of services like or directly competitive with those produced/supplied by the workers' firm;

    (B) There has been an acquisition from a foreign country by the workers' firm of articles/services that are like or directly competitive with those produced/supplied by the workers' firm; and

    (3) The shift/acquisition contributed importantly to the workers' separation or threat of separation.

    In order for an affirmative determination to be made for adversely affected secondary workers of a firm and a certification issued regarding eligibility to apply for worker adjustment assistance, each of the group eligibility requirements of Section 222(b) of the Act must be met.

    (1) A significant number or proportion of the workers in the workers' firm have become totally or partially separated, or are threatened to become totally or partially separated;

    (2) The workers' firm is a Supplier or Downstream Producer to a firm that employed a group of workers who received a certification of eligibility under Section 222(a) of the Act, and such supply or production is related to the article or service that was the basis for such certification; and

    (3) Either—

    (A) The workers' firm is a supplier and the component parts it supplied to the firm described in paragraph (2) accounted for at least 20 percent of the production or sales of the workers' firm; or

    (B) A loss of business by the workers' firm with the firm described in paragraph (2) contributed importantly to the workers' separation or threat of separation.

    In order for an affirmative determination to be made for adversely affected workers in firms identified by the International Trade Commission and a certification issued regarding eligibility to apply for worker adjustment assistance, each of the group eligibility requirements of Section 222(e) of the Act must be met.

    (1) The workers' firm is publicly identified by name by the International Trade Commission as a member of a domestic industry in an investigation resulting in—

    (A) An affirmative determination of serious injury or threat thereof under section 202(b)(1);

    (B) An affirmative determination of market disruption or threat thereof under section 421(b)(1); or

    (C) An affirmative final determination of material injury or threat thereof under section 705(b)(1)(A) or 735(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671d(b)(1)(A) and 1673d(b)(1)(A));

    (2) The petition is filed during the 1-year period beginning on the date on which—

    (A) A summary of the report submitted to the President by the International Trade Commission under section 202(f)(1) with respect to the affirmative determination described in paragraph (1)(A) is published in the Federal Register under section 202(f)(3); or

    (B) Notice of an affirmative determination described in subparagraph (1) is published in the Federal Register; and

    (3) The workers have become totally or partially separated from the workers' firm within—

    (A) The 1-year period described in paragraph (2); or

    (B) Not withstanding section 223(b)(1), the 1-year period preceding the 1-year period described in paragraph (2).

    Affirmative Determinations for Worker Adjustment Assistance

    The following certifications have been issued. The date following the company name and location of each determination references the impact date for all workers of such determination.

    The following certifications have been issued. The requirements of Section 222(a)(2)(A) (increased imports) of the Trade Act have been met.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,190 DNP Electronics America LLC (Deal), Aerotek Staffing Agency Chula Vista, CA March 31, 2013. 85,348 Center Partners, Inc., Qualfon, Kantar Idaho Falls, ID May 29, 2013. 85,989 Milliken and Company, Judson Plant, Select One Staffing of SC, LLC Mau Workforce, etc Greenville, SC May 5, 2014. 86,027 Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, Glass Block Division, PPG Industries, Inc., and Corning, Inc Port Allegany, PA May 31, 2015. 86,139 Wheatland Tube Company, John Maneely Company Sharon, PA November 6, 2014. 90,106 Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries, LLC, Grede Holdings, LLC, OfficeTeam Berlin, WI January 1, 2014. 90,135 McCarthy OTR Retreading, Inc Somerset, PA January 1, 2014. 90,184 Century Aluminum of Kentucky, GP Hawesville, KY January 1, 2014. 90,184A Century Aluminum of West Virginia, Inc Ravenswood, WV January 1, 2014. 90,191 Sun Mountain Sports, Inc., Golf Assembly Department, Labor Ready Missoula, MT January 1, 2014. 91,013 Freeport-McMoRan Tyrone Mining, LLC, Freeport-McMoRan, Inc., James Hamilton Construction, Allstaff Services Tyrone, NM October 1, 2014. 91,014 Alfa Laval Inc., Alfa Laval AB, ALFA Lavel U.S. Holding Inc., American Staffcorp (ASC) Broken Arrow, OK October 1, 2014. 91,132 Century Aluminum of South Carolina, Inc Goose Creek, SC November 11, 2014. 91,159 Century Aluminum Sebree, LLC Robards, KY November 18, 2014. 91,232 Alcoa Inc., Massena Operations, Global Primary Products Division, Alcoa, Inc., Icon and Headway Massena, NY December 15, 2014. 91,367 Freeport-McMoRan Sierrita, Inc., Freeport-McMoRan, Inc Green Valley, AZ January 20, 2015.

    The following certifications have been issued. The requirements of Section 222(a)(2)(B) (shift in production or services) of the Trade Act have been met.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,025 Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Finance perations (FinOps) North America Div., etc Bothell, WA January 22, 2013. 85,025A Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Finance Operations (FinOps) North America Div., etc Andover, MA January 22, 2013. 85,025B Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Finance Operations (FinOps) North America Div., etc Pittsburgh, PA January 22, 2013. 85,038 Tate and Kirlin Associates, Inc Philadelphia, PA January 28, 2013. 85,167 Dell Marketing L.P. and Dell USA LP, Denali, Inc., Services Infrastructure Delivery and Cloud, etc Plano, TX March 20, 2013. 85,206 OVUS Technologies LLC, Texas Instruments Dallas, TX April 2, 2013. 85,239 Robert Bosch Tool Corporation, Inc., Power Tool Division, Robert Bosch Gmgh, Advanced Resources, etc Mount Prospect, IL April 15, 2013. 85,250 Dell Marketing L.P. and Dell USA LP, Denali, Inc., Dell Finance Services, AGS Staffing Round Rock, TX April 16, 2013. 85,337 Dell Marketing L.P. And Dell USA LP, Denali, Inc., Transaction Applications Group, Inc., CHPW Account Claims Plano, TX May 27, 2013. 85,530 Shure Incorporated, Warehouse Facility El Paso, TX September 10, 2013. 85,793 Pacific Data Images, Inc. (PDI), Dream Works Animation SKG, Inc., Premier Staffing Redwood City, CA January 27, 2014. 85,831 CareFusion Resources LLC, Accounts Payable/Finance Operations, Carefusion Corporation, etc Albuquerque, NM February 13, 2014. 85,835 S4Carlisle Publishing Services Dubuque, IA April 17, 2015. 85,880 Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Information Technology Department Houston, TX March 13, 2014. 85,994 Superior Industries International, Inc Van Nuys, CA May 6, 2014. 86,033 Dex Media, Bethlehem Pennsylvania Division Bethlehem, PA May 22, 2014. 86,064 Texas Instruments Incorporated, Test Technology and Product Engineering Group, Houston Test Floor, Volt Stafford, TX June 2, 2014. 86,107 Dex Media, Customer Care Greenwood Village, CO June 17, 2014. 86,130 Vera Bradley Designs, Inc., Vera Bradley Sales, LLC, Manpower New Haven, IN June 24, 2014. 90,026 Abbott Medical Optics, AMO/Headquarters, Abbott, Tapein Santa Ana, CA January 1, 2014. 90,113 Precision-Paragon, Hubbell Lighting, Inc., Staffmark and Thor Staffing Services Yorba Linda, CA January 1, 2014. 90,129 Newark Corporation, Echannel Department Richfield, OH January 1, 2014. 90,150 Barnes Aerospace, Windsor Division, Barnes Group Inc., Monroe Group, Kforce Finance, etc Windsor, CT January 1, 2014. 90,196 Quintiles, Inc., Clinical Development and Information Technology Departments, Quintiles, etc Overland Park, KS January 1, 2014. 91,070 LPL Financial LLC, Business Technology Services San Diego, CA October 22, 2014. 91,070A LPL Financial LLC, Business Technology Services Charlotte, NC October 22, 2014. 91,070B LPL Financial LLC, Business Technology Services Boston, MA October 22, 2014. 91,175 Ambassador Steel Corporation, Harris Steel, Inc Auburn, IN November 15, 2014. 91,192 Xerox Commercial Solutions, LLC, Customer Care—Industrial, Retail & Hospitality Division, Xerox, etc Tigard, OR December 2, 2014. 91,200 Phoenix Products, Inc., Valterra Products, LLC, The Reserves Network, NESCO and Area Temps Avon Lake, OH December 8, 2014. 91,211 D+H USA Corporation, DH Corporation, Alexander Connections, LLC and Volt Portland, OR December 10, 2014. 91,211A D+H USA Corporation, DH Corporation, Volt Bothell, WA December 10, 2014. 91,235 Chart Energy and Chemicals, Inc., Brazed Aluminum Heat Exchangers (BAHX), Chart Industries, Inc La Crosse, WI December 14, 2014. 91,242 HCL America Inc., ERS (Engineering R&D Services) Division, HLC Technologies Ltd., etc Naperville, IL December 17, 2014. 91,258 International Business Machines (IBM), Global Technology Services Delivery Division, Collabera, etc Denver, CO December 22, 2014. 91,259 Seagate Technology LLC Shrewsbury, MA December 22, 2014. 91,280 Cengage Learning, Inc., Global Product Technology (GPT) Division, Cengage Learning, etc Mason, OH January 4, 2015. 91,280A Cengage Learning, Inc., Global Product Technology (GPT) Division, Cengage Learning, etc Independence, KY January 4, 2015. 91,280B Cengage Learning, Inc., Global Product Technology (GPT) Division, Cengage Learning, etc Boston, MA January 4, 2015. 91,280C Cengage Learning, Inc., Global Product Technology (GPT) Division, Cengage Learning, etc San Francisco, CA January 4, 2015. 91,280D Cengage Learning, Inc., Global Product Technology (GPT) Division, Cengage Learning, etc Farmington Hills, MI January 4, 2015. 91,312 Evraz Stratcor Inc Hot Springs, AR January 7, 2015. 91,317 United Healthcare Services, Inc., Optum Technology Software Engineering Services Division, etc Hartford, CT January 8, 2015. 91,346 Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc., Global Construction, Agriculture and Military (GCAM), Manpower Edgewood, IA January 14, 2015. 91,376 Sypris Technologies, Tube Turns Division Louisville, KY January 21, 2015. 91,400 Schawk, Schawk USA, Inc., and Schawk Holdings, Inc Minneapolis, MN January 27, 2015. 91,412 Caterpillar Precision Seals, Wear Components & Aftermarket Distribution Division, etc Toccoa, GA January 29, 2015. 91,421 Lenovo (United States) Inc., USFC MFG, CTG Whitsett, NC January 28, 2015.

    The following certifications have been issued. The requirements of Section 222(b) (supplier to a firm whose workers are certified eligible to apply for TAA) of the Trade Act have been met.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,029 Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Terra Staffing Group and Express Employment Professionals Everett, WA January 21, 2013. 90,203 Fritz Enterprises Inc Fairfield, AL January 1, 2014. 90,255 Lufkin Industries LLC, Power Transmission Division, Operating Business of GE Oil & Gas, etc Lufkin, TX January 1, 2014. 91,157 Warren Steel Holdings, LLC, Accountemps and Alliance Solutions Warren, OH November 18, 2014. Negative Determinations for Worker Adjustment Assistance

    In the following cases, the investigation revealed that the eligibility criteria for worker adjustment assistance have not been met for the reasons specified.

    The investigation revealed that the criterion under paragraph (a)(1) or (b)(1) (employment decline or threat of separation) of section 222 has not been met.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,012 SANYO Solar (USA) LLC, SANYO North America Corporation Carson, CA 85,672 Twin Rivers Paper LLC, Accounts Payable Department Madawaska, ME 85,923 Oerlikon Fairfield, OC Oerlikon Corporation AG Lafayette, IN 85,945 International Business Machines (IBM), Global Procurement System Strategy, Manpower, Collabera, Inc Hopewell Junction, NY 90,206 Transcedar Limited, Inc., D/B/A Motorad of America, Fishman Thermal Technologies Niagara Falls, NY 91,015 Sysco Kansas City, Inc., Sysco Corporation Olathe, KS 91,330 Primary Sensors, Inc Hibbing, MN 91,349 International Business Machines (IBM) GTS-IOT, GTS Division, International Business Machines (IBM) Las Vegas, NV

    The investigation revealed that the criteria under paragraphs (a)(2)(A)(i) (decline in sales or production, or both) and (a)(2)(B) (shift in production or services to a foreign country) of section 222 have not been met.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,086A Bayer CropScience LP (BCS LP), Thiodicarb Unit, Adecco, Belcan, CDI Engineering Solutions, etc Institute, WV 90,297 Westerman, Inc., Worthington Industries, Skiatook Oklahoma Division Skiatook, OK

    The investigation revealed that the criteria under paragraphs (a)(2)(A) (increased imports) and (a)(2)(B) (shift in production or services to a foreign country) of section 222 have not been met.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,101 HelioVolt Corporation, Evins Personnel Consultants Austin, TX 85,159 Seagate Technologies PLC, Shakopee Design Center, Randstad North America, LP Shakopee, MN 85,159A Seagate Technologies PLC, Recording Head Group (RHG), Randstad North America, LP Bloomington, MN 85,163 Creative Apparel Associates LLC Fort Kent, ME 85,241 Institute Career Development Merrillville, IN 85,280 ClearEdge Power LLC, ClearEdge Power, Inc South Windsor, CT 85,288 Automated Solutions, Inc Knoxville, AR 85,321 JP Morgan Chase and Company, Mortgage Banking Division, Legacy Services Litigation Support Florence, SC 85,333 IQE North Carolina, IQE PLC, Wireless Division Greensboro, NC 85,334 Cubix Software Ltd., Inc Longview, TX 85,342 North Cascade Mechanical, LLC, Command Center, Inc Blaine, WA 85,352 Pioneer Hi-Bred, International—Mt. Pleasant, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Integrated Operations Division Mount Pleasant, IA 85,388 JPMorgan Chase & Co., Military Processing Department Florence, SC 85,436 PST, Inc. D/B/A Business Performance Services, McKesson Corporation Cypress, CA 85,446 JPMorgan Chase & Co., Central Support Group Florence, SC 85,494 Fluor—B&W Portsmouth LLC, Aecom, Alliant, APX, BGS, Brady, CDM, CSG, CRC, Davis Pickering, etc Piketon, OH 85,508 Electrodynamics, Inc., L-3 Communications Rolling Meadows, IL 85,571 VLOC, Inc., II-VI, Inc Trinity, FL 85,630 General Dynamics OTS (Pennsylvania), Inc., General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Inc Scranton, PA 85,632 Intuit, Inc., Customer Care Group, Icon Mountain View, CA 85,633 Microsoft Corporation, Design Laboratory, Formerly Employed by Nokia, Inc Calabasas, CA 85,659 IDEV Technologies, Inc., Abbott Vascular, Meador Staffing, Tapfin/Manpower Webster, TX 85,676 Syncreon US Trotwood, OH 85,700 Sport Mart Inc Charleston, WV 85,765 Vencore Services and Solutions, Inc. (VSS) San Diego, CA 85,824 HFW Ventures, LLC, D/B/A New Beginning Fitness Center Kenai, AK 85,832 BPRex Healthcare Brookville, Inc., RCT (Rigid Closed Top) Division, Berry Plastics Brookville, PA 85,870 Maidenform, Hanesbrands, Inc Fayetteville, NC 85,887 Unit Drilling Company, Unit Corporation Oklahoma City, OK 85,895 UNY LLC DBA General Super Plating, MJ Enterprises, Contemporary Personnel Services East Syracuse, NY 85,898 Siemens Energy Inc., PG DG PMF Division, Formerly Rolls-Royce, Belcan Engineering Mount Vernon, OH 85,908 PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company, Data Center and Technical Service Group Seattle, WA 86,015 Bandai America, Inc., Bandai Namco Holdings USA, Inc., Innovative Career Resources, etc Cypress, CA 90,104 C.P. Medical Corporation, Theragenics Corporation, Aerotek, Express Employment Professionals, etc Portland, OR 90,143 Haggen, Inc., Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC, Haggen Acquisition, LLC Tualatin, OR 90,143A Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC Klamath Falls, OR 90,143B Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC Klamath Falls, OR 90,143C Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC Grants Pass, OR 90,143D Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC Keizer, OR 90,143E Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC Clackamas, OR 90,143F Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC West Lynn, OR 90,143G Haggen, OPCO North, LLC, Haggen Operations Holdings, LLC Eugene, OR 91,121 REC Silicon LLC, Renewable Energy Corporation SAS, Rec Solar Grade Silicon LLC, etc Moses Lake, WA 91,121A REC Silicon ASA, Rec Solar Grade Silicon LLC, Rec Advanced Silicon Materials, etc Silver Bow, MT 91,276 Trimble Navigation, Ltd., North American Sales Team, Geospatial Division Westminster, CO 91,322 Gardner Denver Nash, LLC., R&D Engineering Department, The Marine Group, and Gardner Denver Inc Trumbull, CT Determinations Terminating Investigations of Petitions for Worker Adjustment Assistance

    After notice of the petitions was published in the Federal Register and on the Department's Web site, as required by Section 221 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2271), the Department initiated investigations of these petitions.

    The following determinations terminating investigations were issued because the petitioner has requested that the petition be withdrawn.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 90,236 Gamma North Alden, NY 91,342 Hewlett Packard East Pontiac, MI 91,379 Climax Portable Machine Tools Inc Newberg, OR 91,387 Cameron International Corp. Millbury, MA

    The following determinations terminating investigations were issued in cases where these petitions were not filed in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 90.11. Every petition filed by workers must be signed by at least three individuals of the petitioning worker group. Petitioners separated more than one year prior to the date of the petition cannot be covered under a certification of a petition under Section 223(b), and therefore, may not be part of a petitioning worker group. For one or more of these reasons, these petitions were deemed invalid.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 91,405 Fairmont Supply Oil & Gas Warren, PA 91,425 Universal Lighting Technologies Los Indios, TX

    The following determinations terminating investigations were issued because the petitioning groups of workers are covered by active certifications. Consequently, further investigation in these cases would serve no purpose since the petitioning group of workers cannot be covered by more than one certification at a time.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 85,090 Pixel Playground, Inc. Woodland Hills, CA 85,556 Leased Workers from Optiscan, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., Aerospace Order Management Division Tempe, AZ 86,044 Interfor Corporation NW Region—Tacomas, f/k/a Simpson Lumber Company, Almond and Associates and Optistaff, etc Tacoma, WA 90,100 Century Aluminum of West Virginia, Inc Ravenswood, WV

    The following determinations terminating investigations were issued because the petitions are the subject of ongoing investigations under petitions filed earlier covering the same petitioners.

    TA-W No. Subject firm Location Impact date 91,190 D+H USA Corporation, DH Corporation, Volt Bothell, WA 91,293 RMI International Ashland, KY 91,364 Atlas Medical Software Calabasas, CA 91,391 Halliburton Homer City, PA

    I hereby certify that the aforementioned determinations were issued during the period of February 8, 2016 through February 26, 2016. These determinations are available on the Department's Web site www.tradeact/taa/taa_search_form.cfm under the searchable listing of determinations or by calling the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance toll free at 888-365-6822.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 7th day of March, 2016. Jessica R. Webster, Certifying Officer, O