Federal Register Vol. 81, No.69,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 69 (April 11, 2016)

Page Range21223-21447
FR Document

81_FR_69
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 21327 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 21400 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 21335 - Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP); EPA Proposal To Rely on Data From Human Research on TCVP Exposure From Flea Control CollarsPDF
81 FR 21339 - Registration Review; Conventional, Biopesticide and Antimicrobial Dockets Opened for Review and CommentPDF
81 FR 21341 - Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, and Malathion Registration Review; Draft Biological Evaluations; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 21295 - Hazardous Waste Management System; Tentative Denial of Petition To Revise the RCRA Corrosivity Hazardous CharacteristicPDF
81 FR 21343 - 2016 Spring Joint Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility UnionPDF
81 FR 21328 - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Construction ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 21290 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Interstate Transport of Air Pollution for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 21344 - Flubendiamide; Notice of Receipt of Request To Voluntarily Cancel a Pesticide Product RegistrationPDF
81 FR 21377 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Fort Mojave Solar Project on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, Mohave County, Arizona, and Clark County, NevadaPDF
81 FR 21376 - Supplemental Notice of Intent To Revise the Osage County Oil and Gas Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Osage County, OklahomaPDF
81 FR 21447 - MyVA Federal Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 21324 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
81 FR 21320 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
81 FR 21379 - Notice of Realty Action: Segregation and Classification for Conveyance for Recreation and Public Purposes Patent, in Humboldt County, NVPDF
81 FR 21379 - Fisheries Management, Aquatics Restoration, and Climate Change Response Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, Glacier National Park, MontanaPDF
81 FR 21402 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 21397 - Supplemental Guidelines for Juvenile Registration Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification ActPDF
81 FR 21325 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21442 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Modified Collector Street in California; Statute of Limitations on ClaimsPDF
81 FR 21441 - Proposed Third Renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Revision Assigning Certain Federal Environmental Responsibilities to the State of California, Including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Authority for Certain Categorical Exclusions (CEs)PDF
81 FR 21374 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Preble's Meadow Jumping MousePDF
81 FR 21445 - Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC); NominationsPDF
81 FR 21378 - Notice of Public Meeting, North Slope Science Initiative-Science Technical Advisory PanelPDF
81 FR 21374 - Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail; Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 21380 - Notice of Intent to Accept Proposals, Select Lessee(s), and Contract for Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Power Development on Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Boise Project, IdahoPDF
81 FR 21435 - Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls: Notifications to the Congress of Proposed Commercial Export LicensesPDF
81 FR 21316 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty DeterminationPDF
81 FR 21314 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
81 FR 21319 - Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Determination of No Shipments, In Part: 2014 Administrative ReviewPDF
81 FR 21312 - Brass Sheet and Strip From Germany: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 21428 - Equity Market Structure Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 21445 - Comment Request for the Financial Literacy and Education Commission on the Draft National Strategy Update, Entitled Promoting Financial Success: National Strategy for Financial Literacy UpdatePDF
81 FR 21327 - Proposed Agency Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 21267 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chincoteague Bay, Chincoteague, VAPDF
81 FR 21404 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collections; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21361 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0038PDF
81 FR 21370 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0118PDF
81 FR 21321 - Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 21269 - Safety Zone: Santa Cruz Harbor Shoaling, Santa Cruz County, CAPDF
81 FR 21357 - Certificates of Alternative Compliance, First Coast Guard DistrictPDF
81 FR 21345 - Information Collection Approved by the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 21383 - Stainless Steel Wire Rod From Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, and Taiwan; Revised Schedule for the Subject ReviewsPDF
81 FR 21362 - National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) GuidelinesPDF
81 FR 21311 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21373 - Accreditation and Approval of King Laboratories, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
81 FR 21325 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21372 - Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC)PDF
81 FR 21383 - United States v. Iron Mountain Inc. and Recall Holdings Ltd.; Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact StatementPDF
81 FR 21309 - Wenatchee-Okanogan Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 21443 - Commercial Driver's License: Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR); Application for ExemptionPDF
81 FR 21322 - Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research ReservesPDF
81 FR 21326 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21447 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 21346 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 21312 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21352 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21353 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21327 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
81 FR 21269 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Secaucus, NJPDF
81 FR 21371 - Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 21311 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the South Dakota Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 21351 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 21396 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Census of State and Local Prosecutor Offices Serving Tribal Lands (CSLPOSTL)PDF
81 FR 21395 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Serving Tribal Lands (CSLLEASTL)PDF
81 FR 21405 - Wireless Spectrum Sharing: Enforcement Frameworks, Technology, and R&D WorkshopPDF
81 FR 21408 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Rules of the Exchange Related to Market MakersPDF
81 FR 21405 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Its Equity Options PlatformPDF
81 FR 21417 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Its Equity Options PlatformPDF
81 FR 21427 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rules 7410 (Definitions) and 7440 (Recording of Order Information)PDF
81 FR 21420 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment Nos. 1, 2, and 3 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1, 2, and 3, To List and Trade Shares of RiverFront Dynamic Unconstrained Income ETF and RiverFront Dynamic Core Income ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 21433 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule To Add Fees for Reserve Market Maker Options Trading PermitsPDF
81 FR 21429 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.16 To Specify That Sell Short Post No Preference Orders and Sell Short PNP Blind Orders Priced At or Below the National Best Bid Will Be Rejected on Arrival During the Short Sale PeriodPDF
81 FR 21415 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Amend Rule 955NY(c) by Revising the Clearing Member Requirements for Entering an Order Into the Electronic Order Capture System (“EOC”)PDF
81 FR 21430 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Amend Rule 6.67(c) by Revising the Clearing Member Requirements for Entering an Order Into the Electronic Order Capture System (“EOC”)PDF
81 FR 21315 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Procedures for Importation of Supplies for Use in Emergency Relief WorkPDF
81 FR 21309 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21310 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21310 - Notice of New Fee Site; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, (Title VIII, Pub. L. 108-447)PDF
81 FR 21357 - Delegation of AuthorityPDF
81 FR 21356 - Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services; MeetingPDF
81 FR 21323 - Marine Mammals; File No. 18537PDF
81 FR 21324 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21322 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 21354 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Administrative Detention and Banned Medical DevicesPDF
81 FR 21346 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Submission for OMB Review; Federal Supply Schedule Pricing DisclosuresPDF
81 FR 21356 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Medical Device User Fee Cover Sheet, Form FDA 3601PDF
81 FR 21355 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget ApprovalsPDF
81 FR 21402 - National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board; MeetingPDF
81 FR 21276 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating EquipmentPDF
81 FR 21286 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
81 FR 21233 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan EnginesPDF
81 FR 21284 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 21288 - Airworthiness Directives; Various Restricted Category HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 21259 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 21234 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France)PDF
81 FR 21253 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21250 - Airworthiness Directives; Textron Aviation, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21272 - Connect America Fund, ETC Annual Reports and Certifications, Rural Broadband ExperimentsPDF
81 FR 21223 - Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Treatment of U.S. Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid AssetsPDF
81 FR 21261 - Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21246 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21240 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21242 - Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21255 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21244 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21236 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 21263 - Airworthiness Directives; BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited AirplanesPDF

Issue

81 69 Monday, April 11, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Proposed Final Judgments and Competitive Impact Statements: United States v. Iron Mountain Inc. and Recall Holdings Ltd., 21383-21395 2016-08210 Army Army Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21325 2016-08246 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21351-21352 2016-08195 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21352-21354 2016-08201 2016-08202 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: South Dakota Advisory Committee, 21311 2016-08196 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Chincoteague Bay, Chincoteague, VA, 21267-21268 2016-08225 Hackensack River, Secaucus, NJ, 21269 2016-08199 Safety Zones: Santa Cruz Harbor Shoaling, Santa Cruz County, CA, 21269-21272 2016-08220 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21361-21362, 21370-21371 2016-08222 2016-08223 Certificates of Alternative Compliance, First Coast Guard District, 21357-21361 2016-08219 Meetings: Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee, 21371-21372 2016-08198 National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program Guidelines, 21362-21370 2016-08215 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21311-21312 2016-08203 2016-08214
Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21325-21327 2016-08206 2016-08212 Charter Renewals: Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees, 21327 2016-08200
Election Election Assistance Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 21327 2016-08398 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment, 21276-21284 2016-08121
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21327-21328 2016-08226 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Interstate Transport of Air Pollution for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 21290-21295 2016-08275 Hazardous Waste Management System: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrosivity Hazardous Characteristic, 21295-21308 2016-08278 NOTICES Draft Biological Evaluations: Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, and Malathion Registration Review, 21341-21343 2016-08279 Meetings: Ozone Transport Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union, 21343-21344 2016-08277 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits: Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities, 21328-21335 2016-08276 Proposal to Rely on Data from Human Research on TCVP Exposure from Flea Control Collars: Tetrachlorvinphos, 21335-21339 2016-08281 Registration Reviews: Conventional, Biopesticide and Antimicrobial Dockets, 21339-21341 2016-08280 Requests to Voluntarily Cancel Pesticide Product Registrations: Flubendiamide, 21344-21345 2016-08273 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 21236-21240, 21244-21250, 21255-21258 2016-07373 2016-07375 2016-07570 2016-07574 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known As Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes, 21240-21242 2016-07572 Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France), 21259-21261 2016-07983 BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited Airplanes, 21263-21266 2016-07229 Dassault Aviation Airplanes, 21242-21244 2016-07571 Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes, 21261-21263 2016-07580 Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines, 21233-21234 2016-08092 Textron Aviation, Inc. Airplanes, 21250-21253 2016-07798 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 21253-21255 2016-07842 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters, 21284-21286 2016-07986 General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 21286-21288 2016-08111 Various Restricted Category Helicopters, 21288-21290 2016-07985 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Connect America Fund, ETC Annual Reports and Certifications, Rural Broadband Experiments, 21272-21275 2016-07718 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21345-21346 2016-08217 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions: Proposed Modified Collector Street in California, 21442-21443 2016-08243 Proposed Third Renewed Memorandum of Understanding, 21441-21442 2016-08242 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Commercial Driver's License; Missouri Department of Revenue, 21443-21444 2016-08208 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Treatment of U.S. Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets, 21223-21233 2016-07716 NOTICES Change in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 21346 2016-08204 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Draft Recovery Plan for Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse, 21374 2016-08241 Habitat Conservation Plans: Morro Shoulderband Snail, Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA, 21374-21376 2016-08238 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21355-21356 2016-08153 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Administrative Detention and Banned Medical Devices, 21354-21355 2016-08161 Medical Device User Fee Cover Sheet, 21356 2016-08154 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21309 2016-08175 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Wenatchee-Okanogan Resource Advisory Committee, 21309-21310 2016-08209 New Fee Sites, 21310 2016-08172 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures, 21346-21351 2016-08160 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

NOTICES Delegations of Authority, 21357 2016-08171 Meetings: Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services, 21356-21357 2016-08170
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Fort Mojave Solar Project on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, Mohave County, AZ, and Clark County, NV, 21377-21378 2016-08264 Osage County, OK, 21376-21377 2016-08260 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee, 21445 2016-08240 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Procedures for Importation of Supplies for Use in Emergency Relief Work, 21315-21316 2016-08177 Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Brass Sheet and Strip from Germany, 21312-21314 2016-08231 Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components from the People's Republic of China, 21316-21319 2016-08235 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates, 21314-21315 2016-08234 Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China, 21319-21320 2016-08233 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Revised Schedule for Subject Reviews: Stainless Steel Wire Rod from Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, and Taiwan, 21383 2016-08216 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Serving Tribal Lands, 21395-21396 2016-08193 Census of State and Local Prosecutor Offices Serving Tribal Lands, 21396-21397 2016-08194 Guidelines: Juvenile Registration under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, 21397-21400 2016-08249
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: North Slope Science Initiative, Science Technical Advisory Panel, 21378-21379 2016-08239 Realty Actions: Segregation and Classification for Conveyance for Recreation and Public Purposes Patent, in Humboldt County, NV, 21379 2016-08254 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 21400-21402 2016-08328 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board, 21402 2016-08142 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21310-21311 2016-08173 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 21402-21404 2016-08251 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21404-21405 2016-08224 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 21322, 21324 2016-08165 2016-08166 Exempted Fishing Permit Applications: General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries, 21320-21321, 21324-21325 2016-08256 2016-08257 Meetings: Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves, 21322-21323 2016-08207 Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, 21321-21322 2016-08221 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 18537, 21323-21324 2016-08169 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Glacier National Park, MT; Fisheries Management, Aquatics Restoration and Climate Change Response Plan, 21379-21380 2016-08252 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Wireless Spectrum Sharing—Enforcement Frameworks, Technology, and R and D Workshop, 21405 2016-08192 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Power Development: Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Boise Project, ID, 21380-21383 2016-08237 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings: Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee, 21428-21429 2016-08228 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 21417-21420 2016-08184 Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 21405-21408 2016-08185 Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., 21408-21415 2016-08186 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 21427-21428 2016-08183 NYSE Arca, Inc., 21420-21427, 21429-21435 2016-08180 2016-08181 2016-08182 2016-08178 NYSE MKT, LLC, 21415-21417 2016-08179 State Department State Department NOTICES Notifications to Congress of Proposed Commercial Export Licenses, 21435-21441 2016-08236 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Literacy and Education Commission on the draft National Strategy Update, entitled Promoting Financial Success: National Strategy for Financial Literacy Update, 21445-21447 2016-08227
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Commercial Gaugers and Laboratories; Approvals: King Laboratories, Inc., 21373-21374 2016-08213 Meetings: Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, 21372-21373 2016-08211 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, 21447 2016-08205 MyVA Federal Advisory Committee, 21447 2016-08258 Reader Aids

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

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81 69 Monday, April 11, 2016 Rules and Regulations FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 249 [Docket No. R-1514; Regulation WW] RIN 7100 AE-32 Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Treatment of U.S. Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is adopting a final rule that amends the Board's liquidity coverage ratio rule and modified liquidity coverage ratio rule (together, LCR rule) to include certain U.S. municipal securities as high-quality liquid assets (HQLA). This final rule includes as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR rule general obligation securities of a public sector entity (i.e., securities backed by the full faith and credit of a U.S. state or municipality) that meet similar criteria as corporate debt securities that are included as level 2B liquid assets, subject to limitations that are intended to address the structure of the U.S. municipal securities market. The final rule applies to all Board-regulated institutions that are subject to the LCR rule: Bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and state member banks that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; state member banks with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies described in the first instance; nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR rule by separate rule or order; and bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies, in each case with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, but that do not meet the thresholds described in the first through third instances, which are subject to the Board's modified liquidity coverage ratio rule.

DATES:

Effective Date: July 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gwendolyn Collins, Assistant Director, (202) 912-4311, Peter Clifford, Manager, (202) 785-6057, Adam S. Trost, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3814, or J. Kevin Littler, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 475-6677, Risk Policy, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; Benjamin W. McDonough, Special Counsel, (202) 452-2036, Dafina Stewart, Counsel, (202) 452-3876, or Adam Cohen, Counsel, (202) 912-4658, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets, Washington, DC 20551. For the hearing impaired only, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), (202) 263-4869.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Background and Overview A. Background and Summary of the Proposed Rule B. Overview of the Final Rule and Significant Changes From the Proposed Rule II. Inclusion of U.S. Municipal Securities as HQLA A. Criteria for Inclusion of U.S. Municipal Securities as Level 2B Liquid Assets 1. U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities 2. Investment Grade U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities 3. Proven Record as a Reliable Source of Liquidity 4. Not an Obligation of a Financial Sector Entity or its Consolidated Subsidiaries B. Quantitative Limitations on a Company's Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities in its HQLA Amount 1. Limitation on the Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities With the Same CUSIP Number in the HQLA Amount 2. Limitation on the Inclusion of the U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities of a Single Issuer in the HQLA Amount 3. Limitation on the Amount of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities That Can Be Included in the HQLA Amount C. HQLA Calculation III. Plain Language IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act V. Paperwork Reduction Act VI. Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 I. Background and Overview A. Background and Summary of the Proposed Rule

On May 28, 2015, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) invited comment on a proposed rule (proposed rule) to allow Board-regulated institutions subject to the liquidity coverage ratio rule and modified liquidity coverage ratio rule (together, LCR rule) 1 to include certain U.S. general obligation municipal securities as high-quality liquid assets (HQLA).2 The LCR rule, adopted by the Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (collectively, the agencies) in 2014,3 is designed to promote the short-term resilience of the liquidity risk profile of large and internationally active banking organizations, and to further improve the measurement and management of liquidity risk, thereby improving the banking sector's ability to absorb shocks arising during periods of significant stress. The LCR rule requires a company to maintain an amount of HQLA (the numerator of the ratio) 4 that is no less than its total net cash outflow amount over a forward-looking 30 calendar-day period of significant stress (the denominator of the ratio).5 Community banking organizations are not subject to the LCR rule.6

1 12 CFR part 249.

2 80 FR 30383 (May 28, 2015).

3 79 FR 61440 (October 10, 2014).

4 A company's HQLA amount for purposes of the LCR rule is calculated according to 12 CFR 249.21.

5 A company's total net cash outflow amount for purposes of the LCR rule is calculated according to 12 CFR 249.30 or 249.63.

6 The LCR rule applies to (1) bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and depository institutions that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) depository institutions with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies described in (1); (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (Council) for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR rule by separate rule or order; and (4) bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies that, in each case, have $50 billion or more in consolidated assets but that do not meet the thresholds described in (1) through (3), which are subject to the modified liquidity coverage ratio rule (collectively, covered companies). At this time, General Electric Capital Corporation is the only nonbank financial company designated by the Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR rule. 80 FR 4411 (July 24, 2015).

Under the LCR rule, asset classes that count as HQLA are those that have historically served as sources of liquidity in the United States, including during periods of significant stress. In identifying the asset classes that qualify as HQLA under the LCR rule, the agencies considered several factors, including an asset class's risk profile and characteristics of the market for the asset class (e.g., the existence of active sale or repurchase markets at all times, significant diversity in market participants, and high trading volume). In addition, the agencies developed certain other criteria, such as operational requirements, that assets must meet for inclusion as eligible HQLA.7

7 The LCR rule defines eligible HQLA as those high-quality liquid assets that meet the requirements set forth in 12 CFR 249.22.

The LCR rule divides HQLA into three categories of assets: Level 1, level 2A, and level 2B liquid assets. Specifically, level 1 liquid assets, which are the highest quality and most liquid assets, are limited to balances held at a Federal Reserve Bank and foreign central bank withdrawable reserves, all securities issued or unconditionally guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by the U.S. Government, and certain highly liquid, high-credit-quality securities issued by or unconditionally guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by a sovereign entity, certain international organizations, or certain multilateral development banks. Level 1 liquid assets may be included in a covered company's HQLA amount without limitation and without haircut.

Level 2A and 2B liquid assets have characteristics that are associated with being relatively stable and significant sources of liquidity, but not to the same degree as level 1 liquid assets. All level 2 liquid assets, including all level 2B liquid assets, must be liquid and readily marketable as defined in the LCR rule to be included as HQLA.8 Level 2A liquid assets include certain obligations issued or guaranteed by a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) and certain obligations issued or guaranteed by a sovereign entity or a multilateral development bank that are not eligible to be treated as level 1 liquid assets. Under the LCR rule, level 2A liquid assets are subject to a 15 percent haircut, and the aggregate amount of level 2A and level 2B liquid assets is limited to no more than 40 percent of a covered company's HQLA amount, as calculated under 12 CFR 249.21. Level 2B liquid assets, which are liquid assets that generally exhibit more volatility than level 2A liquid assets, are subject to a 50 percent haircut and may not exceed 15 percent of a covered company's HQLA amount. Under the LCR rule, level 2B liquid assets include certain corporate debt securities and certain common equity shares of publicly traded companies.

8 The liquid and readily marketable standard is defined in 12 CFR 249.3 and is discussed in section II.B.2 of the Supplementary Information section to the LCR rule published October 10, 2014. 79 FR 61440, 61451-52 (October 10, 2014).

Other classes of assets, such as debt securities issued or guaranteed by a public sector entity (municipal securities), are not treated as HQLA under the LCR rule. The LCR rule defines a public sector entity to include any state, local authority, or other governmental subdivision below the U.S. sovereign entity level.9 The Supplementary Information section to the LCR rule published October 10, 2014, stated that “[w]ith respect to municipal securities, the agencies have observed that the liquidity characteristics of municipal securities range significantly, and overall many municipal securities are not `liquid and readily-marketable' in U.S. markets as defined in § __.3 of the final rule.” 10 Accordingly, the agencies did not include U.S. municipal securities as HQLA in the LCR rule. However, the Board continued to study the question of whether at least some U.S. municipal securities should be included as HQLA under some circumstances, and subsequently issued the proposed rule.

9 12 CFR 249.3.

10 79 FR 61440, 61463.

The proposed rule would have included as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR rule certain U.S. general obligation municipal securities that meet similar criteria as corporate debt securities that are included as level 2B liquid assets. The proposed rule also would have contained several criteria and limitations designed to ensure that U.S. general obligation municipal securities included as HQLA would be sufficiently liquid in times of stress. The proposed rule would have applied to all Board-regulated institutions that are subject to the LCR rule: (1) Bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies without significant commercial or insurance operations, and state member banks that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; 11 (2) state member banks with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies subject to the LCR described in (1); (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR rule by separate rule or order; and (4) bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies, in each case with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, but that do not meet the thresholds described in (1) through (3), which are subject to the Board's modified liquidity coverage ratio rule (together, Board-regulated covered companies).

11 On-balance sheet foreign exposure equals total cross-border claims less claims with a head office or guarantor located in another country plus redistributed guaranteed amounts to the country of the head office or guarantor plus local country claims on local residents plus revaluation gains on foreign exchange and derivative transaction products, calculated in accordance with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 009 Country Exposure Report. 12 CFR 249.1(b)(1)(ii).

The proposed rule and the final rule permit U.S. general obligation municipal securities that meet certain criteria to be counted as HQLA for purposes of the LCR rule, subject to certain limits.12 Neither the proposed rule nor the final rule limit in any way, however, the amount or types of municipal securities that a Board-regulated covered company may hold for purposes other than complying with the LCR rule.

12 A Board-regulated covered company that holds these securities in its consolidated subsidiaries, including those consolidated securities that are not regulated by the Board, may count the securities as HQLA for purposes of the LCR rule in accordance with 12 CFR 249.22(b)(3) and (4).

B. Overview of the Final Rule and Significant Changes From the Proposed Rule

The final rule amends the LCR rule to include certain U.S. municipal securities as HQLA. The final rule includes U.S. general obligation municipal securities as level 2B liquid assets if they meet certain criteria, some of which have been adjusted from the criteria in the proposed rule based on comments received. To qualify as HQLA under the final rule, the securities must be general obligations of public sector entities, which includes bonds or similar obligations that are backed by the full faith and credit of the public sector entities. U.S. municipal securities must also be “investment grade” under 12 CFR part 1 as of the calculation date,13 and must be issued by an entity whose obligations have a proven record as a reliable source of liquidity in repurchase or sales markets during a period of significant stress. Under the final rule, U.S. municipal securities generally do not qualify as level 2B liquid assets if they are obligations of a financial sector entity or a consolidated subsidiary of a financial sector entity. This approach is consistent with the requirements imposed on corporate debt securities and publicly traded common equity shares that are included as level 2B liquid assets. Unlike the proposed rule and the LCR rule's treatment of other level 2B liquid assets, however, U.S. municipal securities that are insured by a bond insurer may count as level 2B liquid assets, so long as the underlying U.S. municipal security would otherwise qualify as HQLA without the insurance.

13 12 CFR 1.2(d). In accordance with section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 1887 (2010) section 939A, codified at 15 U.S.C. 78o-7, the final rule does not rely on credit ratings as a standard of credit-worthiness. Rather, the final rule relies on an assessment by the Board-regulated covered company of the capacity of the issuer of the U.S. municipal security to meet its financial commitments.

The proposed rule would have limited the amount of U.S. general obligation municipal securities a Board-regulated covered company could include in its HQLA amount based on the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number and the average daily trading volume of U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by a particular U.S. municipal issuer. The proposed rule would also have limited the percentage of the institution's total HQLA amount that could be comprised of U.S. municipal securities. Commenters opposed these limitations, arguing that U.S. municipal securities have similar risks and liquidity characteristics as other assets included in the HQLA amount that are not subject to these limitations. Instead of these limitations, commenters argued that the credit and liquidity characteristics of a U.S municipal security, such as credit quality, source of repayment, CUSIP size, and issuer size, should be considered in determining whether the security may be included in a company's HQLA amount. After considering comments on the proposed rule, the Board is retaining two and eliminating one of these proposed limitations in the final rule.

II. Inclusion of U.S. Municipal Securities as HQLA

The Board received 13 comments on the proposed rule from state and local government officials, trade organizations, public interest groups, and other interested parties. In addition, Board staff held meetings with members of the public, summaries of which are available on the Board's public Web site.14 Although most commenters generally supported allowing Board-regulated covered companies to include certain liquid U.S. municipal securities as HQLA, they objected to the criteria and limitations on U.S. municipal securities in the proposed rule, stating that they would be overly restrictive. One commenter asserted that the cumulative impact of the restrictions imposed on U.S. municipal securities includable as HQLA would essentially negate the ability of a Board-regulated covered company to include U.S. municipal securities as HQLA. Another commenter suggested that the definition of HQLA is too narrow and concentrated on certain instruments, such as cash and U.S. Treasury securities, which could lead to market distortions such as constrictions in HQLA supply during times of financial stress as banks seek the same sources of HQLA. Although the criteria and limitations in the final rule will exclude certain U.S. municipal securities, these criteria and limitations are designed to include in the HQLA amount only those securities that have liquidity characteristics comparable to other level 2B liquid assets. In addition, the final rule expands the assets that Board-regulated covered companies may include as HQLA, which mitigates potential market distortions caused by the correlated market behavior discussed by the commenter.

14See http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/reform_systemic.htm.

One commenter opposed the inclusion of any U.S. municipal securities as HQLA because that commenter believed that U.S. municipal securities would be illiquid during periods of significant stress, which would weaken the effectiveness of the LCR Rule. Under the final rule, the criteria that must be met by, and limitations applied to, the U.S. municipal securities that are included in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount ensures that those securities have a high potential to generate liquidity through monetization (sale or secured borrowing) during a period of significant stress. Thus, the effectiveness of the LCR rule will not be compromised by their inclusion as HQLA.

Many commenters also expressed a desire for the OCC and the FDIC to issue rules similar to the Board's proposed rule, in order to promote consistency in the regulation of banking organizations and to allow institutions not regulated by the Board to include U.S. municipal securities as HQLA. The final rule would apply only to Board-regulated covered companies.

A. Criteria for Inclusion of U.S. Municipal Securities as Level 2B Liquid Assets

Under the proposed rule, U.S. municipal securities would have been included as level 2B liquid assets. Commenters argued that U.S. municipal securities instead should be included as level 2A liquid assets because they have exhibited limited price volatility, particularly during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, high trading volumes, and deep and stable secured funding markets. Commenters also contended that many U.S. municipal securities are more liquid and more secure than foreign sovereign securities that may be counted as level 2A liquid assets under the LCR rule and other assets that are level 2B liquid assets, such as corporate bonds. Some commenters highlighted the difference between the treatment of certain U.S. municipal securities under the proposed rule and the treatment under the liquidity coverage ratio standard established by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel III Liquidity Framework),15 which includes municipal securities as level 2A liquid assets. A commenter expressed concern that the rule would create an international inconsistency that would disadvantage U.S. state and local government issuers due to the different treatment of municipal securities in the United States as compared to other jurisdictions.

15 Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, “Basel III: The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and liquidity risk monitoring tools” (January 2013), available at http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs238.htm.

Certain U.S. municipal securities may be more liquid than some securities that can be included as level 2A liquid assets under the LCR rule. However U.S. municipal securities as a class of assets are less liquid than the asset classes included as level 2A liquid assets under the LCR rule. For example, the daily trading volume of securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. GSEs far exceeds that of U.S. municipal securities. The LCR rule differs from the Basel III Liquidity Framework in the treatment of municipal securities because of differences in the regulation and structure of the U.S. municipal securities compared to municipal securities markets in foreign jurisdictions.

The proposed rule would have required U.S. municipal securities to be “liquid and readily marketable,” as that term is defined in the LCR rule 16 for other level 2B liquid assets. To be liquid and readily marketable, a security must be traded in an active secondary market with more than two committed market makers, a large number of non-market maker participants on both the buying and selling sides of transactions, timely and observable market prices, and a high trading volume. Commenters asserted that most U.S. municipal securities would not meet the conditions specified in the LCR rule to be considered liquid and readily marketable, and therefore would not qualify as level 2B liquid assets under the proposed rule.

16See supra note 9.

Consistent with the LCR rule's treatment of corporate securities, the final rule maintains that a U.S. municipal security may only be included as a level 2B liquid asset if it meets the liquid and readily marketable standard in the LCR rule. The final rule retains this requirement because it will aid in improving a Board-regulated covered company's resilience to liquidity risk by ensuring that U.S. municipal securities included as level 2B liquid assets are traded in deep, active markets, so a company can monetize them easily, even during periods of significant stress. This criterion applies equally to corporate debt securities, and is successfully being implemented by firms for purposes of the LCR. There is no special difficulty in applying this same criterion in the same manner to U.S. municipal securities.

Permitting certain U.S. municipal securities to be included as level 2B liquid assets recognizes that these securities, while not as liquid as a category as other types of HQLA, can serve as highly liquid assets within certain limits and if certain conditions are met.

1. U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities

Under the proposed rule, a U.S. municipal security would have qualified as a level 2B liquid asset only if it was a general obligation of the issuing entity, which includes bonds or similar obligations that are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing public sector entity. A revenue bond, which is an obligation that a public sector entity has committed to repay with proceeds from a specified revenue source, such as a project or utility system, rather than from general tax funds, would not have qualified as a level 2B liquid asset.

Commenters argued that revenue bonds have similar liquidity and volatility characteristics to general obligation bonds and therefore should not be treated differently under the final rule. Some commenters stated that the inclusion of revenue bonds would expand the universe of HQLA-eligible municipal bonds without impairing the objectives of the LCR rule. In addition, commenters contended that many revenue bonds are not dependent on a single project as a source of repayment, but are secured by multiple sources of repayment, such as revenues of multiple public entities, pools of assets backed by the full faith and credit of other public entities, or by other sources of tax revenues. One commenter argued that the value of corporate bonds, which are level 2B liquid assets, are tied to uncertain corporate revenues, which is similar to revenue bonds being tied to revenues of a specific project or projects.

An asset's credit quality is an important factor in its liquidity because market participants tend to be more willing to purchase higher credit quality assets, especially during stressed market conditions. During a period of significant stress, the credit quality of revenue bonds tends to deteriorate more significantly than general obligation bonds, and thus, the liquidity of revenue bonds is not as reliable as that of general obligation bonds during a period of market stress.17 Revenue derived from one or more sources may fall dramatically as domestic consumption declines during a stress, and as the risk of default of any associated revenue bond increases, revenue bonds may experience significant price declines and become less liquid. On the other hand, general obligation bonds are less likely to experience significant price declines during a period of significant stress because they are backed by the general taxing authority of the issuing municipality and, therefore, are less likely to default in times of stress. In fact, historically, there have been a significantly higher number of defaults on revenue bonds than general obligation bonds.

17 The Board has also recognized that general obligation bonds have a higher credit quality than revenue bonds in its risk-based capital rules, which assign a 50 percent risk weight to revenue bonds and a 20 percent risk weight to general obligations of U.S. public sector entities. See 12 CFR 217.32(e)(1).

Another commenter argued that revenue bonds should be included as HQLA because revenue bonds receive preferential treatment under chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Several commenters requested that the inclusion of U.S. municipal securities as HQLA be based on the issuer's total amount of outstanding debt and the issuer's credit rating, rather than support from the general taxing authority of the municipality. One commenter argued that the term “general obligation” is not universally understood and does not necessarily imply a greater level of security than the term “revenue obligation.”

A revenue bond's treatment in bankruptcy, though a relevant consideration to its liquidity profile, does not necessarily indicate that the bond has sufficient liquidity for inclusion in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount. During a period of significant stress, probability of default is considered along with the magnitude of the expected loss upon a default. As discussed above, without general taxing authority support, the market would likely be more concerned about the probability of default for a revenue bond as compared to a general obligation bond. Similarly, the total amount of outstanding debt supporting a municipal project is not necessarily a reliable indicator of the liquidity of a U.S. revenue bond supporting that project. For example, liquidity could disappear if the specified revenue source of a revenue bond were found to be insufficient to meet its obligation, regardless of the total amount of the revenue bond outstanding. The final rule clarifies that the term “general obligation” means a bond or similar obligation that is backed by the full faith and credit of a public sector entity.

The Board will continue to monitor the liquidity characteristics of revenue bonds and consider whether certain revenue bonds should be included as HQLA.

2. Investment Grade U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities

Consistent with the requirements applied to corporate debt securities that are included as level 2B liquid assets, the proposed rule would have required that U.S. municipal securities be “investment grade” under 12 CFR part 1 as of the calculation date.18 Commenters requested that all U.S. municipal securities that meet the investment grade standard qualify as HQLA regardless of other limitations set forth in the proposed rule, arguing that not including these high-credit-quality securities would increase borrowing costs for state and local governments to finance public infrastructure projects. Commenters also asked for clarity on the definition of “investment grade,” stating that without clearer guidance a Board-regulated covered company could interpret “investment grade” to include U.S. municipal securities that have low credit quality, inclusion of which in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount would not improve the liquidity risk profile of the firm. One commenter suggested that a municipal security should be included in HQLA on the basis of the issuer's credit rating.

18See supra footnote 13.

The investment grade criterion helps to ensure that only U.S. municipal securities with high credit quality are included in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount. This criterion requires an issuer of a U.S. general obligation municipal security to have adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments under the security for the projected life of the security, which is met by showing a low risk of default and an expectation of the timely repayment of principal and interest.19 While higher credit quality is associated with greater liquidity, in the absence of other distinguishing factors, a security's credit quality alone does not guarantee its liquidity. Therefore, the final rule will permit Board-regulated covered companies to include investment grade U.S. municipal securities as HQLA only if they meet the additional criteria for inclusion as level 2B liquid assets and subject to the limitations discussed below.

19 In 2012, the Board issued guidance on the investment grade standard. See Supervision and Regulation Letter 12-15 (November 15, 2012), available at http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/srletters/sr1215.htm.

3. Proven Record as a Reliable Source of Liquidity

Consistent with the requirements for corporate debt securities included as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR rule, the proposed rule would have required that U.S. general obligation municipal securities included as level 2B liquid assets be issued by an entity whose obligations have a proven record as a reliable source of liquidity in repurchase or sales markets during a period of significant stress. Under the proposed rule, a Board-regulated covered company would have been required to demonstrate this record of liquidity reliability and lower volatility during periods of significant stress by showing that the market price of the U.S. municipal securities or equivalent securities of the issuer declined by no more than 20 percent during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress, or that the market haircut demanded by counterparties to secured lending and secured funding transactions that were collateralized by such securities or equivalent securities of the issuer increased by no more than 20 percentage points during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress.

Commenters argued that this standard would severely limit the number of U.S. municipal securities that would qualify for inclusion as HQLA based on the historical performance of U.S. municipal securities in times of stress. The final rule maintains the requirement that U.S. municipal securities must have a proven record as a reliable source of liquidity to qualify as level 2B liquid assets. The percentage decline in value (20 percent) and percentage increase in haircut (20 percent) used to determine compliance with this criterion are the same as those applicable to corporate debt securities included as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR rule.20 This criterion is meant to exclude volatile U.S. municipal securities, which may not hold their value during a period of significant stress. Inclusion of volatile U.S. municipal securities may result in an overestimation of the HQLA amount available to a Board-regulated covered company during a period of significant stress. U.S. municipal securities that meet this criterion have demonstrated an ability to maintain relatively stable prices, and are more likely to be able to be rapidly monetized by a Board-regulated covered company during a period of significant stress.

20 Under the LCR rule, equity securities included as level 2B liquid assets have a similar criteria. However, the covered company would be required to demonstrate that the market price of the security or equivalent securities of the issuer declined by no more than 40 percent during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress, or that the market haircut demanded by counterparties to securities borrowing and lending transactions that are collateralized by the publicly traded common equity shares or equivalent securities of the issuer increased by no more than 40 percentage points, during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress.

Commenters expressed concern that it would be difficult to demonstrate compliance with this requirement without specific examples of a stress scenario and quantitative, measurable standards for such an assessment. As discussed in the Supplementary Information section to the LCR rule published October 10, 2014, a Board-regulated covered company may demonstrate a historical record that meets this criterion through reference to historical market prices and available funding haircuts of the U.S. general obligation municipal security during periods of significant stress, such as the 2007-2009 financial crisis.21 Board-regulated covered companies should also consider other periods of systemic and idiosyncratic stress to determine if the asset under consideration has proven to be a reliable source of liquidity.

21 79 FR 61440, 61459 (October 10, 2014).

4. Not an Obligation of a Financial Sector Entity or Its Consolidated Subsidiaries

The proposed rule would have excluded U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are obligations of a financial sector entity or a consolidated subsidiary of a financial sector entity, as defined under the LCR Rule.22 This requirement would have excluded U.S. general obligation municipal securities that received a guarantee from a financial sector entity, including a U.S. municipal security that was insured by a bond insurer that was a financial sector entity. This criterion was intended to exclude U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are valued, in part, based on guarantees provided by financial sector entities, because these guarantees could exhibit similar risks and correlation with Board-regulated covered companies (wrong-way risk) during a period of significant stress. Inclusion may result in an overestimation of the HQLA amount that would be available to the Board-regulated covered company during such period of significant stress.

22 The LCR rule defines a financial sector entity to include a regulated financial company, investment company, non-regulated fund, pension fund, investment adviser, or a company that the Board has determined should be treated the same as the foregoing for the purposes of the LCR rule. 12 CFR 249.3.

Commenters argued that an insured U.S. municipal security should not be considered an obligation of a financial sector entity because the primary obligation of the security is that of the issuer, not the insurer. Commenters also expressed concern that insured U.S. general obligation municipal securities would receive punitive treatment on the basis of the insurance regardless of the liquidity of the underlying U.S. general obligation municipal security, which may otherwise qualify as HQLA. Commenters further argued that insured U.S. general obligation municipal securities do not represent the type of highly correlated wrong-way risk that is present when a financial institution holds the debt of another financial institution and, since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, bond insurers have modified their risk profiles to limit such wrong-way risk.

Commenters stated that insurance not only provides an additional layer of credit protection, but also provides additional benefits because insurers promote increased transparency, engage in due diligence and credit monitoring, and actively participate in bond restructurings following a default, all of which increase the price stability and liquidity of insured bonds. One commenter suggested modifying the proposed rule to allow bonds insured by U.S. regulated financial guarantors who only insure U.S. municipal securities, because these insurers have less exposure to the broader financial markets.

In response to comments, the final rule adopts a different approach to U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are insured than in the proposed rule. Under the final rule, a Board-regulated covered company may include as a level 2B liquid asset a U.S. general obligation municipal security that has a guarantee from a financial institution as long as the company demonstrates that the underlying U.S. general obligation municipal security meets all of the other criteria to be included as level 2B liquid assets without taking into consideration the insurance. This revision is based on further research showing that the market for insured U.S. municipal securities are primarily derived from underlying U.S. municipal securities' liquidity characteristics and not the presence of the insurance, which limits the presence of wrong-way risk. In this way, the requirements in the final rule will help to ensure that an insured U.S. general obligation municipal security would remain liquid regardless of the financial health of the insurer.

B. Quantitative Limitations on a Company's Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities in Its HQLA Amount

The proposed rule would have limited the amount of U.S. general obligation municipal securities with the same CUSIP number that a Board-regulated covered company could include in its HQLA amount. It would also have limited the amount of a particular U.S. municipal security that a Board-regulated covered company could include in its HQLA amount based on the average daily trading volume of U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by the U.S. municipality. In addition, the proposed rule would have limited the overall amount of municipal securities that a Board-regulated covered company could include in its HQLA amount to 5 percent of the institution's total HQLA amount. Commenters opposed these limitations, arguing that U.S. municipal securities have similar risks and liquidity characteristics as other assets included in the HQLA amount that are not subject to these limitations. The final rule will retain two and eliminate one of the proposed limitations.

1. Limitation on the Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities With the Same CUSIP Number in the HQLA Amount

As stated above, the proposed rule would have permitted a Board-regulated covered company to include U.S. general obligation municipal securities as eligible HQLA only to the extent the fair value of the institutions' securities with the same CUSIP number do not exceed 25 percent of the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number.

Commenters opposed this limitation, arguing that it would exclude a large portion of the outstanding U.S. general obligation municipal securities from eligible HQLA, and that the limitation was unnecessary to ensure the liquidity of a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA, in light of the proposed rule's other requirements. Commenters emphasized that, due to the structure of the U.S. municipal security market, this limitation would reduce a Board-regulated covered company's ability to invest in U.S. municipal securities and would incentivize them to hold smaller, less liquid blocks of U.S. municipal securities. A commenter stated that applying a limitation at the CUSIP number level would be more limiting than one at the issuer level because single securities issuances with the same CUSIP level are typically smaller in size than an issuer's outstanding debt.

Several commenters noted that U.S. municipal securities generally are not traded or evaluated according to their CUSIP number, as bond issuances are often structured to include many CUSIP numbers identifying issuances with varying maturities and coupon payment schedules, but which are treated similarly in the U.S. municipal securities markets. For example, a very large issuer of U.S. municipal securities may have several hundred individual issuances outstanding, each with different CUSIP numbers. A commenter noted that the number of CUSIPs does not affect the liquidity of a particular security or negatively impact the price stability of U.S. municipal securities. Due to this structure, some commenters suggested that the 25 percent cap could more readily be applied to outstanding U.S. municipal securities of a single issuing entity, rather than to outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number. One commenter expressed concern that a 25 percent cap on securities with the same CUSIP number would cause Board-regulated covered companies to hold smaller positions in individual issuances of U.S. municipal securities rather than large blocks of securities that are more liquid and more frequently traded by institutional investors. Another commenter requested that the Board clarify whether 25 percent of the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number could be included as level 2B liquid assets if a company owned more than 25 percent of the outstanding securities.

In response to concerns expressed by certain commenters, the final rule eliminates the 25 percent limitation on the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number that could be included as level 2B liquid assets. As indicated in the proposed rule, a Board-regulated covered company that holds a high percentage of an issuance of outstanding municipal securities with the same CUSIP number faces a concentration risk and, therefore, may be unable to readily monetize such positions during a financial stress. This concentration risk is exacerbated in the U.S. municipal securities markets where municipal securities issuances are often structured to include many CUSIP numbers identifying issuances with varying maturities and coupon payments. However, as commenters indicated, the proposed 25 percent limitation would have prevented Board-regulated covered companies from including certain municipal securities from issuances, particularly small issuances as level 2B liquid assets, even though some portion of them are highly liquid. To avoid excluding these highly liquid securities, the 25 percent limitation is not a requirement under the final rule. To the extent these securities are not liquid and, more generally, to address the elevated liquidity risk presented by the structure of the U.S. municipal securities market, the final rule would retain the other limitations on the inclusion of U.S. general obligation municipal securities in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount, as discussed below.

2. Limitation on the Inclusion of the U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities of a Single Issuer in the HQLA Amount

The proposed rule would have limited the amount of securities issued by a single public sector entity that a company may include as eligible HQLA to two times the average daily trading volume, as measured over the previous four quarters, of all U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by that public sector entity. As discussed in the Supplementary Information section to the proposed rule, this limitation was designed to ensure U.S. general obligation municipal securities are only included as eligible HQLA to the extent that the market has capacity to absorb an increased supply of such securities.

Many commenters expressed concern regarding this requirement, cautioning that this limitation would put too much emphasis on trading volumes as a measure of liquidity and too little emphasis on the historical price risk of U.S. municipal securities. Some commenters asserted that trading volume, in isolation, is not a reliable indicator of U.S. municipal securities' future liquidity in times of stress. Commenters asserted that trading volumes in the U.S. municipal securities market are often low during times of financial strength, as many investors purchase such securities as “buy-and-hold” investments, and therefore past trading volumes during non-stressed periods do not necessarily correlate with a U.S. municipal security's liquidity during periods of significant stress. One commenter asserted that U.S. municipal securities have similar liquidity characteristics as other level 2B liquid assets that are not subject to similar limitations.

As discussed in the Supplementary Information section to the proposed rule, the Board analyzed data on the historical trading volume of U.S. municipal securities in order to determine the general level of increased sales of U.S. municipal securities that could be absorbed by the market during periods of significant stress. The Board did not include the volume of U.S. municipal securities that are purchased and held for long periods in this analysis because doing so would have assumed that theoretical capacity and demand would exist in periods of significant stress, and would have increased liquidity risk by permitting firms to include an amount of U.S. municipal securities in their HQLA amount that may not be readily monetized in periods of stress. Based on the Board's analysis, two times the average daily trading volume of all U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by a public sector entity could likely be absorbed by the market within a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress without materially disrupting the functioning of the market. This requirement complements the other criteria and limitations in the final rule and ensures that U.S. general obligation securities that are included as eligible HQLA remain relatively liquid and have buyers and sellers during periods of significant stress.

Commenters also expressed concern that this limitation would pose operational difficulties for Board-regulated covered companies because a system to monitor daily trading volumes of individual municipal issuers' securities does not currently exist. Although it does not appear that an automated system to monitor daily trading volume is available, data on the trading of an individual municipal issuers' securities is publicly available, so Board-regulated covered companies should be able to access data on the daily trading volumes of individual municipal issuers and monitor such trading volumes with limited operational difficulties.

For these reasons, the final rule retains the limitation on the inclusion of U.S. general obligation municipal securities of a single issuer as eligible HQLA. In addition, the Board is clarifying in the final rule that a Board-regulated covered company that owns more than two times the average daily trading volume of all U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by a public sector entity may include up to two times the average daily trading volume of such securities as eligible HQLA.

3. Limitation on the Amount of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities That Can Be Included in the HQLA Amount

The proposed rule would have limited the amount of U.S. general obligation municipal securities that may be included in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount to no more than 5 percent of the HQLA amount. Commenters disagreed with this limitation, contending that U.S. municipal securities are safer and more liquid than some other types of HQLA assets that have no such concentration limitation. A commenter argued that limiting the amount of U.S. municipal securities to 5 percent of the HQLA amount would discourage banks from investing in U.S. municipal securities, would increase funding costs for state and local entities, and would unnecessarily constrict the supply of HQLA. Another commenter suggested that the preexisting limitations in the LCR rule regarding the percentage of HQLA assets that can be level 2 liquid assets would ensure sufficient diversification in HQLA assets.

The final rule maintains the 5 percent limitation on the amount of U.S. municipal securities that can be included in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount, but, as noted, does not include the proposed 25 percent limitation on the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number. As discussed above, while the 25 percent limitation effectively could have barred a Board-regulated covered company from including certain municipal securities, and particularly small issuances, in its HQLA amount, the 5 percent limitation should not prevent a Board-regulated covered company from including any particular issuance of municipal securities in its HQLA amount. Rather, the 5 percent limitation will act as a backstop to address the overall liquidity risk presented by the structure of the U.S. municipal securities market, including the large diversity of issuers and sizes of issuances, by ensuring that a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount is not overly concentrated in and reliant on U.S. municipal securities. The 5 percent limitation is in addition to the 40 percent limitation on the aggregate amount of level 2A and level 2B liquid assets and the 15 percent limitation on level 2B liquid assets that can be included in a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount. It also complements the two times trading volume limitation on U.S. general obligation municipal securities described above, which pertains to individual issuers. Consistent with the LCR rule's limitations on level 2A and level 2B liquid assets, this 5 percent limitation applies both on an unadjusted basis and after adjusting the composition of the HQLA amount upon the unwinding of certain secured funding transactions, secured lending transactions, asset exchanges and collateralized derivatives transactions.23

23See 12 CFR 249.21(g).

The final rule would not, however, limit the amount of U.S. municipal securities a firm may hold for purposes other than complying with the LCR rule.

C. HQLA Calculation

Section 249.21 of the LCR rule provides instructions for calculating a Board-regulated covered company's HQLA amount, which includes the calculation of the required haircuts and caps for level 2 liquid assets. The final rule implements the 5 percent limitation for U.S. general obligation municipal securities by adding the limitation to the calculation in § 249.21 of the LCR rule. Specifically, the final rule amends the calculations of the unadjusted excess HQLA amount and the adjusted excess HQLA amount in the LCR rule 24 and adds four new calculations: the public sector entity security liquid asset amount, the public sector entity security cap excess amount, the adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount, and the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount.

24See 12 CFR 249.21(c) and (f).

Under the final rule, the unadjusted excess HQLA amount equals the sum of the level 2 cap excess amount, the level 2B cap excess amount, and the public sector entity security cap excess amount. The method of calculating the public sector entity security cap excess amount is set forth in § 249.21(f) of the final rule. Under this section, the public sector entity security cap excess amount is calculated as the greater of (1) the public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the level 2 cap excess amount minus level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 (or 5/95, which is the ratio of the maximum allowable public sector entity security liquid assets to the level 1 liquid assets and other level 2 liquid assets) times the total of (i) the level 1 liquid asset amount, plus (ii) the level 2A liquid asset amount, plus (iii) the level 2B liquid asset amount, minus (iv) the public sector entity security liquid asset amount; or (2) zero.

Under the final rule, the adjusted excess HQLA amount equals the sum of the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount, the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount, and the adjusted public sector entity cap excess amount. The method of calculating the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount is set forth in § 249.21(k) of the final rule. The adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount is calculated as the greater of: (1) The adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount minus the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 (or 5/95, which is the ratio of the maximum allowable adjusted public sector entity security liquid assets to the adjusted level 1 liquid assets and other adjusted level 2 liquid assets) times the total of (i) the adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount, plus (ii) the adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount, plus (iii) the adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount, minus (iv) the adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount; or (2) zero.

The Supplementary Information section to the LCR rule included an example calculation of the HQLA amount.25 The following is an example calculation of the HQLA amount under the final rule, which is similar to the calculation in the LCR rule, but includes the public sector entity security liquid asset amount, the public sector entity security cap excess amount, the adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset, and the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount. Note that the given liquid asset amounts and adjusted liquid asset amounts already reflect the level 2A and 2B haircuts.

25See 79 FR 61440, 61474-75.

(a) Calculate the liquid asset amounts (12 CFR 249.21(b))

The following values are given:

Fair value of all level 1 liquid assets that are eligible HQLA: 17 Covered company's reserve balance requirement: 2 Level 1 liquid asset amount (12 CFR 249.21(b)(1)): 15 Level 2A liquid asset amount: 25 Level 2B liquid asset amount: 140 Of Which, Public sector entity security liquid asset amount: 15

(b) Calculate unadjusted excess HQLA amount (12 CFR 249.21(c))

Step 1: Calculate the level 2 cap excess amount (12 CFR 249.21(d)):

Level 2 cap excess amount = Max (level 2A liquid asset amount + level 2B liquid asset amount−0.6667*level 1 liquid asset amount, 0) = Max (25 + 140−0.6667*15, 0) = Max (165−10.00, 0) = Max (155.00, 0) = 155.00

Step 2: Calculate the level 2B cap excess amount (12 CFR 249.21(e)).

Level 2B cap excess amount = Max (level 2B liquid asset amount−level 2 cap excess amount −0.1765*(level 1 liquid asset amount + level 2A liquid asset amount), 0) = Max (140−155.00−0.1765*(15 + 25), 0) = Max (−15−7.06, 0) = Max (−22.06, 0) = 0

Step 3: Calculate the public sector entity security cap excess amount (§ 249.21(f) of the final rule).

Public sector entity security cap excess amount = Max (public sector entity security liquid asset amount−level 2 cap excess amount−level 2B cap excess amount−0.0526*(level 1 liquid asset amount + level 2A liquid asset amount + level 2B liquid asset amount−public sector entity security liquid asset amount), 0) = Max (15−155.00−0−0.0526*(15 + 25 + 140−20), 0) = Max (−140−8.42, 0) = Max (−148.42, 0) = 0

Step 4: Calculate the unadjusted excess HQLA amount (12 CFR 249.21(c)).

Unadjusted excess HQLA amount = Level 2 cap excess amount + level 2B cap excess amount + public sector entity security cap excess amount = 155.00 + 0 + 0 = 155

(c) Calculate the adjusted liquid asset amounts, based upon the unwind of certain transactions involving the exchange of eligible HQLA or cash (12 CFR 249.21(g)).

The following values are given:

Adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount: 110 Adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount: 50 Adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount: 20 Of Which, Adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount: 20

(d) Calculate adjusted excess HQLA amount (12 CFR 249.21(h)).

Step 1: Calculate the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount (12 CFR 249.21(i)).

Adjusted level 2 cap excess amount = Max (adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount + adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount−0.6667*adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount, 0) = Max (50 + 20−0.6667*110, 0) = Max (70−73.34, 0) = Max (−3.34, 0) = 0

Step 2: Calculate the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount (12 CFR 249.21(j)).

Adjusted level 2B cap excess amount = Max (adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount−adjusted level 2 cap excess amount−0.1765*(adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount + adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount, 0) = Max (20−0−0.1765*(110 + 50), 0) = Max (20−28.24, 0) = Max (−8.24, 0) = 0

Step 3: Calculate the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount (§ 249.21(k) of the final rule).

Adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount = Max(adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount−adjusted level 2 cap excess amount−adjusted level 2B cap excess amount−0.0526*(adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount + adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount + adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount−adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount, 0) = Max (20−0−0−0.0526*(110 + 50 + 20−20), 0) = Max (20−8.42, 0) = Max (11.58, 0) = 11.58

Step 4: Calculate the adjusted excess HQLA amount (12 CFR 249.21(h)).

Adjusted excess HQLA amount = Adjusted level 2 cap excess amount + adjusted level 2B cap excess amount + adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount = 0 + 0 + 11.58 = 11.58

(e) Determine the HQLA amount (12 CFR 249.21(a)).

HQLA Amount = Level 1 liquid asset amount + level 2A liquid asset amount + level 2B liquid asset amount−Max (unadjusted excess HQLA amount, adjusted excess HQLA amount) = 15 + 25 + 140−Max (155, 11.58) = 180−155 = 25 III. Plain Language

Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act 26 requires the Board to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The Board sought to present the proposed rule in a simple and straightforward manner and did not receive any comments on the use of plain language.

26 Public Law 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471, 12 U.S.C. 4809.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (the “RFA”), generally requires that an agency prepare and make available for public comment an initial Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis in connection with a notice of proposed rulemaking.27 The Board solicited public comment on this rule in a notice of proposed rulemaking and has since considered the potential impact of this final rule on small entities in accordance with section 604 of the RFA. The Board received no public comments related to the initial Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis in the proposed rule from the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration or from the general public. Based on the Board's analysis, and for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

27See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

Under regulations issued by the Small Business Administration, a “small entity” includes a depository institution, bank holding company, or savings and loan holding company with total assets of $550 million or less (a small banking organization). As of December 31, 2015, there were approximately 606 small state member banks, 3,268 small bank holding companies, and 166 small savings and loan holding companies.

As discussed above, the final rule would amend the LCR rule to include certain high-quality U.S. general obligation municipal securities as HQLA for the purposes of the LCR rule. The final rule does not apply to “small entities” and applies only to Board-regulated institutions subject to the LCR rule: (1) Bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and state member banks that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) state member banks with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies subject to the LCR rule; (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR rule by separate rule or order; and (4) bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, but that do not meet the thresholds in (1) through (3), which are subject to the modified LCR rule. Companies that are subject to the final rule therefore substantially exceed the $550 million asset threshold at which a banking entity is considered a “small entity” under SBA regulations.

No small top-tier bank holding company, top-tier savings and loan holding company, or state member bank would be subject to the rule, so there would be no additional projected compliance requirements imposed on small bank holding companies, small savings and loan holding companies, or small state member banks.

The Board believes that the final rule will not have a significant impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board and therefore believes that there are no significant alternatives to the rule that would reduce the economic impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA), the Board may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The Board reviewed the final rule under the authority delegated to the Board by the OMB and determined that it would not introduce any new collection of information pursuant to the PRA.

VI. Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994

Section 302 of the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 (RCDRIA) requires a federal banking agency, in determining the effective date and administrative compliance requirements for new regulations that impose additional reporting, disclosure, or other requirements on insured depository institutions, to consider any administrative burdens that such regulations would place on depository institutions, and the benefits of such regulations, consistent with the principles of safety and soundness and the public interest.28 In addition, new regulations that impose additional reporting disclosures or other new requirements on insured depository institutions generally must take effect on the first day of a calendar quarter which begins on or after the date on which the regulations are published in final form.29 Section 302 of the RCDRIA does not apply to this final rule because the final rule does not prescribe additional reporting, disclosures, or other new requirements on insured depository institutions. As discussed in detail above in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, the final rule instead expands the types of assets for which Board-regulated covered companies may include as HQLA under the LCR rule. Nevertheless, the final rule becomes effective on July 1, 2016, the first day of a calendar quarter.

28See Section 302 of the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, 12 U.S.C. 4802.

29 12 U.S.C. 4802(b).

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 249

Administrative practice and procedure; Banks, banking; Federal Reserve System; Holding companies; Liquidity; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, the Board amends part 249 of chapter II of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 249—LIQUIDITY RISK MEASUREMENT STANDARDS (REGULATION WW) 1. The authority citation for part 249 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 248(a), 321-338a, 481-486, 1467a(g)(1), 1818, 1828, 1831p-1, 1831o-1, 1844(b), 5365, 5366, 5368.

2. Amend § 249.3 by adding a definition for “General obligation” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 249.3 Definitions.

General obligation means a bond or similar obligation that is backed by the full faith and credit of a public sector entity.

3. Amend § 249.20 by redesignating paragraph (c)(2) as paragraph (c)(3) and adding paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
§ 249.20 High-quality liquid asset criteria.

(c) * * *

(2) A general obligation security issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity where the security is:

(i) Investment grade under 12 CFR part 1 as of the calculation date;

(ii) Issued or guaranteed by a public sector entity whose obligations have a proven record as a reliable source of liquidity in repurchase or sales markets during stressed market conditions, as demonstrated by:

(A) The market price of the security or equivalent securities of the issuer declining by no more than 20 percent during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress; or

(B) The market haircut demanded by counterparties to secured lending and secured funding transactions that are collateralized by the security or equivalent securities of the issuer increasing by no more than 20 percentage points during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress; and

(iii) Not an obligation of a financial sector entity and not an obligation of a consolidated subsidiary of a financial sector entity, except that a security will not be disqualified as a level 2B liquid asset solely because it is guaranteed by a financial sector entity or a consolidated subsidiary of a financial sector entity if the security would, if not guaranteed, meet the criteria in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.

4. Amend § 249.21 by: a. Adding paragraph (b)(4); b. Removing the period at the end of paragraph (c)(2) and adding in its place “; plus”; c. Adding paragraph (c)(3); d. Redesignating paragraphs (f) through (i) as paragraphs (g) through (j), respectively, and adding paragraph (f); e. Adding paragraph (g)(4) to newly redesignated paragraph (g); f. Removing the period at the of newly redesignated paragraph (h)(2) and adding in its place “; plus”; and g. Adding paragraph (h)(3) to newly redesignated paragraph (h) and paragraph (k).

The additions and revisions read as follows:

§ 249.21 High-quality liquid asset amount.

(b) * * *

(4) Public sector entity security liquid asset amount. The public sector entity security liquid asset amount equals 50 percent of the fair value of all general obligation securities issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity that are eligible HQLA.

(c) * * *

(3) The public sector entity security cap excess amount.

(f) Calculation of the public sector entity security cap excess amount. As of the calculation date, the public security entity security cap excess amount equals the greater of:

(1) The public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the level 2 cap excess amount minus level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 times the total of:

(i) The level 1 liquid asset amount; plus

(ii) The level 2A liquid asset amount; plus

(iii) The level 2B liquid asset amount; minus

(iv) The public sector entity security liquid asset amount; and

(2) 0.

(g) * * *

(4) Adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount. A Board-regulated institution's adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount equals 50 percent of the fair value of all general obligation securities issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity that would be eligible HQLA and would be held by the Board-regulated institution upon the unwind of any secured funding transaction (other than a collateralized deposit), secured lending transaction, asset exchange, or collateralized derivatives transaction that matures within 30 calendar days of the calculation date where the Board-regulated institution will provide an asset that is eligible HQLA and the counterparty will provide an asset that will be eligible HQLA.

(h) * * *

(3) The adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount.

(k) Calculation of the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount. As of the calculation date, the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount equals the greater of:

(1) The adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount minus the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 times the total of:

(i) The adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount; plus

(ii) The adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount; plus

(iii) The adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount; minus

(iv) The adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount; and

(2) 0.

5. Amend § 249.22 by redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d) and adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 249.22 Requirements for eligible high-quality liquid assets.

(c) Securities of public sector entities as eligible HQLA. A Board-regulated institution may include as eligible HQLA a general obligation security issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity to the extent that the fair value of the aggregate amount of securities of a single public sector entity issuer included as eligible HQLA is no greater than two times the average daily trading volume during the previous four quarters of all general obligation securities issued by that public sector entity.

By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 31, 2016. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
[FR Doc. 2016-07716 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4076; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-30-AD; Amendment 39-18483; AD 2016-08-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Rolls-Royce plc (RR) RB211-22B and RB211-524 turbofan engines with low-pressure turbine (LPT) support roller bearing, part number (P/N) LK30313 or P/N UL29651, installed. This AD requires removal of certain LPT support roller bearings installed in RR RB211-22B and RB211-524 engines. This AD was prompted by a report of a breach of the turbine casing and release of engine debris through a hole in the engine nacelle. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the LPT support roller bearing, loss of radial position following LPT blade failure, uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

See the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4076; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian Kierstead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7772; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to the specified products. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2015 (80 FR 76402). The NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

An RB211-524G2-T engine experienced an in-service event that resulted in breach of a turbine casing and some release of core engine debris through a hole in the engine nacelle. The investigation of the event determined the primary cause to have been fracture and release of a Low Pressure (LP) turbine stage 2 blade. The blade release caused secondary damage to the LP turbine, producing significant out-of-balance forces. The event engine was fitted with an LP turbine support bearing where the roller retention cage is constructed from two halves that are riveted together. The LP turbine imbalance resulted in an overload of the LP turbine support bearing and caused separation of the riveted, two -piece roller retention cage. Radial location of the LP turbine shaft was lost, allowing further progression of the event that resulted in a breach of the IP turbine casing.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4076.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comments received.

Support for the NPRM (80 FR 76402, December 9, 2015)

Boeing concurred with the NPRM.

Request To Change Compliance

Orbital ATK and Lockheed Martin requested that the compliance time be based on LPT blade cycles instead of calendar time. Orbital ATK cites correspondence with the U.S. Rolls-Royce representative who recommends a 15,000 cycles-since-new (CSN) duration for the LPT blade design life. Since there is no calendar time driving the unsafe condition, Orbital ATK believes this is a good mitigation factor for low utilization rate operators. Orbital ATK believes that routine borescope inspections of the LPT blades and removal of the engine prior to reaching an LPT blade limit of 15,000 CSN offers an equivalent level of safety.

We partially agree. We agree that the failure mode of the bearing support is not a time-based dependency. However, a compliance time of 24 months is specified to allow for a shop visit interval. We have determined that removal of the LPT support roller bearing addresses the unsafe condition. Operators with unique circumstances may apply for an alternative method of compliance using the procedures listed in this AD. We did not change this AD.

Request To Change Costs of Compliance

Lockheed Martin requested an adjustment to the estimated costs of compliance. The costs to low utilization operators would be significantly increased by imposing an unscheduled shop visit and/or unscheduled engine removal. Another possible contributor for increased costs is the lack of an approved repair station within the United States.

We partially agree. We disagree that no repair stations exist within the U.S. that may perform the work required by this AD. We agree that this AD may drive low utilization operators to the shop faster. Operators with unique circumstances may apply for an alternative method of compliance using the procedures listed in this AD. We did not change this AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 9 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate it will take 0 hours to comply with this AD. Removing the LPT support roller bearing is required during a shop visit; therefore, no additional time is needed for removal. Required parts cost about $8,184 per engine. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $73,656.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this AD:

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-08-07 Rolls-Royce plc: Amendment 39-18483; Docket No. FAA-2015-4076; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-30-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Rolls-Royce plc RB211-22B-02, RB211-22B (MOD 72-8700), RB211-524B-02, RB211-524B-B-02, RB211-524B2-19, RB211-524B2-B-19, RB211-524B3-02, RB211-524B4-02, RB211-524B4-D-02, RB211-524C2-19, RB211-524C2-B-19, RB211-524D4-19, RB211-524D4-B-19, RB211-524D4X-19, RB211-524D4X-B-19, RB211-524D4-39, RB211-524D4-B-39, RB211-524G2-19, RB211-524G3-19, RB211-524-G2-T-19, RB211-524G3-T-19, RB211-524H-36, RB211-524H2-19, RB211-524H-T-36, and RB211-524H2-T-19 turbofan engines, all serial numbers, with low-pressure turbine (LPT) support roller bearing, part number (P/N) LK30313 or P/N UL29651, installed.

(d) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a breach of the turbine casing and release of engine debris through a hole in the engine nacelle. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the LPT support roller bearing, loss of radial position following LPT blade failure, uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Actions and Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. At the next shop visit or within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, remove from service LPT support roller bearing, P/N LK30313 or P/N UL29651, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

(f) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not install an LPT support roller bearing, P/N LK30313 or P/N UL29651, onto any engine.

(g) Definition

For the purpose of this AD, a “shop visit” is defined as induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, except that the separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Brian Kierstead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7772; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

(2) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency AD 2015-0187, dated September 9, 2015, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2015-4076.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on April 4, 2016. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-08092 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4112; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-043-AD; Amendment 39-18471; AD 2016-07-26] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-23-02 for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2010-23-02 required amending the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) to limit the never-exceed velocity (VNE) to 150 Knots Indicated Air Speed (KIAS) and to add a 1,500 ft/minute rate of descent (R/D) limitation beyond 140 KIAS. Since we issued AD 2010-23-02, a design change designated as modification (MOD) 0755B28 improved the dynamic behavior of the horizontal stabilizer such that AD actions are not required. This new AD retains the requirements of AD 2010-23-01 and revises the applicability to exclude helicopters with MOD 0755B28. We are issuing this AD to exclude certain helicopters from the applicability and restrict the VNE on other helicopters to prevent failure of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD is effective May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-4112; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to remove AD 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010) and add a new AD. AD 2010-23-02 applied to Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA 365N, SA-365N1, AS 365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2010-23-02 required amending the Limitations section of the RFM to limit the VNE to 150 KIAS and to add a 1,500 ft/minute R/D limitation beyond 140 KIAS and installing one or more placards on the cockpit instrument panel in full view of the pilot and copilot. AD 2010-23-01 was prompted by AD No. 2008-0204R1, Revision 1, dated May 21, 2014, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union. EASA advises that Airbus Helicopters developed MOD 07 55B28 to improve the dynamic behavior of the horizontal stabilizer and thus reduce the vibration levels during high speed descent. EASA issued AD No. 2008-0204R1 to retain the requirements of its previous AD but to exclude helicopters with MOD 07 55B28 from the applicability.

The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015 (80 FR 63145). The NPRM proposed to retain the requirements to amend the Limitations section of the RFM and install one or more placards on the cockpit instrument panel. The NPRM also proposed to revise the applicability to exclude helicopters with MOD 0755B28 installed. The proposed requirements were intended to exclude certain helicopters from the applicability and restrict the VNE on other helicopters to prevent failure of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM (80 FR 63145, October 19, 2015).

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Related Service Information

Eurocopter has issued an Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) with three numbers (01.00.60, 01.00.16, and 01.28), Revision 1, dated December 2, 2008. EASB No. 01.00.60 applies to U.S. type-certificated Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters and also to military Model AS365F, Fs, Fi, and K helicopters that are not type certificated in the United States. EASB 01.00.16 applies to military Model AS565AA, MA, MB, SA, SB, and UB helicopters that are not type certificated in the United States. EASB 01.28 applies to the Model SA-366G1 helicopter. The EASB specifies bonding one or more locally-produced labels to the instrument panel stating that the VNE is limited to 150 KIAS and the R/D must not exceed 1,500 ft/min beyond 140 KIAS. Eurocopter states in the EASB that it is working on an enhanced definition that will be proposed as soon as possible. EASA classified this EASB as mandatory and issued AD No. 2008-0204-E, dated December 4, 2008, and revised with Revision 1, dated May 21, 2014, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

Airbus Helicopters has issued Service Bulletin (SB) No. AS365-55.00.06, Revision 0, dated November 14, 2014, which Airbus Helicopters identifies as MOD 0755B28. The SB specifies repairing the stabilizer for suppression of the flutter phenomenon.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 33 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. We estimate about l/2 work-hour per helicopter to make copies to include in the RFM and to make and install the placards. The parts costs are minimal. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators will be $1,403 for the fleet.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010), and adding the following new AD: 2016-07-26 Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-18471; Docket No. FAA-2015-4112; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-043-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters, with a horizontal stabilizer, part number 365A13-3030-1901, -1902, -1903, -1904, -1905, -1906, -1908, -1909; 365A13-3036-00, -0001, -0002, -0003; or 365A13-3038-00, installed, except those with modification 0755B28 installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as vibration during descent at high speed. This condition could result in failure of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010).

(d) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

(e) Compliance

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

(f) Required Actions

Before further flight:

(1) Revise the airspeed operating limitation in the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) by making pen and ink changes or by inserting a copy of this AD into the RFM stating: “The never-exceed speed (VNE) is limited to 150 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS)” and “The rate-of-descent (R/D) must not exceed 1,500 ft/min when the airspeed is beyond 140 KIAS.”

(2) Install one or more self-adhesive placards, with 6 millimeter red letters on white background, on the cockpit instrument panel in full view of the pilot and co-pilot to read as follows: “VNE LIMITED TO 150 KIAS” and “R/D MUST NOT EXCEED 1,500 ft/min when airspeed is beyond 140 KIAS”

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 9-asw-ftw-amoc-reque[email protected].

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

(h) Additional Information

(1) Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 01.00.60, 01.00.16, and 01.28, Revision 1, dated December 2, 2008, and Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. AS365-55.00.06, Revision 0, dated November 14, 2014, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this final rule. For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2008-0204R1, dated May 21, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-4112.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code 5310: Horizontal Stabilizer Structure.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 31, 2016. James A. Grigg, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07981 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0775; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-046-AD; Amendment 39-18467; AD 2016-07-22] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes), and Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of insufficient clearance for the electrical wiring bundles in the leading and trailing edges of the right-hand (RH) and left-hand (LH) wings. This AD requires modifying the electrical routing installation at the RH and LH wings. We are issuing this AD to prevent insufficient clearance of electrical wiring bundles located in the leading and trailing edges of the RH and LH wings, which could lead to chafing damage and arcing, possibly resulting in an on-board fire.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0775; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0775.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2014 (79 FR 69377) (“the NPRM”).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0176, dated August 25, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Following publication of FAA SFAR 88 (Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88) [http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library%5CrgFAR.nsf/0/EEFB3F94451DC06286256C93004F5E07?OpenDocument), EASA issued AD 2006-0076 (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2006-0076] requiring inspection and corrective action to improve the explosion risk protection system for the left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) wings on A300, A300-600, A300-600ST and A310 aeroplanes.

For A300-600, A300-600ST and A310 aeroplanes, the required detailed visual inspections of electrical bundles located in the leading and trailing edges of the RH and LH wings and a review of the wing electrical installation on the final assembly line have shown that the wing electrical installation does not comply with the minimum distance inspection criteria to the surrounding structure in a few wing locations.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to damage on the electrical harnesses and on the surrounding structure.

To address this unsafe condition, Airbus developed an improvement of the wing electrical installation to prevent possible chafing and subsequent damage to the electrical harnesses and surrounding structure.

Consequently EASA issued AD 2014-0034 [http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0775-0002] to require installation of new bracket assemblies to ensure the clearance between the wiring and the structure, and installation of protective split sleeves as mechanical protection to the electrical harnesses.

Since EASA AD 2014-0034 was issued, during embodiment of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-24-6103 Revision 02 on an aeroplane, an installation problem was identified, which prompted Airbus to revise SB A300-24-9014 Revision 01, and A300-24-6103 Revision 02.

Service Bulletin Information Transmission (SBIT) 14-0044 Revision 01 dated 06 February 2015 recommended to postpone embodiment of these two SB's, and to wait for the availability of Airbus SB A300-24-9014 Revision 02 and A300-24-6103 Revision 03.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA]AD retains the requirement of the EASA AD 2014-0034, which is superseded, and requires in addition for the A300-600 and A300-600ST aeroplanes only, installation of new bracket assemblies in shroud box (LH and RH side) to ensure adequate clearance between wirings and flap track carriage (LH and RH side).

Required actions include modifying the electrical routing installation at the RH and LH wings by installing new bracket assemblies to ensure adequate clearance between the wiring and the structure, and installing protective split sleeves as mechanical protection to the electrical harnesses.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0775-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Requests To Use the Latest Service Information

FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) requested that the NPRM reference the latest revision of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 02, dated February 7, 2013. UPS stated that Airbus released an operators information transmission in October 2014, which stated that an operator reported that the installation of the clamps was not possible. UPS and FedEx stated that a revised version of the service information should be mandated.

We agree with the commenters' request. Since the NPRM was issued, we have reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015, excluding Appendices 01, 02, 03, and 04, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015. Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015, excluding Appendices 01, 02, 03, and 04, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015, adds an installation of new bracket assemblies in the shroud box (LH and RH sides) to the modification. Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, only includes minor changes to the modification. We have updated paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD accordingly. Similar to the MCAI, credit is not given for Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 02, dated February 7, 2013.

Request To Revise Costs of Compliance Section

FedEx requested that we revise the Costs of Compliance section of the NPRM. FedEx stated that the 37 work-hour estimate is consistent with what is specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 02, dated February 7, 2013. However, FedEx stated that Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 01, dated December 11, 2013, shows an estimate of up to 55.5 work-hours, and does not include preparation and set up time. Airbus also stated that, from their experience, the work-hours tend to be understated compared to the actual time required to accomplish the actions. FedEx commented that it believes an estimate of 60 work-hours is more realistic. FedEx stated that it must be noted that 102 FedEx-registered airplanes are listed in the effectivity section of both service bulletins, and that the overall cost assessment omits the fact that over half of the total U.S. fleet cost will be borne by a single operator.

We agree with the commenter's request to revise the estimated costs of compliance; however, we have used the cost estimate identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, which does include access and close-up work-hours. We have revised the Costs of Compliance section of this final rule to specify up to 56 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD.

Request To Supersede and Revise the Affected ADs Paragraph of the Proposed AD

FedEx requested that AD 2006-22-07, Amendment 39-14800 (71 FR 62890, October 27, 2006) (“AD 2006-22-07”), be listed as an affected AD in the proposed AD, and that the NPRM supersede AD 2006-22-07. FedEx stated that the manufacturer has linked the NPRM to AD 2006-22-07.

FedEx commented that it has complied with the proposed requirements of the proposed AD, and all but two airplanes were found to be compliant with the clearance requirements specified in the applicable service information. FedEx stated that it has contacted the manufacturer for an approved method of compliance. FedEx stated that Airbus issued an EASA-approved technical adaptation requiring that the affected wire bundles be wrapped and a repetitive inspection be performed until a permanent fix is available. FedEx stated that the permanent fix is “Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103,” which was specified in the NPRM.

FedEx commented that the manufacturer has linked the NPRM to AD 2006-22-07 because Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103 will act as terminating action for the requirements of AD 2006-22-07 and the NPRM. FedEx also stated that it thinks that all airplanes that comply with AD 2006-22-07 without requiring additional permanent modifications should be exempt from the NPRM.

We agree that AD 2006-22-07 and this AD are related; however, we disagree with the commenter's request to supersede AD 2006-22-07 and include that AD as an affected AD in paragraph (b) of this AD. We also disagree with the commenter's request to exempt airplanes that comply with AD 2006-22-07 from this AD.

Prior issues of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103 (issued before Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015) are not acceptable for compliance with this AD because this AD and AD 2006-22-07 address two different unsafe conditions and require different corrective actions. AD 2006-22-07 and prior issues of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103 (issued before Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015) do not address insufficient clearance of electrical wiring bundles located in the leading and trailing edges of the RH and LH wings, which is the unsafe condition identified in this final rule. Additional actions are required in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015, to address the unsafe conditions identified by this final rule that were not addressed on airplanes modified using previous issues of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103.

Therefore, this final rule will not supersede AD 2006-22-07. Regardless of the findings or corrective actions accomplished in accordance with AD 2006-22-07, the service information in this final rule must still be required. We have not change this final rule in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015, excluding Appendices 01, 02, 03, and 04, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015; and Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015. The service information describes procedures for modifying the electrical routing installation at the RH and LH wings. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as Required for Compliance (RC) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 199 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 56 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost up to $18,000 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $4,529,240, or $22,760 per product.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0775; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-22 Airbus: Amendment 39-18467. Docket No. FAA-2014-0775; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-046-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

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

(1) All Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes; Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes; Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical Power.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of insufficient clearance for the electrical wiring bundles in the leading and trailing edges of the right-hand (RH) and left-hand (LH) wings. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct insufficient clearance of electrical wiring bundles located in the leading and trailing edges of the RH and LH wings, which could lead to chafing damage and arcing, possibly resulting in an on-board fire.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modification

Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the electrical routing installation at the RH and LH wings in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, July 3, 2015, excluding Appendices 01, 02, 03, and 04, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015; as applicable; except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

(h) Exception to Service Information

If, during any modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Any gap between the structure and the clamp has insufficient clearance, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, July 3, 2015, excluding Appendices 01, 02, 03, and 04, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015; as applicable; before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, dated March 20, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 01, dated December 11, 2013.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

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

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0176, dated August 25, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0775-0002.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this AD.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6103, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015, excluding Appendices 01, 02, 03, and 04, Revision 03, dated July 3, 2015.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-24-2105, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015, excluding Appendix 01, Revision 02, dated January 5, 2015.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 24, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07373 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4809; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-012-AD; Amendment 39-18463; AD 2016-07-18] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235-200 and CN-235-300 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of false engine fire warning events, which consequently led to engine in-flight shutdowns. This AD requires modification of the location and routing of the engine fire detection system. We are issuing this AD to prevent unnecessary engine in-flight shutdown, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4809; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact EADS-CASA, Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD), Integrated Customer Services (ICS), Technical Services, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 05; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.eads.net. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425 227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4809.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235-200 and CN-235-300 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 12, 2015 (80 FR 69898) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of false engine fire warning events, which consequently led to engine in-flight shutdowns. The NPRM proposed to require modification of the location and routing of the engine fire detection system. We are issuing this AD to prevent unnecessary engine in-flight shutdown, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0011, dated January 20, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235-200 and CN-235-300 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Several cases of false engine fire warning events were reported, which consequently led to engine in-flight shut down (IFSD) executed by the flightcrew using the appropriate emergency procedures. Subsequent investigation determined that these false engine fire warnings were the result of insufficient insulation capability of the engine fire detection system. This allowed penetration of moisture into the fire detector connectors, reducing the insulation resistance between the inner electrode and connector housing below the required values.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to further cases of unnecessary engine IFSD, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, EADS-CASA issued Service Bulletin (SB) SB235-26-0006 providing modification instructions.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the location and routing of the engine fire detection system.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4809.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51

EADS CASA has issued Service Bulletin SB-235-26-0006, dated July 8, 2014. The service information describes procedures for modifying the engine fire detection system. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 24 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 75 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $1,577 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $190,848, or $7,952 per product.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4809; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-18 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Amendment 39-18463. Docket No. FAA-2015-4809; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-012-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Model CN-235-200 and CN-235-300 airplanes, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers C-018 through C-211 inclusive.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 26, Fire Protection.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of false engine fire warning events, which consequently led to engine in-flight shutdowns. We are issuing this AD to prevent unnecessary in-flight shutdown of an engine, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modification of Engine Fire Extinguishing/Detection System

Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the location and routing of the engine fire detection system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-26-0006, dated July 8, 2014.

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

(i) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0011, dated January 20, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4809.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-26-0006, dated July 8, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact EADS-CASA, Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD), Integrated Customer Services (ICS), Technical Services, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 05; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.eads.net.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 24, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07572 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-5813; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-111-AD; Amendment 39-18460; AD 2016-07-15] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. This AD was prompted by a fuel leak that occurred in the baggage compartment during fuel system pressurization. This AD requires opening the fuel boxes and restoring the sealing. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of a connector or coupling on a fuel line, which, in combination with a leak in the corresponding enclosure (i.e., fuel box), could result in a fire in the baggage compartment and affect the safe flight of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective May 16, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; Internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5813.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5813; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2015 (80 FR 74056) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a fuel leak that occurred in the baggage compartment during fuel system pressurization. The NPRM proposed to require opening the fuel boxes and restoring the sealing. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct failure of a connector or coupling on a fuel line, which, in combination with a leak in the corresponding enclosure (i.e., fuel box), could result in a fire in the baggage compartment and affect the safe flight of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0116, dated May 13, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. The MCAI states:

During the fuel system pressurization of a production line Falcon 7X aeroplane, a fuel leak occurred in the baggage compartment. The technical investigations concluded that a double failure of a connector (or coupling) on a fuel line, in combination with a defective fuel tightness of the corresponding enclosure (fuel box), caused the leak.

Failure of the second barrier (fuel box) is a dormant failure, as this will only manifest itself in case of connector (or fuel pipe coupling) failure in flight.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in a fire in the baggage compartment, which would affect the aeroplane safe flight.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Dassault Aviation issued Service Bulletin (SB) F7X-284, which provides instructions to restore the sealing of the Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) fuel boxes.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires opening of the fuel boxes and restoration of the sealing of the fuel boxes to meet the initial design specifications.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5813.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-284, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2014. The service information describes procedures for opening the fuel boxes and restoring the sealing. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 39 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 16 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts are negligible. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $53,040, or $1,360 per product.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-15 Dassault Aviation: Amendment 39-18460. Docket No. FAA-2015-5813; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-111-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective May 16, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers (S/Ns) 1 through 140 inclusive, S/Ns 142 through 156 inclusive, S/Ns 158 through 176 inclusive, S/Ns 178 through 181 inclusive, and S/N 183, 184, 187, 188, 190, 194, and 200.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a fuel leak that occurred in the baggage compartment during fuel system pressurization. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of a connector or coupling on a fuel line, which, in combination with a leak in the corresponding enclosure (i.e., fuel box), could result in a fire in the baggage compartment and affect the safe flight of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Open the Fuel Box and Restore the Sealing

Within 98 months after the effective date of this AD, open the left-hand and right-hand fuel boxes and restore the sealing, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-284, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2014.

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; fax (425) 227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

(i) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0116, dated May 13, 1014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5813.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-284, Revision 1, dated April 8, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; Internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 25, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07571 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1277; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-155-AD; Amendment 39-18459; AD 2016-07-14] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD is intended to complete certain mandated programs intended to support the airplane reaching its limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the established structural maintenance program. This AD was prompted by fatigue testing that determined fatigue damage could appear on clips, shear webs, and angles at certain rear fuselage sections and certain frames. This AD requires replacing the clips, shear webs, and angles, including doing all applicable related investigative actions, and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue damage on the clips, shear webs, and angles; such damage could affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1277.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1277; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2015 (80 FR 26487) (“the NPRM”).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0177, dated July 25, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

During the A320 fatigue test campaign for Extended Service Goal (ESG), it was determined that fatigue damage could appear on the clips, shear webs and angles at rear fuselage section 19, on Frame (FR) 72 and FR74.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus developed a modification, which has been published through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1266 for in-service application to allow aeroplanes to operate up to the new ESG limit.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of the affected clips, shear webs and angles at rear fuselage section 19, FR72 and FR74 [including all applicable related investigative actions and repair if any cracking is found].

Related investigative actions include rotating probe testing for cracking of the fastener holes and high frequency eddy current inspections for cracking of the stringers. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1277.

Actions Since NPRM was Issued

Since the NPRM was issued, Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 03, dated May 7, 2015. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to reference this revised service information. We have revised paragraph (i) of this AD to give credit for actions done before the effective date of this AD using the following service information.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, dated January 11, 2013.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 01, dated June 20, 2013.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 02, dated August 13, 2014.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM

An anonymous commenter provided support for the NPRM.

Request To Omit Part Replacement Requirement

United Airlines requested that we revise paragraph (h) of the proposed AD to omit the additional part replacement. United Airlines noted that paragraph (h) of the proposed AD states that the replacement of clips, shear webs, and angles must be accomplished again before 30,000 flight cycles or 60,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first, if the replacement was accomplished before 30,000 flight cycles or 60,000 flight hours, whichever occurred first from airplane's first flight. The commenter stated that this paragraph suggests that the installation of new parts does not constitute terminating action. The commenter expressed that paragraph (g) of the proposed AD has no repetitive requirement for replacement of new parts if accomplished between 30,000 and 48,000 flight cycles or 60,000 and 96,000 flight hours since the airplane's first flight. The commenter suggested that this requirement will encourage operators to replace the part when the airplane has accumulated more than 30,000 total flight cycles and 60,000 total flight hours in order to avoid the possibility of additional part replacement. The commenter added that installation of new parts twice, increases the risk of damage during the part replacement.

United Airlines stated further that the additional replacement in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD could potentially result in the requirement to replace the part twice before the threshold defined in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD. By way of example, the commenter stated that if the part replacement were accomplished before 18,000 flight cycles and 36,000 flight hours since the airplane's first flight, the replacement would be required again before 48,000 flight cycles or 96,000 flight hours since the airplane's first flight. This scenario implies that the new parts reduce the fatigue life compared to an unmodified aircraft. United Airlines stated that it is not clear how the additional replacement in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD meets the intent of the NPRM. The replacement part modification prevents fatigue damage on the clips, shear webs, and angles to support operation reaching the LOV. However, there is no explanation in the AD that these new parts are life limited.

We disagree to omit the additional part replacement required by paragraph (h) of this AD. We agree with United Airlines' assessment that this AD would require replacement of the clips, shear webs, and angles twice, if those parts are first replaced prior to 30,000 total flight cycles or 60,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first. Replacement of clips, shear webs, and angles prior to 30,000 total flight cycles or 60,000 total flight hours may have been required due to reasons other than this AD. However, this AD does not require replacement of the parts before 30,000 total flight cycles or 60,000 total flight hours. We have determined that if the parts are replaced before 30,000 total flight cycles or 60,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs first, a repeat replacement of those parts is necessary to support the airplane reaching its LOV of the engineering data.

We also disagree that requiring replacement of the parts twice, will increase the risk of damage. The procedures specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 03, dated May 7, 2015, for replacing clips, shear webs, and angles are appropriate for supporting the continued operational safety of the affected Airbus fleet and do not introduce additional risk to the structural integrity of the airplane. We have made no changes to this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 03, dated May 7, 2015. The service information describes procedures for replacing clips, shear webs, and angles at rear fuselage section 19, FR72 and FR74. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 44 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 110 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $411,400, or $9,350 per product.

We have received no definitive data on the costs of required parts.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-14 Airbus: Amendment 39-18459. Docket No. FAA-2015-1277; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-155-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 30975 has been embodied in production.

(1) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

(3) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by fatigue testing that determined that fatigue damage could appear on clips, shear webs, and angles at certain rear fuselage sections and certain frames. This AD is intended to complete certain mandated programs intended to support the airplane reaching its limit of validity of the engineering data that support the established structural maintenance program. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue damage on the clips, shear webs, and angles, which could affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement

At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Replace the clips, shear webs, and angles at rear fuselage section 19, frame FR72 and FR74, and do all applicable related investigative actions before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 03, dated May 7, 2015. If any crack is found during any related investigative action required by this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

(1) Before exceeding 48,000 flight cycles or 96,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since the airplane's first flight.

(2) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(h) Additional Replacement for Certain Airplanes

For airplanes on which the replacement of clips, shear webs, and angles specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266 is done before accumulating 30,000 flight cycles or 60,000 flight hours, whichever occurred first since the airplane's first flight: Within 30,000 flight cycles or 60,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first after that replacement, do the replacement specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: This paragraph provides credit for the replacement required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information identified in paragraph (i)(1), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, dated January 11, 2013.

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 01, dated June 20, 2013.

(3) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 02, dated August 13, 2014.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0177, dated July 25, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1277.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this AD.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1266, Revision 03, dated May 7, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 25, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07375 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1426; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-200-AD; Amendment 39-18462; AD 2016-07-17] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 97-20-07 for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). AD 97-20-07 required repetitive inspections to detect fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar, and repair or modification of this area if necessary. This new AD reduces the inspection compliance time and repetitive inspection intervals. This AD was prompted by a determination that the inspection compliance time and repetitive inspection interval must be reduced to allow timely detection of fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct this fatigue cracking, which could reduce the residual strength of the top skin of the wings, and consequently affect the structural integrity of the airframe.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of October 30, 1997 (62 FR 50251, September 25, 1997).

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1426.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1426; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 97-20-07, Amendment 39-10145 (62 FR 50251, September 25, 1997) (“AD 97-20-07”). AD 97-20-07 applied to certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2015 (80 FR 32058) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that the inspection compliance time and repetitive inspection interval must be reduced to allow timely detection of fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections to detect fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar, and repair or modification of this area if necessary. The NPRM also proposed to reduce the inspection compliance time and repetitive inspection intervals. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct this fatigue cracking, which could reduce the residual strength of the top skin of the wings, and consequently affect the structural integrity of the airframe.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0221, dated September 19, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). The MCAI states:

During fatigue tests conducted in the early 1990's, cracks were found on the top skin of the wing at the centre spar joint between ribs 1 and 7.

Consequently, Airbus developed production mod. 10089 and issued Service Bulletin (SB) A300-57-6041, involving installation of a reinforcing plate on the affected area. Despite this improvement, subsequent cases of cracks were reported by operators.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could adversely affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued SB A300-57-6044 and DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued * * * [an airworthiness directive] (later revised twice) to require repetitive inspections of the affected area and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

Since [the French] * * * [airworthiness directive] [which corresponds to FAA AD 97-20-07, Amendment 39-10145 (62 FR 50251, September 25, 1997)] was issued, a fleet survey and updated Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Analyses were performed in order to substantiate the second A300-600 Extended Service Goal (ESG2) exercise. The results of these analyses have shown that the inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow timely detection of these cracks and accomplishment of an applicable corrective action. Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued SB A300-57-6044 Revision 04 [dated August 19, 2011].

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of [the French AD] * * * which is superseded, but requires the repetitive inspections to be accomplished at reduced thresholds and intervals and, depending on findings, corrective actions.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1426.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Changes Made to This Final Rule

Paragraph (m)(2) of the proposed AD inadvertently included the corrective action for the low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspections for cracking specified in paragraphs (k) and (l) of the proposed AD; however, the corrective action in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD applies only to the new high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections required by this AD. We have revised paragraph (m)(2) of this AD to specify the corrective action for the HFEC inspections for cracking specified in paragraphs (i), (j), and (m)(1) of this AD. We have added new paragraph (m)(4) of this AD to specify the corrective actions for the LFEC inspections specified in paragraphs (k) and (l) of this AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. The service information describes procedures for inspections to detect fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar, and repair or modification of this area. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 47 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions required by AD 97-20-07, and retained in this AD take about 3 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 97-20-07 is $255 per product.

We also estimate that it will take about 5 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $19,975, or $425 per product

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 97-20-07, Amendment 39-10145 (62 FR 50251, September 25, 1997), and adding the following new AD: 2016-07-17 Airbus: Amendment 39-18462. Docket No. FAA-2015-1426; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-200-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 97-20-07, Amendment 39-10145 (62 FR 50251, September 25, 1997) (“AD 97-20-07”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers except those on which Airbus Modification 10160 has been done in production.

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

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

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

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that the inspection compliance time and repetitive inspection interval must be reduced to allow timely detection of fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct this fatigue cracking, which could reduce the residual strength of the top skin of the wings, and consequently affect the structural integrity of the airframe.

(f) Compliance

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

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

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (a) of AD 97-20-07, with revised service information. For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 10089 has not been installed: Prior to the accumulation of 18,000 total landings, or within 1,500 landings after October 30, 1997 (the effective date of AD 97-20-07), whichever occurs later, conduct either a detailed visual inspection or a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar between ribs 1 and 7, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Accomplishment of the inspection required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the inspection requirements of this paragraph.

(1) If no cracking is detected, conduct repetitive inspections thereafter at the following intervals:

(i) If the immediately preceding inspection was conducted using detailed visual inspection techniques, conduct the next inspection within 5,000 landings.

(ii) If the immediately preceding inspection was conducted using HFEC techniques, conduct the next inspection within 9,500 landings.

(2) If any cracking is detected or suspected during any detailed visual inspection required by the introductory text of paragraph (g), paragraph (g)(1), or paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this AD, prior to further flight, confirm this finding and the length of this cracking by conducting an HFEC inspection, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. If no cracking is confirmed during the HFEC inspection, accomplish the repetitive inspection required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD at the time specified in that paragraph.

(3) If any cracking is detected or confirmed during any HFEC inspection required by the introductory text of paragraph (g), paragraph (g)(1), or paragraph (g)(2) of this AD:

(i) If the cracking is 75 millimeters (mm) or less per rib bay, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Thereafter, conduct repetitive detailed visual inspections of the repaired area at intervals not to exceed 50 landings, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011.

(ii) If the cracking exceeds 75 mm per rib bay, prior to further flight, install Airbus Modification 10089, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Thereafter, conduct a low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD.

Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994, references Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6041, Revision 4, dated November 16, 1995, as an additional source of guidance for installing Airbus Modification 10089.

(h) Retained Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions for Certain Airplanes, With Revised Service Information and Repair Instructions

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (b) of AD 97-20-07, with revised service information and repair instructions. For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 10089 has been installed: Prior to the accumulation of 22,000 total landings after this modification has been installed, or within 1,500 landings after October 30, 1997 (the effective date of AD 97-20-07), whichever occurs later, conduct a LFEC inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the inboard and rear edges of the top skin reinforcing plates, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Accomplishment of the inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD terminates the inspection requirements of this paragraph.

(1) If no cracking is detected, repeat this inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 11,000 landings.

(2) If any cracking is detected, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Standardization Branch, ANM-113, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA. As of the effective date of this AD, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). Thereafter, repeat this inspection at intervals not to exceed 11,000 landings.

(i) New Requirement of This AD: Initial Inspections

For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 10089 has not been installed: At the applicable time specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD, do either a detailed visual inspection or an HFEC inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the left and right wings in the area where the top skin attaches to the center spar between ribs 1 and 7, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Accomplishment of the inspection required by this paragraph terminates the inspection requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes whose flight time average is equal to or more than 1.5 hours, at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) and (i)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Before the accumulation of 14,000 total flight cycles or 30,300 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) Within 1,500 flight cycles or 3,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes whose flight time average is less than 1.5 hours, at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i) and (i)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Before the accumulation of 15,100 total flight cycles or 22,700 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) Within 1,600 flight cycles or 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(j) New Requirement of This AD: Repetitive Inspections

Repeat the inspections specified in paragraph (i) of this AD thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes whose flight time average is equal to or more than 1.5 hours, at the applicable interval specified in paragraphs (j)(1)(i) and (j)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) For a detailed visual inspection, at intervals not to exceed 3,900 flight cycles or 8,400 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) For an HFEC inspection, at intervals not to exceed 7,400 flight cycles or 16,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes whose flight time average is less than 1.5 hours, at the applicable interval specified in paragraphs (j)(2)(i) and (j)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) For a detailed visual inspection, at intervals not to exceed 4,200 flight cycles or 6,300 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) For an HFEC inspection, at intervals not to exceed 8,000 flight cycles or 11,900 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(k) New Requirement of This AD: Initial Inspection for Certain Airplanes

For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 10089 has been installed: At the applicable time specified in paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this AD, do an LFEC inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the inboard and rear edges of the top skin reinforcing plates, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Accomplishment of the inspection required by this paragraph terminates the inspection requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes whose flight time average is equal to or more than 1.5 hours, at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (k)(1)(i) and (k)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Before the accumulation of 17,000 total flight cycles or 37,100 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) Within 1,500 flight cycles or 3,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes whose flight time average is less than 1.5 hours, at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (k)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Before the accumulation of 18,500 total flight cycles or 27,800 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) Within 1,600 flight cycles or 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(l) New Requirement of This AD: Repetitive Inspections for Certain Airplanes

Repeat the inspection specified in paragraph (k) of this AD thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraphs (l)(1) and (l)(2) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes whose flight time average is equal to or more than 1.5 hours, at intervals not to exceed 8,500 flight cycles or 18,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes whose flight time average is less than 1.5 hours, at intervals not to exceed 9,200 flight cycles or 13,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(m) New Requirement of This AD: Corrective Actions

(1) If any cracking is detected or suspected during any detailed inspection required by paragraph (i) or (j) of this AD: Before further flight, confirm this finding and the length of this cracking by conducting an HFEC inspection, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, except as specified in paragraph (o) of this AD. If no cracking is confirmed during the HFEC inspection, accomplish the applicable repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (j) and (l) of this AD at the applicable time specified in those paragraphs.

(2) If any cracking is found during any HFEC inspection required by paragraph (i), (j), or (m)(1) of this AD: Before further flight, do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (m)(2)(i) and (m)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) If the cracking is 75 mm or less per each rib bay: Before further flight, repair the cracking, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, except as specified in paragraph (o) of this AD. Do repetitive detailed inspections of the repaired area thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 flight cycles or 110 flight hours, whichever occurs first, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Within 250 flight cycles or 550 flight hours, whichever occurs first after doing the temporary repair, do a permanent repair of the repaired area, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011.

(ii) If the cracking exceeds 75 mm per any rib bay: Before further flight, install Airbus Modification 10089, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011. Do an LFEC inspection thereafter at the intervals specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

(3) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this AD at fastener hole 1A, 1, or 2: Before further flight, repair the cracking, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011.

(4) If any cracking is found during any LFEC inspection required by paragraph (k) or (l) of this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

(n) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (i) through (l) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 03, dated April 7, 1999, including Appendix 01, Revision 03, dated April 7, 1999, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(o) Exception to Service Information Specification

Although Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, specifies to submit information to Airbus, this AD does not require that submission.

(p) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

(q) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0221, dated September 19, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1426.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (r)(5) and (r)(6) of this AD.

(r) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on May 16, 2016

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011, including Appendix 01, Revision 04, dated August 19, 2011.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 30, 1997 (62 FR 50251, September 25, 1997).

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6044, Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995, including Appendix 1, Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994. Pages 1 through 8 of this document are identified as Revision 2, dated September 6, 1995; pages 9 and 10 are identified as original, dated March 1, 1993. Page 1 of Appendix 1 is identified as Revision 1, dated November 25, 1994; and pages 2 through 6 are identified as original, dated March 1, 1993.

(ii) Reserved.

(5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

(6) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 24, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07574 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5457; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-008-AD; Amendment 39-18469; AD 2016-07-24] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Textron Aviation, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Textron Aviation, Inc. Models 310 through 310R, E310H, E310J, T310P through T310R, 310J-1, 320 through 320F, 320-1, 335, 340, 340A, 401 through 401B, 402 through 402C, 411, 411A, 414, 414A, and 421 through 421C airplanes (type certificates 3A10, 3A25, and A7CE previously held by Cessna Aircraft Company). This AD requires replacement and repetitive inspections of the hardware securing the elevator trim push-pull rod. This AD was prompted by lessons learned in accident investigation support, analysis of past accidents, and NTSB determinations of probable cause. That information indicates that following the loss of the attachment hardware connecting the elevator trim tab actuator to the elevator trim tab push-pull rod, the elevator tab may jam in a position outside the normal limits of travel. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective April 26, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 26, 2016.

We must receive comments on this AD by May 26, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Textron Aviation Customer Service, P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, Kansas 67277; telephone: (316) 517-5800; fax: (316) 517-7271; email: [email protected]; Internet: https://support.cessna.com/custsupt/csupport/newlogin.jsp. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5457.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5457; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Adam Hein, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 1801 S. Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; phone: (316) 946-4116; fax: (316) 946-4107; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

This AD was prompted by accident reports on Textron Aviation, Inc. Models T310Q, 310Q, and 402B airplanes. Lessons learned in the accident investigation support, analysis of past accidents, and NTSB determinations of probable cause indicate that following the loss of the attachment hardware connecting the elevator trim tab actuator to the elevator trim tab push-pull rod, the elevator tab may jam in a position outside the normal limits of travel.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in a loss of the ability to control the airplane. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Textron Aviation, Inc. (Cessna Aircraft Company) Multi-engine Service Bulletin No. MEB-27-02, dated February 29, 2016. The service information describes procedures for replacing the hardware connecting the elevator trim push-pull rod to the elevator trim actuator and elevator trim tab. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

FAA's Determination

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

AD Requirements

This AD requires replacement and repetitive inspection of the elevator trim tab push-pull rod connecting hardware.

Differences Between the AD and the Service Information

Due to the immediate safety of flight condition of this AD action, we are requiring replacement of the hardware within 90 days after the effective date of this AD rather than the potential of up to a year as allowed in the service information.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the loss of the attachment hardware connecting the elevator trim tab actuator to the elevator trim tab push-pull rod may result in jamming of the elevator trim tab beyond normal limits, which could result in loss of ability to control the airplane. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2016-5457 and Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-008-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 5,066 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Elevator trim push-pull rod hardware replacement 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $18.50 $103.50 $524,331 Repetitive Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 85 430,610

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the inspection. This is the same replacement that is initially required by this AD. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this repetitive on-condition replacement:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Elevator trim push-pull rod hardware replacement 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $18.50 $103.50
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-24 Textron Aviation, Inc.: Amendment 39-18469; Docket No. FAA-2016-5457; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-008-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 26, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Textron Aviation, Inc. Models 310 through 310R, E310H, E310J, T310P through T310R, 310J-1, 320 through 320F, 320-1, 335, 340, 340A, 401 through 401B, 402 through 402C, 411, 411A, 414, 414A, and 421 through 421C airplanes (type certificates 3A10, 3A25, and A7CE previously held by Cessna Aircraft Company), all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 2731, Elevator Tab Control System.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by lessons learned in accident investigation support, analysis of past accidents, and NTSB determinations of probable cause. That information confirms that following the loss of the attachment hardware connecting the elevator trim tab actuator to the elevator trim tab push-pull rod, the elevator tab may jam in a position outside the normal limits of travel and could result in loss of control. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(3) of this AD within the compliance times specified.

    (1) Within the next 90 days after April 26, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), replace the elevator trim push-pull rod attachment hardware on the elevator trim actuator and the trim tab ends of the push-pull rod following steps 2 through 5 of the accomplishment instructions in Textron Aviation, Inc. (Cessna) Multi-engine Service Bulletin No. MEB-27-02, dated February 29, 2016.

    (2) Following the replacement required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first, repetitively inspect the elevator trim push-pull rod attachment hardware on the elevator trim actuator and the trim tab ends of the push-pull rod, and replace the hardware if necessary before further flight following the Compliance NOTE on page 1 of Textron Aviation, Inc. (Cessna) Multi-engine Service Bulletin No. MEB-27-02, dated February 29, 2016.

    (3) After April 26, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), any time the elevator trim push-pull rod attachment hardware on the elevator trim actuator and/or trim tab ends of the push-pull rod is removed for any reason, discard the old hardware (bolt, nut, washer and cotter pin) and replace with new hardware following steps 3 and/or step 5 of Textron Aviation, Inc. (Cessna) Multi-engine Service Bulletin No. MEB-27-02, dated February 29, 2016.

    (g) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are allowed for this AD per 14 CFR 39.23 with the following limitation: Before flight a pre-flight inspection is required of the attachment hardware connecting the elevator trim tab actuator to the elevator trim tab push-pull rod. Confirmation of the presence of a castellated nut and cotter pin is required.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (i) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Adam Hein, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 1801 S. Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; phone: (316) 946-4116; fax: (316) 946-4107; email: [email protected]

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Textron Aviation, Inc. (Cessna) Multi-engine Service Bulletin No. MEB-27-02, dated February 29, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Textron Aviation, Inc. (Cessna) service information identified in this AD, contact Textron Aviation Customer Service, P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, Kansas 67277; telephone: (316) 517-5800; fax: (316) 517-7271; email: [email protected]; Internet: https://support.cessna.com/custsupt/csupport/newlogin.jsp

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5457.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 30, 2016. Jacqueline Jambor, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07798 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5458; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-027-AD; Amendment 39-18473; AD 2016-07-28] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), and DC-9-87 (MD-87) airplanes, and Model MD-88 airplanes. This AD requires repetitive eddy current high frequency (ETHF) inspections for any cracking in the left and right side center wing lower skin, and corrective actions if necessary. This AD was prompted by reports of cracking at certain stringers, associated end fittings, and skins in the center wing fuel tank where the stringers meet the end fittings. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the center wing lower skin. Such cracking could cause structural failure of the wings.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective April 26, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 26, 2016.

    We must receive comments on this AD by May 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5458.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5458; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5224; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We have received reports of cracks at stringers S-15, S-16, or S-17, associated end fittings, and skins in the center wing fuel tank where the stringers meet the end fittings near Xcw=13 and Xcw=15. If stringer S-15, S-16, or S-17 is cracked in this area and there is a crack in the skin adjacent to the stringer crack, the skin crack could grow to a critical length before it can be found by routine maintenance inspections. This condition, if not corrected, could result in structural failure of the wings. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016. The service information describes procedures for repetitive ETHF inspections for any cracking in the left and right side center wing lower skin, and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    AD Requirements

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this AD and the Service Information. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5458.

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

    Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016, specifies to contact the manufacturer for certain instructions, but this AD requires accomplishment of repair methods, modification deviations, and alteration deviations in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

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

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because we have received reports indicating cracking at certain stringers, associated end fittings, and skins in the center wing fuel tank where the stringers meet the end fittings. This condition, if not corrected, could cause structural failure of the wings.

    Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2016-5458 and Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-027-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 395 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 14 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,190 per inspection cycle $0 $1,190 per inspection cycle $470,050 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-28 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18473; Docket No. FAA-2016-5458; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-027-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 26, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), and DC-9-87 (MD-87) airplanes, and Model MD-88 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracking at certain stringers, associated end fittings, and skins in the center wing fuel tank where the stringers meet the end fittings. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the center wing lower skin. Such cracking could cause structural failure of the wings.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    Except as required by paragraph (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016: Do an eddy current high frequency (ETHF) inspection for any cracking in the left and right side center wing lower skin, and do all applicable corrective actions; except as required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016.

    (h) Exception to the Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) The Condition column of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016, refers to total flight cycles “as of the original issue date of this service bulletin.” This AD, however, applies to the airplanes with the specified total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD.

    (3) If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) Except as required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5224; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-57A244, dated March 3, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (4) You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 30, 2016. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07842 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4817; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-115-AD; Amendment 39-18465; AD 2016-07-20] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 95-18-08 for all Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes. AD 95-18-08 required repetitive inspections to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, and repair if necessary. This new AD, for certain airplanes, reduces the compliance times for the inspections. This AD was prompted by a report that updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses and a fleet survey found that certain inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow more timely findings of cracking. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue-related cracking in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of October 16, 1995 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-4817; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4817.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995) (“AD 95-18-08”). AD 95-18-08 applied to all Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes (which includes Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes), Model A300 B4-622 airplanes, and Model A300 F4-622R airplanes that were added to the U.S. Type Certificate Data Sheet since issuance of AD 95-18-08. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 19, 2015 (80 FR 72395) (“the NPRM” or “the proposed AD”). The NPRM was prompted by a report that updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses and a fleet survey found that certain inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow more timely findings of cracking. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, and repair if necessary. The NPRM also proposed, for certain airplanes, reduce the compliance times for the inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such fatigue-related cracking in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0119, dated May 13, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). The MCAI states:

    Full-scale fatigue tests carried out on the A300-600 test specimen by Airbus revealed crack initiation in the bottom skin adjacent to the aft pylon attachment fitting.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD 94-069-158(B) (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/1994069158tb_superseded.pdf/AD_F-1994-069-158_2) [which corresponds to FAA AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995)] to require repetitive detailed visual inspections (DVI) of the wing bottom skin in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting on Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) wings [to detect cracks, and repair if necessary].

    Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, a fleet survey and updated Fatigue and Damage Tolerance analyses have been performed in order to substantiate the second A300-600 Extended Service Goal (ESG2) exercise. As a result, it was revealed that the inspection threshold and interval must be reduced to allow timely detection of cracks and the accomplishment of an applicable corrective action. Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Revision 07 of Service Bulletin (SB) A300-57-6028.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC France AD 94-069-158(B), which is superseded, but reduces the inspection thresholds and intervals [e.g., compliance times].

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-4817-0002.

    Comment

    The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to the comment.

    Statement on Fleet Activity

    FedEx Express (FedEx) stated that the NPRM will affect 71 Model A300 airplanes in its fleet. FedEx stated that 42 of its Model A300-F4 airplanes have not reached the inspection threshold, and it is currently accomplishing repetitive actions on 15 of its 29 Model A300-B4 airplanes. FedEx stated that it will adjust its inspection actions to comply with the actions specified in the NPRM.

    We acknowledge FedEx's comment. No change to this AD is necessary.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 07, dated June 6, 2011. The service information describes procedures for inspections to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 124 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 95-18-08, and retained in this AD take about 6 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 95-18-08 is $510 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 15 work-hours and require parts costing $10,000, for a cost of $11,275 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    The new requirements of this AD add no additional economic burden.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-4817; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995), and adding the following new AD: 2016-07-20 Airbus: Amendment 39-18465. Docket No. FAA-2015-4817; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-115-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995) (“AD 95-18-08”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

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

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

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

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

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses and a fleet survey found that certain inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow more timely findings of cracking. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such fatigue-related cracking in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection and Corrective Action with Additional Repair Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (a) of AD 95-18-08, with additional repair contact information. Prior to the accumulation of 24,000 total flight cycles since date of manufacture of the airplane, or within 750 flight cycles after October 16, 1995 (the effective date of AD 95-18-08), whichever occurs later, perform a detailed visual inspection to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 3, dated September 13, 1994. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,000 flight cycles. If any crack is detected, prior to further flight, repair the wing bottom skin in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Standardization Branch, ANM-113, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, or the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). Accomplishing any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD terminates the inspections required by this paragraph.

    (h) New Requirement of This AD: Revised Inspection Thresholds and Intervals

    Within the applicable compliance times required in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, do a detailed visual inspection of the wing bottom skin in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting on left-hand and right-hand wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 07, dated June 6, 2011. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable intervals required in paragraphs (h)(3) and (h)(4) of this AD. Accomplishing any inspection required by this paragraph terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) For “normal range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of 1.5 flight hours or more: Do the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (h)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i)(A) and (h)(1)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 24,000 flight cycles or 51,800 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 2,000 flight cycles or 4,300 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii)(A) and (h)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 19,100 flight cycles or 41,200 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 1,500 flight cycles or 3,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For “short range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of less than 1.5 flight hours: Do the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(i)(A) and (h)(2)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 25,900 flight cycles or 38,800 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 2,100 flight cycles or 3,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(ii)(A) and (h)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 20,600 flight cycles or 30,900 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 1,600 flight cycles or 2,400 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (3) For “normal range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of 1.5 flight hours or more: Repeat the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,000 flight cycles or 19,400 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 7,100 flight cycles or 15,300 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (4) For “short range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of less than 1.5 flight hours: Repeat the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(4)(i) and (h)(4)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,700 flight cycles or 14,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 7,600 flight cycles or 11,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (i) Definition of Average Flight Time for Paragraph (h) of This AD

    For the purpose of paragraph (h) of this AD, the Average Flight Time must be established as follows:

    (1) For the initial inspection, the average flight time is the total accumulated flight hours, counted from take-off to touch-down, divided by the total accumulated flight cycles at the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For the first repeated inspection interval, the average flight time is the total accumulated flight hours divided by the total accumulated flight cycles at the time of the inspection threshold.

    (3) For all inspection intervals onwards, the average flight time is the flight hours divided by the flight cycles accumulated between the last two inspections.

    (j) New Requirement of This AD: Corrective Action for Any Cracking Found

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. Accomplishing a repair does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using any of the service information identified in paragraphs (k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(3) of this AD, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 04, dated October 25, 1999.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 05, dated January 11, 2002.

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 06, dated May 17, 2006.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 95-18-08, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraph (g) of this AD.

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

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2014-0119, dated May 13, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4817.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(5) and (n)(6) of this AD.

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on May 16, 2016.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 07, dated June 6, 2011.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 16, 1995 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995).

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 3, dated September 13, 1994. Pages 1 through 6 of this service bulletin indicate Revision 3 and are dated September 13, 1994; pages 7 through 9 indicate Revision 2 and are dated February 22, 1994.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    (6) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 24, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07570 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0333; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-025-AD; Amendment 39-18474; AD 2016-07-29] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP, AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting each TECALEMIT flexible hydraulic hose (hose) installed in the main gearbox (MGB) compartment and replacing the hose if a crack, cut, or other damage exists. This AD was prompted by reports about the loss of in-flight hydraulic pressure on Eurocopter France helicopters. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent loss of the hydraulic system and consequently, loss of helicopter control.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective May 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rao Edupuganti, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    On June 2, 2014, at 79 FR 31229, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model EC225LP, AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters with a TECALEMIT MGB hose installed.

    The NPRM proposed to require repetitively inspecting each hose installed in the MGB compartment and replacing the hose before further flight if a crack, cut, or other damage exists that allows you to see the metal braid underneath. If a crack, cut, or other damage exists on the right-hand hydraulic system that does not allow you to see the metal braid underneath, the NPRM proposed replacing the hose within 300 hours TIS. If a crack, cut, or other damage exists on the left-hand hydraulic system that does not allow you to see the metal braid underneath, the NPRM proposed replacing the hose within 600 hours TIS. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent failure of a hose, which could result in loss of the hydraulic system and consequently, loss of helicopter control.

    The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2013-0069, dated March 18, 2013, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters. EASA advises that in-flight losses of hydraulic pressure were reported on these helicopters because of “significant” tears on the protection sheath of MGB hydraulic flexible “pipes” manufactured by TECALEMIT. This condition could lead to simultaneous left-hand and right-hand hydraulic system leakage, loss of the hydraulic system, and consequently, loss of helicopter control could occur, EASA advises.

    The NPRM incorrectly stated that the Model AS332C1 helicopter did not have an FAA type certificate. We plan additional rulemaking to supersede this AD to include the Model AS332C1 helicopter.

    Comments

    After our NPRM (79 FR 31229, June 2, 2014) was published, we received comments from one commenter.

    Request

    Airbus Helicopters noted that the proposed AD does not mention Airbus Helicopters service information specifying installation of non-TECALEMIT hoses, which it considers terminating action for the repetitive inspections of the hoses. Airbus Helicopters requested that the AD reflect that action. We agree with the comment but disagree that a change to the AD is necessary. Because the AD is only applicable if a TECALEMIT hose is installed, replacing the hose as described by Airbus Helicopters in its comment would serve as “terminating action” for the required inspections. If a non-TECALEMIT hose is installed, the AD does not apply.

    Airbus Helicopters stated that the proposed AD would require that a damaged hose sheath on right-hand hydraulic system be replaced within 300 hours time-in-service (TIS) and a damaged hose sheath on the left-hand system be replaced within 600 hours TIS. Airbus Helicopters requested that we change these proposed requirements to replacing the hose within 300 hours TIS if the hose sheath is damaged on both the right- and left-hand system and replacing the hose within 600 hours TIS if the hose sheath is damaged on only one side. We do not agree. The right-hand hose is subject to higher pressure and therefore we determined more stringent requirements for the right-hand hose are necessary than for the left-hand hose.

    Lastly, Airbus Helicopters requested that we extend the repetitive inspection to every 1,200 hours TIS after the initial inspection at 110 hours TIS. When asked for additional information, Airbus Helicopters stated that no discrepancies have been found as a result of the inspections on its EC225 fleet, and that most of its AS332 fleet that are operating have complied with the service information. We disagree. Airbus Helicopters provided no support for its position that the hoses perform safely for 1,200 hours TIS after the initial inspection. Because the root cause of the cracking is unknown, we have determined that inspecting the hoses every 110 hours TIS is necessary.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA, reviewed the relevant information, considered the comments received, and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

    Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires a one-time inspection, while this AD requires that the inspection of the hoses be repeated every 110 hours TIS. The EASA AD requires that if severe damage is found in a hose on the right-hand hydraulic system, then the hose be replaced before the next flight, while this AD requires this regardless of whether the hose is on the right-hand or left-hand hydraulic system. EASA has set some compliance times based on months. We set compliance times based only on hours TIS.

    Related Service Information

    Eurocopter issued Service Bulletin (SB) No. EC225-05-027, Revision 1, dated July 17, 2013, for Model EC225LP helicopters and SB No. AS332-05.00.92, Revision 1, dated July 17, 2013, for Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2 and military Model AS332B, AS332B1, AS332F1, AS332M and AS332M1 helicopters. The SBs state Eurocopter received a report concerning the loss of pressure in the left hand hydraulic system in-flight. Hydraulic fluid was found in the cabin, though the flight was completed without further incident. An examination of the hydraulic system showed that the hose located between the forward servo-control and the hydraulic manifold had burst. Further investigations have shown corrosion on the metal braid located under the fire-resistant sheath of hoses manufactured by TECALEMIT. The corrosion may be caused by the deterioration or gaping of the fire-resistant sheath at the hose ends, enabling humidity to enter between the sheath and the metal braid. As a result, SB No. EC225-05-027 and SB No. AS332-05.00.92 call for inspecting each hose for a notch, tear, crack, or scuff mark, and replacing any damaged hose.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 19 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Inspecting the hoses installed in a MGB compartment requires 1.5 work-hours for a labor cost of about $128 per helicopter, $2,432 for the U.S. fleet.

    • Replacing a hose requires 2.5 work-hours for a labor cost of about $213. Parts cost $2,000 for a total cost of $2,213 per helicopter.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-07-29 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-18474; Docket No. FAA-2014-0333; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-025-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP, AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters with a TECALEMIT main gear box (MGB) hydraulic flexible hose (hose) installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as loss of hydraulic pressure because of the failure of a hose. This condition could result in loss of the hydraulic system and consequently, loss of helicopter control.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective May 16, 2016.

    (d) Compliance

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

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 110 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS, visually inspect each TECALEMIT hose installed in the MGB compartment for a cut, crack, or other damage.

    (2) If there is a cut, crack, or any other damage in the hose sheath that allows you to see the metal braid underneath when pinching or twisting the sheath, replace the hose before further flight.

    (3) If there is a cut, crack, or any other damage in the hose sheath on the right hand hydraulic system that does not allow you to see the metal braid underneath, replace the hose within 300 hours TIS.

    (4) If there is a cut, crack, or any other damage in the hose sheath on the left hand hydraulic system that does not allow you to see the metal braid underneath, replace the hose within 600 hours TIS.

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Rao Edupuganti, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

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

    (g) Additional Information

    (1) Eurocopter Service Bulletin (SB) No. EC225-05-027 and SB No. AS332-05.00.92, both Revision 1 and dated July 17, 2013; Eurocopter SB No. AS332-29.00.17 and SB No. EC225-29-005, both Revision 0 and both dated June 21, 2013; and Eurocopter Information Notice No. 2506-I-29, Revision 2, dated July 24, 2013; which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2013-0069, dated March 18, 2013. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0333.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2910, Main Hydraulic System.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 31, 2016. James A. Grigg, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07983 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5432; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-009-AD; Amendment 39-18466; AD 2016-07-21] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-20-13 for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Models PA-28-161, PA-28-181, and PA-28R-201 airplanes. AD 2015-20-13 required inspecting the right wing rib at wing station 140.09 for cracks and taking necessary corrective action. This AD retains the actions for AD 2015-20-13 and adds airplanes to the applicability. This AD was prompted by reports that additional airplanes have been found with the same cracks. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective April 26, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 26, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of October 29, 2015 (80 FR 61725, October 14, 2015).

    We must receive any comments on this AD by May 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., Customer Service, 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (877) 879-0275; fax: none; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.piper.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5432.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5432; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory “Keith” Noles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5551; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    On October 1, 2015, we issued AD 2015-20-13, Amendment 39-18292 (80 FR 61725), (“AD 2015-20-13”), for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Models PA-28-161, PA-28-181, and PA-28R-201 airplanes. AD 2015-20-13 required inspecting the right wing rib at wing station 140.09 for cracks and taking necessary corrective action. AD 2015-20-13 resulted from a report from Piper Aircraft, Inc. of a production quality control problem on certain Models PA-28-161, PA-28-181, and PA-28R-201 airplanes. A change in production tooling and processes caused cracks to form along the edge of rib stiffening beads during manufacture. These cracks cause reduced structural integrity of the wing, which resulted in the inability of the wing rib to carry ultimate load. We issued AD 2015-20-13 to detect and correct cracks in the wing rib, which if not corrected, could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing with consequent loss of control.

    Actions Since AD 2015-20-13 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2015-20-13, we received reports that operators in the field found the same cracks in airplanes outside the original applicability. After further investigation, Piper Aircraft, Inc. issued a new service bulletin expanding the serial number applicability of the affected airplane models. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279A, dated March 3, 2016. The service bulletin describes procedures for inspecting the right wing rib at wing station 140.09 for cracks and for obtaining an FAA-approved repair if cracks are found. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    AD Requirements

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because cracks in the wing rib, if not detected and corrected immediately, could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing with consequent loss of control. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments before it becomes effective. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2016-5432 and directorate identifier 2016-CE-009-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 725 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Inspect the right wing rib at wing station 140.09 for cracks 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Not applicable $85 $61,625

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs that will be required based on the results of the inspection. This estimate is based on replacement of the rib. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need these repairs:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair of the of the wing rib 35 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,975 $125 $3,100

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

    The only cost difference between this AD and AD 2015-20-13 is the cost associated with adding 710 airplanes to the Applicability section.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-20-13, Amendment 39-18292 (80 FR 61725, October 14, 2015) and adding the following new AD: 2016-07-21 Piper Aircraft, Inc.: Amendment 39-18466; Docket No. FAA-2016-5432; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-009-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 26, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2015-20-13, Amendment 39-18292 (80 FR 61725) (“AD 2015-20-13”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the following Piper Aircraft, Inc. airplanes certificated in any category.

    (1) Airplanes previously affected by AD 2015-20-13: Model PA-28-161 airplanes, serial numbers (S/Ns) 2842393 through 2842395; Model PA-28-181 airplanes, S/Ns 2843769 through 2843775 and 2843779 through 2843791; and Model PA-28R-201 airplanes, S/N 2844152.

    (2) Airplanes new to this AD: Model PA-28-161 airplanes, S/Ns 2842010 through 2842392; Model PA-28-181 airplanes, S/Ns 2843021 through 2843768; and Model PA-28R-201 airplane, S/Ns 2844004 through 2844151.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 5712, Wing Ribs/Bulkhead.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found in the wing rib on airplanes outside the Applicability, paragraph (c), of AD 2015-20-13. The cracks occurred in production during forming of the wing rib bead radius. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the wing rib, which if not corrected, could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing with consequent loss of control.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspect

    (1) Inspect the right wing rib at wing station (WS) 140.09 for cracks at the following compliance times.

    (i) For airplanes previously affected by AD 2015-20-13: Within the next 25 hours time-in-service after (TIS) after October 29, 2015 (the effective date retained from AD 2015-20-13) following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279, dated August 26, 2015, or Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279A, dated March 3, 2016.

    (ii) For airplanes new to this AD: Within the next 25 hours TIS after April 26, 2016 (the effective date of this AD) following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279A, dated March 3, 2016.

    (2) If any crack is detected during the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, before further flight, obtain and implement an FAA-approved repair scheme, approved specifically for this AD. At the operator's discretion, assistance may be provided by contacting Piper Aircraft, Inc. at the address identified in paragraph (k)(5) of this AD.

    (h) Special Flight Permit

    A special flight permit is allowed for this AD per 14 CFR 39.23 for the inspection required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. If a crack is found during the inspection required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, a special flight permit is allowed with the following limitations:

    (1) Flight must be planned to the nearest location where repairs can be done;

    (2) Indicated airspeed must be 120 knots or less for the entire flight;

    (3) Bank angle is not to exceed 30 degrees for the entire flight;

    (4) Maximum load factors must be between +3.0 and −1.0 for the entire flight; and

    (5) Flight must be performed VFR, with no turbulence greater than “light” forecast for the planned flight route and altitude.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Gregory “Keith” Noles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5551; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on April 26, 2016.

    (i) Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279A, dated March 3, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 29, 2015 (80 FR 61725, October 14, 2015).

    (i) Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279, dated August 26, 2015.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For Piper Aircraft, Inc. service information identified in this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., Customer Service, 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (877) 879-0275; fax: none; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.piper.com.

    (6) You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5432.

    (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 28, 2016. Jacqueline Jambor, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07580 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1279; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-049-AD; Amendment 39-18454; AD 2016-07-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-21-06 for all BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes. AD 2011-21-06 required revising the maintenance program. This new AD requires a new revision of the maintenance or inspection program. This AD was prompted by a determination that the life limit of certain main landing gear components must be reduced, and certain post-repair inspections of critical structure are necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of certain structurally significant items, including the main landing gear and nose landing gear, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane; and to prevent fuel vapor ignition sources, which could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective May 16, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 16, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of November 23, 2011 (76 FR 64788, October 19, 2011).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited, Customer Information Department, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland, United Kingdom; telephone +44 1292 675207; fax +44 1292 675704; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.baesystems.com/Businesses/RegionalAircraft/index.htm. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1279.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1279; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theodore (Todd) Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1175; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2011-21-06, Amendment 39-16829 (76 FR 64788, October 19, 2011) (“AD 2011-21-06”). AD 2011-21-06 applied to all BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2015 (80 FR 26484) (“the NPRM”).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0043, dated February 21, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The Jetstream J41 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), includes the following chapters:

    05-10-10 “Airworthiness Limitations”, 05-10-20 “Certification Maintenance Requirements”, and, 05-10-30 “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System”.

    The maintenance tasks and limitations contained in these chapters have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness and EASA issued AD 2010-0098 [dated May 27, 2010 (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2010-0098) which corresponds to FAA AD 2011-21-06, Amendment 39-16829 (79 FR 64788, October 19, 2011)] to require operators to comply with those instructions.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd issued Revision 37 of the AMM amending Chapter 05-10-10 to revise and reduce the life limit of certain main landing gear components. In addition, Revision 38 of the AMM was issued to amend Chapters 05-10-00 and 05-10-10 introducing inspections to be accomplished after implementation of some repairs affecting fatigue strength of critical structure. Failure to comply with the new and more restrictive actions could result in an unsafe condition.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD, which supersedes EASA AD 2010-0098, requires implementation of the maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations as specified in the defined parts of Chapter 05 of the AMM at Revision 38.

    The unsafe condition is the failure of certain structurally significant items, including the main landing gear and nose landing gear, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane; and fuel vapor ignition sources, which could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1279.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

    Explanation of Change to NPRM

    Since we issued the NPRM, we discovered an incorrect reference to “paragraph (j)” in paragraph (i)(3) of the proposed AD. The correct reference is to “paragraph (i),” and we have changed this AD accordingly.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the change described previously and for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Subjects 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations”; 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements”; and 05-10-30, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System”; of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited J41 AMM, Revision 38, dated September 15, 2013. This service information describes procedures for inspections of structurally significant items and the fuel system. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 4 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2011-21-06, Amendment 39-16829 (76 FR 64788, October 19, 2011), and retained in this AD take about 1 work-hour per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2011-21-06 is $85 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $340, or $85 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-21-06, Amendment 39-16829 (76 FR 64788, October 19, 2011), and adding the following new AD: 2016-07-09 BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited: Amendment 39-18454. Docket No. FAA-2015-1279; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-049-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective May 16, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2011-21-06, Amendment 39-16829 (76 FR 64788, October 19, 2011) (“AD 2011-21-06”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited Model 4101 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the need to reduce the life limit of certain main landing gear components, and to add certain post-repair inspections of critical structure to the maintenance or inspection program. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of certain structurally significant items, including the main landing gear and nose landing gear, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane; and to prevent fuel vapor ignition sources, which could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Maintenance Program Revision, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2011-21-06, with no changes. Within 90 days after November 23, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-21-06): Revise the maintenance program by incorporating Subjects 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations”; 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements”; and 05-10-30, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System”; of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Revision 35, dated February 15, 2011. The initial compliance times for the tasks are at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD. Doing the actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

    (1) For replacement tasks of life limited parts specified in Subject 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 AMM, Revision 35, dated February 15, 2011: Prior to the applicable flight cycles (landings) or flight hours (flying hours) on the part specified in the “Mandatory Life Limits” column in Subject 05-10-10, or within 90 days after November 23, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-21-06), whichever occurs later.

    (2) For structurally significant item tasks specified in Subject 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 AMM, Revision 35, dated February 15, 2011: Prior to the accumulation of the applicable flight cycles specified in the “Initial Inspection” column in Subject 05-10-10, or within 90 days after November 23, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-21-06), whichever occurs later.

    (3) For certification maintenance requirements tasks specified in Subject 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements,” of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 AMM, Revision 35, dated February 15, 2011: Prior to the accumulation of the applicable flight hours specified in the “Time Between Checks” column in Subject 05-10-20, or within 90 days after November 23, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-21-06), whichever occurs later; except for tasks that specify “first flight of the day” in the “Time Between Checks” column in Subject 05-10-20, the initial compliance time is the first flight of the next day after doing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, or within 90 days after November 23, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-21-06), whichever occurs later.

    (h) Retained Restrictions on Alternative Actions, Intervals, and/or CDCCLs, With a New Exception

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (k) of AD 2011-21-06, with a new exception. Except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, after accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, and/or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, and/or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (i) New Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating Subjects 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations”; 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements”; and 05-10-30, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System”; of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited J41 AMM, Revision 38, dated September 15, 2013. The initial compliance times for the tasks are at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (i)(1), (i)(2), and (i)(3) of this AD. Doing the actions required by this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) For replacement tasks of life limited parts specified in Subject 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited J41 AMM, Revision 38, dated September 15, 2013: Prior to the applicable flight cycles (landings) or flight hours (flying hours) on the part specified in the “Mandatory Life Limits” column in Subject 05-10-10, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (2) For structurally significant item tasks specified in Subject 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited J41 AMM, Revision 38, dated September 15, 2013: Prior to the accumulation of the applicable flight cycles specified in the “Initial Inspection” column in Subject 05-10-10, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (3) For certification maintenance requirements tasks specified in Subject 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements,” of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited J41 AMM, Revision 38, dated September 15, 2013: Prior to the accumulation of the applicable flight hours specified in the “Time Between Checks” column in Subject 05-10-20, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later; except for tasks that specify “first flight of the day” in the “Time Between Checks” column in Subject 05-10-20, the initial compliance time is the first flight of the next day after doing the revision required by paragraph (i) of this AD, or within 90 days the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (j) New Restrictions on Alternative Actions, Intervals, and/or (CDCCLs)

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

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (j) of AD 2011-21-06. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before November 23, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-21-06), in accordance with Subjects 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations”; 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements”; and 05-10-30, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System”; of Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 AMM, Revision 33, dated February 15, 2010; which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Theodore (Todd) Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1175; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2011-21-06, are not approved as AMOCs with this AD.

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

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0043, dated February 21, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1279.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(5) and (n)(6) of this AD.

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on May 16, 2016.

    (i) Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited J41 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Revision 38, dated September 15, 2013. Page 1 of the “Publications Transmittal” is the only page that shows the revision level of this document.

    (A) Subject 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations.”

    (B) Subject 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements.”

    (C) Subject 05-10-30, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System.”

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on November 23, 2011 (76 FR 64788, October 19, 2011).

    (i) Chapter 05, “Airworthiness Limitations,” of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 AMM, Revision 35, dated February 15, 2011. Page 1 of the Publications Transmittal of the BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Jetstream Series 4100 AMM is the only page that shows the revision level of this document.

    (A) Subject 05-10-10, “Airworthiness Limitations.”

    (B) Subject 05-10-20, “Certification Maintenance Requirements.”

    (C) Subject 05-10-30, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)—Fuel System.”

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited, Customer Information Department, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland, United Kingdom; telephone +44 1292 675207; fax +44 1292 675704; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.baesystems.com/Businesses/RegionalAircraft/index.htm.

    (6) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at 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/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 22, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07229 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0483] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chincoteague Bay, Chincoteague, VA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs SR 175 Bridge across Lewis Channel and Black Narrows, mile 3.5 at Chincoteague, VA. The change will eliminate the need for the current operating schedule and return the bridge to open on demand. The change does not include the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July for the annual Pony swim.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective May 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG 2014-0483 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Kashanda Booker, Fifth Coast Guard District Bridge Administration Division, Coast Guard; telephone 757-398-6227, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On January 26, 2015, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chincoteague Bay, Chincoteague, VA” in the Federal Register (80 FR 3933). We received no comments on this rule. No public meeting was requested and none was held.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499. The purpose of this rule is to allow for a less restrictive operating schedule while still balancing the needs of the marine and vehicular traffic. The draw of the SR 175 Bridge will open on demand in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5 except: From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, the draw need not be opened for the annual Pony swim.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The bridge owner, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), who owns and operates SR 175 Bridge across Lewis Channel and Black Narrows, mile 3.5, at Chincoteague, VA has requested to change 33 CFR 117.1005.

    In 2011, a new single-leaf bascule bridge was constructed on a new alignment replacing the former swing-type bridge that was located downstream from the Chincoteague maritime community. The new alignment resulted in boaters having an improved channel access and the number of necessary bridge openings reduced.

    The vertical clearance of the single-span bascule bridge is 15 feet above mean high water in the closed position and unlimited in the open position. The horizontal clearance is 60 feet between fender systems.

    The current operating schedule allows the draw to open on demand from midnight to 6 a.m., and every one and a half hours from 6 a.m. to midnight (at 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and midnight); except from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, the draw need not be opened. This has been the regular operating schedule since November 16, 2006.

    Based on the decreased number of bridge openings since 2011, the Chincoteague maritime community and the Accomack County Board of Supervisors favored a less restrictive opening schedule by proposing a test deviation from scheduled openings to an “on demand” schedule while still balancing the needs of marine and vehicular traffic. The monthly vessel openings at the SR 175 Bridge submitted by VDOT are as follows:

    Bridge Opening Counts APR
  • 2013
  • MAY
  • 2013
  • JUNE
  • 2013
  • JUL
  • 2013
  • AUG
  • 2013
  • SEPT
  • 2013
  • OCT
  • 2013
  • NOV
  • 2013
  • DEC
  • 2013
  • JAN
  • 2014
  • FEB
  • 2014
  • MAR
  • 2014
  • APR
  • 2014
  • 1 4 7 7 7 6 7 3 2 0 0 0 3

    The bridge logs revealed that from April 2013 to April 2014, the SR 175 Bridge had experienced only 47 total vessel openings.

    The SR 175 Bridge is the only vehicular connection between the mainland and Eastern Shore of Virginia and Chincoteague Island. Tourism is a dominant industry of Chincoteague Island with activities taking place in the Town of Chincoteague, Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island.

    From August 4, 2014 to November 3, 2014, the draw of the SR 175 Bridge, mile 3.5, at Chincoteague, opened on signal in accordance with the general operating regulations set out at 33 CFR 117.5.

    The monthly vessel openings at the SR 175 Bridge submitted by VDOT are as follows:

    Bridge Opening Counts September 2014 October
  • 2014
  • November 2014
    3 5 1

    Based on the bridge log and discussions with the local community, allowing the bridge to return to an open on demand schedule except for the Pony swim will meet the reasonable needs to navigation and vehicular traffic. Therefore, 33 CFR 117.1005 will be amended to only deviate from the on demand schedule during the Pony swim.

    V. Regulatory Analysis

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive Orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protesters.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. 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 not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This rule will make a regulatory burden less restrictive by allowing for the bridge to open on signal for the majority of the year. This rule takes into account the reasonable needs of navigation while taking into account vehicular traffic.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    Under Section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise 117.1005 to read as follows:
    § 117.1005 Chincoteague Channel.

    The draw of the SR 175 Bridge, mile 3.5, at Chincoteague shall open on demand; except from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, the draw need not be opened.

    Dated: March 29, 2016. Stephen P. Metruck, Rear Admiral, United States Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08225 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0255] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Secaucus, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the New Jersey Transit Rail Operations (NJTRO) Upper Hack Drawbridge across the Hackensack River, mile 6.9, at Secaucus, New Jersey. This deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to replace rails, ties, walkways, and handrails at the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed for two weekends.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective 12:01 a.m. on April 16, 2016 through 6:00 p.m. May 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0255] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NJTRO Upper Hack Drawbridge across Hackensack River, mile 6.9, at Secaucus, New Jersey, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 8 feet at mean high water and 13 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.723(f).

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

    The bridge owner, NJTRO, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate replacement of the rails, ties, walkways and handrails at the bridge.

    Under this temporary deviation, the NJTRO Upper Hack Drawbridge may remain in the closed position for two weekends, from 12:01 a.m. on April 16, 2016 through 6:00 p.m. April 18, 2016 and from 12:01 a.m. April 23 through 6:00 p.m. April 25, 2016, and a rain date from May 14, 2016 through May 16 and May 21 through May 23, 2016 for the same time frame.

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

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

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

    Dated: April 5, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08199 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0194] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone: Santa Cruz Harbor Shoaling, Santa Cruz County, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Interim rule and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing an emergency safety zone in the navigable waters of Santa Cruz County, California due to severe shoaling at the entrance to Santa Cruz Harbor that has created hazardous conditions for vessels transiting the harbor. This emergency safety zone is established to ensure the safety of the mariners and vessels from the dangers associated with the severe shoaling. Unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or remaining in the safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port or a designated representative. This regulation is necessary to provide for the safety of life on the navigable waters in vicinity of the Santa Cruz Harbor entrance.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective and may be enforced with actual notice from March 18, 2016 until May 1, 2016. This rule may be enforced with constructive notice from April 11, 2016 until May 1, 2016.

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of Docket Number USCG-2016-0194. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Open Docket Folder” on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may submit comments, identified by docket number, using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Marcia Medina, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco; telephone (415) 399-7443 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking COTP Captain of the Port CY Cubic Yards APA Administrative Procedure Act A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this interim rule as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    B. Regulatory History and Information

    Ongoing shoaling caused by El Niño weather patterns has been observed within the Santa Cruz Harbor in Santa Cruz, CA. El Niño has caused ocean currents, swells and surf to shift from the prevailing northwesterly direction to southerly, directly into the federal channel. Rain storms in December 2015 and January 2016 contributed large volumes of sand and debris from the San Lorenzo River and its tributaries, as well as other coastal streams west and north of the Santa Cruz Harbor federal channel to cause severe shoaling at the entrance of Santa Crux Harbor. According to the Santa Cruz Port District, “unusually high shoaling rates in the entrance channel, to date, have produced approximately 310,000 cubic yards (CY) of sand. Of that amount, 200,000 CY were dredged between December 10, 2015, and February 29, 2016, and an estimated 110,000 CY remains within the federal channel.”

    The Coast Guard is issuing this interim final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Coast Guard received the information about the severe shoaling within the harbor on March 4, 2016, and determined that good cause exists to establish an emergency safety zone to protect life and property of mariners in the area. The El Niño season has caused significant and unexpected shoaling within the Santa Cruz Harbor Channel. The shoaling presents a significant hazard to navigation as the charted depths are no longer accurate and the resulting surf conditions have created inherent hazards for all vessels transiting the area. Immediate regulatory action is required to safeguard life, health and property of mariners in the area. Notice and Comment on this rule is impracticable because it would delay the Safety Zone and consequently put mariners and dredging crews at risk of allision and groundings. On February 4, 2016, the Santa Cruz Port District declared that a state of emergency exists warranting expenditure of public funds to finance the emergency dredging of the harbor. The Coast Guard requested immediate assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct emergency dredging as soon as safe and practicable on March 8, 2016. The Coast Guard received the information about the severe shoaling within the harbor on March 4, 2016, and determined an emergency safety zone was necessary to protect life and property of mariners in the area.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish safety zones.

    The Santa Cruz Harbor Shoaling safety zone will encompass the entire entrance to Santa Cruz Harbor in the area contained with two borders. A northern border defined by the line created by extending the Santa Cruz Harbor boat launch ramp to the harbor's opposite shore and a southern border defined by the line connecting the end points of the Santa Cruz Harbor East Breakwater to Santa Cruz Harbor West Breakwater as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18685. Due to the shifting shoaling locations, the safety zone applies to the navigable waters enclosed by these borders, effectively encompassing all of the Santa Cruz Harbor Entrance. This safety zone is effective immediately upon promulgation until 10 p.m. on May 01, 2016 or until emergency dredging is completed. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners upon the completion of emergency dredging and the deactivation of the safety zone. This safety zone is meant for safety of vessels transiting the harbor. This restricted area in the harbor is necessary to protect mariners, vessels, and other property from the hazards associated with severe shoaling. The Coast Guard has issued notice to mariners warning of significant shoaling at the harbor entrance that may result in breaking surf between the jetties.

    D. Discussion of the Interim Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing an emergency safety zone that will encompass the navigable waters of the Santa Cruz Harbor entrance channel as defined by the area contained with two borders: A northern border defined by the line created by extending the Santa Cruz Harbor boat launch ramp to the harbor's opposite shore and a southern border defined by the line connecting the end points of the Santa Cruz Harbor East Breakwater to Santa Cruz Harbor West Breakwater as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18685. This emergency safety zone will be effective immediately upon promulgation until 10 p.m. on May 01, 2016 or until the completion of emergency dredging. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners upon the completion of emergency dredging and the deactivation of the safety zone. The effect of the temporary safety zone will be to restrict navigation of all vessels in the vicinity of the severe shoaling. Except for persons or vessels authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the restricted area. These regulations are needed to keep all vessels away from the severe shoaling to ensure the safety of all transiting vessels.

    E. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and executive orders.

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. We expect the economic impact of this rule will not rise to the level of necessitating a full Regulatory Evaluation. The safety zone is limited in duration, and is limited to a narrowly tailored geographic area. In addition, although this rule restricts access to the waters encompassed by the safety zone, the effect of this rule will not be significant because the local waterway users will be notified via public Broadcast Notice to Mariners to ensure the safety zone will result in minimum impact. The entities most likely to be affected are waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities. Vessel traffic has been very limited since December 11, 2015 due to soundings being approximately less than 02 feet at the entrance of the Santa Cruz Harbor. Local officials have been proactive in notifying the public of the hazardous conditions associated with the severe shoaling in the channel. Signage, boating notices, and verbal advisories have been issued to the public via the Harbor Master. Detailed information regarding the harbor conditions have been posted on http://www.santacruzharbor.org/ and weekly emails have been delivered.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking.

    The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule may affect owners and operators of waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities and sightseeing. This safety zone would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This safety zone would be activated, and thus subject to enforcement, for a limited duration. Due to the shifting locations of the shoaling, which causes erratic changes in channel depth, all traffic has been limited in transiting the Santa Cruz Harbor Channel. The maritime public will be advised in advance of this safety zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Vessel traffic currently cannot pass safely around the safety zone area. If deemed safe, traffic would be allowed to pass through the zone with the permission of the Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

    This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    5. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

    6. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    8. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

    9. Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    12. Energy Effects

    This action is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

    13. Technical Standards

    This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves limiting all vessel traffic in the through the Santa Cruz Harbor Entrance Channel due to the hazardous conditions associated with the severe shoaling occurring in the area. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

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

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

    2. Add temporary § 165.T11-0194 to read as follows:
    § 165.T11-0194 Safety Zone; Santa Cruz Harbor Shoaling, Santa Cruz, CA.

    (a) Location. This safety zone is established in the navigable waters of the Monterey Bay near the Santa Cruz Harbor Entrance in Santa Cruz, CA as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18685. The safety zone applies to the navigable waters of the entrance of Santa Cruz Harbor as defined by the area contained with two borders: A northern border defined by the line created by extending the Santa Cruz Harbor boat launch ramp to the harbor's opposite shore and a southern border defined by the line connecting the end points of the Santa Cruz Harbor East Breakwater to Santa Cruz Harbor West Breakwater as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18685. This emergency safety zone will be effective immediately upon promulgation until 10 p.m. on May 1, 2016, or until the completion of emergency dredging. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners upon the completion of emergency dredging and the deactivation of the safety zone. This safety zone is meant for safety of all vessels transiting the harbor. This restricted area in the harbor is necessary to protect vessels, and other property from the hazards associated with severe shoaling. The Coast Guard has issued notice to mariners warning of significant shoaling at the harbor entrance that may result in breaking surf between jetties.

    (b) Enforcement period. The safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced immediately upon promulgation until 10 p.m. on May 1, 2016, or upon the completion of emergency dredging. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners upon the completion of emergency dredging and the deactivation of the safety zone. The Captain of the Port San Francisco (COTP) will notify the maritime community of periods during which this zone will be enforced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7.

    (c) Definitions. As used in this section, “designated representative” means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer on a Coast Guard vessel or a Federal, State, or local officer designated to assist in the enforcement of the safety zones.

    (d) Regulations. (1) Under the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, entry into, transiting or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (2) The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the COTP or a designated representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative. Persons and vessels requesting permission to enter the safety zone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. may contact the Harbor Master on VHF-9 or via telephone at (831) 475-6161; or through the 24-hour Command Center at telephone (415) 399-3547.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Gregory G. Stump, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08220 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 14-58, 14-259; FCC 16-28] Connect America Fund, ETC Annual Reports and Certifications, Rural Broadband Experiments AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) clarifies that price cap carriers can use Phase II model-based support to serve locations in eligible census blocks where the price cap carrier has served or intends to serve a location or locations using Phase I Round 2 incremental support. The Commission also makes several modifications to the letter of credit requirements for recipients of rural broadband experiment support.

    DATES:

    Effective May 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexander Minard, Wireline Competition Bureau, (202) 418-7400 or TTY: (202) 418-0484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Order in WC Docket No. 10-90, 14-58 and 14-259; FCC 16-28, adopted on March 8, 2016 and released on March 9, 2016. The full text of this document is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554 or at the following Internet address: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0309/FCC-16-28A1.pdf.

    I. Introduction

    1. In this Order the Commission clarifies that price cap carriers can use Phase II model-based support to serve locations in eligible census blocks where the price cap carrier has served or intends to serve a location or locations using Phase I Round 2 incremental support. The Commission also makes several modifications to the letter of credit requirements for recipients of rural broadband experiment support.

    II. Interplay Between Phase I Incremental Support and Phase II

    2. In 2013, the Commission instructed price cap carriers to meet their Phase I Round 2 incremental support obligations by deploying service to locations outside of the census blocks where they will receive Phase II support. The intent was to take steps to ensure that Connect America funds are used “in the most efficient manner possible” and to “avoid providing excess support in an area.” Subsequently, in December 2014, the Commission adopted a requirement that price cap carriers accepting model-based support annually submit a list of the geo-coded locations that are newly broadband-capable as a result of Phase II funding.

    3. On April 29, 2015, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced the final details of the offer of Phase II model-based support to price cap carriers, setting an August 27, 2015 deadline to accept or decline the offer. Ten carriers accepted over $1.5 billion in annual support to provide broadband to nearly 7.3 million consumers in 45 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

    4. Discussion. The Commission now clarifies that in light of the adoption of the geo-coded location reporting requirement for recipients of Phase II model-based support, if a price cap carrier has served or intends to serve a location or locations using Phase I Round 2 incremental support in a census block where that price cap carrier accepted Phase II model-based support, that price cap carrier may use Phase II model-based support to serve the remaining eligible locations within that census block. Because it would be an inefficient use of Connect America support to permit a price cap carrier to receive both Phase I incremental and Phase II model-based support to serve a single location, however, the price cap carrier may not count the locations it serves using Phase I Round 2 incremental support towards its Phase II obligation to serve a set number of locations within the state. Accordingly, if the price cap carrier is using Phase I Round 2 funding to upgrade, or has already upgraded, specific locations in census blocks that were part of the offer of model-based support, it will need to deploy service to other locations in Phase II eligible census blocks or extremely high-cost census blocks in the state to fulfill its Phase II model-based support obligation to serve a specific number of locations.

    5. The Commission directs the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to compare the list of geocoded locations that price cap carriers submit for their Phase II deployment obligation, with the list of geocoded locations that price cap carriers must submit to indicate the locations which they have served or will serve to satisfy their Phase I Round 2 obligation. If USAC determines that a price cap carrier has included in its list of Phase II locations any locations that the price cap carrier indicated it has deployed to or will deploy to using Phase I Round 2 incremental support, that price cap carrier will be deemed to have not met its Phase II model-based support build-out obligation and will be subject to the applicable non-compliance measures.

    6. The Commission makes this modest adjustment to its earlier conclusion that price cap carriers could not use Phase I Round 2 support to serve locations in census blocks where they receive Phase II support because at the time the Commission made these statements, it had not yet adopted the more granular reporting requirements for price cap carriers accepting Phase II support to identify the locations they have served using Phase II support. The Bureau and USAC will now have access to geocoded information for each location that a price cap carrier serves using Phase I Round 2 and using Phase II support, and thus can verify in a more targeted manner that support is being used efficiently on a location-by-location basis rather than on a census block-by-census block basis.

    III. Rural Broadband and Experiments

    7. Before a provisionally selected bidder may be authorized to begin receiving support, it must obtain a letter of credit that meets the Commission's requirements. Under those existing requirements, throughout the 10-year support term, the letter of credit must be valued at an amount equal to the total amount of support that has been disbursed plus the amount of support the recipient will receive in the next disbursement. Rural broadband experiment recipients must maintain an open and renewed letter of credit until 120 days after the support term has ended. They must build out to 85 percent of locations with voice and broadband service meeting the relevant public interest obligations by year three and to 100 percent of locations by year five of their support term. Recipients receive their rural broadband experiment support in equal monthly installments over the 10-year term, but they were given the opportunity to request 30 percent of their support upfront. Recipients that elected this option are required to build out to at least 25 percent of the required number of locations within 15 months of their first disbursement of support.

    8. Discussion. The Commission grants the Alliance of Rural Broadband Applicants (ARBA) petition for waiver in part to the extent the ARBA sought a reduction in the duration of the letter of credit requirement and asked that rural broadband experiment recipients be released from their letter of credit obligations upon satisfying their deployment obligations. In response to concerns raised about the cost of maintaining a letter of credit for the entire support period, the Commission will require that the letter of credit only remain open until the recipient has certified that it has deployed broadband and voice service meeting the Commission's requirements to 100 percent of the required number of locations, and USAC has validated that the entity has fully deployed its network. The Commission concludes that such an approach will help alleviate the costs of obtaining a letter of credit, particularly for entities that are able to build out their networks faster than the five-year build-out period, while still protecting the Commission's ability to recover the funds in the event that the entity is not building out its network as required. This approach is consistent with the approach used for Mobility Fund Phase I and Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, where an entity is required to maintain a letter of credit valued at the support that had been disbursed until the Commission verifies that the build-out has been completed. As a result, authorized rural broadband experiment recipients must only maintain their letter of credit until it is verified that the final build-out milestone has been met.

    9. Recognizing that the risk of a default will lessen as a recipient makes progress towards building its network, the Commission also finds that it is appropriate to modestly reduce the value of the letter of credit in an effort to reduce the cost of maintaining a letter of credit as the recipient meets certain build-out milestones. Once recipients have met the 85 percent build-out milestone, the Commission will also permit those recipients to obtain a new or renew their existing letters of credit so that they are valued at 80 percent of the total support disbursed plus the next year of support until the 100 percent build-out milestone has been met and verified. The Commission concludes that the benefit to recipients of potentially decreasing the cost of the letter of credit as it becomes less likely that a recipient will default outweighs the potential risk that if a recipient does default and is unable to cure, the Commission will be unable to recover a modest amount of support.

    10. Once a rural broadband experiment recipient has certified that it has deployed broadband and voice service meeting the Commission's requirements to 100 percent of the required number of locations and supplied the geocoded data for the final locations, it must keep the letter of credit open until the Commission can verify that the deployment has been met. The Commission directs USAC to implement processes to verify in a timely manner that deployment has occurred. Once a rural broadband experiment recipient no longer maintains a letter of credit, the Commission will withhold support as described in the Rural Broadband Experiments Order, 79 FR 45705, August 6, 2014, if the Commission finds that the rural broadband experiment recipient is not providing voice and broadband service that meets the Commission's requirements to the funded locations. If after the year cure period, the rural broadband experiment recipient is still not providing service that meets the Commission's requirements to all of the required locations, the Commission will withhold from the entity a percentage of support equivalent to the entity's compliance gap until it comes into compliance, rather than recover 100 percent of the support as originally contemplated when the Commission expected that the entity would have a letter of credit in place for the entire support period. If the entity cures the default before the 10-year support term has ended, it will be entitled to the withheld support and any subsequent payments.

    11. The Commission concludes that it is not necessary to continue to require rural broadband experiment recipients to maintain a letter of credit after the build-out period to provide an adequate incentive for rural broadband experiment recipients to offer service that meets the Commission's requirements. The Commission notes that rural broadband experiment recipients remain subject to forfeitures and other consequences for non-compliance in the event of a default, including but not limited to, potential revocation of ETC designation and disqualification from future competitive bidding for universal service support.

    12. The Commission also grants ARBA's petition in part to the extent that it requests that entities that elected to receive 30 percent of their payment upfront be permitted to amend their applications to propose the standard deployment time period. The Commission adopted the requirement that entities specify whether they would be interested in receiving 30 percent of their support upfront in their applications so that the Commission could learn about whether there was interest in upfront support for the Phase II competitive bidding process. To help reduce the costs of the letter of credit requirement for entities that have elected upfront support, the Commission will permit such entities that have not already been authorized to receive rural broadband experiment support to send a letter to the Commission electing to receive support in equal installments throughout the 10-year term rather than 30 percent upfront before they are authorized to begin receiving support. If they elect this option before they are authorized, they will no longer be required to deploy to 25 percent of locations and submit the required certifications within 15 months of their first disbursement of support. To the extent provisionally selected bidders decide they still want to receive 30 percent of their support upfront they will need to obtain a letter of credit that covers this amount.

    13. The Commission denies ARBA's petition in part to the extent it requests that the Commission reduce the value of the letter of credit to 50 percent of support. Such an approach would prevent the Commission from recovering half of the Connect America support that it will disburse to rural broadband experiment recipients during the build-out period in the event that such support is not used for its intended purposes. While such an approach may reduce costs further for recipients, the Commission is not persuaded that the public interest will be better served by protecting only half of the Connect America support, particularly when the Commission has adopted other measures to help reduce the costs of maintaining a letter of credit for rural broadband experiment recipients.

    IV. Procedural Matters A. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    14. This document does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    B. Congressional Review Act

    15. The Commission will send a copy of this Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.

    C. Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    16. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), requires that a regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” The RFA generally defines “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    17. This Order modifies and clarifies the rules adopted by the Commission in the Rural Broadband Experiments Order, the Phase I Round 2 Order, 78 FR 38227, June 26, 2013 and the USF/ICC Transformation Order, 76 FR 73830, November 29, 2011. These modifications and clarifications do not create any burdens, benefits, or requirements that were not addressed by the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis attached to USF/ICC Transformation Order and the Rural Broadband Experiments Order. Therefore, the Commission certifies that the requirements of this Order will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Commission will send a copy of the Order including a copy of this final certification in a report to Congress pursuant to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. In addition, the Order and this certification will be sent to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, and will be published in the Federal Register.

    D. Additional Information

    18. People with Disabilities. 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 & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    19. Additional Information. For additional information on this proceeding, contact Alexander Minard of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, [email protected], (202) 418-7400.

    V. Ordering Clauses

    20. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 5, 10, 214, 218-220, 254, 303(r), 403, and 503 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 155, 160, 214, 218-220, 254, 303(r), 403, 503, 1302, and sections 1.1, and 1.427 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.1, and 1.427, that this order is adopted, effective thirty (30) days after publication of the text or summary thereof in the Federal Register.

    21. It is further ordered that, pursuant to section 1.3 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.3, the Petition for Waiver filed by the Alliance of Rural Broadband Applicants on January 27, 2015 is granted in part and denied in part to the extent described herein.

    22. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of this Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    23. It is further ordered, that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    Federal Comunications Commission.

    Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07718 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 69 Monday, April 11, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket Number EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007] RIN 1904-AD65 Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed determination (NOPD).

    SUMMARY:

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended, prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including direct heating equipment (DHE). EPCA also requires the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to periodically determine whether more-stringent, amended standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would save a significant amount of energy. In this document, DOE has tentatively determined that more stringent DHE standards would not be economically justified, and, thus, proposes not to amend its energy conservation standards for DHE.

    DATES:

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this NOPD no later than June 10, 2016. See section V, “Public Participation,” for details.

    ADDRESSES:

    Any comments submitted must identify the NOPD on Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment, and provide docket number EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007 and/or regulatory information number (RIN) 1904-AD65. Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected] Include the docket number and/or RIN in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption.

    3. Postal Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 6094, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see section V of this document (“Public Participation”).

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

    A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007. This Web page contains a link to the docket for this notice on the www.regulations.gov site. The www.regulations.gov Web page contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. See section V, “Public Participation,” for further information on how to submit comments through www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1692. Email: [email protected].

    Ms. Sarah Butler, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-1777. Email: [email protected].

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Summary of the Proposed Determination A. Authority B. Background 1. Current Standards 2. History of Rulemakings for Direct Heating Equipment II. Rationale III. Proposed Determination IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 L. Review Under the Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review V. Public Participation A. Public Meeting Requests B. Submission of Comments C. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Summary of the Proposed Determination

    DOE proposes to determine that energy conservation standards should not be amended for direct heating equipment (DHE). DOE has tentatively determined that the DHE market characteristics are largely similar to those analyzed in the previous rulemaking and the technologies available for improving DHE energy efficiency have not advanced significantly since the previous rulemaking analyses 1 (concluding with the publication of a final rule on April 16, 2010, hereafter “April 2010 Final Rule”). 75 FR 20112. In addition, DOE believes the conclusions reached in the April 2010 Final Rule regarding the benefits and burdens of more stringent standards for DHE are still relevant to the DHE market today. Therefore, DOE has tentatively determined that amended energy conservation standards would not be economically justified.

    1 With the exception of condensing technology for fan-type wall furnaces, discussed in section II.

    A. Authority

    Title III, Part B 2 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA” or “the Act”), Public Law 94-163 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.3 This program covers most major household appliances (collectively referred to as “covered products”) including the DHE, which are the subject of this document. (42 U.S.C. 6292 (a)(9)) EPCA prescribed initial energy conservation standards for DHE and directs DOE to conduct future rulemakings to determine whether to amend these standards. (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(3) and (4)) DOE is issuing this notice pursuant to that requirement, in addition to the requirement under 42 U.S.C. 6295(m), which states that DOE must periodically review its already established energy conservation standards for a covered product not later than six years after issuance of any final rule establishing or amending such standards. As a result of such review, DOE must either publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the standards or publish a notice of determination indicating that the existing standards do not need to be amended. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)(A) and (B))

    2 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was redesignated as Part A.

    3 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015).

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth under EPCA, any new or amended standard for a covered product must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) Furthermore, DOE may not adopt any standard that would not result in the significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B)) Moreover, DOE may not prescribe a standard: (1) For certain products, including DHE, if no test procedure has been established for the product,4 or (2) if DOE determines by rule that the standard is not technologically feasible or economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(A)(B)) In deciding whether a proposed standard is economically justified, DOE must determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed its burdens. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)) DOE must make this determination after considering, to the greatest extent practicable, the following seven statutory factors:

    4 The DOE test procedures for DHE appear at title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, subpart B, appendix O and 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix G (Appendix G).

    (1) The economic impact of the standard on manufacturers and consumers of the products subject to the standard;

    (2) The savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average life of the covered products in the type (or class) compared to any increase in the price, initial charges, or maintenance expenses for the covered products that are likely to result from the standard;

    (3) The total projected amount of energy (or as applicable, water) savings likely to result directly from the standard;

    (4) Any lessening of the utility or the performance of the covered products likely to result from the standard;

    (5) The impact of any lessening of competition, as determined in writing by the Attorney General, that is likely to result from the standard;

    (6) The need for national energy and water conservation; and

    (7) Other factors the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) considers relevant. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(I)-(VII))

    Further, EPCA, as codified, establishes a rebuttable presumption that a standard is economically justified if the Secretary finds that the additional cost to the consumer of purchasing a product complying with an energy conservation standard level will be less than three times the value of the energy savings during the first year that the consumer will receive as a result of the standard, as calculated under the applicable test procedure. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(iii))

    EPCA, as codified, also contains what is known as an “anti-backsliding” provision, which prevents the Secretary from prescribing any amended standard that either increases the maximum allowable energy use or decreases the minimum required energy efficiency of a covered product. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(1)) Also, the Secretary may not prescribe an amended or new standard if interested persons have established by a preponderance of the evidence that the standard is likely to result in the unavailability in the United States in any covered product type (or class) of performance characteristics (including reliability), features, sizes, capacities, and volumes that are substantially the same as those generally available in the United States. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(4))

    Federal energy conservation requirements generally supersede State laws or regulations concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and standards. (42 U.S.C. 6297(a)-(c)) DOE may, however, grant waivers of Federal preemption for particular State laws or regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions set forth under 42 U.S.C. 6297(d).

    Finally, any final rule for new or amended energy conservation standards promulgated after July 1, 2010, is required to address standby mode and off mode energy use. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(3)) Specifically, when DOE adopts a standard for a covered product after that date, it must, if justified by the criteria for adoption of standards under EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)), incorporate standby mode and off mode energy use into a single standard, or, if that is not feasible, adopt a separate standard for such energy use for that product. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(3)(A)-(B)) DOE's current test procedures for vented home heating equipment address standby mode fossil-fuel energy use.

    B. Background 1. Current Standards

    In the April 2010 Final Rule, DOE prescribed the current energy conservation standards for DHE manufactured on and after April 16, 2013. 75 FR 20112. These standards are set forth in DOE's regulations at 10 CFR 430.32(i)(2) and are shown in Table I-1.5

    5 DOE notes that DHE is defined at 10 CFR 430.2 as vented home heating equipment and unvented home heating equipment; however, the existing energy conservation standards apply only to product classes of vented home heating equipment. There are no existing energy conservation standards for unvented home heating equipment.

    Table I-1—Federal Energy Conservation Standards for DHE (10 CFR 430.32(i)(2)) Product class Annual fuel
  • utilization
  • efficiency,
  • April 16, 2013
  • (percent)
  • Gas wall fan type up to 42,000 Btu/h 75 Gas wall fan type over 42,000 Btu/h 76 Gas wall gravity type up to 27,000 Btu/h 65 Gas wall gravity type over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h 66 Gas wall gravity type over 46,000 Btu/h 67 Gas floor up to 37,000 Btu/h 57 Gas floor over 37,000 Btu/h 58 Gas room up to 20,000 Btu/h 61 Gas room over 20,000 Btu/h up to 27,000 Btu/h 66 Gas room over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h 67 Gas room over 46,000 Btu/h 68
    2. History of Rulemakings for Direct Heating Equipment

    EPCA, as codified, initially set forth energy conservation standards for certain DHE product classes that are the subject of this document and directed DOE to conduct two subsequent rulemakings to determine whether the existing standards should be amended. (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(3) and (4)) The first of these two rulemakings included both DHE and pool heaters and concluded with the April 2010 Final Rule (codified at 10 CFR 430.32(i) and (k)). 75 FR 20112. With respect to DHE, the first rulemaking amended the energy conservation standards for vented home heating equipment, a subset of DHE, and consolidated some of the product classes from the previous standards established by EPCA. Compliance with the amended standards was required beginning on April 16, 2013. Id. DOE did not issue standards for unvented home heating equipment, a subset of DHE, finding that such standards would produce insignificant energy savings. 75 FR 20112, 20130.

    This rulemaking satisfies the statutory requirement under EPCA to (1) conduct a second round of review of the DHE standards (42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(4)(B)) and (2) publish either a notice of determination that standards for DHE do not need to be amended or a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to amend the DHE energy conservation standards (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)). To initiate this rulemaking, DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register on March 26, 2015 (hereafter “March 2015 RFI”). 80 FR 15922. Through that RFI, DOE requested data and information pertaining to its planned technical and economic analyses for DHE and pool heaters. Although the March 2015 RFI and the previous energy conservation standards rulemaking included both DHE and pool heaters, going forward DOE has elected to conduct separate rulemakings for each of these products. This rulemaking pertains solely to the energy conservation standards for DHE. As such, a new docket has been created that pertains solely to this DHE rulemaking, which has been populated with relevant comments from the March 2015 RFI (the docket is available http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007).

    April 2010 Final Rule

    In the most recent DOE rulemaking for DHE energy conservation standards, DOE initially proposed standards for vented home heating products in a NOPR published on December 11, 2009 (“December 2009 NOPR”) that represented a six AFUE percentage point (weighted-average across all product classes) increase over the standards initially established by EPCA and codified at 42 U.S.C. 6295(e)(3). 74 FR 65852 (December 11, 2009). The December 2009 NOPR proposed standard level, TSL 3, represented an improvement in efficiency from the previous baseline level of 74-percent AFUE to 77-percent for gas wall fan DHE, an improvement in efficiency from the previous baseline level of 64-percent AFUE to 71-percent AFUE for gas wall gravity units, an improvement in efficiency from the previous baseline level of 57-percent AFUE to 58-percent AFUE for gas floor DHE (the max-tech level), and an improvement in efficiency from the previous baseline level of 64-percent AFUE to 68-percent for gas room DHE at the representative input rating ranges. 74 FR 65852, 65943 (December 11, 2009).

    DOE's initial analysis in the December 2009 NOPR showed that TSL 3 could result in as much as a $6.0 million (33.54%) decrease in the Industry Net Present Value, or INPV, with total conversion costs (costs for redesigning and retooling product lines not already meeting the amended standards) potentially amounting to $6.39 million. 74 FR 65852, 65942 (December 11, 2009).

    In response to the December 2009 NOPR several commenters recommended that DOE not adopt amended standards for DHE due to significant impact on manufacturers and low shipments of DHE (and therefore low energy savings potential). Commenters indicated that the manufacturer investments needed to comply with standards set at TSL 3 would not be justified due to the large investment needed to upgrade product lines and the declining shipments through which DHE manufacturers would need to recoup their expenditures. Various comments also suggested that product offerings would be reduced or manufacturers would leave the market entirely if TSL 3 were selected. The U.S. Department of Justice commented that there was significant risk of reducing competition resulting from businesses leaving the market and requested that DOE consider the possible impact on competition in determining standards for the final rule. DOE agreed that TSL 3 posed the risk of reduced product lines or manufacturers exiting the market. Commenters also expressed concern that employment in the DHE industry would be negatively affected by amended energy conservation standards. Several manufacturers of DHE believed that the proposed standard would harm employment due to elimination of non-compliant product lines and/or insufficient return on the investment necessary to meet new standards.

    After considering these comments responding to the proposed TSL 3 in the December 2009 NOPR, DOE ultimately rejected TSL 3 and all higher TSLs in the final rule, on the grounds that capital conversion costs would lead to a large reduction in INPV and that small businesses would be disproportionately impacted. In the analysis for the April 2010 Final Rule, DOE updated its estimate for the maximum decrease in INPV to 42.4% (or $7.0 million) from the 33.54% maximum decrease estimated in the December 2009 NOPR. 75 FR 20112, 20218-20219 (April 16, 2010). DOE also notes that the life-cycle cost (LCC) and payback period analyses (PBP) for TSL 4 and higher suggested that benefits to consumers were outweighed by initial costs. 75 FR 20112, 20215-20218 (April 16, 2010).

    In the previous DHE rulemaking, DOE found that the DHE industry had undergone significant consolidation, with three manufacturers, including two small businesses, controlling the vast majority of the market. DOE determined that a steady decline in shipments drove industry consolidation and found that the remaining DHE manufacturers maintained a variety of legacy brands and product lines in order to meet the needs of consumers replacing their existing DHE products, rather than product lines for new construction. DOE determ ined in the April 2010 Final Rule that a standard above TSL 2 would have required manufacturers to undertake significant investments in order to upgrade a series of product lines intended primarily for replacement applications. Because the DHE market is a low-volume market, manufacturers would have to spread their product development costs and capital investments over relatively few shipments. At levels above TSL 2, DOE determined that there would be limited opportunity for manufacturers to recoup these costs, leading to significant declines in industry profitability. Furthermore, DOE found that small business manufacturers could be disproportionately disadvantaged by a more stringent standard based on a combination of low shipment volumes and a high ratio of anticipated investment costs to annual earnings. As a result, DOE concluded that TSLs higher than TSL 2 would likely induce small business manufacturers to reduce their product offerings or to exit the market entirely. 75 FR 20112, 20217-20219 (April 16, 2010). DOE, therefore, adopted standards at TSL 2 for vented home heating equipment. Compliance with the adopted standards (codified at 10 CFR 430.32(i)(2)) was required for all vented home heating equipment manufactured on or after April 16, 2013.

    II. Rationale

    For this rulemaking DOE conducted a review of the current DHE market, including product literature and product listings in the DOE Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS) database and Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) product directory.6 DOE contractors also analyzed current products through product teardowns and engaged in manufacturer interviews to obtain further information in support of its analysis. Through this analysis, DOE has determined that few changes to the industry and product offerings have occurred since the April 2010 Final Rule. As such, DOE has tentatively determined that the conclusions presented in the April 2010 Final Rule are still valid. Furthermore, in response to the March 2015 RFI, DOE received seven comment submissions. Only one submission, submitted by AHRI,7 contained comments pertaining to DHE.8 (Docket EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007: AHRI, No. 1 at p. 5-8) 9 The following discussion addresses the status of the current DHE market as well as issues raised in the comments submitted by AHRI and during manufacturer interviews.

    6 The AHRI directory for DHE can be found at: https://www.ahridirectory.org/ahridirectory/pages/dht/defaultSearch.aspx. The DOE CCMS database can be found at: http://www.regulations.doe.gov/certification-data/.

    7 AHRI's comment submission in response to the March 2015 RFI contained comments pertaining to DOE's standards NOPR rulemaking analyses, including the shipments analysis, life cycle cost (LCC) and payback period (PBP) analyses, and energy use analysis. DOE is not responding to these particular comments at this time because DOE is proposing not to amend its standards for DHE, and therefore is not conducting the analyses to which these comments apply. If, in response to feedback regarding this document, DOE elects to conduct a rulemaking that would amend DHE standards, DOE will respond to these comments at that time.

    8 The remaining six submissions contained comments only relevant to pool heaters.

    9 A notation in this form provides a reference for information that is in the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop energy conservation standards for DHE (Docket No. EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007), which is maintained at www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement preceding the reference was made by AHRI, is from document number 1 in the docket, and appears at pages 5-8 of that document.

    As part of the analysis for this proposed determination, DOE reviewed the products offered on the market by analyzing the DOE CCMS database 10 and AHRI product directory 11 for DHE. DOE found that the number of models offered in each of the DHE product classes has decreased overall since the previous rulemaking. Table II-1 presents the number of models for each product class in the current DOE CCMS database along with the number of models identified for the April 2010 Final Rule.

    10 This database can be found at: http://www.regulations.doe.gov/certification-data/.

    11 This database can be found at: https://www.ahridirectory.org/ahridirectory/pages/home.aspx.

    Table II-1—DHE Model Counts by Product Class for Current and Previous Rulemakings Product class 2015 model count * 2010 rulemaking model count Gas floor type with an input capacity over 37,000 Btu/h 15 15 Gas floor type with an input capacity up to 37,000 Btu/h Gas room type with an input capacity over 20,000 Btu/h up to 27,000 Btu/h 28 ** 29 Gas room type with an input capacity over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h Gas room type with an input capacity over 46,000 Btu/h Gas room type with an input capacity up to 20,000 Btu/h Gas wall fan type with an input capacity over 42,000 Btu/h 68 82 Gas wall fan type with an input capacity up to 42,000 Btu/h Gas wall gravity type with an input capacity over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h 56 52 Gas wall gravity type with an input capacity over 46,000 Btu/h Gas wall gravity type with an input capacity up to 27,000 Btu/h * Using DOE CCMS database. ** The total room heater model count for the 2010 Final Rule was 123 models, however 94 of those models would no longer be considered DHE and, as such, have been excluded from this count.

    DOE also examined available technologies used to improve the efficiency of DHE. In the previous DHE rulemaking, DOE considered the following technology options in the engineering analysis for improving the efficiency of vented home heating equipment.

    • Improved heat exchanger • Two-speed blower (fan-type wall furnaces) • Induced draft • Electronic ignition 74 FR 65852, 65887 (December 11, 2009).

    AHRI commented in response to the March 2015 RFI that the current energy conservation standards are close to if not at the maximum technology level for most product classes of DHE. (Docket EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007: AHRI, No. 1 at p. 4) During confidential manufacturer interviews, DOE received similar feedback regarding the small potential for improving efficiency over current standards for most product classes. Manufacturers suggested that the efficiency of these products is at or near the maximum attainable by improving the heat exchanger. Manufacturers indicated that because DHE are primarily sold as replacement units they are constrained by the footprint of the DHE unit which they are replacing, and so the opportunity to increase the heat exchanger size (and therefore size of the unit) is limited. They indicated that blowers and induced draft technologies requiring electricity are not currently found on the market or in any prototypes for gravity-type floor furnaces, room heaters, and floor furnaces because these products are designed to function entirely without electricity. Moreover, they suggested that because these units are primarily sold as replacement units, new designs or prototypes are generally not being pursued. DOE notes that the same technology options were considered as part of the previous DHE rulemaking analysis, and agrees that the technology options available for DHE likely have limited potential for achieving energy savings.12

    12 DOE notes that for room heaters with input capacity up to 20,000 Btu/h, the maximum AFUE available on the market increased from 59% in 2009 (only one unit at this input capacity was available on the market at that time) to 71% in 2015. DOE anticipates that this due to heat exchanger improvements only because these units do not use electricity. Due to the small input capacity, DOE does not believe that this increase in AFUE (based on heat exchanger improvements relative to input capacity) is representative of or feasible for other room heater product classes.

    Furthermore, the costs of these technology options are anticipated to be similar or higher than in the previous rulemaking analysis. As shipments have continued to decrease, DOE anticipates that the purchasing power of DHE manufacturers may have decreased because purchasing quantities for materials or parts (e.g. blower motors, electronic ignition components) have likely decreased. Therefore the incremental costs of manufacturing DHE units at higher efficiency levels may be similar or higher as compared to the previous rulemaking.

    DOE seeks comment on its conclusion that the DHE market and technology options (except for condensing technology, discussed below) are similar to the previous rulemaking. This is identified as Issue 1 in section V.C.

    In addition to these technology options, DOE notes that a condensing fan-type wall furnace has become available since the last rulemaking. Two input capacities are available: 17,500 Btu/h with a 90.2% AFUE rating, and 35,000 Btu/h with a 91.8% AFUE rating. DOE considers this basic model the maximum technology (“max-tech”) option for fan-type wall furnaces. By statute, DOE must set amended standards that result in the maximum improvement in efficiency that is technologically feasible (42 U.S.C. 6295(p)(1)) and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) DOE generally considers technologies available in the market or in prototype products in its list of technologies for improving efficiency. Therefore, DOE considers 91% AFUE the max-tech efficiency level for fan-type wall furnaces for this rulemaking. DOE notes that the max-tech efficiency level for fan-type wall furnaces in the April 2010 Final Rule was 80% AFUE.

    With respect to the condensing max-tech efficiency level for fan-type wall furnaces, DOE received feedback during manufacturer interviews regarding the manufacturer production cost for the unit, as well as information regarding shipments, which indicated that condensing models are significantly more expensive to manufacture than non-condensing models and that shipments are currently negligible compared to overall DHE shipments. DOE conducted a teardown analysis (“reverse engineering”) of the condensing fan-type wall furnace to confirm the manufacturer production cost. As anticipated, the manufacturer production cost for a condensing unit with 91% AFUE is the highest among fan-type wall furnaces, and represents a 23% incremental cost increase over a unit at 80% AFUE.13 Manufacturer feedback indicated that shipments of these units are so low as to be negligible, as consumers are not willing to pay the high initial cost for such products. Furthermore, only one manufacturer currently makes a condensing fan-type wall furnace and others would need to make substantial investments in order to produce these units on a scale large enough to support a Federal minimum standard. Therefore, DOE has tentatively concluded that this technology option, which was not considered in the analysis for the April 2010 Final Rule, would not be economically justified today when analyzed for the Nation as a whole. DOE believes that severe manufacturer impacts would be expected if an energy conservation standard were adopted at this level. DOE seeks feedback on its determination that adopting a condensing efficiency level for fan-type wall furnaces would not be economically justified. This is identified in Issue 2 in section V.C.

    13 Manufacturer production costs assumes production volumes in the case that 91% AFUE is the energy conservation standard for this product class.

    Since the April 2010 Final Rule, the DHE industry has seen further consolidation, with the total number of manufacturers declining from six to four. Furthermore, according to manufacturers,14 shipments have further decreased since the April 2010 Final Rule, and therefore it would be more difficult for manufacturers to recover capital expenditures resulting from increased standards. DOE acknowledges that DHE units continue to be produced primarily as replacements and that the market is small. DOE expects that shipments will continue to decrease and amended standards would likely accelerate the trend of declining shipments. Moreover, DOE anticipates small business impacts may be significant, as two of the four remaining manufacturers subject to DHE standards are small businesses. DOE believes that its conclusions regarding small businesses from the April 2010 Final Rule (i.e., that small businesses would be likely to reduce product offerings or leave the DHE market entirely if the standard was set above the level adopted in that rulemaking) are still valid concerns. In addition, DOE continues to believe that an energy conservation standard for unvented home heating equipment would produce negligible energy savings, as DOE concluded in the April 2010 Final Rule.

    14 Information obtained during confidential manufacturer interviews.

    Shipments of DHE have continued to decrease since the last DHE energy conservation standards rulemaking. Low and decreasing shipments were cited by several commenters in response to the December 2009 NOPR as a reason that manufacturers would be unlikely to recoup investments after redeveloping product lines to meet more stringent standards. In the shipments analysis published in the April 2010 Final Rule, DOE forecasted DHE shipments would decrease 30% over the analysis period (30 years) from the 2005 level (see Chapter 9 of the TSD for the April 2010 Final Rule 15 ). This analysis predicted total DHE shipments of approximately 150,000 units in 2014. Based on feedback obtained during confidential manufacturer interviews in 2015, DOE believes actual shipments in 2014 were closer to 120,000. DOE notes that low and decreasing shipment volume is primarily due to these products being sold predominantly as replacements. AHRI commented in response to the March 2015 RFI that the DHE market is already shrinking due to DHE being a replacement product, and that less than 5 percent of industry sales are for new construction. (Docket EERE-2016-BT-STD-0007: AHRI, No. 1 at p. 4) DOE has tentatively concluded that low shipment volumes remains a primary concern for manufacturers in light of potentially amended energy conservation standards. DOE seeks information and data related to shipments for DHE and this identified as Issue 3 in section V.C.

    15 This document is available at regulations.gov, docket number EERE-2006-STD-0129.

    III. Proposed Determination

    Due to the lack of advancement in the DHE industry since the April 2010 final rule in terms of product offerings, available technology options and associated costs, and declining shipment volumes, DOE believes that amending the DHE energy conservation standards would impose a substantial burden on manufacturers of DHE, particularly to small manufacturers. DOE rejected higher TSLs during the previous DHE rulemaking due to significant impacts on industry profitability, risks of accelerated industry consolidation, and the likelihood that small manufacturers would experience disproportionate impacts that could lead them to discontinue product lines or exit the market altogether. DOE believes that the market and the manufacturers' circumstances are similar to those found when DOE last evaluated amended energy conservation standards for DHE for the April 2010 Final Rule. As such, DOE believes that amended energy conservation standards for DHE would not be economically justified at any level above the current standard level because benefits of more stringent standards would not outweigh the burdens. Therefore, DOE has tentatively determined not to amend the DHE energy conservation standards. DOE seeks comment on its tentative determination not to amend its energy conservation standards for DHE and this is identified as Issue 4 in section V.C.

    As discussed in section I.A, EPCA requires DOE to incorporate standby mode and off mode energy use into a single amended or new standard (if feasible) or prescribe a separate standard for standby mode and off mode energy consumption in any final rule establishing or revising a standard for a covered product, adopted after July 1, 2010. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(3)(A)-(B)) Because DOE does not propose to amend standards for DHE in this document, DOE is not required to propose amended standards that include standby and off mode energy use. DOE notes that fossil fuel energy use in standby mode and off mode is already included in the AFUE metric, and DOE anticipates that electric standby and off mode energy use is small in comparison to fossil fuel energy use. DOE seeks comment on its proposal not to amend its standards for DHE to include electric standby and off mode energy use. This is identified as Issue 5 in section V.C.

    IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This proposed determination is not subject to review under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” 58 FR 51735 (October 4, 1993).

    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 13272, “Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,” 67 FR 53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site (http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel).

    DOE reviewed this proposed determination under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the policies and procedures published on February 19, 2003. In this proposed determination, DOE finds that amended energy conservation standards for DHE would not be economically justified at any level above the current standard level because benefits of more stringent standards would not outweigh the burdens. If finalized, the determination would not establish amended energy conservation standards for DHE. On the basis of the foregoing, DOE certifies that the proposed determination, if adopted, would have no significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared an IRFA for this proposed determination. DOE will transmit this certification and supporting statement of factual basis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed determination, which proposes to determine that amended energy conservation standards for DHE would not be economically justified at any level above the current standard level because benefits of more stringent standards would not outweigh the burdens, would impose no new information or record keeping requirements. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance is not required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    In this NOPD, DOE tentatively determines that amended energy conservation standards for DHE would not be economically justified at any level above the current standard level because benefits of more stringent standards would not outweigh the burdens. DOE has determined that review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), Public Law 91-190, codified at 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. is not required at this time because standards are not being proposed.

    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 10, 1999), imposes certain requirements on Federal agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. As this NOPD determines that amended standards are not likely to be warranted for DHE, there is no impact on the policymaking discretion of the states. Therefore, no action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) promote simplification and burden reduction. 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996). Regarding the review required by section 3(a), section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this proposed determination meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate,” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect them. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820. DOE's policy statement is also available at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/gcprod/documents/umra_97.pdf. This proposed determination contains neither an intergovernmental mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year, so these UMRA requirements do not apply.

    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This proposed determination would not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights,” 53 FR 8859 (March 15, 1988), DOE has determined that this proposed determination would not result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for Federal agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under information quality guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this NOPD under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OIRA at OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.

    Because the NOPD tentatively determines that amended standards for DHE are not warranted, it is not a significant energy action, nor has it been designated as such by the Administrator at OIRA. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    L. Review Under the Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review

    On December 16, 2004, OMB, in consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), issued its Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (the Bulletin). 70 FR 2664 (Jan. 14, 2005). The Bulletin establishes that certain scientific information shall be peer reviewed by qualified specialists before it is disseminated by the Federal Government, including influential scientific information related to agency regulatory actions. The purpose of the bulletin is to enhance the quality and credibility of the Government's scientific information. Under the Bulletin, the energy conservation standards rulemaking analyses are “influential scientific information,” which the Bulletin defines as “scientific information the agency reasonably can determine will have, or does have, a clear and substantial impact on important public policies or private sector decisions.” Id. at FR 2667.

    In response to OMB's Bulletin, DOE conducted formal in-progress peer reviews of the energy conservation standards development process and analyses and has prepared a Peer Review Report pertaining to the energy conservation standards rulemaking analyses. Generation of this report involved a rigorous, formal, and documented evaluation using objective criteria and qualified and independent reviewers to make a judgment as to the technical/scientific/business merit, the actual or anticipated results, and the productivity and management effectiveness of programs and/or projects. The “Energy Conservation Standards Rulemaking Peer Review Report” dated February 2007 has been disseminated and is available at the following Web site: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/peer_review.html.

    V. Public Participation A. Public Meeting Requests

    Interested parties may submit comments requesting that a public meeting discussing this NOPD be held at DOE Headquarters. DOE will accept such requests no later than the date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this document. As with other comments regarding this determination, interested parties may submit requests using any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this document.

    B. Submission of Comments

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this proposed rule before or after the public meeting, but no later than the date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this proposed rule. Interested parties may submit comments, data, and other information using any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this document.

    Submitting comments via www.regulations.gov. The www.regulations.gov Web page will require you to provide your name and contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment.

    However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you include it in the comment itself or in any documents attached to your comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your comment. Otherwise, persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any documents submitted with the comments.

    Do not submit to www.regulations.gov information for which disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as Confidential Business Information (CBI)). Comments submitted through www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through the Web site will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business Information section below.

    DOE processes submissions made through www.regulations.gov before posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of being submitted. However, if large volumes of comments are being processed simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to several weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment.

    Submitting comments via email, hand delivery/courier, or mail. Comments and documents submitted via email, hand delivery/courier, or mail also will be posted to www.regulations.gov. If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact information in a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any comments.

    Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand delivery/courier, please provide all items on a CD, if feasible, in which case it is not necessary to submit printed copies. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.

    Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that are not secured, that are written in English, and that are free of any defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature of the author.

    Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters' names compiled into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting time.

    Confidential Business Information. Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier two well-marked copies: one copy of the document marked “confidential” including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked “non-confidential” with the information believed to be confidential deleted. Submit these documents via email or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include: (1) A description of the items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person that would result from public disclosure; (6) when such information might lose its confidential character due to the passage of time; and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.

    It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public docket, without change and as received, including any personal information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be exempt from public disclosure).

    C. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment

    Although DOE welcomes comments on any aspect of this proposal, DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments and views of interested parties concerning the following issues:

    1. DOE seeks comment on its assumptions that only minor changes to the DHE market have occurred since the last DOE rulemaking and that overall shipments of DHE have continued to decrease. See section II.

    2. DOE seeks comment on its determination that adopting a condensing efficiency level for fan-type wall furnaces would not be economically justified. See section II.

    3. DOE seeks data and information pertaining to DHE shipments. See section II.

    4. DOE seeks comment on its proposal not to amend energy conservation standards for DHE because more stringent standards would not be economically justified. See section III.

    5. DOE seeks comment on its proposal not to amend its standards for DHE to include standby and off mode electrical consumption. See section III.

    VI. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 25, 2016. David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08121 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3929; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-031-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model EC130B4, EC130T2, AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. This proposed AD would require inspecting each bi-directional suspension cross-bar (cross-bar) for a crack. This proposed AD is prompted by two reports of cracks in a cross-bar. The proposed actions are intended to detect cracks in a cross-bar and prevent failure of the cross-bar and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3929 or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2015-0094, dated May 29, 2015, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350BB, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters. EASA advises that two cases of cracks in a cross-bar were reported on AS350B3 helicopters. The cracks were found at the transmission deck attachment fitting holes during a maintenance check, EASA states. According to EASA, in both cases, the helicopters were equipped with a cargo hook and had completed missions with a significant number of torque cycles. Because of common design features, cracks may also occur on other Model AS350-series, AS355-series, and EC130-series helicopters. EASA advises that crack growth may lead to failure of one of the four yokes and significantly increased stress load on the remaining yokes. This condition, if not detected or corrected, could lead to cracks on the remaining yokes and increased load on the cross-bar, possibly resulting in cross-bar failure and consequently loss of the helicopter. To correct this condition, EASA AD No. 2015-0094 requires repetitive cross-bar inspections and, depending on the findings, replacing the cross-bar.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Related Service Information

    Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC130-05A021 for Model EC130B4 helicopters; ASB No. EC130-05A022 for Model EC130T2 helicopters; ASB No. AS350-05.00.84 for Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350BB, AS350D, and military Model AS350L1 helicopters; and ASB No. 355-05.00.73 for Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355 NP helicopters (ASBs). All of the ASBs are Revision 0 and dated May 21, 2015. The ASBs specify visually inspecting the cross-bar. If there is any doubt after the visual inspection, the ASBs call for a dye-penetrant inspection to make sure there are no cracks. If a crack is detected, the ASBs call for replacing the cross-bar before further flight and sending the damaged cross-bar to Airbus Helicopters.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require, within certain initial inspection times or the next time any maintenance of the helicopter involves removing the main gearbox, whichever comes first, inspecting each cross-bar for a crack. If there is a crack, this proposed AD would require replacing the cross-bar before further flight. This proposed AD would also require repeating these inspections at the same intervals as the initial inspection. The compliance times in this proposed AD include torque cycles, which are defined for purposes of this AD, as one landing with or without stopping the rotor or one external load-carrying operation. An external load-carrying operation occurs each time a helicopter picks up an external load and drops it off.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350BB helicopters. This proposed AD would not apply to the Model AS350BB because it has no FAA type certificate. However, this proposed AD would apply to Model AS350C and AS350D1 helicopters, while the EASA AD does not. The EASA AD requires a florescent dye-penetrant inspection if the visual inspection of the bi-directional suspension cross-bar causes doubts. This proposed AD would not require a florescent dye-penetrant inspection. The EASA AD requires returning the damaged bi-directional suspension cross-bar to Airbus Helicopters, and this proposed AD would not.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 1,132 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Visually inspecting the cross-bar would require 16.5 work-hours for a labor cost of about $1,403. No parts would be needed so that the cost for the U.S. fleet would total $1,588,196 per inspection cycle.

    • Replacing the cross-bar would cost $1,630 for parts. No additional labor costs would be needed.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2015-3929; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-031-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC130B4, EC130T2, AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters with a bi-directional suspension cross-bar (cross-bar) part number (P/N) 350A38-1040-20 or P/N 350A38-1040-00 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in a bi-directional cross-bar, which could result in failure of a cross-bar and loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by June 10, 2016

    (d) Compliance

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

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Within the initial inspection times shown in Table 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD or the next time maintenance of the helicopter involves removing the main gearbox, whichever comes first; and thereafter at intervals not to exceed the compliance times shown in Table 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD, inspect each cross-bar for a crack. For purposes of this AD, a torque cycle is defined as one landing with or without stopping the rotor or one external load-carrying operation; an external load-carrying operation occurs each time a helicopter picks up an external load and drops it off.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (e) Helicopter model Initial and recurrent inspection interval AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1 4,500 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 60,000 torque cycles, whichever occurs first. AS350B3, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, or AS355 NP 3,300 hours TIS or 60,000 torque cycles, whichever occurs first. EC130B4. EC130T2 3,300 hours TIS or 40,000 torque cycles, whichever occurs first.

    (2) If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the cross-bar.

    (f) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

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

    (h) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC130-05A021, No. EC130-05A022, No. AS350-05.00.84, and No. AS355-05.00.73, all Revision 0 and all dated May 21, 2015, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this proposed rule. For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2015-0094, dated May 29, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6300, Main Rotor Drive.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 31, 2016. James A. Grigg, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07986 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5307; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-08-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) GE90-76B, GE90-77B, GE90-85B, GE90-90B, and GE90-94B turbofan engines with high-pressure compressor (HPC) stage 8-10 spool, part numbers (P/Ns) 1694M80G04, 1844M90G01, or 1844M90G02, installed. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracks found on the seal teeth of the HPC stage 8-10 spool. This proposed AD would require eddy current inspections (ECIs) or fluorescent penetrant inspections (FPIs) of the HPC stage 8-10 spool seal teeth and removing from service those parts that fail inspection. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the HPC stage 8-10 spool, uncontained rotor release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5307; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Frost, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7756; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this NPRM. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-5307; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-08-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received reports of multiple cracks found on the seal teeth of HPC stage 8-10 spools during shop visits. The cracks initiated because of degraded surface properties caused by an alloy depletion zone (ADZ). The ADZ developed over time due to higher than predicted temperatures and reaction with the seal teeth bond coat. GE is developing a modification to address the unsafe condition. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the HPC stage 8-10 spool, uncontained rotor release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed GE Service Bulletins SB 72-1141, Revision 0, dated December 2, 2015 and SB 72-1142, Revision 0, dated November 30, 2015. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the HPC stage 8-10 spool seal teeth.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This NPRM would require accomplishing an ECI or FPI of the seal teeth of the HPC stage 8-10 spool and removing from service those parts that fail inspection.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 54 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 hour per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. We estimate 14 parts will fail inspection at a pro-rated cost of $400,000 per part. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the AD to U.S. operators to be $5,604,590.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-5307; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-08-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by June 10, 2016

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to General Electric Company (GE) GE90-76B, GE90-77B, GE90-85B, GE90-90B, and GE90-94B turbofan engines with a high-pressure compressor (HPC) stage 8-10 spool, part numbers (P/Ns) 1694M80G04, 1844M90G01, or 1844M90G02, installed.

    (d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found on the seal teeth of the HPC stage 8-10 spool. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPC stage 8-10 spool, uncontained rotor release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (1) Perform an eddy current inspection (ECI) or fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) of the seal teeth of the HPC stage 8-10 spool as follows:

    (i) For HPC stage 8-10 spools with fewer than 11,000 cycles since new (CSN) on the effective day of this AD, inspect at the next shop visit after reaching 6,000 CSN, not to exceed 12,500 CSN.

    (ii) For HPC stage 8-10 spools with 11,000 CSN or more on the effective day of this AD, inspect within the next 1,500 cycles in service.

    (iii) Thereafter, inspect the seal teeth of the HPC stage 8-10 spool at each shop visit.

    (2) Remove from service any HPC stage 8-10 spool that fails the ECI or FPI required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD and replace with a part eligible for installation.

    (f) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, an engine shop visit is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance during which the compressor discharge pressure seal face is exposed.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

    (h) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact John Frost, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7756; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) GE Service Bulletins SB 72-1141, Revision 0, dated December 2, 2015 and SB 72-1142, Revision 0, dated November 30, 2015 can be obtained from GE, using the contact information in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD.

    (3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on April 5, 2016. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08111 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3820; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-024-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Various Restricted Category Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for various restricted category helicopters. This proposed AD would require cleaning and visually inspecting certain main rotor (M/R) blades and, depending on the outcome of the inspections, repairing or replacing the M/R blades. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of an M/R blade with multiple fatigue cracks around the blade retention bolt hole. The proposed actions are intended to detect a crack in the M/R blade, and prevent failure of the M/R blade and subsequent loss of helicopter control.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3820 or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone (817) 280-3391; fax (817) 280-6466; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charles Harrison, Project Manager, Fort Worth Aircraft Certification Office, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone 817-222-5140; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    We propose to adopt a new AD for Model TH-1F, UH-1B, UH-1F, UH-1H, and UH-1P restricted category helicopters. This proposed AD would require repetitively cleaning and visually inspecting the M/R blades for a crack, corrosion, an edge void, loose or damaged adhesion, and an edge delamination. Depending on the results of the inspections, this proposed AD would require either repairing or replacing the M/R blades.

    This proposed AD is prompted by a Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (BHTI) evaluation of an M/R blade installed on a Model UH-1H helicopter that had multiple fatigue cracks around the blade retention bolt hole. The cracks resulted from a void between the lower grip plate and the grip pad. A “substantial” void also was found at the outboard doubler tip on the lower blade surface. A different part-numbered M/R blade of the same type installed on the Model UH-1H helicopter may also be installed on Model TH-1F, UH-1B, UH-1F, and UH-1P helicopters. The proposed actions are intended to detect a crack in an M/R blade, and prevent failure of the M/R blade, and subsequent loss of helicopter control.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Related Service Information

    Bell Helicopter issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. UH-1H-13-09, dated January 14, 2013, for the Model UH-1H helicopter. ASB No. UH-1H-13-09 specifies a one-time visual inspection, within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS), of the lower grip pad and upper and lower grip plates for cracks, edge voids, and loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out. ASB No. UH-1H-13-09 also specifies a repetitive and more detailed visual inspection, daily and at every 150 hours TIS, of the lower grip pad, upper and lower grip plates, and all upper and the lower doublers for cracks, corrosion, edge voids, and loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out.

    Bell Helicopter Textron also issued ASB No. 204-75-1 for Model 204B helicopters and ASB No. 205-75-5 for Model 205A-1 helicopters, both Revision C and both dated April 25, 1979. ASB No. 204-75-1 and ASB No. 205-75-5 call for visually inspecting the M/R blades during each daily inspection and repetitively washing the blades and applying WD-40. ASB No. 204-75-1 and ASB No. 205-75-5 also provide instructions for repetitively inspecting the blades every 1,000 hours of operation or every 12 months, whichever occurs first, or within 150 hours or 30 days, whichever occurs first, if the blades have more than 1,000 hours of operation or have been in service more than 12 months. While ASB No. 204-75-1 and ASB No. 205-75-5 do not apply to the helicopters that are the subject of this proposed AD, they do apply to the affected M/R blades.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require within 25 hours TIS or 2 weeks, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS or 2 weeks, whichever occurs first, cleaning the upper and lower surfaces of each M/R blade from an area starting at the butt end of the blade to three inches outboard of the doublers. The proposed AD also would require visually inspecting various M/R parts for a crack or corrosion using a 3X or higher power magnifying glass and a light.

    If there is a crack, corrosion, an edge void, loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out, or an edge delamination before further flight, this proposed AD would require repairing the M/R blade or replacing it with an airworthy M/R blade, depending on the condition's severity.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    ASB No. UH-1H-13-09 specifies a one-time inspection and then a second repetitive inspection daily and at every 150 hours TIS, and ASB No. 204-75-1 and ASB 205-75-5 call for visually inspecting the M/R blades daily and every 1,000 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first. The proposed AD would require all inspections at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS or two weeks, whichever occurs first. This proposed AD contains more detailed inspection requirements and a more specific inspection area than the instructions in ASB No. UH-1H-13-09. Lastly, ASB No. UH-1H-13-09 applies to Model UH-1H helicopters with M/R blade P/N 204-011-250-113, ASB No. 204-75-1 applies to Model 204B helicopters with M/R blade P/N 204-011-0250 (all dash numbers), and ASB No. 205-75-5 applies to Model 205A-1 helicopters with M/R blade P/N 204-011-0250 (all dash numbers). This proposed AD would apply to Model TH-1F, UH-1B, UH-1F, UH-1H, and UH-1P helicopters with M/R blade P/N 204-011-250-005 or 204-011-250-113.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 607 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Cleaning and performing all inspections of a set of M/R blades (2 per helicopter) would require a total of 1/2 work-hour. No parts would be needed. At an estimated 24 inspections a year, the cost would be $1,032 per helicopter and $626,424 for the U.S. fleet.

    • Replacing an M/R blade would require 12 work hours and parts would cost $90,656, for a total cost of $91,676 per blade.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Various Restricted Category Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2015-3820; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-024-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model TH-1F, UH-1B, UH-1F, UH-1H, and UH-1P helicopters with a main rotor (M/R) blade, part number 204-011-250-005 or 204-011-250-113, installed.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in an M/R blade, which could result in failure of the M/R blade and subsequent loss of helicopter control.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by June 10, 2016.

    (d) Compliance

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

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 2 weeks, whichever occurs first, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS or 2 weeks, whichever occurs first, clean the upper and lower exposed surfaces of each M/R blade from an area starting at the butt end of the blade to three inches outboard of the doublers. Using a 3X or higher power magnifying glass and a light, inspect as follows:

    (i) Visually inspect the exposed area of the lower grip pad and upper and lower grip plates of each M/R blade for a crack and any corrosion.

    (ii) On the upper and lower exposed surfaces of each M/R blade from blade stations 24.5 to 35 for the entire chord width, visually inspect each layered doubler and blade skin for a crack and any corrosion. Pay particular attention for any cracking in a doubler or skin near or at the same blade station as the blade retention bolt hole (blade station 28).

    (iii) Visually inspect the exposed areas of each bond line at the edges of the lower grip pad, upper and lower grip plates, and each layered doubler (bond lines) on the upper and lower surfaces of each M/R blade for the entire length and chord width for an edge void, any corrosion, loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out, and an edge delamination. Pay particular attention to any crack in the paint finish that follows the outline of a grip pad, grip plate, or doubler, and to any loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out, as these may be the indication of an edge void.

    (2) If there is a crack, any corrosion, an edge void, loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out, or an edge delamination during any inspection in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD, before further flight, do the following:

    (i) If there is a crack in a grip pad or any grip plate or doubler, replace the M/R blade with an airworthyM/R blade.

    (ii) If there is a crack in the M/R blade skin that is within maximum repair damage limits, repair the M/R blade. If the crack exceeds maximum repair damage limits, replace the M/R blade with an airworthy M/R blade.

    (iii) If there is any corrosion within maximum repair damage limits, repair the M/R blade. If the corrosion exceeds maximum repair damage limits, replace the M/R blade with an airworthy M/R blade.

    (iv) If there is an edge void in the grip pad or in a grip plate or doubler, determine the length and depth using a feeler gauge. Repair the M/R blade if the edge void is within maximum repair damage limits, or replace the M/R blade with an airworthy M/R blade.

    (v) If there is an edge void in a grip plate or doubler near the outboard tip, tap inspect the affected area to determine the size and shape of the void. Repair the M/R blade if the edge void is within maximum repair damage limits, or replace the M/R blade with an airworthy M/R blade.

    (vi) If there is any loose or damaged adhesive squeeze-out along any of the bond lines, trim or scrape away the adhesive without damaging the adjacent surfaces or parent material of the M/R blade. Determine if there is an edge void or any corrosion by lightly sanding the trimmed area smooth using 280 or finer grit paper. If there is no edge void or corrosion, refinish the sanded area.

    (vii) If there is an edge delamination along any of the bond lines or a crack in the paint finish, determine if there is an edge void or a crack in the grip pad, grip plate, doubler, or skin by removing paint from the affected area by lightly sanding in a span-wise direction using 180-220 grit paper. If there are no edge voids and no cracks, refinish the sanded area.

    (viii) If any parent material is removed during any sanding or trimming in paragraphs (e)(2)(vi) or (e)(2)(vii) of this AD, repair the M/R blade if the damage is within maximum repair damage limits, or replace the M/R blade with an airworthy M/R blade.

    (f) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC)

    (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Charles Harrison, Project Manager, Fort Worth Aircraft Certification Office, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone 817-222-5140; email [email protected]

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

    (h) Additional Information

    Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. UH-1H-13-09, dated January 14, 2013, and Bell Helicopter Textron ASB No. 204-75-1 and ASB 205-75-5, both Revision C and both dated April 25, 1979, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone (817) 280-3391; fax (817) 280-6466; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review a copy of information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

    (i) Subject

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

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 29, 2016. James A. Grigg, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07985 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0985; FRL-9944-84-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Interstate Transport of Air Pollution for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to disapprove the portion of a Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittal pertaining to interstate transport of air pollution which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in other states. Disapproval will establish a 2-year deadline for the EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) for Texas to address the Clean Air Act (CAA) interstate transport requirements pertaining to significant contribution to nonattainment and interference with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in other states, unless the EPA approves a SIP that meets these requirements. Disapproval does not start a mandatory sanctions clock for Texas.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0985, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Carl Young, 214-665-6645, [email protected] For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carl Young, 214-665-6645, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Mr. Young or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us,” and “our” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone NAAQS from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm (73 FR 16436). The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised standard, SIPs meeting the applicable “infrastructure” elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). One of these applicable infrastructure elements, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), requires SIPs to contain “good neighbor” provisions to prohibit certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of pollution. There are four sub-elements within CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). This action reviews how the first two sub-elements of the good neighbor provisions, at CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) were addressed in an infrastructure SIP submission from Texas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. These sub-elements require that each SIP for a new or revised standard contain adequate provisions to prohibit any emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” or “interfere with maintenance” of the applicable air quality standard in any other state.

    Ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from electric utilities and industrial facilities, motor vehicles, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOX and VOCs. Because ground-level ozone formation increases with temperature and sunlight, ozone levels are generally higher during the summer. Increased temperature also increases emissions of VOCs and can indirectly increase NOX emissions.1

    1 80 FR 75706, 75711.

    The EPA has addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to ozone in several past regulatory actions. The NOX SIP Call, promulgated in 1998, addressed the good neighbor provision for the 1979 1-hour ozone NAAQS and the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.2 The rule required 22 states and the District of Columbia to amend their SIPs and limit NOX emissions that contribute to ozone nonattainment. The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), promulgated in 2005, addressed both the 1997 PM2.5 and ozone standards under the good neighbor provision and required SIP revisions in 28 states and the District of Columbia to limit NOX and SO2 emissions that contribute to nonattainment of those standards.3 CAIR was remanded to the EPA by the D.C. Circuit in North Carolina v. EPA, 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008), modified on reh'g, 550 F.3d 1176. In response to the remand of CAIR, the EPA promulgated the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) on July 6, 2011, to address CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in the eastern 4 portion of the United States.5 With respect to ozone, CSAPR limited ozone season nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions from electric generating units (EGUs). CSAPR addressed interstate transport as to the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, the 1997 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS and the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, but did not address the 2008 8-hour ozone standard.

    2 NOX SIP Call, 63 FR 57371 (October 27, 1998).

    3 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), 70 FR 25172 (May 12, 2005).

    4 When we discuss the eastern United States we mean the contiguous U.S. states excluding the 11 western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

    5 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

    II. Texas SIP Revision Addressing Interstate Transport of Air Pollution for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS

    On December 13, 2012, Texas submitted a SIP revision addressing certain CAA infrastructure requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. This action concerns the portion of the December 13, 2012, SIP submittal pertaining to the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirement to address the interstate transport of air pollution which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in other states. In a separate action, we disapproved the portion of the SIP submittal pertaining to the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirement to address the interstate transport of air pollution which will interfere with other states' programs for visibility protection (81 FR 296, January 5, 2016). We proposed to approve the other portions of the infrastructure SIP submittal on February 8, 2016 (81 FR 6483).

    In the portion of its SIP submittal addressing interstate transport, Texas provided an analysis of monitoring data, wind patterns, emissions data and emissions controls. Texas notes that, at the time of the SIP submittal, it had not yet implemented control measures in its two areas designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS because the nonattainment SIP was not due until 2015. Texas cited numerous control measures that were implemented to address prior ozone NAAQS. Texas also includes 1990-2010 design value data for the areas designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in Texas and in nearby nonattainment areas and notes that design values have generally decreased since 2000. Texas focuses on wind patterns and the distance between in-state ozone nonattainment areas (Dallas-Fort Worth and the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria) and the closest designated nonattainment areas (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Memphis, Tennessee) in other states, and monitored data in between these areas. Texas concluded that it is difficult to determine how much ozone at the out-of-state nonattainment areas is due to transport of ozone and how much is due to other sources of ozone precursors.

    Texas's analysis includes 2010 8-hour ozone design values from monitors in states located in the EPA Region 6.6 Texas summarized NOX emission trends for Texas EGUs from 1995-2011 and discusses how federal rulemakings, such as CAIR and the CSAPR affected EGU emissions. Lastly, Texas described additional non-EGU control measures and SIPs that reduce NOX and VOC emissions within the state.

    6 These states are Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

    Texas concluded in its analysis that (based on monitoring data) due to (1) decreases in ozone design values, and (2) existing control measures, emissions from sources within the state do not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other state. A copy of the Texas SIP submittal may be accessed online at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0985.

    III. The EPA's Evaluation

    As we noted above, the Texas SIP submittal included an analysis of monitoring data, wind patterns, emissions data and emissions controls. The information provided in the Texas analysis is helpful in assessing past air quality and we agree that ozone concentrations have decreased since 2000. However, we disagree with Texas's conclusion concerning interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    Texas limits its discussion of data only to areas designated nonattainment in states that are geographically closest to Texas (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin). This approach is incomplete for two reasons. First, transported emissions may cause an area to measure exceedances of the standard even if that area is not formally designated nonattainment by the EPA. However, Texas only evaluated its potential impact on the nearest designated nonattainment areas in other states without considering potential exceedances in other areas not designated nonattainment. Thus, Texas did not fully evaluate whether emissions from the state significantly contribute to nonattainment in other states.

    Second, in remanding CAIR to the EPA in the North Carolina decision, the D.C. Circuit explained that the regulating authority must give the “interfere with maintenance” clause of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) “independent significance” by evaluating the impact of upwind state emissions on downwind areas that, while currently in attainment, are at risk of future nonattainment, considering historic variability.7 Texas does not give the “interfere with maintenance” clause of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) independent significance because its analysis did not attempt to evaluate the potential impact of Texas emissions on areas that are currently measuring clean data, but that may have issues maintaining that air quality.

    7 531 F.3d at 910-11 (holding that the EPA must give “independent significance” to each prong of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)).

    Furthermore, in addition to being incomplete, the EPA has recently shared new technical information with states to facilitate efforts to address interstate transport requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS which contradicts the conclusions of the Texas analysis. The EPA developed this technical information following the same approach used to evaluate interstate transport in CSAPR in order to support the recently proposed Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS, 80 FR 75706 (December 3, 2015) (“CSAPR Update Rule”). In CSAPR, we used detailed air quality analyses to determine whether an eastern state's contribution to downwind air quality problems was at or above specific thresholds. If a state's contribution did not exceed the specified air quality screening threshold, the state was not considered “linked” to identified downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors and was therefore not considered to significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the standard in those downwind areas. If a state exceeded that threshold, the state's emissions were further evaluated, taking into account both air quality and cost considerations, to determine what, if any, emissions reductions might be necessary. For the reasons stated below, we believe it is appropriate to use the same approach we used in CSAPR to establish an air quality screening threshold for the evaluation of interstate transport requirements for the 2008 ozone standard.

    In CSAPR, we proposed an air quality screening threshold of one percent of the applicable NAAQS and requested comment on whether one percent was appropriate. The EPA evaluated the comments received and ultimately determined that one percent was an appropriately low threshold because there were important, even if relatively small, contributions to identified nonattainment and maintenance receptors from multiple upwind states. In response to commenters who advocated a higher or lower threshold than one percent, we compiled the contribution modeling results for CSAPR to analyze the impact of different possible thresholds for the eastern United States. The EPA's analysis showed that the one percent threshold captures a high percentage of the total pollution transport affecting downwind states, while the use of higher thresholds would exclude increasingly larger percentages of total transport. For example, at a five percent threshold, the majority of interstate pollution transport affecting downwind receptors would be excluded. In addition, the EPA determined that it was important to use a relatively lower one percent threshold because there are adverse health impacts associated with ambient ozone even at low levels. The EPA also determined that a lower threshold such as 0.5 percent would result in relatively modest increases in the overall percentages of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution transport captured relative to the amounts captured at the one-percent level. The EPA determined that a “0.5 percent threshold could lead to emission reduction responsibilities in additional states that individually have a very small impact on those receptors—an indicator that emission controls in those states are likely to have a smaller air quality impact at the downwind receptor. We are not convinced that selecting a threshold below one percent is necessary or desirable.”

    In the final CSAPR, we determined that one percent was a reasonable choice considering the combined downwind impact of multiple upwind states in the eastern United States, the health effects of low levels of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution, and the EPA's previous use of a one percent threshold in CAIR. The EPA used a single “bright line” air quality threshold equal to one percent of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, or 0.08 ppm. The projected contribution from each state was averaged over multiple days with projected high modeled ozone, and then compared to the one percent threshold. We concluded that this approach for setting and applying the air quality threshold for ozone was appropriate because it provided a robust metric, was consistent with the approach for fine particulate matter used in CSAPR, and because it took into account, and would be applicable to, any future ozone standards below 0.08 ppm. The EPA has subsequently proposed to use the same threshold for purposes of evaluating interstate transport with respect to the 2008 ozone standard in the CSAPR Update Rule.

    In 2015 we (1) provided notice of data availability (NODA) for the EPA's updated ozone transport modeling for the 2008 ozone NAAQS for public review and comment (80 FR 46271, August 4, 2015), and (2) proposed the CSAPR Update Rule to address interstate transport with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS (80 FR 75706, December 3, 2015). The CSAPR Update Rule would further restrict ozone season NOX emissions from EGUs in 23 states, including Texas, beginning in the 2017 ozone season. Our proposal also addresses a 2015 D.C. Circuit court decision that largely upheld CSAPR, but that, among other things, remanded without vacatur the NOX ozone-season emission budgets for EGUs in Texas and 10 other states that were established in CSAPR to address the 1997 ozone NAAQS.8

    8EME Homer City v. EPA, [795 F.3d 118 (D.C. Circuit 2015)] (July 28, 2015).

    The modeling data released in this NODA was also used to support the proposed CSAPR Update Rule. The moderate area attainment date for the 2008 ozone standard is July 11, 2018. In order to demonstrate attainment by this attainment deadline, states will use 2015 through 2017 ambient ozone data. Therefore, the EPA proposed that 2017 is an appropriate future year to model for the purpose of examining interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA used photochemical air quality modeling to project ozone concentrations at air quality monitoring sites to 2017 and estimated state-by-state ozone contributions to those 2017 concentrations. This modeling used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx version 6.11) to model the 2011 base year, and the 2017 future base case emissions scenarios to identify projected nonattainment and maintenance sites with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2017. The EPA used nationwide state-level ozone source apportionment modeling (CAMx Ozone Source Apportionment Technology/Anthropogenic Precursor Culpability Analysis technique) to quantify the contribution of 2017 base case NOX and VOC emissions from all sources in each state to the 2017 projected receptors. The air quality model runs were performed for a modeling domain that covers the 48 contiguous United States and adjacent portions of Canada and Mexico. The NODA and the supporting technical support documents have been included in the docket for this SIP action.

    The modeling data released in the NODA and the CSAPR Update Rule are the most up-to-date information the EPA has developed to inform our analysis of upwind state linkages to downwind air quality problems. As discussed in the CSAPR Update Rule proposal, the air quality modeling (1) identified locations in the U.S. where the EPA expects nonattainment or maintenance problems in 2017 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (i.e., nonattainment or maintenance receptors), and (2) quantified the projected contributions of emissions from upwind states to downwind ozone concentrations at those receptors in 2017 (80 FR 75706, 75720-30, December 3, 2015). Consistent with CSAPR, the EPA proposed to use a threshold of 1 percent of the 2008 ozone NAAQS (0.75 parts per billion) to identify linkages between upwind states and downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptors. The EPA proposed that eastern states with contributions to a specific receptor that meet or exceed this screening threshold are considered “linked” to that receptor, and were analyzed further to quantify available emissions reductions necessary to address interstate transport to these receptors.

    Table 1 is a summary of the air quality modeling results for Texas from Table V.D-1 of the proposed CSAPR Update Rule.9 As the state's downwind contribution to proposed nonattainment and maintenance receptors exceeded the threshold, the analysis for the proposal concluded that Texas emissions significantly contribute to nonattainment and interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in other states. Texas emissions were linked to eastern nonattainment receptors in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and to maintenance receptors in Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania (Tables V.D-2 and V.D-3, 80 FR 75706, 75728-30).10

    9 80 FR 75706, 75727-28.

    10 Tables V.D-2 and V.D-3, 80 FR 75706, 75728-30.

    Table 1—Texas' Largest Contribution to Downwind Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas [Proposed CSAPR update rule] 2008 Ozone NAAQS Air quality threshold Largest
  • downwind
  • contribution to
  • nonattainment
  • Largest
  • downwind
  • contribution to
  • maintenance
  • Downwind
  • nonattainment
  • receptors located
  • in states
  • Downwind maintenance receptors
  • located in states
  • 0.075 ppm (75 parts per billion or ppb) 0.75 ppb 2.44 ppb 2.95 ppb Wisconsin Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    Additionally, Texas emissions were also linked to two projected nonattainment receptors in the Denver, Colorado area, with Texas's largest downwind contribution to those nonattainment receptors being 1.58 parts per billion (ppb).11 Texas has not provided a demonstration that its SIP is adequate to address interstate transport to the Denver, Colorado receptors. The EPA believes contribution from an individual state equal to or above 1 percent of the NAAQS could be considered significant where the collective contribution of emissions from one or more upwind states is responsible for a considerable portion of the downwind air quality problem regardless of where the receptor is geographically located.12 In this case, Texas has more than a 2% contribution to receptors in Denver, which we consider significant.

    11See document EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500-0007 in http://www.regulations.gov.

    12 76 FR 48238 (Aug. 8, 2011); 80 FR 75714 (Dec. 3, 2015).

    As discussed previously, our modeling and analysis released in our NODA and proposed CSAPR Update Rule is the most up-to-date information for assessing interstate transport of air pollution for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Analysis of wind patterns, emissions data, and ambient monitoring data as provided in the Texas SIP submittal does not quantify the magnitude of impact from Texas emissions to downwind states. For example, wind patterns can only give an indication of the possibility of transport; emissions data and ambient monitoring data can indicate the potential for air quality problems. The Texas analysis only discusses general ozone season wind patterns as being from the south to the east and the limited potential for transport to Memphis and Baton Rouge. However, the general wind patterns are generally consistent with transport to the impacted receptors in Wisconsin and Colorado, and there are observed winds from the west and northwest that could, on some days, transport pollutants towards other areas, such as Baton Rouge. Downward trends in (1) emissions and (2) observed ozone concentrations can indicate progress towards reducing impact, but do not provide information on the magnitude of the remaining impact or the potential benefit from additional emission reductions. Air quality modeling, however, brings together emissions data, atmospheric chemistry and meteorological information that simulate the transport and fate of pollutants and estimate concentrations of pollutants (including ozone) across the modeling domain. Air quality modeling can also provide estimates of upwind impacts by estimating the contribution of a state's emissions to downwind pollutant concentrations. Our modeling and analysis provided the magnitude of impact and show that Texas emissions significantly contribute to ozone concentrations in areas of nonattainment and interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in other states.

    Texas provided a great deal of information documenting significant emission reductions that have been made throughout the state and particularly in the eastern half of the state between 1990 and 2010. These include reductions from controls on EGUs in East Texas and controls on a variety of NOX sources in the 1-hour ozone and 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas of Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Beaumont-Port Arthur and Dallas-Fort Worth. These controls have resulted in significant reductions in ozone levels in Texas and undoubtedly have reduced the amount of transported pollution to other states. However, these reductions were largely put in place to address the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, and as a result, their compliance dates, and therefore the emission reductions achieved through these measures, predate and were therefore accounted for in the EPA's modeling baseline of 2011 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Accordingly, the most recent technical analysis available to the EPA contradicts Texas's conclusion that the state's SIP contains adequate provisions to address interstate transport as to the 2008 ozone standard. Furthermore, Texas did not demonstrate how these rules and data for a less stringent standard provide sufficient controls on emissions to address interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Despite the substantial reductions in Texas, we have subsequently published information and proposed an update to CSAPR that addresses the 2008 ozone NAAQS that includes Texas's cited rules and demonstrates Texas still has an interstate impact on other states.

    Among the emissions reductions cited by Texas in its SIP, Texas cites its participation in CAIR as a control measure that results in control of NOX emissions within the state. Texas notes that under CAIR, Texas EGUs were not included in the ozone season NOX emissions trading program, but were subject to the annual NOX emissions trading program. The CAIR ozone season NOX emissions trading program was intended to address interstate transport of air pollution for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. The CAIR annual NOX emissions trading program, along with the annual sulfur dioxide (SO2) trading program, was intended to address interstate transport of air pollution for the 1997 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS.

    Texas also noted that: (1) A 2008 court decision (the North Carolina decision) directed the EPA replace CAIR, but kept it in place temporarily; (2) the EPA replaced CAIR with CSAPR; (3) CSAPR included Texas EGU budgets for ozone-season NOX emissions, annual NOX emissions and annual SO2 NOX emissions to address interstate transport of air pollution for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS; and (4) in August 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued a decision vacating CSAPR and requiring continued implementation of CAIR until the EPA develops a replacement. Therefore, Texas concluded that CAIR remains a federally enforceable requirement.

    Subsequent to Texas's submission of its SIP, On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that D.C. Circuit decision vacating CSAPR and remanded the case to the D.C. Circuit for further proceedings. On October 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit granted our motion to lift the judicial stay on CSAPR and delay compliance deadlines by three years. Consistent with the Court's order we issued an interim final rule amending CSAPR so that compliance could begin in an orderly manner on January 1, 2015 (79 FR 71663, December 3, 2014), replacing CAIR. On July 28, 2015, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision on the issues raised on remand from the Supreme Court. The court denied all of petitioners' facial challenges to CSAPR, but remanded several emissions budgets to the EPA for reconsideration.13 A final rule making the revised CSAPR implementation schedule permanent was issued on March 14, 2016.14

    13 As to Texas in particular, the court remanded without vacatur the state's phase 2 SO2 annual emissions budget and the phase 2 ozone-season NOX emissions budget for reconsideration. The court concluded that these budgets resulted in over-control of sources in Texas with respect to the air quality concerns to which Texas was linked in our air quality modeling. As stated above, our CSAPR update proposal for the 2008 ozone NAAQS responds to the court remand of the NOX ozone-season emission budgets for EGUs in Texas that were established for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.

    14 81 FR 13275 (March 14, 2016)

    Accordingly, CAIR implementation ended in 2014 and CSAPR implementation began in 2015. States and the EPA are no longer implementing the CAIR trading programs. Thus, it is no longer appropriate for states to rely on CAIR to satisfy emission reduction obligations. Moreover, as indicated above, Texas's SIP addresses interstate transport obligations for a different and more stringent standard (the 2008 ozone NAAQS) and it is not sufficient to merely cite evidence of compliance with older programs such as CAIR or measures implemented for prior ozone NAAQS as a means for satisfying interstate transport obligations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    The EPA is proposing to disapprove the Texas SIP for CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements. As explained above, the Texas analysis does not adequately demonstrate that the SIP contains provisions prohibiting emissions that will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Moreover, the EPA's most recent modeling indicates that emissions from Texas are projected to significantly contribute to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors in other states.15

    15 Texas and others interested parties have provided comments on both the NODA and proposed CSAPR Update Rule. See Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500 at http://www.regulations.gov. We will consider these comments in final rulemaking to CSAPR Update Rule. Even absent this data, Texas's SIP failed to adequately address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    IV. Proposed Action

    We propose to disapprove the portion of a December 13, 2012 Texas SIP submittal pertaining to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), the interstate transport of air pollution which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in other states. The EPA requests comment on our evaluation of Texas's interstate transport SIP.

    Pursuant to CAA section 110(c)(1), disapproval will establish a 2-year deadline for the EPA to promulgate a FIP for Texas to address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS unless Texas submits and we approve a SIP that meets these requirements. Disapproval does not start a mandatory sanctions clock for Texas pursuant to CAA section 179 because this action does not pertain to a part D plan for nonattainment areas required under CAA section 110(a)(2)(I) or a SIP call pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(5).

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This proposed action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA because it does not contain any information collection activities.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action merely proposes to disapprove a SIP submission as not meeting the CAA.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action does not apply on any Indian reservation land, any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction, or non-reservation areas of Indian country. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

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

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. This action merely proposes to disapprove a SIP submission as not meeting the CAA.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: April 4, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08275 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 261 [EPA-HQ-RCRA-2016-0040; FRL9944-67-OLEM] Hazardous Waste Management System; Tentative Denial of Petition To Revise the RCRA Corrosivity Hazardous Characteristic AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notification of tentative denial of petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is responding to a rulemaking petition (“the petition”) requesting revision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrosivity hazardous waste characteristic regulation. The petition requests that the Agency make two changes to the current corrosivity characteristic regulation: revise the regulatory value for defining waste as corrosive from the current value of pH 12.5, to pH 11.5; and expand the scope of the RCRA corrosivity definition to include nonaqueous wastes in addition to the aqueous wastes currently regulated. After careful consideration, the Agency is tentatively denying the petition, since the materials submitted in support of the petition fail to demonstrate that the requested regulatory revisions are warranted, as further explained in this document. The Agency's review of additional materials it identified as relevant to the petition similarly did not demonstrate that any change to the corrosivity characteristic regulation is warranted at this time.

    The Agency is also soliciting public comment on this tentative denial and the questions raised in this action.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2016-0040, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Helms, Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, (5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-308-8855; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Executive Summary II. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. What action is EPA taking? C. What is EPA's authority for taking this action? D. What are the incremental costs and benefits of this action? III. Background A. Who submitted a petition to the EPA and what do they seek? B. What is corrosivity and why are corrosive wastes regulated as hazardous? C. What approaches are used in testing and evaluation of materials for corrosivity? IV. Review and Evaluation of the Petition and Relevant Information A. Review of Requested Regulatory Revisions and Supporting Information 1. Request to Lower RCRA's Corrosivity Characteristic pH Threshold to 11.5 a. History of RCRA's Corrosivity Regulation b. Other Corrosivity Standards 2. Request To Include Nonaqueous Corrosive Materials Within the Scope of RCRA's Corrosivity Vharacteristic a. Exposure to World Trade Center 9/11 Dust b. Exposure to Concrete Dust c. Exposure to Cement Kiln Dust B. Wastes That May Be Newly Regulated Under Requested Revisions C. Determining What Waste is “aqueous” D. Other Potentially Relevant Incidents V. EPA's Conclusions and Rationale for Tentative Denial of the Petition VI. Request for Public Comment on EPA's Tentative Denial of the Petition VII. References I. Executive Summary

    This action responds to a rulemaking petition requesting revision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrosivity hazardous waste characteristic regulation (see 40 CFR 261.22). The petition requests that the Agency make two changes to the current corrosivity characteristic regulation: (1) Revise the regulatory value for defining waste as corrosive from the current value of pH 12.5, to pH 11.5; and (2) expand the scope of the RCRA corrosivity definition to include nonaqueous wastes in addition to the aqueous wastes currently regulated. The petition argues that the regulatory pH value should be revised to pH 11.5 because information supporting this value was, in the petitioners' view, inadequately considered in developing the regulation and because petitioners allege that this value is widely used as a threshold for identifying corrosive materials. The petition further argues that corrosive properties of inhaled dust caused injury to first responders and others at the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of September 11, 2001, and that such dusts should be regulated as corrosive hazardous waste under RCRA.

    After careful consideration, and as described in greater detail below, the Agency is tentatively denying the petition, since the materials submitted in support of the petition fail to demonstrate that the requested regulatory revisions are warranted. Where used in other regulatory frameworks, the pH 11.5 value is either optional or a presumption that may be rebutted by other data, a use very different than the way pH is used in the RCRA corrosivity regulation.

    Moreover, the dust to which 9/11 first responders and others were exposed was a complex mixture of pulverized concrete, gypsum, metals, organic and inorganic fibers, volatile organic compounds, and smoke from the fires at the site. No single property of the dust can be reliably identified as the cause of the adverse health effects in those exposed to the WTC dust. In addition, the injuries that were suffered by those exposed to the WTC dust did not appear to include corrosive injuries—i.e., the serious destruction of human skin or other tissues at the point of contact. Persons exposed to simpler dusts of concern to the petition (Cement Kiln Dust and concrete dust) similarly did not appear to experience corrosive injuries. Finally, the petition does not show that waste management activities resulted in the exposures of concern, nor does it identify how the proposed regulatory changes would address these exposures. The Agency's evaluation of additional materials it identified as relevant to the petition similarly did not demonstrate that any change to the corrosivity characteristic regulation is warranted at this time. The Agency is therefore tentatively denying the petition, and is also soliciting public comment on this tentative denial and the questions raised in this action.

    II. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    The Agency is not proposing any regulatory changes at this time. Persons that may be interested in this tentative denial of the rulemaking petition include any facility that manufactures, uses, or generates as waste, any materials (either aqueous or nonaqueous) with a pH 11.5 or greater, or 2 or lower.

    B. What action is EPA taking?

    Under Subtitle C of RCRA, the EPA has developed regulations to identify solid wastes that must then be classified as hazardous waste. Corrosivity is one of four characteristics of wastes that may cause them to be classified as RCRA hazardous. The Agency defines which wastes are hazardous because of their corrosive properties at 40 CFR 261.22. On September 8, 2011, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and Cate Jenkins, Ph.D.,1 submitted a rulemaking petition to the EPA seeking changes to the current regulatory definition of corrosive hazardous wastes under RCRA. The petitioners express concerns about potentially dangerous exposures to workers and the general public from dusts that may potentially be corrosive. In particular, the petition is concerned about inhalation exposures, primarily to concrete or cement dust, which may occur in the course of manufacturing or handling of cement, and during building demolitions. To address these concerns, the petition urges the Agency to make two changes to the current regulatory definition of corrosive hazardous waste: (1) Revise the pH regulatory value for defining waste as corrosive from the current value of pH 12.5, to pH 11.5; and (2) expand the scope of the RCRA corrosivity definition to include nonaqueous wastes in addition to the aqueous wastes currently regulated.

    1 Dr. Jenkins is an EPA employee.

    With this action, the Agency is responding to requests in the petition by publishing its evaluation of the petition and supporting materials, and by requesting public comment on the topics raised by the petition. A detailed discussion of the petition and the issues identified by the Agency on which we are soliciting public input are discussed later in this document. The Agency is soliciting information and other input on issues related to the scope of the changes proposed in the petition. This may include information on the adverse health effects, if any, that may be avoided if the Agency were to grant the requested regulatory changes. It may also include information on changes in the universe of waste (including type of waste and volume) that may become regulated as corrosive hazardous waste if the Agency were to make the requested changes, including potentially affected industries and the possible impact of such regulatory changes.

    C. What is EPA's authority for taking this action?

    The corrosivity hazardous waste characteristic regulation was promulgated under the authority of Sections 1004 and 3001 of the RCRA, as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), 42 U.S.C. 6903 and 6921. The Agency is responding to this petition for rulemaking pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6903, 6921 and 6974, and implementing regulations 40 CFR parts 260 and 261.

    D. What are the incremental costs and benefits of this action?

    As this action proposes no regulatory changes, this action will have neither incremental costs nor benefits.

    III. Background A. Who submitted a petition to the EPA and what do they seek?

    On September 8, 2011, petitioners PEER and Cate Jenkins, Ph.D., sent the EPA a rulemaking petition seeking revisions to the RCRA hazardous waste corrosivity characteristic definition (see 40 CFR 261.22). On September 9, 2014, the petitioners filed a petition for Writ of Mandamus, arguing that the Agency had unduly delayed in responding to the 2011 petition, and asking the Court to compel the Agency to respond to the petition within 90 days. The Court granted the parties' joint request for a stay of all proceedings until March 31, 2016.

    The petition seeks two specific changes to the 40 CFR 261.22(a) definition of a corrosive hazardous waste:

    1. Reduction of the pH regulatory value for alkaline corrosive hazardous wastes from the current standard of pH 12.5 to pH 11.5; and

    2. Expansion of the scope of the RCRA hazardous waste corrosivity definition to include nonaqueous wastes, as well as currently regulated aqueous wastes.

    The Agency is responding to this RCRA rulemaking petition in accordance with 40 CFR 260.20(c) and (e).

    B. What is corrosivity and why are corrosive wastes regulated as hazardous?

    The term “corrosivity” describes the strong chemical reaction of a substance (a chemical or waste) when it comes into contact with an object or another material, such that the surface of the object or material is irreversibly damaged by chemical conversion to another material, leaving the surface with areas that appear eaten or worn away. That is, the corrosive substance chemically reacts with the material such that the surface of the contacted material is dissolved or chemically changed to another material at the contact site. Chemical reaction and damage at the contact site may continue as long as some amount of the unreacted corrosive substance remains in contact with the material. In situations in which corrosive substances are being handled by people, key risks of corrosive damage are injury to human tissue, and the potential to damage metal storage containers (primarily steel) that may hold chemicals or wastes. Corrosive substances cause obvious damage to the surface of living human tissue by chemically reacting with it, and in the process, destroying it. The strength of the corrosive material and the duration of exposure largely determine the degree or depth of injury. Corrosive injury is at the extreme end of a continuum of effects of dermal and ocular chemical exposure, and results in serious and permanent damage to skin or eyes.2 Corrosive injury is distinguished from irritation of the skin or eyes based on the severity and permanence of the injury, with irritation generally being reversible (see Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (“GHS” or “GHS guidance”) Chapters 3.2 and 3.3; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Test Methods 404 (rev. 2015) and 405 (rev. 2012); Grant and Kern 1955).

    2 As with thermal burns, chemical burns may heal over time, but will typically leave scarring, or in more severe cases, may affect the function of the exposed body part. Ocular corrosive injury may lead to blindness or other vision problems.

    In 1980, EPA identified “corrosivity” as a characteristic of hazardous waste because it determined that improperly managed corrosive wastes pose a substantial present or potential danger to human health and the environment (see Background Document for Corrosivity, May 1980; hereafter referred to as Background Document, 1980). While other international and domestic regulatory programs address corrosivity in other contexts (e.g. exposure to non-waste hazardous substances), RCRA is the United States' primary law governing the management of solid and hazardous waste from cradle to grave. Consideration of RCRA's corrosivity characteristic therefore requires consideration of whether a particular threat of harm is one that would be addressed within RCRA's waste management framework.

    When in contact with steel, corrosive substances (primarily acids) can react with the iron to change its chemical form and weaken it, potentially leading to a hole in the container and a release of the corrosive substance to the environment. In a waste management setting, extreme pH substances may also mobilize toxic metals, react with other co-disposed wastes (e.g., reaction of acids with cyanides, to form hydrogen cyanide gas), or change the pH of surface water bodies, causing damage to fish or other aquatic populations. However, the Agency focused primarily on the potential for injury to humans when it initially developed the corrosivity regulation:

    “Corrosion involves the destruction of both animate and inanimate surfaces.” (Background Document page 3, 1980)

    . . .

    “Wastes exhibiting very high or low pH levels may cause harm to persons who come in contact with the waste. Acids cause tissue damage by coagulating skin proteins and forming acid albuminates. Strong base or alkalis, on the other hand, exert chemical action by dissolving skin proteins, combining with cutaneous fats, and severely damaging keratin.” (Background Document page 5, 1980)

    . . .

    “The Agency has determined that corrosiveness, the property that makes a substance capable of dissolving material with which it comes in contact, is a hazardous characteristic because improperly managed corrosive wastes pose a substantial present or potential danger to human health and the environment.” (Background Document page 1, 1980)

    In the previous discussion, the corrosivity regulation background document describes corrosives as having a severe effect on human tissue. Dissolving of skin or other tissue proteins by chemicals, and chemically combining with fats (stored body fat in adipose or other human tissue) are chemical processes which clearly destroy the surface of human tissue and may penetrate beyond surface layers of skin. These adverse effects on skin have also been described by the term “chemical burns” because of their similarity to burns caused by fire or other sources of intense heat.

    Highly acidic and alkaline (basic) substances comprise a large part of the universe of corrosive chemicals. The strength of acids and alkalies is measured by the concentration of hydrogen ions, usually in a water solution of the acid or alkali. The hydrogen ion concentration is expressed as “pH”, which is a logarithmic scale with values generally ranging from zero to 14. On the pH scale, pH 7 is the mid-point, and represents a neutral solution. That is, it is neither acidic nor basic. Solutions having pH values of less than 7 are acidic while solutions with pH greater than 7 are basic. As pH values move toward the extremes of the scale (i.e., 0 and 14), the solution becomes increasingly acidic or alkaline.

    Under current RCRA regulations, aqueous wastes having pH 2 or lower, or 12.5 or higher, are regulated as hazardous waste. Liquid wastes that corrode steel above a certain rate are also classified as corrosive under RCRA. These values were set in consideration of wastes' potential to cause injury to human tissue as well as waste management issues, as discussed in greater detail in section IV below (Background Document, 1980).

    Federal regulatory agencies other than the EPA also regulate human exposure to corrosive materials. These include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Further, international organizations have also made recommendations about controlling human exposure to corrosive chemicals or wastes. These include the United Nations Guidance on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNTDG), the GHS, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste (Basel, or the Basel Convention).

    C. What approaches are used in testing and evaluation of materials for corrosivity?

    Before 1944, there was no systematic method for evaluating the dermal toxicity and corrosive or irritating properties of chemicals on human tissue. Advances in chemistry and medicine in the mid-20th century led to development of a broader range of therapeutic, cosmetic, and personal care products (e.g., soaps, shampoo, hair conditioner) and prompted the need to move beyond an anecdotal collection of largely qualitative information on corrosivity to a systematic approach for determining the potential for irritation or corrosivity. Scientists working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were the first investigators to develop an approach that tried to be objective and quantitative, so that differences in the impact of different chemicals or formulations could be systematically identified (Draize et al. 1944, Draize 1959). Their testing approach involved application of chemicals or formulations directly to animal skin or eyes (primarily rabbits), with the results graded by the severity of the adverse effect and the duration of exposure required to produce those adverse effects.3 The skin and eyes of the test animals were assumed to be similar to that of humans, and results were either used directly to classify chemicals or sometimes, for less irritating materials, were confirmed by testing on human subjects. The pH of chemicals or formulations was also correlated with the occurrence of adverse effects on test animals in much of the basic research that occurred during this time period (Hughes, 1946; Friedenwald et al., 1946; Grant and Kern, 1955; Grant, 1962). Testing for pH is a routine and easily performed test for many materials (although it does require the presence of water or another source of hydrogen ions in the sample). However, pH testing of very high concentration acids or alkalies can be problematic, and high concentrations of sodium ions in solution can cause analytical interferences (Lowry et al., 2008).

    3 Testing on live animals is described as in vivo testing.

    The animal testing approach described above evolved to become the standard method for assessing the corrosivity of chemicals to humans (Weltman et al., 1965; Balls et al., 1995; OECD Methods 404 and 405). Variability in test results and some differences in effects on humans were identified as the tests were further developed and refined. Sources of variability included different results when chemicals were applied to different areas of skin, and different reactions of animal eyes as compared with those of humans, among others (Weil and Scala, 1971; Phillips et al., 1972; Vinegar, 1979). One key approach to facilitating greater reproducibility (precision) in testing was a standardized grading scheme published by the FDA (Marzulli, 1965). A version of this testing approach has also been adopted as guidance by the OECD to provide an international approach to chemical classification, with the goal of facilitating international commerce (see OECD Methods 404 4 and 405). Over the intervening time, significant amounts of animal test data have been collected and used for classifying chemicals or formulations as corrosive.

    4 OECD Methods 404 and 405 continue to rely on live animal testing as the definitive test method for assessing corrosivity and irritation potential of chemicals and formulations. The current version of Method 404 (2015) and Method 405 (2012) allow for use of other tests in a weight-of-evidence approach. However, if results are inconclusive, live animal testing is used as a last resort. Dermal corrosion is defined as “. . . visible necrosis through the epidermis and into the dermis. . .”. For corrosivity to the eye, “A substance that causes irreversible tissue damage to the eye . . .”

    However, concern about testing for corrosivity on live animals has been expressed within the scientific community (Balls et al., 1995) and by non-government animal welfare advocacy organizations (Animal Justice, “Medical Testing on Animals: A Brief History” retrieved from http://www.animaljustice.ca/blog/medical-testing-animals-brief-history/). The result of this concern has been the development of alternative, in vitro testing approaches,5 intended to reduce reliance on in vivo animal testing. Among the first such tests was a commercially developed test named the “Corrositex®” test in 1993 (InVitro International, “What is Corrositex?” 2007, retrieved from http://www.invitrointl.com/products/corrosit.htm). In this test, a “bio-barrier” material is placed in a tube such that it blocks the tube, which contains an indicator solution. The test material is placed on the collagen plug, and breakthrough to the indicator solution is timed.6 Other somewhat similar testing approaches have also been developed, which use cultured human skin cells or skin from a laboratory animal that has been euthanized. Extensive work to validate these new testing approaches against the existing data has been done (Barratt et al., 1998; Kolle et al., 2012; Deshmukh et al., 2012; Vindarnell and Mitjans, 2008), and several are now considered validated to some degree (see OECD Tests 430, 431, 435, 437, 438). A number of studies applying chemical quantitative structure/activity relationships (QSAR) to assessing chemical corrosivity have also been published (Hulzebos, et al., 2003; Verma and Matthews, 2015a; Verma and Matthews, 2015b). However, these new tests are not yet fully integrated into the evaluation and classification guidance and regulations used in the U.S. and internationally, and most guidance and regulations rely first on existing animal and human data. The new testing approaches and QSAR analysis are primarily used as alternatives to reduce to a minimum the use of live animal testing on new, untested chemicals or formulations.

    5In vitro, literally translated means “in glass”. In this context it means testing in a laboratory vessel, rather than using a live animal.

    6 The Agency has added this test to its analytical chemistry technical guidance for evaluating waste, as Method 1120. While at one time the Agency considered revising the corrosivity regulation to rely on this test, no regulatory proposal was ever published.

    IV. Review and Evaluation of the Petition and Relevant Information A. Review of Requested Regulatory Revisions and Supporting Information

    This action is based on the petition and its supporting materials,7 the Agency's review and evaluation of this information, information submitted by other stakeholders, and relevant information compiled by the Agency. All materials and information that form the basis for this decision are available in the public docket supporting this action.

    7 In reviewing the petition the Agency identified a number of statements and/or assertions that are factually incorrect or inaccurate or are otherwise misstatements. The Agency has not responded to all such statements, but rather has limited its responses to those related to the substantive discussion of the petition's requests and supporting arguments in the petition. The petition also alleges certain instances of fraud; while the Agency denies all such allegations, the Agency is not addressing those allegations in this document because they are not relevant to considerations about whether a regulatory change to the current RCRA corrosivity characteristic is warranted.

    The petition presents a number of arguments and information supporting the requested revisions to the RCRA corrosivity regulation. The petition's arguments and supporting information are summarized and discussed below.

    The petition seeks two specific changes to the 40 CFR 261.22(a) definition of a corrosive hazardous waste:

    1. Reduction of the pH regulatory value for alkaline corrosive hazardous wastes from the current standard of pH 12.5 to pH 11.5; and

    2. Expansion of the scope of the RCRA hazardous waste corrosivity definition to include nonaqueous wastes, as well as currently regulated aqueous wastes.

    In evaluating the petition, the Agency considered whether these specific changes are warranted based on the evidence in the petition and additional, relevant information compiled by the Agency.8

    8 While the petition requests the inclusion of nonaqueous wastes in the corrosivity characteristic regulation, the petition does not provide any information regarding nonaqueous acidic wastes having pH 2 or lower. The petition appears to only be alleging harm from nonaqueous wastes in the upper pH, alkaline range. As such, the Agency has similarly focused its analysis. To the extent that petitioners allege the need to include nonaqueous acidic wastes having pH 2 or lower as part of the RCRA corrosivity characteristic regulation, additional information should be submitted in the comment period for the Agency's evaluation.

    1. Request To Lower RCRA's Corrosivity Characteristic pH Threshold to 11.5

    The current RCRA corrosivity regulation classifies aqueous waste having pH 12.5 or higher as corrosive hazardous waste (40 CFR 261.22(a)(1)). The petition seeks revision of the pH regulatory value for alkaline corrosive hazardous wastes from the current standard of pH 12.5 to pH 11.5.9

    9 The corrosivity characteristic potentially applies to any aqueous RCRA solid waste, unless exempted from hazardous waste regulation. In 2011, more than 8 million tons of waste were regulated as corrosive hazardous waste (see RCRA Biennial Report for 2011, Exhibit 1.8).

    In urging the Agency to make this regulatory change, the petition argues that a pH value of 11.5 is widely used in other U.S. regulatory programs and guidances, as well as in global guidance. The petition also argues that in promulgating the final regulation in 1980, the EPA did not give appropriate weight to guidance by the ILO on corrosivity that the petition considers definitive for identifying corrosive materials; and therefore expresses the belief that the current standard is not adequately protective of human health and the environment.10

    10 Petitioners allege that EPA misrepresented the pH levels cited in a 1972 ILO encyclopedia. As mentioned above at footnote 7, the Agency denies all such allegations. However, the Agency is not addressing those allegations in this document because they are not relevant to considerations about whether a regulatory change to the current RCRA corrosivity characteristic is currently warranted. While the petitioners place great weight on the mention of a pH of 11.5 in the 1972 ILO encyclopedia, that encyclopedia was one among multiple factors considered in developing the regulation and it is in no way binding on the Agency. No challenge to the 1980 regulation was filed, and the statute of limitations to challenge that 1980 regulation has long since passed.

    a. History of RCRA's Corrosivity Regulation

    The corrosivity regulation was promulgated on May 19, 1980 as part of a broad hazardous waste regulatory program that was finalized that day (45 FR 33084, 33109, and 33122). As no timely challenges to the final corrosivity regulation were filed in the appropriate court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6976(a), the rule, including the regulatory thresholds used to define solid waste as exhibiting the hazardous characteristic of corrosivity, has been in effect since 1980.

    The record supporting the May 19, 1980 rulemaking for the corrosivity hazardous characteristic includes three Federal Register actions (an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), a Proposed Rule and a Final Rule), draft and final technical background documents, and comments from and Agency responses to a range of stakeholders. Review of these materials identifies the Agency's proposed and final approaches to this regulation, as well as public views on the proposed regulation.

    In the 1977 ANPRM, the Agency discussed waste corrosivity only with regard to the potential for waste to damage storage containers, which could result in waste release to the environment. The Agency solicited public comments on this approach to regulation of corrosive wastes (42 FR 22332, May 2, 1977).

    Following publication of the ANPRM, the Agency released several draft versions of the regulations under development, including the corrosivity regulation. Draft documents dated September 14, 1977, November 17, 1977, and September 12, 1978 can be found in the rulemaking docket for the 1980 regulation, as well as several comments on these drafts. The September 1977 draft included a preliminary corrosivity definition based on pH values outside the range of pH 2-12, applied to liquid waste or a saturated solution of non-fluid waste. The November 1977 draft would have defined as hazardous those wastes having a pH outside the range of pH 3-12, and would have potentially applied to aqueous wastes and nonaqueous wastes when the latter was mixed with an equal weight of water. In a September 1978 draft, corrosive wastes would have been defined as aqueous wastes having a pH outside the range of pH 3-12.

    In the 1978 proposed regulations, the Agency proposed to identify corrosive hazardous waste based on the pH of aqueous solutions, and an evaluation of the rate at which a liquid waste would corrode steel. Waste aqueous solutions having a pH less than or equal to pH 3, or greater than or equal to pH 12 were proposed to be classified as RCRA corrosive hazardous waste (43 FR 58956, December 18, 1978). Concerns identified by the Agency in the proposal included the ability of corrosives to mobilize toxic metals, corrode waste storage containers, corrode skin and eyes, and cause damage to aquatic life (by changing the pH of waterbodies). The background support document for the proposal elaborated on EPA's concerns about corrosion to skin, noting that the regulation was intended to include as corrosive those waste “. . . substances that cause visible destruction or irreversible alteration in human skin tissue at the site of contact.” (Draft Background Document on Corrosiveness page 5, December 15th, 1978; hereafter referred to as “Draft Background Document, 1978”). The pH of wastes was used as the basis of the regulation because it could be used to evaluate both skin damage and toxic metal mobility (see Draft Background Document pages 13 and 14, 1978). The Agency also expressed some concern about solid corrosives, and requested that the public provide information on the potential hazards of solids that may be corrosive.

    The Agency received many comments on the regulatory proposals made that day, as significant parts of the RCRA program were proposed. The comments received addressed a number of topics raised by the proposal, including the proposed corrosivity regulation.

    The majority of public comments urged expanding the range of pH values that would not be classified as corrosive. For example, some commenters urged the Agency to raise the alkaline range pH regulatory value to either pH 12.5 or 13, in part, because they believed the proposed pH value would have resulted in lime-stabilized wastes, which when treated were otherwise non-hazardous, being classified as hazardous because of their pH. These commenters also believed treatment to de-characterize these wastes (i.e., make them less corrosive) would potentially allow the mobilization of toxic metals that were stable in the waste at the higher pH. The Agency generally agreed with these concerns and set a final alkaline range pH value of 12.5 and above for defining corrosive hazardous waste.11 The petition reflects concern about this as part of the basis for the pH regulatory value, and argues that it is no longer necessary or a valid basis for the regulation because of other changes in the regulations of wastewater treatment sludges in particular. However, there is no documentation in the petition supporting these assertions. High alkalinity materials continue to be used as an important option in the treatment of metal-bearing wastes to reduce metal mobility (see LDR Treatment Technology BDAT Background Document pages 101-109, January 1991; Chen et al., 2009; Malvia and Chaudhary, 2006).

    11 The pH of wastes is determined using EPA Method 9040.

    b. Other Corrosivity Standards

    Among the arguments made by the petition is the assertion that a pH value of 11.5 is widely used in other U.S. regulatory programs and guidances, as well as in global guidance.12 This assertion, however, is largely inaccurate and fails to support a regulatory change for several reasons. As discussed in more detail below, the classification of materials as corrosive and use of pH 11.5 in this process is far more complicated than portrayed by the petition. Moreover, even where pH 11.5 is incorporated as a presumptive benchmark in other regulatory programs or guidance (for example, pH 11.5 is identified by the 1972 ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Safety and Health (“1972 ILO Encyclopedia”)), that fact alone is insufficient to demonstrate that the same benchmark is appropriate for regulation of hazardous waste under RCRA. While it is useful to consider information on how corrosivity is measured and regulated by other organizations, EPA is not bound under RCRA to rely on voluntary standards or the decisions of other regulatory agencies, or even regulations or guidance developed by EPA under other statutory authorities.

    12 Use of a pH value of 11.5 was apparently suggested by Hughes (1946) and Grant (1962) based on empirical observations of the effects of sodium hydroxide solutions on the eyes of test animals. It is not clear whether the 11.5 value was systematically assessed to determine its applicability to other alkaline solutions or to dermal exposures.

    The corrosive potential of materials is addressed by a number of national and international organizations. Among the organizations that address corrosivity, the following rely on information from human exposure, animal tests, or other tests (as discussed previously) as the primary determinative factor in classifying a material as corrosive, rather than relying on pH: The UNTDG, the GHS, the DOT, the OSHA, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the CPSC and U.S. EPA regulations of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).13 14

    13 These organizations rely primarily on human experience (reported case studies) and the results of animal testing, including test results that may be reported in scientific publications or from other sources. Recently developed in-vitro tests are beginning to replace animal testing.

    14 The FDA does not directly regulate cosmetics and related products based on their corrosive potential. FDA does require that the safety of cosmetic products be adequately substantiated before they are sold, unless they bear a warning label noting that the safety of the product has not been determined (see 21 CFR 740.10) While the original protocol for testing on animals resulted from its needs, and was developed by FDA scientists (Draize et al., 1944, 1959), the FDA does not specify required testing for cosmetics.

    The UNTDG guidelines include criteria for classifying materials as corrosive, and reference the OECD test methods for applying the UNTDG corrosivity criteria. Classification as corrosive under the UNTDG guidelines is based on full thickness destruction of intact skin. (UNTDG Model regulations Chapter 2.8, Rev. 18, 2013, and UNTDG test methods Section 37, Rev. 5 2009).

    In 2003, the UN published its GHS guidance, which addresses corrosivity, among other chemical hazards. The 2013 version of GHS (Rev. 5, 2013) addresses chemical corrosivity to skin and eyes in separate sections of the guidance. For classification as corrosive to skin (GHS Chapter 3.2), a material must result in skin tissue destruction. The GHS tiered evaluation approach (Figure 3.2.1) relies primarily on available human data (case studies) for making a corrosivity determination, then animal data, and references the use of material pH in the third tier of the evaluation.

    The UN expert groups responsible for developing the UNTDG and GHS guidances have been working for a number of years (since at least 2010) to harmonize the corrosivity definitions of the two guidance documents. As of April 2015, there was no consensus on how to define corrosivity, and work of the two groups is ongoing (see: UN working document ST/SG/AC.10/C.3/2015/21 and ST/SG/AC.10/C.4?2015/2, April 2015, retrieved from: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2015/dgac10c3/ST-SG-AC.10-C.3-2015-21e-ST-SG-AC.10-C.4-2015-2e.pdf).

    Current ILO guidance in the ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Safety and Health urges reliance on international agreements, and the UNTDG guidance in particular for chemicals and the Basel Convention for waste (see ILO Encyclopedia, freely available at http://www.ilo.org/safework/info/publications/WCMS_113329/lang-en/index.htm). As discussed previously, the UNTDG guidance does not refer to either pH in general or to a particular pH range.

    Finally, the Basel Convention also has a physical and chemical hazard classification system for waste that addresses corrosivity and which is described in several Annexes to the Convention. The Basel Convention does not rely on the 11.5 pH value in defining corrosive waste as a general matter in Annex III, but does rely on it as a rebuttable presumptive value for corrosive solutions in the Annex IX (non-hazardous) waste listings. Under the Basel Convention, listed hazardous waste can be delisted by showing that it exhibits no Annex III characteristics.

    Unlike many of the other regulatory frameworks that the petitioners cite, the Basel Convention classification system, like RCRA, applies specifically to hazardous waste management. However, the Basel Convention and its hazardous waste classification system take into account the limited capabilities of the developing countries to manage hazardous waste and other waste (see Preamble to the Basel Convention). The Basel Convention takes a precautionary approach, broadly characterizing materials as hazardous out of an abundance of caution. The U.S., on the other hand, has substantial capacity for proper management of both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, and therefore current RCRA regulations do not incorporate the level of precaution that the Basel Convention does in classifying waste as hazardous under RCRA.15

    15 A significant purpose of the Basel Convention is to control the export of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries, because many developing countries do not have the capacity to safely manage either hazardous or non-hazardous waste. Most Basel hazardous waste listings do not include concentration values for hazardous constituents below which the waste would be considered non-hazardous, because many developing nations do not have adequate capacity to safely manage even non-hazardous waste. Basel listings are written so wastes posing any degree of hazard may be subject to the Basel notice and consent provisions, thereby enabling developing countries to refuse waste shipments they are unable to safely manage.

    Additionally, the EPA considers degrees of risk in classifying waste as hazardous, taking into account the comprehensive nature of the U.S. waste management system. The United States has extensive regulatory and physical capacity for environmentally sound waste management, including capacity for management of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Many forms of mismanagement that may occur in developing nations are already illegal in the U.S., and so any such mismanagement would not be considered a basis for revising or developing new hazardous waste regulations (that is, types of waste mismanagement that are already illegal under RCRA would be addressed as enforcement/compliance issues, rather than as the basis for new regulations). Further, the structure of the Basel hazardous waste classification system is different from that of RCRA. While the presumption of corrosiveness at pH 11.5 under Basel is rebuttable using the Annex III criteria, the RCRA corrosivity definition is a hard value, and there is no opportunity in the RCRA regulations to show that a waste is non-corrosive despite its exceedance of the regulatory criteria. Seen in this light, the degree of precaution incorporated in Basel's use of pH 11.5 may not be warranted in U.S. waste regulations.

    In the U.S., the DOT hazardous materials regulatory definition of “corrosive material” is a narrative that does not reference the pH of materials. Rather, corrosive material is defined as “. . . a liquid or solid that causes full thickness destruction of human skin at the site of contact within a specified period of time” (see 49 CFR 173.136(a)). DOT referenced the 1992 OECD testing guideline #404, among other international guidances, when it updated its regulations to harmonize with the UNTGD Guidance (59 FR 67390, 67400 and 67508, December 29, 1994). The OECD Testing Guideline #404 is based on results of live animal testing or other direct experience with the chemical, although testing on live animals is being phased out where possible.

    OSHA identifies the hazards of chemicals to which workers may be exposed, including corrosivity hazards. OSHA recently harmonized its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with the GHS classification criteria, including a modified version of the GHS criteria for corrosivity (GHS Revision 3, 2009; see: 77 FR 17574, 17710, and 17796 March 26, 2012). The CPSC implements the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), and includes corrosives as hazardous substances in its implementing regulations. Under FHSA regulations, “Corrosive means any substance which in contact with living tissue will cause destruction of tissue by chemical action . . .” 16 CFR 1500.3(b)(7). This definition is further elaborated at 16 CFR 1500.3(c)(3), where a corrosive substance is one that, “. . . causes visible destruction or irreversible alterations in the tissue at the site of contact.”

    The petitioners also argue that EPA pesticides regulations rely on a pH value of 11.5 to define corrosivity. However, that characterization misunderstands the regulatory framework for product pesticides. EPA regulation of pesticides under the FIFRA require evaluation of the potential for chemicals to cause primary eye or dermal irritation as part of the required toxicology evaluation (see 40 CFR 158.500). Test guidelines (EPA 1998a, b) describe live animal testing as the basis for dermal or ocular irritation, although pre-test considerations note that substances known (based on existing data) to be corrosive or severely irritating, or that have been assessed in validated in vitro tests, or have a pH of 11.5 or greater (with buffering capacity accounted for) may be considered irritants and need not be tested in live animals, if the applicant so chooses. As noted in the preamble to the relevant rule, the Agency considered the importance of minimizing animal testing, and stated that it would consider data from validated in vitro tests as a way to reduce animal testing requirements (see 72 FR 60934, October 26, 2007). Because pH 11.5 may be used as an optional presumption for toxicity categorization, the regulatory framework contemplates that chemicals having pH 11.5 may not be corrosive, and it allows the applicant to submit live animal testing data demonstrating that a particular pesticide is not a dermal or ocular irritant.

    While the pH of a material can play some role in corrosivity determinations in these other regulatory frameworks, pH 11.5 is not the primary means of identifying corrosive materials except in the Basel Convention. In FIFRA, it may be used as part of the basis for precautionary labeling of pesticides, if the registrant elects to rely on it. It is a third-tier criteria in the GHS system, but is not referenced by the regulations of DOT or by the UNTDG guidance. Further, the experts of GHS and UNTDG are continuing work to harmonize model regulations for corrosive materials, illustrating the fact that corrosivity assessment methods and criteria are not well settled matters.

    In fact, historically, in vivo animal test data has been the primary basis for classification, and because of increasing animal welfare concerns with live animal testing, development of new methods for evaluating the corrosivity of materials has been an active research area, involving the development of new in vitro tests and structure-activity relationship models. Alternative test development has been driven largely by the desire to reduce the use of live animals, in particular, for making corrosivity determinations for chemicals. These alternatives to animal testing have been validated in some cases (Barratt et al., 1998; Kolle et al., 2012), and incorporated into the corrosivity evaluations of the OECD testing framework (see OECD tests 430, 431, 435, 437, and 438, in particular). A number of studies attempting to correlate chemical structure with corrosive potential, or QSAR evaluations have also been published in recent years. These have focused primarily on the corrosivity potential of organic chemicals, and attempt to address both corrosivity and irritation potential. (Hulezebos et al., 2005)

    In addition, the pH 11.5 value in these other frameworks is used only as an optional approach or a rebuttable presumption of corrosiveness. That is, chemical manufacturers or waste generators have in all cases the opportunity to conduct additional testing if they believe their product or waste is not corrosive despite exhibiting pH 11.5 or higher.16 However, as used in the RCRA corrosivity regulation, the pH of an aqueous waste determines whether that waste is a corrosive hazardous waste as a legal matter, and there is no opportunity to rebut this classification for an aqueous waste that exhibits pH 12.5 or higher. Thus, lowering the pH in RCRA has far-reaching implications that are not present in other regulatory systems.

    16 A number of researchers have identified solutions exhibiting pH values higher than pH 11.5 that are nonetheless not classified as corrosive. Murphy, et al., (1982) found that none of the test rabbits exposed to 0.1% and 0.3% NaOH solution (pH 12.3 and pH 12.8 respectively) developed corneal opacity (i.e., 0/6) even when the eyes were not washed after exposure. Young et al. (1988) identified a 1% KOH solution, with pH 13.3 as an irritant but not corrosive. The following solutions were also classified either as irritants or as not dangerous: 1% NaOH, with pH 13.4; 10% NH3, with pH 12.2; Na2CO3, with pH 11.6; and Na3PO4, with pH 12.3. Similarly, Oliver, et al., (1988) and Barratt et al. (1998) identified several materials exhibiting pH values higher than pH 11.5 that were nonetheless not classified as corrosive.

    Moreover, many of the standards discussed above are concerned with product chemicals and formulations, not waste. As products are manufactured to a certain specification, they can be evaluated for safety once, and typically that evaluation can be relied on going forward (unless the formulation changes or there is some indication the initial evaluation was flawed). However, waste is not manufactured to a specification, but rather may vary from batch-to-batch, sometimes widely. Therefore, the more careful, thorough evaluation, as described in OECD Method 404, for example, is not practical for use on each separate batch of waste generated. The simpler approach of relying on pH value was therefore used by the EPA in developing the corrosivity regulation, as pH is a useful indicator of hazard potential, and testing for pH is reasonable to perform for many wastes.

    Finally, the petitioners argue that the RCRA corrosivity characteristic regulation should be changed because other regulatory frameworks rely on it (see petition at 12 (discussing DOT and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) regulations' cross references to RCRA)). However, to the extent that petitioners are concerned about shortcomings in DOT or CERCLA regulations, the appropriate avenue for changes in those frameworks is to seek changes directly to those frameworks. The RCRA regulatory framework is focused on management of hazardous waste, and should not be amended solely on the basis of perceived shortcomings in other regulatory frameworks.

    In sum, while other regulatory frameworks may use pH 11.5 as part of their corrosivity determinations, the use of pH 11.5 in these frameworks is fundamentally different from the use of pH in the RCRA corrosivity characteristic regulation, and such use, therefore, should not set a precedent for RCRA regulation.

    2. Request To Include Nonaqueous Corrosive Materials Within the Scope of RCRA's Corrosivity Characteristic a. Exposure to World Trade Center 9/11 Dust

    In seeking to expand the scope of the corrosivity characteristic to include nonaqueous wastes in addition to revising the regulatory value to pH 11.5, the petition argues that injury to 9/11 first responders, other workers, and potentially members of the public, was caused by corrosive properties of airborne cement dust present in the air as a result of the buildings' collapse. Further, the petition argues that regulation of these airborne dusts as RCRA hazardous wastes would have prompted wide-spread respirator use and prevented first responder lung injury, and can prevent such injury to demolition workers and the general public present at future building demolitions.

    However, after a thorough review of the information currently before the Agency,17 the Agency has tentatively concluded that petitioners' arguments to include nonaqueous wastes within the scope of the corrosivity characteristic are not supported by the events of the World Trade Center (WTC) for at least three reasons: (1) It is not possible to establish a causal connection between the potential corrosive properties of the dust and the resultant injuries to those exposed; (2) the injuries documented at the WTC in connection with potentially harmful dust are not consistent with injuries caused by corrosive material; and (3) nothing submitted by petitioners demonstrates that injury to human health or the environment was related to improper treatment, storage, transport, or disposal of solid waste (i.e. the petition does not demonstrate how RCRA would or could address the potential exposures alleged to be hazardous). The Agency is seeking comment on these tentative conclusions.

    17 While the Agency has reviewed numerous studies, and we believe we have considered key studies, the body of literature published on the events of 9/11/01 is voluminous. As part of soliciting public comments the Agency is interested in any additional key studies that should be considered as relevant to the issues considered in this document.

    While there is a substantial body of research and broad consensus that exposure to the 9/11 atmosphere for the first hours after the collapse of the towers, and for some time thereafter, caused adverse health effects in first responders and others, this atmosphere was a complex combination of dust, fibers, smoke, and gases. As reported by the New York Fire Department Bureau of Health Services (FDNY 2007; p. 24), “[w]hen the towers collapsed, an enormous dust cloud with a high concentration of particulate matter consumed lower Manhattan.” Analysis of the settled dust from samples collected in the days following September 11 shows that it consisted of a number of materials, including concrete dust, toxic metals, silica, asbestos, wood fiber, fiberglass, and smoke particulates from the fires (EPA 2002, Chen and Thurston, 2002; Landrigan et al., 2004; Lorber et al., 2007; Lioy et al., 2002; Lioy et al., 2006).

    Further, while initial exposures are known to be very high for those near the towers when they collapsed, the distribution of exposures is not well documented nor quantitated (Lioy et al., 2006; Lorber et al., 2007). Because of the complex nature of the ambient atmosphere on 9/11, and lack of exposure data (although exposures were clearly very significant for many people), it is not possible to establish a causal connection between the potential corrosive properties of the dust and the resultant injuries to those exposed, to the exclusion of other co-occurring exposures. These co-occurring exposures include glass fiber, silica, cellulose, metals, wood fiber and fiberglass, a number of minerals (calcite, gypsum, quartz) and a wide range of organic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxin (see docket for OSHA Sampling Results Summary; Lippy, 2001 (NIEHS); EPA, 2002; Lioy, 2002; Chen & Thurston, 2002).

    Other factors also argue against the use of the 9/11 disaster as an event that would support changing the RCRA corrosivity regulation. Most, but not all, outdoor dust samples tested for pH were below pH 11, and so would not be classified as corrosive hazardous waste under the regulatory changes proposed by the petition. These include data in studies by EPA, 2002; USGS, 2001; ATSDR, 2002; McGee et al., 2003; and Lorber et al., 2007. Some indoor dust samples had pH values as high as pH 11.8 (USGS, 2001). While the petition discounts these data as not representing actual exposures to the 9/11 airborne dust, and expresses concern that the samples were evaluated using several different protocols,18 they are nonetheless the only pH data known to the Agency.

    18 Water must be added to a dust in order to test its pH, as in EPA Method 9045. Dust pH was evaluated by different investigators using methods they believed appropriate for the particular studies being conducted. Investigators used different liquid/solid ratios, and for one data set, pH was tested in the course of running a deionized water leaching test (initial pH of the water approximately pH 5.5).

    The pH values found for the WTC dust are generally consistent with pH testing of waste concrete fine aggregates being recycled, for which pH values are often less than pH 11.5 (Poon, 2006). This is supported by information from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for crushed concrete aggregate, which reported pH 7 for this material (LaFarge MSDS, revised 3/1/2011), although Gotoh et al. (2002) found pH values ranging from 11.6-12.6 for five samples of concrete dust generated by building demolition resulting from an earthquake.

    In addition, numerous studies of exposed workers and laboratory test animals fail to identify the gross damage to human tissue used as a benchmark in defining corrosive materials as an effect resulting from exposure to WTC dust. The 1980 RCRA background document supporting the corrosivity regulation notes that “[s]trong base or alkalis . . . exert chemical action by dissolving skin proteins, combining with cutaneous fats, and severely damaging keratin.” Typical injury endpoints used in guidance for defining a material as corrosive describe “. . .visible necrosis through the epidermis and into the dermis . . .”. “Corrosive reactions are typified by ulcers, bleeding, bloody scabs . . . .” (GHS 3.2.1).

    In reviewing the published literature describing injury to 9/11 exposed workers and residents, none describe gross respiratory tissue destruction or other injuries of the severity identified in definitions of corrosivity. Rather, adverse effects in various studies describe respiratory irritation and other adverse effects. Chen & Thurston (2002) identified “World Trade Center Cough”, and noted that exposure to the larger particles cause temporary nose, throat, and upper airway symptoms. In a review of exposure and health effects data, Lioy et al. (2006) identified the major health consequences of WTC exposure as “aerodigestive and mental health related illnesses.” The WTC aerodigestive syndrome is identified as consisting of “. . . WTC cough, irritant asthma or reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disorder.” In September of 2011, The Lancet published a series of articles reviewing and updating the research on adverse health effects suffered by those exposed to the WTC atmosphere. Perlman et al. (2011) identified upper and lower respiratory effects, including asthma, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and reactive airway dysfunction syndrome, as well as gastroesophageal reflux symptoms. Wesnivesky et al. (2011) identified updated occurrence rates of the adverse effects described by Perelman through a longitudinal cohort study, and it found a 42% incidence of spirometric abnormalities nine years after the exposures. Jordan et al. (2011) studied mortality among those registered in the World Trade Center Health Registry. No significantly increased mortality rates (SMR) for respiratory or heart disease were found, although increased mortality from all causes was found in more highly exposed individuals compared with the low exposure group. Finally, Zeig-Owens et al. (2011) studied cancer incidence in New York firefighters, including those exposed to the WTC dust, and found a modest increase in the cancer rates for the exposed group. However, the authors remained cautious in their conclusions, as no specific organs were preferentially affected, and the nine years since exposure does not represent the full latency period for development of many cancers. While the WTC-exposed populations in these studies experienced adverse health effects related to exposures, they are not effects of the nature and severity that the corrosivity regulation was intended to prevent.19

    19 This may raise the question of whether the Agency should consider regulating waste dusts that are respiratory irritants as hazardous waste under RCRA. However, that question is outside the scope of the petition. As discussed herein, the petition fails to show how RCRA regulation could address any of the alleged exposures, and therefore does not support such regulation. Evaluation of whether the Agency should regulate respiratory irritants as hazardous waste would require additional information and analysis, including evaluation of whether “respiratory irritants” meet the statutory and regulatory definition of hazardous waste; and, if so, which tests or criteria would be appropriate to identify such irritants.

    The petition identifies several particular studies that the petitioners believe demonstrate corrosive effects of the WTC dust, and it cites to several passages, apparently taken from these studies as supporting the petition (see page 30; the referenced publications are identified in footnotes (FN) to the petition).

    The first passage identifies papers by Weiden et al. (2010; FN 88) and Aldrich, et al. (2010; FN 89) as the source of information. The petition extracts a quotation from the Weiden (2010) paper's discussion section that noted, “The WTC collapse produced a massive exposure to respirable particulates, with the larger size dust fractions having a pH ranging from 9 to11, leading to an alkaline “burn” of mucosal surfaces.” However, this publication presented research on pulmonary capacity, and it states its primary conclusion in the paper's abstract as follows: “Airways obstruction was the predominant physiological finding underlying the reduction in lung function post September 11, 2001, in FDNY WTC rescue workers presenting for pulmonary evaluation.” The idea of an alkaline “burn” is at best inferred; it is not an effect directly observed or evaluated by the researchers, nor is it one of the findings of the study. The Aldrich et al. (2010; FN89) study similarly conducted spirometry (lung function) studies of exposed firefighters and others. This abstract of this study reported that, “Exposure to World Trade Center dust led to large declines in FEV1 (1-second forced expiratory volume) for FDNY rescue workers during the first year. Overall, these declines were persistent . . .”. The paper found there was no association between time of first responder/worker arrival at the WTC site and chronic effects. The paper discussion did note that the intensity of initial exposure was linked to acute lung inflammation, although there was no reference to “chemical burns” or other possible descriptors of chemical corrosive effects on workers' tissues.

    The petition also cites an October 2009 poster presentation/abstract (Kim et al., 2009; FN90) from an American College of Chest Physicians meeting providing the results of a study of asthma prevalence in WTC responders. The petition is generally accurate in reflecting the researchers' conclusion that asthma in WTC responders doubled over the study period 2002-2005, and in noting exposures to dust and toxic pollutants following the 9/11 attacks. There was no report in the paper of corrosive injuries to the workers.

    Footnote 91 references a New York Times newspaper article of April 7, 2010, reporting on the pending publication of the paper by Aldrich et al. (2010; FN89) in the New England Journal of Medicine. The petition quotes from the New York Times article, noting that, “The cloud contained pulverized glass and cement, insulation fibers, asbestos and numerous toxic chemicals. It caused acute inflammation of the airways and the lungs. Dr. Prezant said.” The article also noted, “This was not a regular fire,” Dr. Prezant said. “There were thousands of gallons of burning jet fuel and an immense, dense particulate matter cloud that enveloped these workers for days.” This article again illustrates the complex nature of the exposures to first responders and others at the WTC site, and does not include corrosive injury when noting the acute effects of this exposure.

    The petition next quotes from a NY Fire Department, Bureau of Health Services report (FDNY, 2007; FN 92) which reports on upper respiratory symptoms in firefighters (cough, nasal congestion, sore throat) from the day of the attacks as well as at intervals up to 2-4 years in the future. The report notes that “Particulate matter analysis has shown a highly alkaline pH of WTC dust (like lye), which is extremely irritating to the upper and lower airways.” Earlier discussion in the report (p.24) notes that firefighters were exposed to “. . . an enormous dust cloud with a high concentration of particulate matter consumed lower Manhattan.” The WTC dust not only had very high particulate concentrations, but was also a complex mixture of materials.

    Finally, the petition cites a portion of the discussion in a paper published by Reibman, et al., (2009; FN 94), which notes that, “[m]easurements of settled dust documented that these particles were highly alkaline (pH 11), and this property alone has been shown to be associated with respiratory effects. Occupational exposure to inhaled alkaline material induces chronic cough, phlegm, and dyspnea, as well as upper respiratory tract symptoms.” This paper presented the results of spirometry (lung function) testing, and concluded that the exposed population had, “. . . persistent respiratory symptoms with lung function abnormalities 5 or more years after the WTC destruction.” As in describing the results of other research on the WTC exposed populations, these studies identify a number of adverse effects attributable to WTC exposures from the day of the towers' collapse, as well as subsequent exposures occurring during site rescue and demolition and clean-up activities. While the adverse effects identified represent serious injuries to many workers, these injuries do not appear to include the type of gross tissue destruction of skin or the respiratory tract that is the underlying basis for defining materials as corrosive (i.e., destroying tissue by dissolving or coagulating skin proteins). Rather, these effects are associated with inflammatory and irritant properties of inhaled materials.

    Similarly, laboratory toxicity studies in which mice were exposed to collected 9/11 dust samples (PM2.5), adverse effects were limited to mild to moderate degrees of airway inflammation. The test animals did experience increased responsiveness to methylcholine aerosol challenge (EPA, 2002), suggesting an irritant response to the WTC particulate matter. While these studies again suggest an irritant response to the 9/11 dust samples, they do not demonstrate corrosive injury.

    If one were to apply the criteria for classifying dusts as corrosive, such as GHS (which does provide guidance for identifying nonaqueous corrosives) to the WTC data, WTC dust would not have been assessed as corrosive. GHS defines skin corrosion as “. . . visible necrosis, through the dermis and into the epidermis . . . Corrosive reactions are typified by ulcers, bleeding, bloody scabs . . .” (GHS 3.2.1.). None of these reactions to the WTC dust have been identified in the published literature cited by the petition, nor in studies identified in the Agency's review. The background information for the current RCRA corrosivity characteristic regulation references dissolution of skin proteins, combination of the corrosive substance with cutaneous fats, and severe damage to keratin as the adverse effects the regulation is intended to prevent. These kinds of injuries have not been reported in the published scientific literature presenting studies of WTC adverse effects.

    The petition also argues that classification of the 9/11 dust as RCRA hazardous may have impacted workers' respirator use at the 9/11 site. However, this argument does not appear to have support. OSHA's regulations govern worker safety (e.g., respirator use) when workers are handling hazardous substances in emergency response (see 29 CFR 1910.120(a)). While the petitioner is correct that CERCLA regulations incorporate RCRA hazardous wastes as part of the universe of “hazardous substances,” (see petition at 8 (citing 40 CFR 302.4(b)), the universe of substances that give rise to worker safety regulations is much broader than RCRA hazardous wastes (see 29 CFR 1910.120(a)). Petitioners provide no support for the contention that broadening the universe of waste classified as RCRA-hazardous for corrosivity would have had any impact on the level of worker safety regulation imposed at the WTC site.20

    20 Petitioners also argue that regulating nonaqueous wastes with a pH between 11.5 and 12.5 would have made the first responders “more motivated” to wear respirators. Petition at 23. However, there is no support for this argument, and EPA does not find this type of unsupported suggestion sufficient to warrant regulation of a new universe of waste as hazardous.

    Finally, nothing submitted by petitioners indicates that injury to human health or the environment at the WTC was related to improper treatment, storage, transport, or disposal of solid waste.21 Similarly, petitioners fail to explain how the exposures they are concerned about at the WTC site were related to waste management activities. The complexity and duration of exposures and the lack of documentation makes it infeasible to distinguish the ambient air exposures directly resulting from the initial collapse of the towers (and ongoing fires) from exposures potentially related to waste management. Without any support for the proposition that petitioners' concerns are RCRA concerns, there is similarly no indication that amending the RCRA regulations would address similar concerns during future emergency response events.

    21 See 42 U.S.C. 6903(5); the definition of hazardous waste includes, in part, solid wastes that may “pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.”

    In sum, it is not possible to establish a causal connection between the potential corrosive properties of the dust and the resultant injuries to those exposed. The injuries documented at the WTC in connection with potentially harmful dust are not consistent with injuries caused by corrosive material. And finally, nothing submitted by petitioners demonstrates that injury to human health or the environment was related to improper treatment, storage, transport, or disposal of solid waste (i.e. the petition does not demonstrate how RCRA would or could address the potential exposures alleged to be hazardous).

    b. Exposure to Concrete Dust

    Petitioners also argue that corrosive injury could result from the corrosive properties of inhaled concrete dust present in the air as a result of building demolition by implosion. While the petition illustrates the potential for exposure to concrete dust from several building demolitions, no documented evidence of corrosive (or other) injury from building demolition is provided. The petition, therefore, fails to support the argument that concrete dust should be regulated as corrosive hazardous waste.

    Concrete is among the most common construction materials used in the US. It is a mixture of Portland cement (10-15%) and aggregate (60-75%), with water added (15-20%) to allow hydration of the cement, which results in its solidification (Portland Cement Association, 2015). Concrete may include some entrained air, and in some cases, a portion of the Portland cement may be replaced with combustion fly ash, particularly coal fly ash. Cement is made when lime (CaO), silica (SiO2), alumina (Al2O3), iron oxide (Fe2O3), and sulfate (SO3) are burned together in a cement kiln at approximately 2600 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). The resulting material, called “clinker”, which contains more complex mineral forms of the ingredients, is ground to a fine powder, and gypsum is added (CaSO4-2 H2O). This powder is cement; when added to aggregate and hydrated, it becomes concrete.

    The other key component of concrete is the aggregate. Both fine and coarse aggregate are used, with their proportions varying depending on the particular use of the concrete. A variety of materials may be used as aggregate, with recently increasing emphasis on use of recycled materials as aggregate (e.g., glass, ceramic scrap, crushed concrete; Marie and Quaisrawi, 2012; Castro and Brito, 2013). However, traditional aggregate is sand and gravel from different types of rock. These include silica sand, quartz, granite, limestone and many others. There exists a whole field of study dedicated to understanding the properties and best uses of different kinds of aggregate materials in making concrete (PCA, 2003). Many of the materials used as concrete aggregate include silica minerals, and crystalline silica dust exposure is a significant occupational exposure concern, as it can cause respiratory injury known as silicosis (see 78 FR 56274, September 12, 2013). In silicosis, inhaled crystalline silica dust can cause fluid accumulation and scarring of the lungs, which can reduce respiratory capacity (American Lung Association, “Learn about Silicosis.” retrieved from http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/silicosis/learn-about-silicosis.html). Various MSDS for ready mix concrete (i.e., cement pre-mixed with aggregate; just add water) identify its crystalline silica content as, in one case, 20-85%, in another, as 0-90% (MSDS-Ready Mixed Concrete, April 14, 2011; MSDS-Lafarge Crushed Concrete, March 1, 2011).

    Many of the compounds and oxides present in concrete are already regulated by OSHA when they occur as airborne dust. These include calcium silicates, calcium hydroxide, calcium oxide, and silicates. OSHA sets worker exposure standards for these chemicals, known as “permissible exposure levels” (PELs; see 29 CFR 1910.1000, tables Z-1 and Z-3, in particular). The PEL for airborne calcium oxide dust is 5 mg/m3; those for calcium hydroxide and calcium silicate are 15 mg/m3 for total dust, and 5 mg/m3 for respirable dust; all measured as 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) values.

    There appear to be few studies published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that have examined the adverse health effects of exposure specifically to concrete dust. OSHA includes concrete dust among the materials that would be covered under their proposed regulation to revise the PEL for respirable crystalline silica (September 12, 2013; 78 FR 56274). OSHA's “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica—Review of Health Effects Literature and Preliminary Quantitative Risk Assessment” (OSHA, 2013), developed in support of its proposed regulation, identifies concrete production as among the industries whose workers are likely to be exposed to crystalline silica, and notes that several of the health effects studies OSHA relied on in its assessment consider exposure to brick or concrete dust as risk factors for cancers caused by silica. The one study that specifically considered the adverse health effects of concrete dust exposure to 144 concrete workers identified “. . . mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at respirable concrete dust levels below 1 mg/m3, with a respirable crystalline silica content of 10% (TWA 8 hr.).” (Meijer et al., 2001). Neither this report, nor the OSHA silica rule risk assessment document noted any corrosive effects in workers exposed to respirable concrete dust. Other OSHA literature on concrete does identify potential effects from exposure to cement dust or wet concrete, ranging from moderate irritation to chemical burns (OSHA Pocket Guide on Concrete Manufacturing; available online at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3221_Concrete.pdf). However, neither the petition nor information gathered through the Agency's independent review of the literature provides sufficient specificity for the Agency to analyze whether this “Pocket Guide” supports the regulatory changes requested. For example, it is not clear whether any of the potential exposures cited in the document involved actual waste management scenarios. Given the wide range of potential effects cited, it is also not clear how the pH of the material would relate to that range of potential effects. Finally, as discussed above, many of the compounds and oxides present in concrete are already regulated by OSHA, and, where OSHA evaluated the risks of respirable concrete dust as part of its silica rule, its studies did not cite potential corrosive effects of concrete dust as part of the worker health concern the regulation was focused on controlling.

    OSHA also distinguishes inert, or nuisance dust from fibrogenic dust, such as crystalline silica or asbestos. Nuisance dust is dust containing less than 1% quartz, a form of crystalline silica; the PEL values for nuisance dust are also 15 mg/m3 total dust and 5 mg/m3 for the respirable fraction, the same PEL values as for calcium hydroxide and calcium silicate dusts. (OSHA, “Chapter 1: Dust and its Control,” retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/silicacrystalline/dust/chapter_1.html).22

    22 Some of the exposures that petitioners are concerned about may also be addressed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for particulate matter (40 CFR pt. 50) and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAPs”) for asbestos (40 CFR pt. 61, subpt. M).

    In sum, while the petition alleges harmful exposure to concrete dust from several building demolitions, no documented evidence of corrosive (or other) injury from building demolition is provided in the petition. Similarly, the literature on this topic is limited, and what limited literature does exist does not demonstrate that the petitioners' requested regulatory changes are warranted.

    c. Exposure to Cement Kiln Dust

    The petition also argues that corrosive injury could result from the corrosive properties of Cement Kiln Dust (CKD). However, the petition again fails to provide any evidence demonstrating that CKD would be appropriately characterized as corrosive under RCRA.

    CKD is an air pollution control residue collected during Portland cement manufacture. CKD was exempted from regulation as hazardous waste under RCRA pending completion of a report to Congress providing an evaluation of CKD properties, potential hazards, current management, and other information, by the Bevill Amendment to RCRA (see 42 U.S.C. 6921(b)(3)(A)(i) through (iii)). Following completion of the Report, the EPA was required to determine whether regulation of CKD as hazardous waste is warranted. EPA published its Report to congress on CKD in 1993 (see docket for Report to Congress on CKD, 1993), and published a RCRA regulatory determination in 1995 (60 FR 7366, February 7, 1995). Most CKD is managed on-site in non-engineered landfills, piles, and ponds, which lack liners, leachate collection and run-on/runoff controls. Wind-blown CKD was cited as a concern in a number of the damage cases resulting from CKD management, but the Agency did not identify any cases of corrosive injury either to workers or the general public. The risk assessment portion of the Report examined possible direct exposures to CKD via the air pathway and found:

    “Quantitative modeling of air pathway risks to people living near case-study facilities indicated that wind erosion and mechanical disturbances of on-site CKD piles do not result in significant risks at nearby residences via direct inhalation (e.g., central tendency and high end risks estimates were all less than 1 × 10−11 increased individual cancer risk at all five facilities modeled). However, fugitive dust from on-site CKD piles was estimated to be one of two contributors in some cases to higher risk estimates for indirect exposure pathways (which were primarily a result of direct surface run-off from the CKD pile reaching an agricultural field).” See docket for Report to Congress on CKD, page 6-51.

    Subsequent screening level modelling found that windblown fugitive CKD could cause violations of the Clean Air Act fine particulate matter ambient air quality standard (PM 10) at plant boundaries and potentially at nearby residences. The Agency's regulatory determination for CKD concluded that existing fugitive dust controls were ineffective in preventing fugitive releases to the air, and determined that additional controls were warranted due to risks from fugitive air emissions and runoff to surface waters in particular, and also due to the potential for metals to leach into groundwater. However, no corrosive injuries were identified.

    EPA published a proposed rule in 1999 (64 FR 45632, August 20, 1999) to address these concerns. The proposal focused in particular on improving runoff controls from CKD piles, and controlling fugitive dust releases, as well as performance-based controls on release to groundwater. Action on this proposed rule has not been finalized.23

    23 While action on RCRA regulation has not yet been finalized, EPA has established standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants from the Portland cement manufacturing industry under section 112 of the Clean Air Act. See, e.g., 40 CFR pt. 63, subpt. LLL.

    A number of new studies and data reviews have been published since the 1999 proposal. These include a 2006 review of the effects of Portland cement dust exposure by the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (2005) and studies published in the scientific literature by van Berlo et al., (2009); Isikli et al., (2006); Ogunbileje et al., (2013); Ogunbileje et al., (2014); Orman et al., (2005); and Fatima et al., (2001). While several of these studies note that cement dust may be an irritant, or cause contact dermatitis, none identified corrosive injury resulting from exposures to CKD or Portland cement dust.

    In sum, while the petition alleges harmful exposure from CKD, the current record before the Agency fails to support that CKD should be regulated as corrosive under RCRA.

    B. Wastes That May Be Newly Regulated Under the Requested Revisions

    In the process of reviewing and evaluating the petition, the Agency has focused primarily on understanding and responding to the issues raised by the petition. While the petition focuses on exposure and health effects issues, it does not address the issue of the impacts of the petition's proposed regulatory changes. At this point in its review, the Agency has not developed a systematic assessment of the types and volumes of waste that might be newly regulated as hazardous if the Agency were to make the requested changes to the corrosivity characteristic regulations. However, interested industry stakeholders have reviewed the petition and sent the Agency their estimates of the types and volumes of wastes generated by their industries that might become RCRA hazardous under the petitioners' proposed regulatory revisions. The industry stakeholders believe these wastes are currently managed or reused safely, and that regulating them as hazardous waste would not produce a corresponding benefit to worker, public or environmental safety. The Agency has not evaluated their estimates. While the industry estimates are informal, they may nonetheless provide at least a qualitative, and, to some degree, a quantitative estimate of waste that could become newly regulated were the Agency to make the requested regulatory changes. See Letters of September 30, 2015 and November 30 2015, from Wittenborn and Green. Also see letter of September 4, 2015 from Waste Management, and August 28, 2015 letter from the National Waste and Recycling Association, in the rulemaking docket for this document.

    C. Determining What Waste Is “Aqueous”

    As a part of the argument regarding regulation of solid corrosives, the petition asserts that the current corrosivity regulation is ambiguous, particularly with regard to the definition of the term “aqueous” as used in 40 CFR 261.22(a)(1) and that this causes confusion in implementing the regulation (see page 36 of the petition). The petition also asserts that inclusion of nonaqueous wastes within the scope of the characteristic is consistent with the approach taken by other federal agencies, and would clarify this issue. Method 9040 (in “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” also known as SW-846), which is incorporated into the corrosivity characteristic regulation to test for pH, is used to evaluate “aqueous wastes and those multiphase wastes where the aqueous phase constitutes at least 20% of the total volume of the waste”. A number of EPA policy letters on determining what wastes are aqueous, referred to in the paragraph below, do identify more than one approach to distinguishing aqueous from nonaqueous wastes. However, while petitioners are correct in noting that the inclusion of nonaqueous wastes within the scope of the corrosivity characteristic would address this issue, the Agency currently lacks data demonstrating that regulation of nonaqueous wastes as corrosive is warranted under RCRA. Therefore any clarification of the term “aqueous” should be appropriately tailored and narrower than the change the petition recommends.

    The Agency did address this issue when developing the corrosivity characteristic definition in 1980. The background document discusses how to address the potential for analytical interference in testing wastes that may be suspensions or gel type material. At least one commenter urged the Agency to define the term “aqueous”; however, the Agency considered it as a testing issue, and part of the waste generator's obligation to determine whether their waste is RCRA hazardous (see 40 CFR 262.11). In 1985, the Agency published the “paint filter liquids test” (PFT) for identifying wastes containing free liquids (Method 9095; 50 FR 18372, April 30, 1985), and recommended its use for distinguishing aqueous from nonaqueous wastes. However, a year later, EPA expressed concern about the reliability and precision of the PFT for separating liquids from solids when it proposed the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) test, and instead proposed the use of pressure filtration for separating solids from liquids in that test (June 13, 1986; 51 FR 21681). In letters in 1989 (see docket for letter to Mr. Wagner) and 1990 (see docket for letter to Mr. Wyatt) the Agency urged the use of the EP Tox test pressure filtration procedure (Step 7.15; Method 1310) for determining whether wastes contained liquids, but also noted that the paint filter test could be used to show that a waste was liquid or aqueous (i.e., a positive determination), but not to show a waste was not liquid or aqueous (i.e., a negative determination). Letters in 1992 (see docket for letters titled “ `Aqueous' as Applied to the Corrosivity Characteristic” and “Alcohol-Content Exclusion for the Ignitability Characteristic”) and 1993 (see docket for letter to Mr. Parsons) noted that aqueous wastes need not be liquid, and identified suspensions, sols or gels for which pH could be measured as subject to the corrosivity characteristic. In a 1993 rule proposal updating SW-846, the Agency stated that method 9095 could be used only to demonstrate that a waste is aqueous, and that pressure filtration is necessary to show that a waste is not aqueous (58 FR 46054, August 31, 1993), and proposed to revise the SW-846 guidance for implementing the hazardous characteristics to reflect this. However, in finalizing these proposed revisions to SW-846, the Agency considered industry concerns that the proposed revision to the characteristics implementation guidance was insufficiently clear and determined not to revise the guidance. The Agency also reiterated its assessment of PFT use: that wastes producing no liquid using Method 9095 should be subsequently subjected to the more definitive method for separating liquids from solids, pressure filtration, as described in Step 7.2.7 of Method 1311 (the TCLP test; 60 FR 3089 and 3092, January 13, 1995).

    As this issue is tangential to the petitioners' requests for regulatory change, the Agency is proposing no changes to its guidance at this time. The Agency may further consider this issue in the course of revising and updating the SW-846 analytical methods in the future.

    D. Other Potentially Relevant Incidents

    The purpose of this analysis is to identify whether currently unregulated wastes are causing harm that could be effectively addressed by RCRA regulation (“damage cases.”) The petition presents several incidents the petitioners consider to be waste-management damage cases. As explained above, the evidence presented in the petition does not appear to justify a regulatory change. In addition to the incidents presented by the petition, the Agency sought to identify incidents of corrosive injuries (i.e., chemical burns) to workers or others that may be attributable to exposure to corrosive materials. In support of revisions to RCRA's regulatory definition of solid waste, the Agency searched for damage cases involving mishandling of wastes at recycling facilities. Several of the 208 cases identified mishandling of “corrosive or caustic wastes” (primarily at drum reconditioning operations); no corrosive injuries to individuals were reported, and the pH of the materials was not identified, so it is not possible to know whether these wastes were in fact RCRA hazardous (EPA 2007; An Assessment of Environmental Problems Associated with Recycling of Hazardous Secondary Materials). A 2015 update of this study similarly identified incidents at several drum reconditioning operations in which caustic solutions were mishandled, but no corrosive injuries to workers were reported (EPA 2015, updating “An Assessment of Environmental Problems Associated with Recycling of Hazardous Secondary Materials”).

    The Agency also reviewed a worker accident database compiled by OSHA (available by using key word “chemical burn” at http://osha.gov/pis/imis/accidentsearch.html). While a number of chemical burns were identified in the database, only a few contained enough detail to know the pH of the material, and all but one of the cases also involved heated materials (most at 136-295 °F, and one above 800 degrees °F), making it difficult to attribute the resultant injuries solely to the corrosive properties of the materials. In the case that did not involve heated material, an employee got chemical burns when exposed to effluent with pH estimated to be 9.9 from a clarifier tank leak, although the material was not identified. In light of the pH value, petitioners' proposed regulatory change would still not have captured this material as characteristic waste.

    The Agency also has information describing a 1999 incident in which an employee of a pulp and paper plant apparently slipped and fell into black liquor sludge at the edge of a concrete pad on which it was being stored (see docket materials related to Mr. Matheny). The employee was knocked unconscious, and, as he was working an overnight shift, lay in the material for several hours before being found by co-workers. He suffered chemical burns on more than 50% of his body, and died from his injuries. While this material apparently contained enough absorbed water to cause injury (although the water content was not tested), subsequent information indicated that it passed the paint filter test, and so was not considered to be an aqueous waste under the RCRA corrosivity regulation, and was therefore determined to be outside the scope of the regulation. This may be an instance in which a high sodium concentration in the waste interfered with testing its pH, as it showed a pH reading of 12.45 when tested directly, but with 10% water added to the sample to reduce the sodium interference, its pH was 12.95. Rather than providing support for expanding the definition of corrosivity to include nonaqueous materials however, the Agency believes this damage case may illustrate the value of clarifying the Agency's approach to determining what wastes are aqueous. As mentioned above in section IV.2.C, the Agency may further consider the issue of testing which wastes are aqueous in the course of revising and updating the SW-846 analytical methods in the future.

    V. EPA's Conclusions and Rationale for Tentative Denial of the Petition

    In urging the Agency to expand the scope of the RCRA corrosivity characteristic, the petition advances a number of arguments. However, the petition fails in several ways to demonstrate that a regulatory change is warranted. While the petition demonstrates that there has been human exposure to materials identified by the petition as being of concern, such as concrete dust and CKD, it fails to identify injuries of the type and severity addressed by the RCRA corrosivity characteristic that have resulted from these exposures. The injuries that did occur to those exposed to the WTC dust have been attributed to the dust as a whole, but cannot reliably be attributed to any one property of the dust. While WTC first responders and demolition workers clearly have suffered adverse health effects resulting from WTC dust exposure, none of the published research on this population reviewed by the Agency has identified gross tissue damage of the kind incorporated into the RCRA and other regulatory and guidance definitions of corrosivity (e.g., dissolving of skin proteins, combining with cutaneous fats, or chemical burns). WTC dust and concrete and cement dust may be respiratory irritants, but do not appear to be corrosives. Further, many of the dusts identified as of concern often exhibit pH values below the pH 11.5 value advocated in the petition. And finally, the petition fails to demonstrate that the hazards posed by the WTC site dust could have been reduced or controlled through RCRA regulation.

    The petition also argues that pH 11.5 is a widely used presumptive standard for identifying material as corrosive, but fails to identify that corrosive injury in animal tests remains the fundamental basis for corrosivity classification, and that pH 11.5 is used as an optional screening value that may be rebutted by in vivo or various in vitro test data. The use of pH 11.5 in these regulations and guidances is fundamentally different from how the pH 12.5 value is used in the RCRA corrosivity characteristic regulation, and such use does not set a precedent for defining corrosivity under RCRA. Significant precaution can be incorporated into these flexible evaluation approaches without resulting in unwarranted regulation, because the presumption of corrosivity can be rebutted. RCRA regulations do not include such flexibility and are not rebuttable; a waste meeting the hazardous waste characteristics regulatory criteria (and not otherwise excluded from regulation) is RCRA hazardous, which would trigger the entire RCRA cradle-to-grave waste management system. As noted in the discussion previously, the RCRA corrosivity characteristic reflects the particular concerns of waste management in the United States.

    One of the Agency's tentative conclusions in evaluating the petition and related materials is that while the dusts identified by the petition as being of concern are not corrosive materials, they appear to be irritant materials. This raises the question of whether the Agency should consider a new hazardous waste characteristic that would identify and regulate irritant wastes. However, this particular question falls outside the scope of the current petition. Moreover, there remain significant questions about whether RCRA waste management procedures would address any of the exposures identified in the petition.

    Finally, the hazardous characteristics regulations are not the only RCRA authority the Agency has for addressing risks related to waste management. If wastes generated by a particular industry, or a particular waste generated by a number of industries, were identified as posing corrosive risks to human health or the environment that could be effectively addressed by RCRA regulation, the Agency could initiate a hazardous waste listing rulemaking to regulate that waste. Given the lack of evidence to demonstrate that a wholesale change of the pH threshold in the corrosivity regulation is warranted, the listing approach would effectively address a specifically identified waste without running the risk of over-including wastes that have a pH greater than 11.5 without demonstrating corrosive properties.24

    24 In particular instances, RCRA 7003 authority can also be used to address situations posing threats of imminent and substantial endangerment from waste mismanagement.

    VI. Request for Public Comment on EPA's Tentative Denial of the Petition

    As part of this document, the Agency is soliciting public comment and data and other information on the issues raised by the petition. These include information on possible health impacts of the current corrosivity regulation (if any), as well as health benefits (if any) that may be anticipated were the Agency to grant the petition's proposed regulatory changes. Further, the Agency is requesting public comment on any other issues raised by this tentative decision to deny the petition, as well as additional information on the types and amounts of waste that may be newly regulated, and the potential cost of such management, were the agency to grant the proposed regulatory changes. Stakeholders intending to provide comments or information to the Agency in this matter are encouraged to review the petition and its supporting documents in their entirety to ensure that they identify any issues not discussed here that they may find of interest.

    VII. References

    The full bibliography for references and citations in this action can be found in the docket as a supporting document.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 261

    Environmental protection, Characteristic of corrosivity, and Characteristics of hazardous waste.

    Dated: March 30, 2016. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Land and Emergency Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08278 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    81 69 Monday, April 11, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request April 5, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Employment and Training Program Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting Measures.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: In an interim final rule, FNS is amending the SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273 to implement the employment and training (E&T) provisions of section 4022 (a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79). Section 4022 (a)(2) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 requires the Department to develop national reporting measures and for State agencies to report outcome data to the Department. 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).

    Need and Use of the Information: While a number of State agencies have collected various pieces of information about the outcome of their E&T efforts, this rule will require the reporting of uniform outcome data. With this information FNS will be able to identify more, and less, successful E&T practices and work with State agencies to improve their E&T programs. This process is critical to building a more effective E&T operation nationally that will help move more individuals into the workforce more quickly. Beyond the many benefits that earnings provide to SNAP's low income population, they also reduce the cost of SNAP.

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    [FR Doc. 2016-08175 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Wenatchee-Okanogan Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Wenatchee-Okanogan Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Wenatchee, Washington. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (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. The purpose of the meeting is to review projects proposed for RAC consideration under Title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/okawen/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 10, 2016.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meetings prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Sunnyslope Fire Station, 206 Easy Street, Wenatchee, Washington.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF Headquarters Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    RAC Coordinator Robin DeMario by phone at 509-664-9292 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meetings is to:

    1. Provide status updates regarding Secure Rural Schools Program and Title II funding; and

    2. Review and recommend projects for Title II funding for Okanogan County.

    These meetings are 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 11, 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 Robin DeMario, RAC Coordinator, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, Washington 98801; by email to [email protected] or via facsimile to 509-664-9286.

    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: April 4, 2016. Jason Kuiken, Deputy Forest Supervisor, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08209 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of New Fee Site; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, (Title VIII, Pub. L. 108-447) AGENCY:

    Lincoln National Forest, Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of new fee site.

    SUMMARY:

    The Lincoln National Forest is proposing to charge a $65 fee each for the overnight rentals of two cabins: The Wofford Lookout Tower Complex and the Dark Canyon Lookout and Cabin. The Wofford Complex consists of an 80-foot lookout tower, cabin, additional sleeping cabin and an outhouse, while Dark Canyon consists of a 48-foot steel tower and an observer's cabin. Neither facility has been available for overnight use prior to this date. Rentals of other cabins in the Southwestern Region have shown that people appreciate and enjoy the availability of historic cabins and lookouts. Wofford Cabin is listed in the Federal Register of Historic Places. Funds from both the rentals will be used for the continued operation and maintenance of each of the facilities. These fees are only proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment.

    DATES:

    Send any comments about these fee proposals by August 2016 so comments can be compiled, analyzed and shared with a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Should the fee proposal move forward, both rentals will likely be available October 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Forest Supervisor, Lincoln National Forest, 3463 Las Palomas Rd., Alamogordo, NM 88310.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Cuevas, Recreation Fee Coordinator, (505)842-3235

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established.

    This new fee will be reviewed by a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee prior to a final decision and implementation.

    Currently no Federal or State agencies in the state of New Mexico offer over-night rentals of any type. Arizona, the neighboring state in Region 3, provides several historic properties for public rental and that program has become very successful. With its very tall height and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) cabin, the Wofford Lookout Tower Complex will provide a unique recreational experience for both local visitors and travelers. The Dark Canyon lookout came from U.S. Army surplus in 1949 and is one of only two types of these lookouts in the Southwestern Region. It also features a CCC cabin. A market analysis indicates that the $65/per night fee is both reasonable and acceptable for this sort of unique recreation experience.

    People wanting to rent either facility will need to do so through the National Recreation Reservation Service, at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The National Recreation Reservation Service charges a $9 fee for reservations.

    Dated: March 18, 2016. Travis Moseley, Lincoln National Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08172 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request April 5, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by May 11, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Agricultural Prices.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0003.

    Summary of Collection: The Agricultural Prices surveys provide data on the prices received by farmers and prices paid for production goods and services. This information is needed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) for the following purposes: (a) To compute Parity Prices in accordance with requirements of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 as amended (Title III, Subtitle A, Section 301a, (b) to estimate value of production, inventory values, and cash receipts from farming, (c) to determine the level for farmer owned reserves, (d) to provide guidelines for Risk Management Agency price selection options, (e) to determine Federal disaster prices to be paid, (f) establishing USDA's net farm income projections by the Economic Research Service and (g) to determine the grazing fee on Federal lands. General authority for these data collection activities is granted under U.S. Code Title 7, Section 2204.

    Need and Use of the Information: The NASS price program computes annual U.S. weighted average prices received by farmers for wheat, barley, oats, corn, grain sorghum, rice, cotton, peanuts, pulse crops and oilseeds based on monthly marketing. Estimates of prices received are used by NASS to determine the value of agricultural production. Prices estimates are used by many Government agencies as a general measure of commodity price changes, economic analysis relating to farm income and alternative marketing policies, and for disaster and insurance payments. NASS estimates based on these surveys are used as a Principle Economic Indicator of the United States. These price estimates are also used to compute Parity Prices in accordance with requirements of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 as amended (Title III, Subtitle A, Section 301(a)).

    Description of Respondents: Farms; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 67,535.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Monthly; Annually; Biennially.

    Total Burden Hours: 30,583.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08173 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the South Dakota Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the South Dakota Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 12 p.m. (MST) on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, via teleconference. The purpose of the meeting is to vote on a project proposal and continue with planning of a future briefing.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion by dialing the following Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-461-2024; Conference ID: 8084209. Please be advised that before being placed into the conference call, the operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and an email address (if available) prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-977-8339 and provide the FRS operator with the Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-461-2024, Conference ID: 8084209. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Thursday, May 5, 2016. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1050, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=274 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda • Welcome and Introductions
    Richard Braunstein, Chair, South Dakota Advisory Committee Malee V. Craft, Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office (RMRO) • Vote on Project Proposal • Continue planning for future briefing • Next Steps DATES:

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at 12 p.m. (MST)

    ADDRESSES:

    To be held via teleconference:

    Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-461-2024, Conference ID: 8084209.

    TDD: Dial Federal Relay Service 1-800-977-8339 and give the operator the above conference call number and conference ID.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Malee V. Craft, DFO, [email protected], 303-866-1040

    Dated: April 5, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08196 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    Title: NIST Generic Clearance for Program Evaluation Data Collections.

    OMB Control Number: 0693-0033.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular submission (reinstatement of previously approved information collection.)

    Number of Respondents: 12,000.

    Average Hours per Response: Varied dependent upon the individual data collection. Response time could be 2 minutes for a response card or 1 hour for a more structured collection instrument. The overall average response time is expected to be 30 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 5,000.

    Needs and Uses: In accordance with Executive Order 12862, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency of the Department of Commerce (DOC), proposes to conduct a number of surveys both quantitative and qualitative-designed to evaluate our current program evaluation data collections by means of, but not limited to, focus groups, reply cards that accompany product distributions, and Web-based surveys and dialogue boxes that offer customers an opportunity to express their views on the programs they are asked to evaluate. NIST will limit its inquires to data collections that solicit strictly voluntary opinions and will not collect information that is required or regulated. Steps will be taken to assure anonymity covered under this request.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit organizations, not-for-profit institutions, individuals or households, Federal government, State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08214 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Census Employment Inquiry.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0139.

    Form Number(s): BC-170A, BC-170B, and BC-170D.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Number of Respondents: 70,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 15 min.

    Burden Hours: 17,500.

    Needs and Uses: Application for benefits

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Section 23 a and c.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202)395-5806.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08203 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-428-602] Brass Sheet and Strip From Germany: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In response to a request from Petitioners1 , the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on brass sheet and strip from Germany. The period of review (POR) is March 1, 2014, through February 28, 2015.2 The review covers ten producers or exporters of subject merchandise.3 We preliminarily find that three of the producers or exporters for which the Department initiated a review, Schwermetall, ThyssenKrupp, and Wieland, had no shipments during the POR. Further, we preliminarily find that subject merchandise has been sold at less than normal value by seven of the companies subject to this review. 4 Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1 The Petitioners are GBC Metals, LLC of Global Brass and Copper, Inc., dba Olin Brass, Heyco Metals, Inc., Aurubis Buffalo, Inc. PMX Industries, Inc. and Revere Copper Products, Inc.

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part, 79 FR 24398 (April 30, 2014) (Initiation).

    3 The ten producers or exporters are: Aurubis Stolberg GmbH & Co. KG, Carl Schreiber GmbH, KME Germany AG & Co. KG, Messingwerk Plettenberg Herfeld GmbH & Co. KG (Messingwerk), MKM Mansfelder Kupfer & Messing GmbH, Schlenk Metallfolien GmbH & Co. KG, Schwermetall Halbzeugwerk GmbH & Co. KG (Schwermetall), Sundwiger Messingwerke GmbH & Co. KG, ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH (ThyssenKrupp), and Wieland-Werke AG (Wieland).

    4 The seven companies are: Aurubis Stolberg GmbH & Co. KG, Carl Schreiber GmbH, KME Germany AG & Co. KG, Messingwerk, MKM Mansfelder Kupfer & Messing GmbH, Schlenk Metallfolien GmbH & Co. KG, and Sundwiger Messingwerke GmbH & Co. KG.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: April 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George McMahon, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1167.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. Accordingly, the revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now April 5, 2016.5

    5See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the antidumping duty order is brass sheet and strip, other than leaded brass and tin brass sheet and strip, from Germany, which is currently classified under subheading 7409.21.00.50, 7409.21.00.75, 7409.21.00.90, 7409.29.00.50, 7409.29.00.75, and 7409.29.00.90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise subject to the order is dispositive.6

    6 For a full description of the scope of the order, see the “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Brass Sheet and Strip from Germany; 2014-2015” from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    In accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), we relied on facts available with an adverse inference with respect to Messingwerk, the sole company selected for individual examination in this review, and assigned to it a preliminary dumping margin of 55.60 percent. In making these findings, we relied on facts available because Messingwerk failed to respond to the Department's antidumping duty questionnaire, and thus withheld requested information, failed to provide requested information by the established deadlines, and significantly impeded this proceeding. See sections 776(a)(1) and (2)(A)-(C) of the Act. Furthermore, because we preliminarily determine that Messingwerk failed to cooperate by not acting to the best of its ability to comply with the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference in selecting from among the facts otherwise available. See section 776(b) of the Act.

    Additionally, as indicated in the “Preliminary Results of Review” section below, we preliminarily determine that a margin of 22.61 percent applies to the six firms not selected for individual review, i.e., an average of the range of certain dumping margins contained in the underlying Petition.7 For further information, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at “Rate for Non-Examined Companies.”

    7See Brass Sheet and Strip From The Federal Republic of Germany; Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation, 51 FR 11774 (April 7, 1986).

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included in the Appendix attached to this notice.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at: http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on our analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information and information provided by Schwermetall, ThyssenKrupp, and Wieland, we preliminarily determine that these companies had no shipments of the subject merchandise, and, therefore, no reviewable transactions, during the POR. For a full discussion of this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of our review, we preliminarily determine that the following dumping margins on brass sheet and strip from Germany exist for the period March 1, 2014, through February 28, 2015, at the following rates:

    Producer and/or Exporter Margin (percent) Aurubis Stolberg GmbH & Co. KG 22.61 Carl Schreiber GmbH 22.61 KME Germany AG & Co. KG 22.61 Messingwerk Plettenberg Herfeld GmbH & Co. KG 55.60 MKM Mansfelder Kupfer & Messing GmbH 22.61 Schlenk Metallfolien GmbH & Co. KG 22.61 Sundwiger Messingwerke GmbH & Co. KG 22.61 Disclosure and Public Comment

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.8 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.9 Interested parties who wish to comment on the preliminary results must file briefs electronically using ACCESS.10 An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety in ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the date the document is due.

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    9See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    10Id.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety in ACCESS by 5 p.m. ET within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If the preliminary results are unchanged for the final results we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 55.60 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by Messingwerk, and an ad valorem assessment rate of 22.61 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by the six aforementioned companies which were not selected for individual examination.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of brass sheet and strip from Germany entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication, as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rates for the reviewed companies will be the rates established in the final results of this review; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of the merchandise; (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer has its own rate, the cash deposit rate will be 7.30 percent.11 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    11See Preliminary Decision Memorandum for additional details.

    Notifications to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum A. Summary B. Background C. Scope of the Order D. Discussion of the Methodology 1. Selection of Respondents 2. No Shipment Claims by Schwermetall, ThyssenKrupp, and Wieland 3. Use of Facts Otherwise Available a. Use of Facts Available b. Application of Facts Available With an Adverse Inference c. Selection and Corroboration of Information Used As Facts Available 4. Rate for Companies Not Selected for Individual Examination E. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-08231 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-520-803] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On December 1, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film (PET Film) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).1 This review covers one producer/exporter of subject merchandise, JBF RAK LLC (JBF). Based on our analysis of the comments and information received, we made changes to the Preliminary Results, which are discussed below. The final weighted-average dumping margin is listed below in the section titled “Final Results of Review.”

    1See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014, 80 FR 75052 (December 1, 2015) (Preliminary Results).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: April 11, 2016

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Huston, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4261.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On December 1, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Results. On January 11, 2016, the Department received timely-filed case briefs from JBF and DuPont Teijin Films, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc., and SKC, Inc., (collectively, Petitioners).2 On January 19, 2016, JBF and Petitioners timely filed rebuttal briefs.3

    2See “Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film, Sheet and Strip from the United Arab Emirates (A-520-803); Case Brief of JBF RAK, LLC” dated January 11, 2016 and “Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates: Petitioners' Case Brief” dated January 11, 2016.

    3See “Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film, Sheet and Strip from the United Arab Emirates (A-520-803); Rebuttal Brief of JBF RAK, LLC” dated January 19, 2016 and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates: Petitioners' Rebuttal Brief” dated January 19, 2016.

    Period of Review

    The period of review is November 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are all gauges of raw, pre-treated, or primed polyethylene terephthalate film (PET Film), whether extruded or co-extruded. Excluded are metallized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer more than 0.00001 inches thick. Also excluded is roller transport cleaning film which has at least one of its surfaces modified by application of 0.5 micrometers of SBR latex. Tracing and drafting film is also excluded. PET Film is classifiable under subheading 3920.62.00.90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised by parties in the case and rebuttal briefs are addressed in the Memorandum to Ronald Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results” (Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice. A list of the issues addressed in the Decision Memorandum is appended to this notice. The Decision Memorandum is a public document and is available electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Services System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit of the main Commerce Building, room B-8024. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum is also accessible on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on our analysis of the comments received, we made adjustments to our margin calculations for JBF for international movement expenses, and errors in the conversion of certain invoice dates.4 As a result of these adjustments, the Department is now applying the average-to-average comparison methodology for the final results.5 A complete discussion of these adjustments and changes can be found in the Decision Memorandum.

    4See Decision Memorandum at Comment 3.

    5See Memorandum to Mark Hoadley, “Final Analysis Memorandum for JBF RAK LLC 2013-2014,” April 04, 2016.

    Final Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period of November 1, 2013, through October 31, 2014:

    Producer or Exporter Weighted-Average Dumping Margin
  • (percent ad valorem)
  • JBF RAK LLC 4.44
    Disclosure

    We will disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these final results within five days of the publication of this notice, consistent with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Assessment Rates

    The Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review.6 The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review.

    6 The Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    For assessment purposes we calculated importer-specific, ad valorem assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales.7 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.

    7See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of these final results, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act): (1) For the company covered by this review, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin listed above in the section “Final Results of Review;” (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a previously completed segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published in the final results for the most recent period in which that producer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review or in any previous segment of this proceeding, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be that established for the producer of the merchandise in these final results of review or in the final results for the most recent period in which that producer participated; and (4) if neither the exporter nor the producer is a firm covered in this review or in any previously completed segment of this proceeding, then the cash deposit rate will be 4.05 percent, the all-others rate established in the less than fair value investigation.8 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    8Id.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice is the only reminder to parties subject to the administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under the APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these final results and this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: April 4, 2016. Ronald Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Issues in the Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Explanation of Alternative Comparison Methodology Comment 2: Alleged SAS Programming Errors IV. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-08234 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Procedures for Importation of Supplies for Use in Emergency Relief Work AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before June 10, 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 Scott D. McBride, Senior Counsel for Trade Remedies and Foreign Trade Zones, Office of the Chief Counsel for Trade Enforcement and Compliance, Room 3622, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-6292; fax: 202-482-4912; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The regulations (19 CFR 358.101 through 358.104) provide procedures for requesting the Secretary of Commerce to permit the importation of supplies, such as food, clothing, and medical, surgical, and other supplies, for use in emergency relief work free of antidumping and countervailing duties.

    Authority:

    19 U.S.C. 1318(a). There are no proposed changes to this information collection.

    II. Method of Collection

    Three copies of the request must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of Commerce, Attention: Import Administration, Central Records Unit, Room 1870, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0256.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 Hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 15 Hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: less than $450.

    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: April 5, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08177 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-031] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain iron mechanical transfer drive components (“ITDCs”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: April 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brandon Farlander, Robert Galantucci, and Robert Bolling, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-0182, (202) 482-2923, or (202) 482-3434, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,1 we set aside a period of time in our Initiation Notice for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage, and we encouraged all parties to submit comments within 20 calendar days of the signature date of that notice.2

    1See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997) (“Preamble”).

    2See Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 80 FR 73722 (November 25, 2015).

    We received several comments concerning the scope of the antidumping duty (“AD”) and CVD investigations of ITDCs from the PRC and Canada. On March 30, 2016, Petitioner filed an amendment to the scope to exclude certain finished torsional vibration dampeners (“TVDs”), as defined in the amended scope.3 Petitioner also noted that it is considering a potential additional exclusion to the scope to cover certain parts of TVDs.4 Also, on March 30, 2016, NOK Wuxi notified the Department of its intent to withdraw from participation in this investigation, contingent on the Department's acceptance and inclusion of Petitioner's amendment to the scope.5 Because Petitioner's proposed scope amendment was filed two days before the due date for the preliminary determination, the Department does not have sufficient time before the fully extended scheduled signature due date of the CVD preliminary determination to consider this proposed amendment to the scope. However, the Department will evaluate the scope comments and intends to issue its preliminary decision regarding the scope of the AD and CVD investigations in the preliminary determination of the companion antidumping investigations, which are due for signature on May 31, 2016.

    3See Submission of Petitioner, “Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components from Canada and the People's Republic of China: Petitioner's Amendment to the Scope,” dated March 30, 2016.

    4Id.

    5See Submission of NOK Wuxi, “Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components from the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal from Investigation,” dated March 30, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are ITDCs from the PRC. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II to this notice.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.6 For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.7 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    6See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    7See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    The Department notes that, in making these findings, we relied, in part, on facts available and, because we find that one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.8 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    8See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Alignment

    As noted in the Preliminary Determination Memorandum, based on a request made by the petitioner TB Wood's Incorporated, we are aligning the final CVD investigation in this investigation with the final determination in the companion AD investigation of ITDCs in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4).9 Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determination, which is currently scheduled to be issued no later than August 14, 2016, unless postponed.10

    9See Letter from Petitioner, “Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components from the People's Republic of China: Petitioner's Request to Align the Countervailing Duty Final Determination with the Companion Antidumping Duty Final Determination,” dated March 24, 2016.

    10 We note that the current deadline for the final AD determination is August 14, 2016, which is a Sunday. Pursuant to Department practice, the signature date will be the next business day, which is Monday, August 15, 2016. See Notice of Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation11

    11 As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is now April 1, 2016.

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated an individual estimated countervailable subsidy rate for each exporter/producer of the subject merchandise individually investigated. Additionally, in accordance with sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weight averaging the subsidy rates of the companies selected for individual investigation by those companies' exports of the subject merchandise to the United States, excluding rates that are zero or de minimis or any rates determined entirely on the facts otherwise available. Accordingly, in these preliminary results, we have calculated the “all-others” rate by weight-averaging the calculated subsidy rates of the two individually investigated respondents, using the respondent's publicly-ranged sales data for exports of subject merchandise to the United States.12 We preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    12See Memorandum to the File, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Iron Mechanical Transfer Drive Components from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination Margin Calculation for All-Others,” dated concurrently with this memorandum.

    Exporter/Producer Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • NOK (Wuxi) Vibration Control China Co., Ltd., and Wuxi NOK—Freudenberg Oil Seal Co., Ltd. 2.68 Powermach Import & Export Co., Ltd. (Sichuan), Sichuan Dawn Precision Technology Co., Ltd., Sichuan Dawn Foundry Co. Ltd., and Powermach Machinery Co., Ltd. 33.94 Changzhou Baoxin Metallurgy Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd.* 166.77 Changzhou Changjiang Gear Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Changzhou Gangyou Lifting Equipment Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Changzhou Juling Foundry Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Changzhou Liangjiu Mechanical Manufacturing Co Ltd.* 166.77 Changzhou New Century Sprocket Group Company * 166.77 Changzhou Xiangjin Precision Machinery Co., Ltd.* 166.77 FIT Bearings* 166.77 Fuzhou Minyue Mechanical & Electrical Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Hangzhou Chinabase Machinery Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Hangzhou Ever Power Transmission Group * 166.77 Hangzhou Vision Chain Transmission Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Hangzhou Xingda Machinery Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Henan Xinda International Trading Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Henan Zhiyuan Machinery Sprocket Co. Ltd.* 166.77 Jiangsu Songlin Automobile Parts Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Martin Sprocket & Gear (Changzhou) Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Ningbo Blue Machines Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Ningbo Fulong Synchronous Belt Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Ningbo Royu Machinery Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Praxair Surface Technologies* 166.77 Qingdao Dazheng Jin Hao International Trade Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Quanzhou Licheng Xintang Automobile Parts Co., Ltd. (“XTP Auto Parts”)* 166.77 Shangyu Shengtai Machinery Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Shenzhen Derui Sourcing Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Shengzhou Shuangdong Machinery Co., Ltd.* 166.77 Shengzhou Xinglong Machinery * 166.77 Sichuan Reach Jiayuan Machinery Co. Ltd.* 166.77 Tran-Auto Industries Co. Ltd.* 166.77 Ubet Machinery * 166.77 All-Others 15.51 * Non-cooperative company to which an adverse facts available rate is being applied. See “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences,” section in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    In accordance with sections 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation of all entries of ITDCs from the PRC as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.13 Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.14 For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    13See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c)-(d), 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: April 1, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Alignment IV. Scope Comments V. Scope of the Investigation VI. Injury Test VII. Application of the CVD Law to Imports from the PRC VIII. Subsidies Valuation IX. Benchmarks and Interest Rates X. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences XI. Analysis of Programs XII. Disclosure and Public Comment XIII. Conclusion Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are iron mechanical transfer drive components, whether finished or unfinished (i.e., blanks or castings). Subject iron mechanical transfer drive components are in the form of wheels or cylinders with a center bore hole that may have one or more grooves or teeth in their outer circumference that guide or mesh with a flat or ribbed belt or like device and are often referred to as sheaves, pulleys, flywheels, flat pulleys, idlers, conveyer pulleys, synchronous sheaves, and timing pulleys. The products covered by this investigation also include bushings, which are iron mechanical transfer drive components in the form of a cylinder and which fit into the bore holes of other mechanical transfer drive components to lock them into drive shafts by means of elements such as teeth, bolts, or screws.

    Iron mechanical transfer drive components subject to this investigation are those not less than 4.00 inches (101 mm) in the maximum nominal outer diameter.

    Unfinished iron mechanical transfer drive components (i.e., blanks or castings) possess the approximate shape of the finished iron mechanical transfer drive component and have not yet been machined to final specification after the initial casting, forging or like operations. These machining processes may include cutting, punching, notching, boring, threading, mitering, or chamfering.

    Subject merchandise includes iron mechanical transfer drive components as defined above that have been finished or machined in a third country, including but not limited to finishing/machining processes such as cutting, punching, notching, boring, threading, mitering, or chamfering, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the iron mechanical transfer drive components.

    Subject iron mechanical transfer drive components are covered by the scope of the investigation regardless of width, design, or iron type (e.g., gray, white, or ductile iron). Subject iron mechanical transfer drive components are covered by the scope of the investigation regardless of whether they have non-iron attachments or parts and regardless of whether they are entered with other mechanical transfer drive components or as part of a mechanical transfer drive assembly (which typically includes one or more of the iron mechanical transfer drive components identified above, and which may also include other parts such as a belt, coupling and/or shaft). When entered as a mechanical transfer drive assembly, only the iron components that meet the physical description of covered merchandise are covered merchandise, not the other components in the mechanical transfer drive assembly (e.g., belt, coupling, shaft).

    For purposes of this investigation, a covered product is of “iron” where the article has a carbon content of 1.7 percent by weight or above, regardless of the presence and amount of additional alloying elements.

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings 8483.30.8090, 8483.50.6000, 8483.50.9040, 8483.50.9080, 8483.90.3000, 8483.90.8080. Covered merchandise may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 7325.10.0080, 7325.99.1000, 7326.19.0010, 7326.19.0080, 8431.31.0040, 8431.31.0060, 8431.39.0010, 8431.39.0050, 8431.39.0070, 8431.39.0080, and 8483.50.4000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-08235 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-890] Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Determination of No Shipments, In Part: 2014 Administrative Review AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On December 14, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) published the preliminary results of the tenth administrative review (“AR”) of the antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture (“WBF”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”), in accordance with sections 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”).1 The period of review (“POR”) is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The AR covers 18 PRC exporters of subject merchandise, of which the Department selected one company for individual examination, Shanghai Jian Pu Import & Export Co., Ltd. (“Shanghai Jian Pu”). The Department invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. We received comments from the American Furniture Manufactures Committee for Legal Trade and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company, Inc. (“Petitioners”). No other party commented. After consideration of Petitioners' comments, our final results remain unchanged from the Preliminary Results.

    1See Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014, 80 FR 77321 (December 14, 2015) (“Preliminary Results”).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: April 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Pedersen, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2769.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    For a complete description of the events that followed the publication of the Preliminary Results, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum 2 which is dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

    2See the memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the 2014 Administrative Review” (“Issues and Decision Memorandum”).

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by the order is wooden bedroom furniture, subject to certain exceptions.3 Imports of subject merchandise are classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings: 9403.50.9042, 9403.50.9045, 9403.50.9080, 9403.50.9041, 9403.60.8081, 9403.20.0018, 9403.90.8041, 7009.92.1000 or 7009.92.5000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description in the Order remains dispositive.4

    3See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China, 70 FR 329 (January 4, 2005) (“Order”).

    4 For a complete description of the scope of the Order, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Analysis of the Comments Received

    The issues raised in Petitioners' case brief are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is appended to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Services System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit of the main Department building, room B8024. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Separate Rates

    In the Preliminary Results, the Department determined that seven companies under review, including Shanghai Jian Pu, the sole mandatory respondent, did not establish their eligibility for separate rate status and would be treated as part of the PRC-wide entity.5 We only received comments on the Preliminary Results from Petitioners, which agreed with our preliminary separate rates determination with respect to Shanghai Jian Pu and did not comment on any other entity under review. In these final results of review, we continue to determine that these seven companies should be treated as part of the PRC-wide entity because they have not established their separate rate eligibility. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity, we are not conducting a review of the PRC-wide entity.6 Thus, there is no change to the rate for the PRC-wide entity. The existing rate for the PRC-wide entity is 216.01 percent.

    5See Preliminary Results at 80 FR 7576. The six companies that did not establish their eligibility for a separate rate, other than Shanghai Jian Pu, are: (1) Baigou Crafts Factory of Fengkai; (2) Dongguan Hung Sheng Artware Products Co., Ltd., Coronal Enterprise Co., Ltd.; (3) Hualing Furniture (China) Co., Ltd., Tony House Manufacture (China) Co., Ltd., Buysell Investments Ltd., Tony House Industries Co., Ltd.; (4) Orient International Holding Shanghai Foreign Trade Co., Ltd.; (5) Prime Wood International Co., Ltd, Prime Best International Co., Ltd., Prime Best Factory, Liang Huang (Jiaxing) Enterprise Co., Ltd.; and (6) Woodworth Wooden Industries (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd.

    6See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65969-70 (November 4, 2013).

    Final Determination of No Shipments

    In the Preliminary Results, we determined that 11 companies subject to this AR had no shipments during the POR.7 We received no comments concerning our finding of no shipments by these 11 companies. In these final results of review, we continue to determine that these 11 companies had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR.

    7 The 11 companies with no shipments during the POR are: (1) Clearwise Co., Ltd.; (2) Dongguan Chengcheng Furniture Co., Ltd.; (3) Dongguan Singways Furniture Co., Ltd.; (4) Eurosa (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., Eurosa Furniture Co., (Pte) Ltd.; (5) Golden Well International (HK) Ltd.; (6) Hangzhou Cadman Trading Co., Ltd.; (7) Rizhao Sanmu Woodworking Co., Ltd.; (8) Shenyang Shining Dongxing Furniture Co., Ltd.; (9) Wuxi Yushea Furniture Co., Ltd.; (10) Yeh Brothers World Trade Inc.; and (11) Zhejiang Tianyi Scientific & Educational Equipment Co., Ltd.

    Assessment Rates

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.212(b), the Department has determined, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of these final results of review. We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate POR entries of subject merchandise from the seven companies, including Shanghai Jian Pu, which failed to establish their eligibility for separate rate status at the rate applicable to the PRC-wide entity. For the 11 companies which the Department determined had no shipments during the POR, all suspended entries under any of those companies' antidumping case numbers will be liquidated at the assessment rate for the PRC-wide entity.8

    8 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this review for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date in the Federal Register of the final results of review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters which are not under review in this segment of the proceeding but which have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (2) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, including Shanghai Jian Pu and the six companies noted above, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity, which is 216.01 percent; (3) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under the APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    These final results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: April 1, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Summary Background Scope of the Order Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Treatment of Shanghai Jian Pu Import & Export Co. Ltd. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-08233 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE552 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application submitted by The Nature Conservancy contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This Exempted Fishing Permit would allow participants to use electronic monitoring systems in lieu of at-sea monitors in support of a study to develop electronic monitoring for the purposes of catch monitoring in the groundfish fishery.

    Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    • Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “TNC EM EFP.”

    • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “TNC EM EFP.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brett Alger, Groundfish Sector Policy Analyst, 978-675-2153.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 2010, NMFS implemented Amendment 16 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which revised and expanded the sector management system and established annual catch limits and accountability measures for each stock in the fishery. In order to reliably estimate sector catch and monitor sector operations, Amendment 16 included new requirements for groundfish sectors to implement and fund an at-sea monitoring (ASM) program. Amendment 16 also included a provision that allows electronic monitoring (EM) to be used to satisfy this monitoring requirement, provided NMFS deems the technology sufficient for the purposes of catch accounting. There are likely different visions for what an EM system entails, but generally EM incorporates video cameras, sensors, and electronic reporting systems into a vessel's fishing operations. Depending on the program design, EM has the potential to reduce the expenses associated with monitoring groundfish sectors, and, at the same time, increase accountability and monitoring in the fishery. However, moving away from human observers has its trade-offs; the types and quality of data can be different between EM and ASMs. Simply stated, EM may be a suitable replacement to ASM, provided EM has the ability to identify species, and verify weights and counts of discards in the groundfish fishery.

    For the groundfish fishery, the program designs being considered are the “audit model” and the “maximized retention model.” The audit model would use EM to verify discards reported by a captain on a vessel trip report. Under the maximized retention model, vessels would be required to retain most fish species (e.g., allocated groundfish stocks), be allowed to discard others (e.g., protected species), and EM would be used to ensure compliance with discarding regulations. NMFS has not yet approved EM as a suitable alternative to ASM for the groundfish fishery. However, there have been several efforts in recent years to develop EM as a monitoring tool in the fishery.

    NMFS has been collaborating with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance, and Ecotrust Canada to implement a program that uses EM for monitoring in the groundfish fishery. NMFS has been building database infrastructure and processing tools for data collected from EM video footage, conducting comparative analysis to the existing catch monitoring systems in the fishery, and addressing additional legal and logistical hurdles. However, there are some challenges that remain that will require additional EM data and analysis to resolve. For example, an EM program must specify how much video needs to be reviewed to satisfy the monitoring objectives, and best practices need to be developed for species that are difficult to identify using EM.

    To further examine these issues and develop EM, TNC submitted a complete application for an EFP on March 17, 2016, to enable data collection activities and catch monitoring that the regulations on commercial fishing would otherwise restrict. The EFP would support an EM study intended to improve the functionality of EM systems, optimize fish handling protocols by participating fishermen, and continue development of EM as a monitoring tool for the groundfish fishery. Results of this study would be used to inform the approval and implementation of EM in the fishery.

    The EFP would exempt participating vessels from adhering to its sector's monitoring plan, which requires the deployment of ASMs on sector trips selected for ASM coverage. While participating in the EM study, vessels would use EM to replace ASMs when selected for ASM coverage. EM would not replace Northeast Fishery Observer Program (NEFOP) observers. Approximately 20 sector vessels would participate in this project, including participants from the Georges Bank Cod Fixed Gear Sector, the Maine Coast Community Sector, the Northeast Fishery Sector 11, and possibly additional sectors as well.

    Under the EFP, vessels would declare sector trips in the Pre-Trip Notification System, as required by the FMP. However, if selected for ASM coverage, the vessel would be issued an ASM waiver and instead be required to turn on the EM system for the entire fishing trip. If selected for NEFOP coverage, the vessel would fish with a NEFOP observer and would also turn on the EM system for the entire trip. A third-party provider would review 100 percent of the video from each EM trip, and NMFS would audit the provider(s) to verify the accuracy of the EM data collected. For sector monitoring, NMFS uses a combination of the discard data collected from NEFOP observers and ASMs to estimate discards. For vessels participating in this EFP, NMFS would use the EM data collected in place of the ASM data. All other catch monitoring under the EFP would be consistent with standard sector monitoring, such as using dealer-reported landings and vessel trip reports.

    Across all participants, TNC expects approximately 900 total trips throughout the 2016 fishing year. If the target observer coverage was set at 14 percent, as proposed in Framework Adjustment 55 to the NE Multispecies FMP, this would result in approximately 126 EM trips. Some of these trips would have a NEFOP observer onboard as well.

    All catch of groundfish stocks allocated to sectors by vessels would be deducted from the sector's annual catch entitlement for each NE multispecies stock. Legal-sized regulated groundfish would be retained and landed, as required by the FMP. Undersized groundfish would be handled according to the EM project guidelines in view of cameras and returned to the sea as quickly as possible. All other species would be handled per normal commercial fishing operations. No legal-size regulated groundfish would be discarded, unless otherwise permitted through regulatory exemptions granted to the participating vessel's sector.

    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08256 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE536 Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of open public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the proposed schedule and agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC). The members will discuss and provide advice on issues outlined under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held April 25-27, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hotel Monaco Portland, 506 SW. Washington Street, Portland, OR 97204; 503-222-0001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Lukens, MAFAC Executive Director; (301) 427-8004; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As required by section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, notice is hereby given of a meeting of MAFAC. The MAFAC was established by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), and, since 1971, advises the Secretary on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The complete charter and summaries of prior meetings are located online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/.

    Matters To Be Considered

    This meeting time and agenda are subject to change.

    The meeting is convened to hear presentations and discuss policies and guidance on the following topics: Proposed Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force, hatchery genetic management plans, draft National Bycatch Reduction Strategy, fishing community and coastal resilience, and strategic planning. The meeting will include updates on electronic monitoring on the west coast, recreational fishing regional implementation plans, and the budget outlook for FY2016-2017; discussion of various MAFAC administrative and organizational matters; and may include meetings of standing subcommittees and working groups.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Heidi Lovett; 301-427-8034 by April 15, 2016.

    Dated: April 5, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08221 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Recreational Landings and Bluefin Tuna Catch Reports.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0328.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 13,402.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 minutes for an initial call-in or internet report; 5 minutes for a confirmation call; 10 minutes for a landing card; 1 hour for a weekly or biweekly state report; and 4 hours for an annual state report.

    Burden Hours: 1,586.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Catch reporting from recreational and commercial hand-gear fisheries provides important data used to monitor catches of Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) and supplements other existing data collection programs. Data collected through this program are used for both domestic and international fisheries management and stock assessment purposes.

    Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) catch reporting provides real-time catch information used to monitor the BFT fishery. Under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971), the United States is required to adopt regulations, as necessary and appropriate, to implement recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), including recommendations on a specified BFT quota. BFT catch reporting helps the U.S. monitor this quota and supports scientific research consistent with ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). Recreational anglers and commercial hand-gear fishermen are required to report specific information regarding their catch of BFT.

    Atlantic billfish and swordfish are managed internationally by ICCAT and nationally under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This collection provides information needed to monitor the recreational catch of Atlantic blue and white marlin, which is applied to the recreational limit established by ICCAT, and the recreational catch of North Atlantic swordfish, which is applied to the U.S. quota established by ICCAT. This collection also provides information on recreational landings of West Atlantic sailfish which is unavailable from other established monitoring programs. Collection of sailfish catch information is authorized under the Magnuson-Stevens Act for purposes of stock management.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Daily, biweekly, monthly, annual.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: April 5, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08165 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management will hold two separate public meetings to solicit comments on the performance evaluation of the Oregon Coastal Management Program and the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Notice is also hereby given of the availability of the final evaluation findings for Maryland, Puerto Rico and Ohio Coastal Management Programs.

    DATES:

    Oregon Coastal Management Program Evaluation: The public meeting will be held on May 24, 2016, and written comments must be received on or before June 10, 2016.

    Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Evaluation: The public meeting will be held on June 28, 2016, and written comments must be received on or before July 15, 2016.

    For specific dates, times, and locations of the public meetings, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the program or reserve NOAA intends to evaluate by any of the following methods:

    Public Meeting and Oral Comments: Public meetings will be held in Newport, Oregon and Bristol, Rhode Island. For specific locations, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Written Comments: Please direct written comments to Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or email comments [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Hall, Evaluator, Planning and Performance Measurement Program, Office for Coastal Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, N/OCM1, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or [email protected] Copies of the final evaluation findings and related material (including past performance reports and notices prepared by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management) may be obtained upon written request by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Copies of the final evaluation findings may also be downloaded or viewed on the Internet at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations/evaluation_findings/index.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Sections 312 and 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) require NOAA to conduct periodic evaluations of federally approved state and territorial coastal programs and national estuarine research reserves. The process includes a public meeting, consideration of written public comments and consultations with interested Federal, state, and local agencies and members of the public. During the evaluation, NOAA will consider the extent to which the state has met the national objectives, adhered to the final management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance under the CZMA. When the evaluation is completed, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings.

    Specific information on the periodic evaluation of the state and territorial coastal programs and reserves that are the subject of this notice are detailed below as follows:

    Oregon Coastal Management Program Evaluation

    You may participate or submit oral comments at the public meeting scheduled as follows:

    Date: May 24, 2016.

    Time: 5:30 p.m., local time.

    Location: Best Western Agate Beach Inn, Cove Room, 3019 North Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon 97365.

    Written public comments must be received on or before June 10, 2016.

    Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Evaluation

    You may participate or submit oral comments at the public meeting scheduled as follows:

    Date: June 28, 2016.

    Time: 6:00 p.m., local time.

    Location: Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, Rhode Island 02890.

    Written comments must be received on or before July 15, 2016.

    Availability of Final Evaluation Findings of Other State and Territorial Coastal Programs

    The NOAA Office for Coastal Management has completed review of the Coastal Zone Management Program evaluations for the states of Maryland and Ohio, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Both states and territory were found to be implementing and enforcing their federally approved coastal management programs, addressing the national coastal management objectives identified in CZMA Section 303(2)(A)-(K), and adhering to the programmatic terms of their financial assistance awards. Copies of these final evaluation findings may be downloaded at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/evaluations/evaluation_findings/index.html or by submitting a written request to the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    John King, Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog 11.419 Coastal Zone Management Program Administration.

    [FR Doc. 2016-08207 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD224 Marine Mammals; File No. 18537 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 18537 has been issued to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Wildlife Conservation, Juneau, AK [Responsible Party: Robert Small, Ph.D.].

    ADDRESSES:

    The permit amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rosa L. González or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 8, 2016, notice was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 6508) that a request for an amendment Permit No. 18537 to conduct research on pinnipeds had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit amendment has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).

    The original permit (No. 18537), issued on August 8, 2014 (79 FR 19578), authorized ADF&G to take Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) during aerial, vessel, and ground surveys in support of the long-term Steller sea lion research program. It also authorized incidental disturbance of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and northern fur (Callorhinus ursinus), harbor (Phoca vitulina), spotted (Phoca largha), ribbon (Histriophoca fasciata), ringed (Phoca hispida hispida), and bearded (Erignathus barbatus) seals during research activities; and, annual unintentional mortality of 5 Steller sea lions from the Western Distinct Population Segment (wDPS) and 10 Steller sea lions from the Eastern DPS through August 31, 2019.

    Permit No. 18537-01 authorizes an increase in the number of California and Steller (wDPS) sea lions taken during aerial surveys from 4,725 to 10,000, and from 48,000 to 75,000, respectively; and an increase in the volume on a single blood draw from Steller sea lions from up to 1ml/kg to up to 4ml/kg.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NMFS determined that the activities proposed are consistent with the Preferred Alternative in the 2007 Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Steller Sea Lion and Northern Fur Seal Research, and the 2014 Environmental Assessment for Issuance of Permits to take Steller Sea Lions by harassment during surveys using unmanned aerial systems that analyzed the effects of UAS, which were not considered in the initial PEIS; and that issuance of the permit would not have a significant adverse impact on the human environment.

    As required by the ESA, issuance of this permit was based on a finding that such permit: (1) Was applied for in good faith; (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered species; and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    Dated: April 5, 2016. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08169 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Economic Survey of Gulf of Mexico Dealers Associated With the Gulf of Mexico Grouper-Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 200.

    Average Hours per Response: 1 hour.

    Burden Hours: 200.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for a new information collection.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to collect economic and attitudinal data from reef fish dealers regarding the performance of the GOM Grouper-Tilefish IFQ Program five years after its implementation. These data will be used to estimate the effects of the GT-IFQ Program on these stakeholders for the five-year program review mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (U.S.C. 1801 et seq). The population targeted by the economic survey is all federally licensed dealers that participate in the GOM reef fish fishery. In addition, the information will be used to strengthen and improve fishery management decision-making, and satisfy legal mandates under Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and other pertinent statues.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Once.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: April 5, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08166 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE561 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. The Exempted Fishing Permit would allow commercial fishing vessels to fish outside of the limited access scallop regulations in support of research conducted by the Coonamessett Farm Foundation. These exemptions are in support of research conducted on trips to test gear modifications for bycatch reduction in the scallop dredge fishery.

    Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 26, 2016

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    • Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “CFF Compensation Fishing Gear Research EFP.”

    • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on CFF Compensation Fishing Gear Research EFP.”

    • Fax: (978) 281-9135.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shannah Jaburek, Fisheries Management Specialist, 978-282-8456.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Coonamessett Farm Foundation (CFF) submitted a complete application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) on March 15, 2016, that would allow gear research to be conducted on vessels fishing under compensation fishing trips associated with five 2016 Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) projects submitted by the Coonamessett Farm Foundation that have been favorably reviewed. The exemptions would allow six commercial fishing vessels to exceed the crew size regulations at 50 CFR 648.51(c) in order to place a researcher on the vessel, and temporarily exempt the participating vessels from possession limits and minimum size requirements specified in 50 CFR part 648, subsections B and D through O, for sampling purposes only. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited, including landing fish in excess of a possession limit or below the minimum size.

    Experimental fishing activity would test gear modifications in an attempt to reduce finfish bycatch in the dredge fishery. The gear modifications that would be tested adhere to current scallop gear regulations and include: A no-chaffing gear dredge bag; a five-row apron without chaffing gear and a 1.5:1 twine top hanging ratio; and a “daylight skirt,” which would replace the rings in the skirt with three rows of 12-inch (30.48-cm) square mesh and chain. All trips would take place in scallop fishing areas open to the entire Atlantic sea scallop fishery.

    Exemption from crew size limits is needed because a research technician would accompany vessels on the compensation fishing trips to collect catch data associated with different dredge modifications. The crew size exemption would be for approximately 40 days-at-sea and must be used in conjunction with a valid compensation fishing letter of authorization. The additional crew would only engage in data collection activities, and would not process catch to be landed for sale. Exemption from possession limit and minimum sizes would support catch sampling activities, and ensure the vessel is not in conflict with possession regulations while collecting catch data. All catch above a possession limit or below a minimum size would be discarded as soon as practicable following data collection.

    For all trips, scallop catch would be evaluated by the number of baskets caught and a total catch weight would be obtained by the researcher. Total weight of bycatch species and individual measurements to the nearest centimeter would also be obtained by the researcher. If the volume of the catch is large, subsampling protocols would be necessary. All bycatch would be returned to the sea as soon as practicable following data collection.

    All research trips would otherwise be consistent with normal commercial fishing activity and catch would be retained for sale.

    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08257 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2015-HQ-0035] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by May 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Exchange Security Clearance Process for Contractor/Vendor Personnel; Exchange Form 3900-013 “Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) Request,” Exchange Form 3900-002 “Trusted Associate Sponsorship System (TASS Request Form),” Exchange Form 3900-006 “Background Check for Vendors/Contractors;” OMB Control Number 0702-XXXX.

    Type of Request: Existing collection in use without an OMB Control Number.

    Number of Respondents: 2300.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 2300.

    Average Burden per Response: 120 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 4600.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for the processing of all Army and Air Force Exchange security clearance actions, to record security clearances issued or denied, and to verify eligibility for access to classified information or assignment to a sensitive position.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID 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.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08246 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0034] 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 June 10, 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: ODCMO, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, ATTN: Mailbox 24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    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 External Communications Division, ATTN: Chuck Moss, Cleveland, OH 44199-2001, or call at (216) 204-4426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Survivor Benefit Plan/Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan Premium Bill; DFAS Form 1741/142; OMB Control Number 0730-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to identify military retirees and/or their representatives and credit the remittance paid to their account.

    Affected Public: Individuals and households

    Annual Burden Hours: 198,867

    Number of Respondents: 66,289

    Responses per Respondent: 12

    Annual Responses: 795,468

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes

    Frequency: Monthly

    Respondents are military retirees who are in a suspended pay status but directly remit money to pay for their monthly Survivor Benefit Plan/Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan premiums.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08212 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2013-OS-0071] 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 June 10, 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: ODCMO, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, ATTN: Mailbox 24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    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—Cleveland, 1240 East Ninth Street, ATTN: JFBB—Mr. Charles Moss, Room 1569, Cleveland, OH 44199 or phone at 216 204-4426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Physician Certificate for Child Annuitant; DD Form 2828; OMB Control Number 0730-0011.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to support an incapacitation occurring prior to age 18. The form provides the authority for the DFAS to establish and pay a Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) or Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity to the incapacitated individual.

    Affected Public: Individuals and households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 480 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 240.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 240.

    Average Burden per Response: 2 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    The form will be used by the DFAS in order to establish and start the annuity for a potential child annuitant. When the form is completed, it will serve as a medical report to substantiate a child's incapacity. The law requires that an unmarried child who is incapacitated must provide a current certified medical report. When the incapacity is not permanent a medical certification must be received by DFAS every two years in order for the child to continue receiving annuity payments.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08206 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the Ocean Research Advisory Panel (“the Panel”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The Panel's charter and contact information for the Panel's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be obtained at http://www.facadatabase.gov/. The Panel provides independent scientific advice and recommendations to the National Ocean Research Leadership Council (“the Council”). The Council operates as the National Ocean Council (NOC) as directed by Executive Order 13547. The NOC Deputy-level Committee (“the Committee”) has assumed the statutory responsibilities of the Council. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 7903(a), the Panel shall consist of not less than 10 and not more than 18 members, representing the following: (a) One member who will represent the National Academy of Sciences; (b) One member who will represent the National Academy of Engineering; (c) One member who will represent the Institute of Medicine; (d) Members selected from among individuals who will represent the views on ocean industries, State Governments, academia, and such other views as the Chairs of the Committee consider appropriate; (e) Members selected from individuals who are eminent in the fields of marine science, marine policy, or related fields. Members who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as special government employee members. Members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees will be appointed pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.130(a) to serve as regular government employee members. All members are appointed to provide advice on behalf of the Government on the basis of their best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. Except for reimbursement of official Panel-related travel and per diem, members serve without compensation. The DoD, as necessary and consistent with the Panel's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Panel, and all subcommittees must operate under the provisions of FACA and the Government in the Sunshine Act. Subcommittees will not work independently of the Panel and must report all their recommendations and advice solely to the Panel for full deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees, task forces, or working groups have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Panel. No subcommittee or any of its members can update or report, verbally or in writing, directly to the DoD or any Federal officers or employees. The Panel's DFO, pursuant to DoD policy, must be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD employee, and must be in attendance for the duration of each and every Panel/subcommittee meeting. The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Panel membership about the Panel's mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting of the Panel. All written statements shall be submitted to the DFO for the Panel, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: April 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08200 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Public Hearing Agenda.

    DATE AND TIME:

    Wednesday, April 27, (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.-EDT).

    PLACE:

    Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street; Sergeant Function Hall 1st Floor; Boston, MA 02108, Phone: (617) 573-8000.

    AGENDA:

    EAC will hold a public hearing to receive testimony from election administrators and voters with disabilities about accessible voting and the progress made since passage of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). The objective of the hearing is to hear from voters with disabilities regarding their voting experiences, highlight EAC resources, and help election officials prepare for the 2016 elections. The hearing will include testimony from two panels: (1) Election administrators, and (2) advocates and voters with disabilities.

    PARTICIPATION:

    In advance of the hearing, voters with disabilities are encouraged to share their experiences with accessible voting with the EAC. You may submit your written testimony to the EAC to be included as part of the transcript. Please email: [email protected] and place “testimony” in the subject line.

    THIS HEARING WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Bryan Whitener, Telephone: (301) 563-3961.

    Bryan Whitener, Director of Communications and Clearinghouse, U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08398 Filed 4-7-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6820-KF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Proposed Agency Information Collection AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for OMB review and comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance a proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed collection in support of the DOE's Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot will gather quantitative estimates of the pilot's impacts as well as capture implementation lessons learned. The information is needed to assess the impacts of the SBV Pilot, documenting that the investment is producing the expected results, and to determine ways to improve the pilot should it be expanded in scope.

    The SBV Pilot is a funding mechanism structured to allow small businesses engaged in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors to collaborate with researchers at the DOE National Laboratories and to take advantage of the resources at the Labs that assist small businesses in proceeding through commercialization challenges. Respondents will include small businesses participating in the pilot as well a comparison group of small businesses outside of the SBV Pilot.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this collection must be received on or before May 11, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, please advise the DOE Desk Officer at OMB of your intention to make a submission as soon as possible. The Desk Officer may be telephoned at 202-395-4718.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to the

    DOE Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, 735 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. And to Jeff Dowd, By email to: [email protected] Or by mail to: Jeff Dowd, US Department of Energy, EE-61P, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Dowd, [email protected] Requests may also be mailed to Jeff Dowd, US Department of Energy, EE-61P, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585. Calls may be directed to Jeff Dowd at (202) 586-7258.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. “New”; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Small Business Vouchers: Web-survey of Participating and Nonparticipating Small Businesses for DOE's Small Business Vouchers Pilot; (3) Type of Request: New collection; (4) Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of DOE's Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program, to capture lessons learned, and make recommendations; The information collection will be through a web based survey, allowing participating SBV firms and the comparison firms to answer questions at a time most convenient for them. The web survey will consist of two full-length surveys, the first conducted once after the first year of vouchers has been completed (i.e., the second year of the pilot) and the second once five years after the pilot began, and one abbreviated survey administered twice in the interim years (pilot years three and four). The information collection assumes there will be approximately 100 participating SBV firms in the first year of the program (vouchers awarded in 2016) and assumes there will be comparable levels of funding and participating SBV firms in 2017 and 2018. The first full-length survey (30 minutes in length for about 70 SBV participants and about 70 comparison firms) will stress questions about the application, selection, work agreement and completion processes and also ask about commercialization progress and other outcomes. The survey in year five (30 minutes in length) will ask about 300 firms participating in SBV from Years 1-3 and about 100 comparison firms about interest in continuing to engage with the national Laboratories, but will concentrate on commercialization and other outcomes and how much the DOE program contributed to the outcomes. The abbreviated, interim-year surveys will be 15 minutes in length and will provide status updates on SBV pilot impacts such as commercialization and other outcomes. The purpose of also surveying small business firms that have an interest in working with the National Laboratories but have not participated in SBV is to investigate similarities and differences in the two small business groups. The data collected in the year five survey will also be used to perform a benefit-cost calculation and benchmark comparison of voucher firms to firms in the DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, based on existing SBIR data; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: Pilot Year 2 Survey: 140; Pilot Year 3 Survey: 200; Pilot Year 4 Survey: 300; Pilot Year 5 Survey: 400 ; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: Pilot Year 2 Survey: 140; Pilot Year 3 Survey: 200; Pilot Year 4 Survey: 300; Pilot Year 5 Survey: 400; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: Pilot Year 2 Survey: 70; Pilot Year 3 Survey: 50; Pilot Year 4 Survey: 75; Pilot Year 5 Survey: 200; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: Pilot Year 2 Survey: $0; Pilot Year 5 Survey: $0; Pilot Year 3 and 4 Survey: $0.

    Statutory Authority:

    DOE Org Act (42 U.S.C. 7101, et seq.) and 42 U.S.C. 16191 (AMO authority).

    Issued in Washington, DC on April 5, 2016. Jeff Dowd, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08226 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0828; FRL 9944-76-OW] Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Construction Activities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    All 10 EPA Regions are proposing for public comment on the draft 2017 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities, also referred to as the “2017 Construction General Permit (CGP)” or the “draft permit.” The draft permit, once finalized, will replace the existing general permit covering stormwater discharges from construction activities that will expire on February 16, 2017. EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years, and to provide permit coverage to eligible operators in all areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority, including Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico, Indian country lands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and most U.S. territories and protectorates. EPA seeks comment on the draft permit and on the accompanying fact sheet, which contains supporting documentation. This Federal Register document describes the draft permit in general and also includes specific topics on which the Agency is particularly seeking comment. EPA encourages the public to read the fact sheet to better understand the draft permit. The fact sheet and draft permit can be found at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-construction-activities.

    DATES:

    Comments on the draft permit must be received on or before May 26, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0828 to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information on the draft permit, contact the appropriate EPA Regional office listed in Section I.F of this action, or Emily Halter, EPA Headquarters, Office of Water, Office of Wastewater Management; telephone number: 202-564-3324; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This section is organized as follows:

    Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. How can I get copies of these documents and other related information? C. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? D. Will public hearings be held on this action? E. What process will EPA follow to finalize the permit? F. Who are the EPA regional contacts for this permit? II. Background of Permit III. Summary of the Draft Permit A. Technology-Based Effluent Limits B. Water Quality-Based Effluent Limits (WQBELS) C. Summary of Proposed Permit Changes D. Provisions for Which EPA is Soliciting Comment IV. Analysis of Economic Impacts V. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review VI. Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges From Construction Activities VII. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations VIII. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? 1. Entities Covered by this Permit

    This draft permit covers the following entities, as categorized in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS):

    Table 1—Entities Covered by This Draft Permit Category Examples of affected entities North
  • American
  • Industry
  • Classification System (NAICS) Code
  • Industry Construction site operators disturbing 1 or more acres of land, or less than 1 acre but part of a larger common plan of development or sale if the larger common plan will ultimately disturb 1 acre or more, and performing the following activities: Construction of Buildings 236 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 237

    EPA does not intend the preceding table to be exhaustive, but provides it as a guide for readers regarding the types of activities that EPA is now aware of that could potentially be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be affected. To determine whether your site is covered by this action, you should carefully examine the definition of “construction activity” and “small construction activity” in existing EPA regulations at 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x) and 122.26(b)(15), respectively. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult one of the persons listed for technical information in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    2. Construction Projects for Which Operators are Eligible for Permit Coverage

    Coverage under this permit is available to operators of eligible projects located in those areas where EPA is the permitting authority. A list of eligible areas is included in Appendix B of the draft permit. Eligibility for permit coverage is limited to operators of “new sites,” operators of “existing sites,” “new operators of new or existing sites,” and operators of “emergency-related projects.” A “new site” is a site where construction activities commenced on or after February 16, 2017. An “existing site” is a site where construction activities commenced prior to February 16, 2017. A “new operator of a new or existing site” is an operator that through transfer of ownership and/or operation replaces the operator of an already permitted construction site. An “emergency-related project” is a project initiated in response to a public emergency (e.g., mud slides, earthquake, extreme flooding conditions, disruption in essential public services), for which the related work requires immediate authorization to avoid imminent endangerment to human health or the environment, or to reestablish public services.

    3. Geographic Coverage

    This draft permit will provide coverage to eligible operators for stormwater discharges from construction activities that occur in areas not covered by an approved state NPDES program. The areas of geographic coverage of this draft permit are listed in Appendix B, and include the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Idaho as well as all Indian country lands,1 and areas in selected states operated by a federal operator. Permit coverage is also provided to operators in Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Pacific Island territories, among others.

    1 In January 2016, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals upheld the decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide federal recognition to the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia (see In Re Federal Acknowledgement of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, 62 IBIA 122 (1/28/16)). Following this action, it is likely state reservation land will be placed into trust. Once this process is completed, the reservation would be Indian country. EPA would then consult with the Tribe as to whether the Tribe would like permit coverage for operators on its reservation, and if so, EPA could then issue the permit for the Pamunkey Reservation without further notice and comment.

    B. How can I get copies of these documents and other related information?

    1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0828. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Although all documents in the docket are listed in an index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Publicly available docket materials are available in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room, open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744 and the telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426.

    2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register notice electronically through the United States government on-line source for Federal regulations at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Electronic versions of this draft permit and fact sheet are available on EPA's NPDES Web site at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-construction-activities.

    An electronic version of the public docket is available through the EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may use EPA Dockets at http://www.regulations.gov to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at https://www.epa.gov/dockets. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the Docket Facility identified in Section I.B.1.

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

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

    EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. As noted previously, CBI information should not be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov or by email. When EPA identifies a comment containing copyrighted material, EPA will provide a reference to that material in the version of the comment that is placed in EPA's electronic public docket. The entire printed comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket.

    Public comments submitted on computer disks that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's electronic public docket. Public comments that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public docket. Where practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the photograph will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with a brief description written by the docket staff.

    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments.

    When submitting comments, remember to:

    • Identify this draft permit by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    • Where possible, respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a section or part of this draft permit.

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

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

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

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

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

    • To ensure that EPA can read, understand, and therefore properly respond to comments, the Agency would prefer that commenters cite, where possible, the paragraph(s) or section in the draft permit or fact sheet to which each comment refers.

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

    D. Will public hearings be held on this action?

    EPA has not scheduled any public hearings to receive public comment concerning the draft permit. All persons will continue to have the right to provide written comments during the public comment period. However, interested persons may request a public hearing pursuant to 40 CFR 124.12 concerning the draft permit. Requests for a public hearing must be sent or delivered in writing to the same address as provided previously for public comments prior to the close of the comment period. Requests for a public hearing must state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. Pursuant to 40 CFR 124.12, EPA shall hold a public hearing if it finds, on the basis of requests, a significant degree of public interest in a public hearing on the draft permit. If EPA decides to hold a public hearing, a public notice of the date, time and place of the hearing will be made at least 30 days prior to the hearing. Any person may provide written or oral statements and data pertaining to the draft permit at the public hearing.

    E. What process will EPA follow to finalize the permit?

    After the close of the public comment period, EPA intends to issue a final permit on or prior to the expiration date of the current 2012 CGP. This permit will not be issued until all significant comments have been considered and appropriate changes made to the draft permit. EPA's responses to public comments received will be included in the docket as part of the final permit issuance. Once the final permit becomes effective, eligible operators of existing and new sites may seek authorization under the new CGP. Any construction site operator obtaining permit coverage prior to the expiration date of the 2012 CGP will automatically remain covered under that permit until the earliest of:

    • Authorization for coverage under the 2017 CGP following a timely submittal of a complete and accurate Notice of Intent (NOI);

    • Submittal of a Notice of Termination (NOT); or

    • EPA issues an individual permit or denies coverage under an individual permit for the site's stormwater discharges.

    F. Who are the EPA regional contacts for this permit?

    For EPA Region 1, contact Suzanne Warner at telephone number: (617) 918-1383 or email at [email protected]

    For EPA Region 2, contact Stephen Venezia at telephone number: (212) 637-3856 or email at [email protected], or for Puerto Rico, contact Sergio Bosques at tel.: (787) 977-5838 or email at [email protected]

    For EPA Region 3, contact Carissa Moncavage at telephone number: (215) 814-5798 or email at [email protected]

    For EPA Region 4, contact Michael Mitchell at telephone number: (404) 562-9303 or email at [email protected]

    For EPA Region 5, contact Brian Bell at telephone number: (312) 886-0981 or email at [email protected]

    For EPA Region 6, contact Suzanna Perea at telephone number: (214) 665-7217 or email at: [email protected]

    For EPA Region 7, contact Mark Matthews at telephone number: (913) 551-7635 or email at: [email protected]

    For EPA Region 8, contact Amy Clark at telephone number: (303) 312-7014 or email at: [email protected]

    For EPA Region 9, contact Eugene Bromley at telephone number: (415) 972-3510 or email at [email protected]

    For EPA Region 10, contact Margaret McCauley at telephone number: (206) 553-1772 or email at [email protected]

    II. Background of Permit

    The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) establishes a comprehensive program “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters.” 33 U.S.C. 1251(a). The CWA also includes the objective of attaining “water quality which provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife and * * * recreation in and on the water.” 33 U.S.C. 1251(a)(2)). To achieve these goals, the CWA requires EPA to control discharges of pollutants from point sources through the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits.

    The Water Quality Act of 1987 (WQA) added section 402(p) to the CWA, which directed EPA to develop a phased approach to regulate stormwater discharges under the NPDES program. 33 U.S.C. 1342(p). EPA published a final regulation in the Federal Register, often called the “Phase I Rule,” on November 16, 1990, establishing permit application requirements for, among other things, “storm water discharges associated with industrial activity.” See 55 FR 47990. EPA defines the term “storm water discharge associated with industrial activity” in a comprehensive manner to cover a wide variety of facilities. See id. Construction activities, including activities that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, that ultimately disturb at least five acres of land and have point source discharges to waters of the U.S. were included in the definition of “industrial activity” pursuant to 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x). The second rule implementing section 402(p), often called the “Phase II Rule,” was published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999. It requires NPDES permits for discharges from construction sites disturbing at least one acre but less than five acres, including sites that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb at least one acre but less than five acres, pursuant to 40 CFR 122.26(b)(15)(i). See 64 FR 68722. EPA is proposing to issue this draft permit under the statutory and regulatory authority cited above.

    NPDES permits for construction stormwater discharges are required under Section 402(a)(1) of the CWA to include conditions to meet technology-based effluent limits established under Section 301 and, where applicable, Section 306. Effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) are technology-based effluent limitations that are based on the degree of control that can be achieved using various levels of pollutant control technology as defined in Subchapter III of the CWA.

    Once a new national standard is established in accordance with these sections, NPDES permits must incorporate limits based on such technology-based standards. See CWA sections 301 and 306, 33 U.S.C. 1311 and 1316, and 40 CFR 122.44(a)(1). On December 1, 2009, EPA published final regulations establishing technology-based Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELGs) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the Construction & Development (C&D) point source category, which became effective on February 1, 2010. See 40 CFR part 450, and 74 FR 62996 (December 1, 2009). The Construction & Development Rule, or “C&D rule,” was amended on March 6, 2014 to satisfy EPA's agreements pursuant to a settlement of litigation that challenged the 2009 rule. See 79 FR 12661. All NPDES construction permits issued by EPA or states after this date must incorporate the requirements in the C&D rule.

    III. Summary of the Draft Permit

    The draft permit is similar to the existing 2012 CGP. It includes effluent limitations (i.e., requirements for erosion and sediment and pollutant prevention controls) and requirements for self-inspections, corrective actions, staff training, development of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), and permit conditions applicable to construction sites in specific states, Indian country lands, and territories. Additionally, the appendices provide forms for the submittal of an NOI, NOT, Low Erosivity Waiver (LEW), as well as step-by-step procedures for determining eligibility with respect to the protection of threatened and endangered species and historic properties, and for complying with the draft permit's natural buffer requirements.

    A. Technology-Based Effluent Limits

    As stated previously, all NPDES construction permits issued by EPA or states after March 6, 2014 must incorporate the requirements in the C&D rule, as amended. The non-numeric effluent limitations in the C&D rule are designed to prevent the mobilization and discharge of sediment and sediment-bound pollutants, such as metals and nutrients, and to prevent or minimize exposure of stormwater to construction materials, debris, and other sources of pollutants on construction sites. In addition, these non-numeric effluent limitations limit the generation of dissolved pollutants. Soil on construction sites can contain a variety of pollutants such as nutrients, pesticides, herbicides, and metals. These pollutants may be present naturally in the soil, such as arsenic or selenium, or they may have been contributed by previous activities on the site, such as agriculture or industrial activities. These pollutants, once mobilized by stormwater, can detach from the soil particles and become dissolved pollutants. Once dissolved, these pollutants would not be removed by down-slope sediment controls. Source control through minimization of soil erosion is therefore the most effective way of controlling the discharge of these pollutants.

    The non-numeric effluent limits in the C&D rule, upon which certain technology-based requirements in the draft permit are based, include the following:

    Erosion and Sediment Controls—Permittees are required to design, install and maintain effective erosion controls and sediment controls to minimize the discharge of pollutants. At a minimum, such controls must be designed, installed and maintained to:

    1. Control stormwater volume and velocity to minimize soil erosion in order to minimize pollutant discharges;

    2. Control stormwater discharges, including both peak flowrates and total stormwater volume, to minimize channel and streambank erosion and scour in the immediate vicinity of discharge points;

    3. Minimize the amount of soil exposed during construction activity;

    4. Minimize the disturbance of steep slopes;

    5. Minimize sediment discharges from the site. The design, installation and maintenance of erosion and sediment controls must address factors such as the amount, frequency, intensity and duration of precipitation, the nature of resulting stormwater discharge, and soil characteristics, including the range of soil particle sizes expected to be present on the site;

    6. Provide and maintain natural buffers around waters of the United States, direct stormwater to vegetated areas and maximize stormwater infiltration to reduce pollutant discharges, unless infeasible;

    7. Minimize soil compaction. Minimizing soil compaction is not required where the intended function of a specific area of the site dictates that it be compacted; and

    8. Unless infeasible, preserve topsoil. Preserving topsoil is not required where the intended function of a specific area of the site dictates that the topsoil be disturbed or removed.

    Soil Stabilization Requirements—Permittees are required to, at a minimum, initiate soil stabilization measures immediately whenever any clearing, grading, excavating or other earth disturbing activities have permanently ceased on any portion of the site, or temporarily ceased on any portion of the site and will not resume for a period exceeding 14 calendar days. In arid, semiarid, and drought-stricken areas where initiating vegetative stabilization measures immediately is infeasible, alternative stabilization measures must be employed as specified by the permitting authority. Stabilization must be completed within a period of time determined by the permitting authority. In limited circumstances, stabilization may not be required if the intended function of a specific area of the site necessitates that it remain disturbed.

    Dewatering Requirements—Permittees are required to minimize the discharge of pollutants from dewatering trenches and excavations. Discharges are prohibited unless managed by appropriate controls.

    Pollution Prevention Measures—Permittees are required to design, install, implement, and maintain effective pollution prevention measures to minimize the discharge of pollutants. At a minimum, such measures must be designed, installed, implemented and maintained to:

    1. Minimize the discharge of pollutants from equipment and vehicle washing, wheel wash water, and other wash waters. Wash waters must be treated in a sediment basin or alternative control that provides equivalent or better treatment prior to discharge;

    2. Minimize the exposure of building materials, building products, construction wastes, trash, landscape materials, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, detergents, sanitary waste and other materials present on the site to precipitation and to stormwater. Minimization of exposure is not required in cases where the exposure to precipitation and to stormwater will not result in a discharge of pollutants, or where exposure of a specific material or product poses little risk of stormwater contamination (such as final products and materials intended for outdoor use); and

    3. Minimize the discharge of pollutants from spills and leaks and implement chemical spill and leak prevention and response procedures.

    Prohibited Discharges—The following discharges from C&D sites are prohibited:

    1. Wastewater from washout of concrete, unless managed by an appropriate control;

    2. Wastewater from washout and cleanout of stucco, paint, form release oils, curing compounds and other construction materials;

    3. Fuels, oils, or other pollutants used in vehicle and equipment operation and maintenance; and

    4. Soaps or solvents used in vehicle and equipment washing.

    Surface Outlets—When discharging from basins and impoundments, permittees are required to utilize outlet structures that withdraw water from the surface, unless infeasible.

    The fact sheet details how EPA has incorporated these requirements into the draft permit. The discussion in the fact sheet includes a summary of each provision and the Agency's rationale for articulating the provision in this way.

    B. Water Quality-Based Effluent Limits (WQBELs)

    EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 122.44(d)(1) require permitting authorities to include additional or more stringent permit requirements when necessary to achieve water quality standards. The 2012 CGP contained several provisions to protect water quality and the draft permit includes those same provisions. It includes a narrative WQBEL requiring that discharges be controlled as necessary to meet applicable water quality standards. Failure to control discharges in a manner that meets applicable water quality standards will be a violation of the permit.

    In addition to the narrative WQBEL, the draft permit contains related provisions that act together to further protect water quality. These provisions were also included in the 2012 CGP. For example, the draft permit requires permittees to implement stormwater control measures and to take corrective action in response to any exceedance of applicable water quality standards. To provide further protection, the draft permit requires more stringent site inspection frequencies and stabilization deadlines for constructions sites that discharge to sensitive waters, such as those waters that are sediment or nutrient-impaired, which are parameters typically associated with stormwater discharges from construction sites, or waters identified by a state, tribe, or EPA as requiring enhanced protection under antidegradation requirements. Additionally, EPA expects that, as with the 2012 CGP, the Agency will receive CWA Section 401 certifications for the final 2017 CGP. Some of those certifications may include additional conditions that are required by states, Indian country lands, and territories, that become legally binding permit limits and conditions in specific geographic areas where the permit is available.

    C. Summary of Proposed Permit Changes

    EPA proposes to make several modifications to the 2012 CGP, which are summarized below and discussed in more detail in the fact sheet. EPA also specifically requests comment on several potential permit modifications, which are summarized in Section III.D below. The fact sheet for the draft permit explains in more detail each proposed permit condition and the rationale for including those conditions and any changes to those conditions. The fact sheet and draft permit can be found at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-construction-activities. The following list summarizes these specific permit modifications, and where they are included in the draft permit.

    1. Streamlining of permit—EPA proposes to streamline and simplify language throughout the draft permit to present requirements in a generally more clear and readable manner. This structure should enhance the permittees' understanding of and compliance with the permit's requirements. For example, EPA moved language that was not necessary in the permit to the relevant appendix or to the fact sheet. Although the draft permit has been streamlined from prior permits, many of the requirements remain unchanged.

    2. Revisions consistent with the C&D ELG, as amended— EPA proposes to make minor revisions to the technology-based effluent limits in the permit to implement the March 6, 2014 amendments to the Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines and Standards (the “C&D rule”) at 40 CFR part 450 (see section III.A. of this notice on Technology-Based Effluent Limits). The 2012 CGP already incorporated the original C&D rule requirements and the draft permit makes the necessary revisions to the language based on the rule amendments, but does not add any new requirements. These revisions include clarifying the applicability of requirements to control erosion caused by discharges, providing additional details on areas where buffers are required, and clarifying requirements for soil stabilization, preservation of topsoil, and pollution prevention measures.

    3. Authorized non-stormwater discharges—EPA currently authorizes several non-stormwater discharges associated with construction activity under the 2012 CGP. EPA proposes in the draft permit to require that authorized non-stormwater discharges of external building washdown waters must not contain hazardous substances, such as paint or caulk containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Part 1.2.2.

    4. Public notice of permit coverage—The current 2012 CGP requires that permittees post a sign or other public notice of permit coverage at a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the construction site. EPA proposes in the draft permit that this notice must also include information informing the public on how to contact EPA if stormwater pollution is observed in the discharge. EPA is proposing to require this condition to improve compliance with the permit. Part 1.5.

    5. Stockpiles and land clearing debris piles—The current 2012 CGP requires that cover or appropriate temporary stabilization be provided for any stockpiles “where practicable.” EPA proposes in the draft permit to require cover or appropriate temporary stabilization for all inactive stockpiles and land clearing debris piles for those piles that will be unused for 14 or more days. This provision is consistent with the permit's stabilization requirements in Part 2.2.14 of the draft permit. EPA is proposing this change to ensure pollutants are minimized from these piles, but is clarifying that the requirement only applies where these piles are not actively being used. Part 2.2.5.

    6. Construction and domestic waste—EPA proposes in the draft permit to require waste container lids to be kept closed when not in use, or, for waste containers that do not have lids and could leak, EPA proposes to require cover or a similarly effective means to be provided to minimize the discharge of pollutants. EPA proposes this change to make the requirements for construction and domestic waste consistent with the cover requirements for most other types of materials and wastes in the 2012 CGP. Part 2.3.3.

    7. Pollution prevention requirements for demolition activities—EPA proposes in the draft permit a requirement to implement controls to minimize the exposure of polychlorinated biphenyl- (PCB) containing building materials to precipitation and stormwater associated with the demolition of structures with at least 10,000 square feet of floor space built or renovated before January 1, 1980. In addition, EPA proposes to require information about the demolition location and associated pollutants to be documented in the SWPPP. Part 2.3.3.

    8. Reporting information on construction activities—EPA proposes to require a question on the NOI form asking for the type of construction activities that will occur on the site. See draft Appendix J.

    D. Provisions for Which EPA is Soliciting Comment

    While EPA encourages the public to review and comment on all provisions in the draft permit, EPA has included in the body of the draft permit several provisions on which EPA specifically requests feedback. The following list summarizes these specific requests for comment, and where they are included in the permit:

    1. Group SWPPP for multiple operators—Request for comment on whether the permit should include a provision for sites with multiple operators requiring those operators to develop a group SWPPP. Part 1.1.1.

    2. Authorized non-stormwater discharges—Request for comment on whether to require that authorized non-stormwater discharges of external building washdown waters must not contain hazardous substances. Part 1.2.2.

    3. Stabilization deadlines—Request for comment on modifying the deadline to complete stabilization to seven (7) calendar days for all sites. Part 2.2.14.

    4. Controls for dewatering discharges—Request for comment on additional controls or requirements EPA should consider to ensure that discharges of pollutants in construction dewatering discharges are minimized. Part 2.4.

    5. Site inspection frequency—Request for comment on modifying the minimum site inspection frequency. Part 4.2.2.

    6. Snowmelt discharge inspection frequency—Request for comment on the frequency of inspections that should be required for discharge events with snowmelt runoff. Part 4.2.2.

    7. Availability of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)—Request for comment on requiring operators to make the SWPPP, or a portion of the SWPPP, publicly available. Part 7.3.

    IV. Analysis of Economic Impacts

    EPA expects the economic impact on entities that will be covered under this permit, including small businesses, to be minimal. A copy of EPA's economic analysis, titled “Cost Impact Analysis for the 2017 Proposed Construction General Permit (CGP),” is available in the docket for this draft permit. The economic impact analysis indicates that while there may be some incremental increase in the costs of complying with the new permit, these costs will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    V. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

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

    VI. Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges From Construction Activities

    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4307h), the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations (40 CFR part 15), and EPA's regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR part 6), EPA has determined that the 2017 reissuance of the CGP is eligible for a categorical exclusion requiring documentation under 40 CFR 6.204(a)(1)(iv). This category includes “actions involving reissuance of a NPDES permit for a new source providing the conclusions of the original NEPA document are still valid, there will be no degradation of the receiving waters, and the permit conditions do not change or are more environmentally protective.” EPA completed an Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI) for the existing 2012 CGP. The analysis and conclusions regarding the potential environmental impacts, reasonable alternatives, and potential mitigation included in the EA/FONSI are still valid for the 2017 reissuance of the CGP because the proposed permit conditions are either the same or in some cases are more environmentally protective. Actions may be categorically excluded if the action fits within a category of action that is eligible for exclusion and the proposed action does not involve any extraordinary circumstances. EPA has reviewed the proposed action and determined that the 2017 reissuance of the CGP does not involve any extraordinary circumstances listed in 6.204(b)(1) through (b)(10). Prior to the issuance of the final 2017 CGP, the EPA Responsible Official will document the application of the categorical exclusion and will make it available to the public on EPA's Web site at https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/nepa/search. If new information or changes in the draft permit involve or relate to at least one of the extraordinary circumstances or otherwise indicate that the permit may not meet the criteria for categorical exclusion, EPA will prepare an EA or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

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

    Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (February 16, 1994)) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

    EPA has determined that this draft permit will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because the requirements in the draft permit apply equally to all construction projects that disturb one or more acres in areas where EPA is the permitting authority, and the erosion and sediment control proposed provisions increase the level of environmental protection for all affected populations.

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

    In compliance with Executive Order 13175, EPA has consulted with tribal officials to gain an understanding of and, where necessary, to address the tribal implications of the draft permit. In the course of this consultation, EPA conducted the following activities:

    • August 5, 2015—EPA mailed notification letters to all Tribal leaders, initiating consultation and coordination on the draft permit. The consultation period was from August 17, 2015 to October 13, 2015.

    • August 11, 2015—EPA presented a brief overview of the current CGP and information regarding the upcoming consultation to the National Tribal Caucus.

    • August 12, 2015—EPA presented a brief overview of the current CGP and information regarding the upcoming consultation to the National Tribal Water Council.

    • September 22, 2015—EPA held a consultation teleconference call; 18 Tribes were represented. EPA responded to the general questions raised on the call.

    • On October 14, 2015, EPA received one set of comments from a Tribe in the State of Washington. EPA has started evaluation of the comments and will consider them moving forward; EPA will respond to the formal comments submitted in writing during the comment period in the Agency's final action.

    • EPA will provide email notification to Tribes of today's proposal of the draft permit, and invite those interested to provide the Agency with comments.

    EPA also notes that as part of the finalization of this draft permit, it will complete the Section 401 certification procedures with all applicable tribes where this permit will apply (see Appendix B).

    Authority:

    Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

    Dated: March 29, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1. Dated: March 29, 2016. Joan Leary Matthews Director, Clean Water Division, EPA Region 2. Dated: March 29, 2016. Jose C. Font Director, Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, EPA Region 2. Dated: March 29, 2016. Jon M. Capacasa, Director, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 3. Dated: March 29, 2016. James D. Giattina, Director, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 4. Dated: March 29, 2016. Tinka G. Hyde Director, Water Division, EPA Region 5. Dated: March 29, 2016. David Garcia, Deputy Director, Water Division, EPA Region 6. Dated: March 29, 2016. Karen Flournoy, Director, Water, Wetlands, and Pesticides Division, EPA Region 7. Dated: March 29, 2016. Darcy O'Connor, Acting Assistant Regional Administrator, EPA Region 8. Dated: March 29, 2016. Mike Montgomery Assistant Director, Water Division, EPA Region 9. Dated: March 29, 2016. Daniel D. Opalski, Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08276 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0316; FRL-9944-37] Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP); EPA Proposal To Rely on Data From Human Research on TCVP Exposure From Flea Control Collars AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with EPA's rule for protection of human subjects, EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment on EPA's proposal to rely on data from human research on tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) exposure from flea control collars.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0316, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on EPA's Rule for Protection of Human Subjects contact: Maureen Lydon, Human Research Ethics Review Officer, Office of Pesticide Programs (7501P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0440; email address: lydon.maureen@epa.gov.

    For information on the EPA risk assessment contact: James Parker, Chemical Review Manager, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 306-0469; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult a contact listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. Authority

    EPA is conducting its registration review of TCVP pursuant to section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq., and the Procedural Regulations for Registration Review at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. Section 3(g) of FIFRA provides, among other things, that the registrations of pesticides are to be reviewed every 15 years. Under FIFRA, a pesticide product may be registered or remain registered only if it meets the statutory standard for registration given in FIFRA section 3(c)(5) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(5)). When used in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, the pesticide product must perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment; that is, without any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, or a human dietary risk from residues that result from the use of a pesticide in or on food.

    III. EPA's Proposal To Rely on Published TCVP Human Research

    During the public meeting of the Human Studies Review Board (HSRB) held on January 12-13, 2016, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs provided an overview and science and ethics review of the research discussed in the article “Assessing Intermittent Pesticide Exposure From Flea Control Collars Containing the Organophosphorus Insecticide Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP).” This research article was authored by M. Keith Davis, J. Scott Boone, John E. Moran, John W. Tyler and Janice E. Chambers and published in 2008 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2008) 18, pages 564-570. EPA presented Davis et al. research to the HSRB for their review, along with a request for the HSRB to respond to questions posed by EPA.

    The Davis et al. research measured TCVP exposures in children and adults that could occur from contact with pet dogs wearing TCVP-containing flea control collars. The research was based on two studies conducted by the Center of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University (MSU). Although the families involved in the studies already used flea collars, the researchers provided specific flea collars to the participating families and asked that their dogs wear them during the studies.

    In study 1, conducted in 1998, TCVP residues were measured by rubbing/petting dogs' fur with a gloved hand. The sampling was conducted by volunteer technicians from MSU veterinary school who stroked the animals in a standardized, prescribed manner, in a marked 10 x 4 inch area with clean, white, cotton gloves for a continuous 5-minute period. The dogs were rubbed in three specific locations: Near the base of the tail, at the neck with the flea collar removed, and at the neck with the flea collar in place. Study 1 also measured dog plasma cholinesterase. There were 23 pet dogs included in this study, one from each of the 23 participating households.

    Under study 2, conducted in 2002, volunteer technicians from MSU veterinary school collected TCVP residues by rubbing/petting dogs' fur with a gloved hand, and used the same methods as those employed by study 1. The collection of the glove residue data did not involve children in either study 1 or study 2. However, study 2 also quantified TCVP residues on tee shirts worn by children and included biomonitoring of the TCVP metabolite 2,4,5-trichloromandelic acid (TCMA) in urine of participating children and adults. Study 2 included 1 child and 1 adult from each of the 22 participating families and 22 pet dogs.

    EPA proposes to use only the glove residue data from the Davis et al. research in its risk assessment of TCVP because it is chemical-specific and results in the highest computed risks when compared to the other data in Davis et al. and all the approaches considered in the assessment; as a result, it supports the most protective risk characterization. The research complied with the ethical standards in place at the time the studies were conducted and meets the substantive acceptance standards. As described in the Davis et al. research, the data were derived in a manner that makes the research scientifically valid and are appropriate for use in EPA's risk assessment.

    In the Federal Register of January 20, 2016 (81 FR 3128, FRL-9940-81), EPA sought public comment on EPA's draft human health and ecological risk assessment for the registration review of TCVP. The public can view the draft human health risk assessment and supporting documents, as well as comments received, in the docket established for the reregistration review of TCVP (see docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0316). EPA has determined that relying on the glove residue data from the Davis et al. research is crucial to a decision to potentially impose a more stringent regulatory restriction that would improve public health protection than could be justified without relying on the data. EPA currently does not have other pet collar glove residue data which are chemical-specific or that would lead to the same potential regulatory action to improve public health protection. For this reason, the glove residue data are crucial to EPA's decision.

    IV. Reason for Review by the HSRB

    EPA chose, in this case, to obtain the views of the HSRB concerning EPA's proposal to rely on the TCVP glove residue data from studies 1 and 2 for the following reasons. First, the proposal submitted to EPA's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program for funding of the research discussed correlating the residues from the rubbing procedure with the gloves, the residues from the tee shirts worn by children participating in the studies, and the urinary metabolites of the children and adults in the participating households and described these activities under the umbrella of one research project. Moreover, although EPA is relying only on the TCVP glove residue data from both studies, study 2 further involved children wearing tee shirts and providing urine samples, and, at least for that portion of the study, is considered research involving intentional exposure to human subjects. Therefore, even though EPA does not wish to rely on the data involving children (namely the tee shirt and urinary data), EPA chose in this case to assume that the prohibition in 40 CFR 26.1703 and the process in 40 CFR 26.1706 apply, including submission of the research to the HSRB for review.

    40 CFR 26.1703 prohibits EPA reliance on data from any research involving intentional exposure of any human subject who is a pregnant woman (and therefore her fetus), nursing woman, or child, except as provided in 40 CFR 26.1706. 40 CFR 26.1706 explains that EPA may rely on data that are unacceptable under the standards in 40 CFR 26.1703 through 26.1705 only if EPA has: (a) Obtained the views of the HSRB; (b) provided an opportunity for public comment on the proposal to rely on the otherwise unacceptable data; (c) determined that relying on the data is crucial to a decision that would impose a more stringent regulatory restriction to protect public health than could be justified without the data; and (d) published a full explanation of the decision to rely on the data, including a thorough discussion of the ethical deficiencies of the underlying research and the full rationale for finding that the standard in item (c) was met.

    EPA sought and obtained the views of the HSRB during the public meeting of the HSRB on January 12-13, 2016. The HSRB documents their views in meeting minutes and a final report before EPA publishes the explanation required by 40 CFR 26.1706(d). Pursuant to 40 CFR 26.1706(b), EPA is hereby providing an opportunity for public comment on EPA's proposal to rely on the TCVP glove residue data from the Davis et al. research. EPA proposes to rely on chemical-specific data from human research to potentially impose a more stringent regulatory restriction that would improve public health protection than could be justified without relying on the data.

    V. Background on Ethical Conduct of Research

    The research was funded by EPA's STAR grants. EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) reviewed the grant proposal, which involved human research and funding from EPA. EPA's ethics review of the Davis et al. research presented at the January HSRB meeting relies in part on EPA's ORD file because it contains draft consent forms used during study 2 and recruitment information. At the January 2016 HSRB meeting, EPA discussed the role of the veterinary students, the societal value of the Davis et al. research, and ethical considerations regarding recruitment of study participants, the independent ethics review, informed consent, respect for subjects and compensation for participation in the study.

    EPA reviewed with the HSRB the role of the veterinary students in rubbing the dogs. The technicians who rubbed the dogs in study 1 and study 2 were students enrolled at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine. Both the researchers and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) viewed the veterinary students as technicians in the study, not as human subjects. The abstract for the research submitted to EPA for funding is included in the ORD file and states, on page 14, that “the samplers will be trained so that consistency in the sample collection is maintained among dogs and among samplers.” As discussed in the research article, the technicians wore gloves and stroked the animals in a standardized, prescribed manner: “in a marked 10 x 4 inch area with clean, white, cotton gloves for a continuous 5-min period.” The dogs were rubbed in specific locations (near the base of the tail, at the neck with collar removed, and at the neck with the collar in place). Under 40 CFR 26.1102(e), the term “human subject” is defined, in part, as “a living individual about whom an investigator . . . conducting research obtains . . . data through intervention or interaction. . . .” The Primary Investigator for the research confirmed that she did not obtain data about the technicians, nor did she intend to do so. The pattern of rubbing does not resemble the typical human-pet interaction or provide information about how a person would normally interact with a pet. EPA noted during the HSRB meeting that the researchers were not collecting data about the technicians in this study and concluded that there is no indication from the research article, the ORD file or EPA's interview with the Primary Investigator that the study collected data about the veterinary students who worked as technicians in the study. Instead, the researchers collected data only about the residues on the glove as an indication of how much residue was available for transfer from the pet.

    With regard to the societal value of the Davis et al. research, the objective was to assess the amount of exposure to TCVP that could occur in children and adults from the use of a TCVP-containing collar on a pet dog. Regarding recruitment, the research article states that “the studies were conducted in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi (USA), with volunteer households having pet dogs” and that “participating families were volunteers who routinely used flea control products on their pet dogs.” “One child and one adult were selected from each participating family” for study 2, which included 44 subjects. EPA's file on the STAR grant, page 13, states that: “Dogs selected for this study will be owned by professional (DVM) or graduate students enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine, or staff/faculty members of Mississippi State University with a child aged 4-10 years in the household who routinely plays with this dog.” It goes on to state that “students or staff should be the most reliable group of owners (in contrast to the general public) in that they are accessible daily, their dogs can readily be treated and sampled when the students are in class or the staff members are at work, and as members of the academic community, the compliance and appreciation of the value of research should be high.” EPA's file further states that “dogs participating in this study must be enrolled in the Small Animal Community Practice Health Maintenance Program, so that their health status and vaccination history are known.”

    Regarding the independent ethics review, the IRB for Research on Human Subjects at MSU reviewed and approved the sampling protocols and consent forms, and the EPA's ORD, the National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance (NCERQA) reviewed the STAR grant proposal focusing on this research. ORD supported the research dependent on the incorporation of NCERQA comments on the consent forms. The protocol was distributed to each participating household, informed consent was obtained from the adults, and children were informed verbally of the procedures and oral or written assent was obtained from them. The IRB for Research on Human Subjects at MSU approved all sampling protocols and informed consent forms. The ORD file contains a draft consent form for adults and a Minor's Assent Form. The consent form states that the study involves research and identifies its purpose, expected duration, number of urine and tee shirt samples to be provided, states that research results will be coded, participants are free to withdraw, provides a contact for information, and specifies compensation of $150 for each participating household. The consent form, entitled “Authorization for Participation in Research Project,” also states that “no risks are anticipated to the participants.” The implication is that since families already used flea collars on their dogs, there was no added risk from participating in the study. In the abstract that the researchers submitted to ORD, however, page 4 states that “the residues of insecticides available for intermittent transfer to children from the fur of dogs treated by either a spot treatment or a collar for flea control will be appreciable and of a magnitude necessitating inclusion in cumulative risk assessments of pesticides to children; secondly, that the fur rubbing procedure developed to quantify dislodgeable residues provides a useful estimate of insecticide residues which could be transferred from the fur of dogs to children.”

    Although the families involved already used flea collars registered by EPA, in the interest of transparency, it would have been preferable for the researchers to have shared their hypothesis with the parents of the participating children and included it in the consent form. It is unknown whether the information was stated in the protocol provided to the families. The Minor's Assent Form states that the researchers “will specifically obtain assent from the children recruited to our project . . . We will explain that the child's parent or guardian has given us permission to request his/her help participation (sic) in the research project. We will then explain the urine collection protocol and the tee shirt protocol to the children in language appropriate to the age of the child and obtain his/her assent to participate. We will not explain the connection to the pesticide residues on the dog so as not to alter the behavior of the child with the dog. We will obtain the children's assent orally because of the age range of the children involved.”

    The researchers demonstrated respect for subjects participating in the study in several ways. The researchers: Did not reveal subjects' identities; obtained informed consent from participating subjects; provided light weight short-sleeve tee shirts to children for use during the study; gave written assurance that urine samples would only be used to quantify insecticide urinary metabolites; and provided compensation for participation in the study. Compensation included $100 equivalent of veterinary care provided by the Animal Health Center of MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and $150 to participating households in Study 2.

    VI. Summary of Discussion on Ethics-Related Questions

    As documented on page 27 of the minutes of the January 2016 HSRB meeting, in response to EPA's science charge question, the HSRB stated that, “The research is scientifically sound and, if used appropriately, the pet fur transferable residue data from the rubbing protocol can provide useful information for evaluating potential exposures of adults and children from contact with dogs treated with tetrachlorvinphos containing pet collars.” The HSRB noted that, “the limitations of the data would be discussed in the Board's report.” The minutes of the January 12-13, 2016 public HSRB meeting are available on the HSRB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/osa/january-12-13-2016-meeting-human-studies-review-board.

    The EPA also asked the HSRB if they had any comments on the determination that the samplers (who petted/rubbed the dogs) were not human subjects. During the public meeting, as documented on pages 27-28 of the minutes, “Questions were raised by several committee members about the PI's ([primary investigator's) and the IRB's (Institutional Review Board's) determinations that the samplers were not human subjects in the study; rather they were viewed as study staff. Some members of the board asserted that the students/technicians, by virtue of being potentially exposed to the pesticide as part of the conduct of the study, should have been considered human subjects. Furthermore, if they had been treated as subjects, they might have been considered `vulnerable' due to their status as students.” The HSRB noted that the flea control collars were “commercially available at the time, and that the potential exposure to the pesticide residues through petting the dogs for 5 minute periods wearing cotton gloves was likely much less than average exposure of a pet owner. There is no information available about whether there was any `bleed through' of pesticide from the cotton gloves to the skin of the samplers and therefore the actual exposure is unknown. Considering all of these factors, the committee felt that the risks of exposure were not greater than those experienced in everyday life. Thus, even if the determination regarding the status of the samplers as study staff rather than subjects was mistaken, the committee did not believe this resulted in any material harms and so this question should not prevent the EPA from using the pet fur transferable residue data derived from the study for making a decision to impose a more stringent regulatory restriction than could be justified without the data.”

    EPA asked the HSRB if they had any comments on the ethical conduct of the research. As noted on page 28 of the meeting minutes, “Committee members observed that the records from correspondence with EPA staff regarding the study suggest the consent form was amended to include disclosure to parents about the risks of pesticide exposure, although the final approved consent form was not available. A question was raised about the decision made to provide incomplete assent to the minor subjects following parental permission. Study documents suggest this was an intentional choice (`We will not explain the connection to the pesticide residues on the dog . . .'), which was made, according to study documents, in order to avoid confounding the results by causing alterations in the children's behavior around their dogs. Board members noted that the amount and type of information provided to children in an assent process will vary depending on the age of the child; the children enrolled in the study were between the ages of 3 and 11 years old and therefore would have had varying levels of capacity to process the information about the study. It was noted that FIFRA, which existed at the time of these studies, states that it's unlawful to use any pesticide in tests on humans unless they are fully informed of the nature and purposes of the test. Although some board members viewed the assent as incomplete in this case, because parents are presumed to have given fully-informed permission,” and given that the flea control collars were “commercially available at the time and already in use in the households recruited to the study, the committee felt that the risks of exposure were not greater than those experienced in everyday life. Thus, the committee did not believe this resulted in any material harms and so this question should not prevent the EPA from using the pet fur transferable residue data derived from the study for making a decision to impose a more stringent regulatory restriction than could be justified without the data.”

    VII. Standards Applicable to Ethical Conduct and Reliance on Data

    With regard to the standards applicable to the conduct of the research, study 1 was conducted in 1998 and study 2 was conducted in 2002, both before EPA's Rule for Protection of Human Subjects (40 CFR part 26, subparts B through Q) became effective in 2006. Thus, 40 CFR part 26, subparts B through Q, did not apply when this research was conducted. However, EPA's codification of the Common Rule at 40 CFR part 26 subpart A was in place and applies to the underlying research that received EPA's STAR grant funding. Key elements of the Common Rule include IRB oversight and prior approval, an acceptable informed consent process, risk minimization, a favorable risk-benefit balance, equitable subject selection, and fully informed and voluntary participation by subjects. In addition, FIFRA section 12(a)(2)(P), which states that it is unlawful to use any pesticide in tests on humans unless they are fully informed of the nature and purposes of the tests, as well as of any reasonably foreseeable physical and mental health consequences, and that participants freely volunteer, existed at the time of these studies. The Davis et al. research complied with the standards in place at the time the research was conducted.

    The substantive acceptance standards which apply to the research include: 40 CFR 26.1703, which, except as provided in 40 CFR 26.1706, prohibits relying on data involving intentional exposure of pregnant or nursing women or of children; 40 CFR 26.1704, which, except as provided in 40 CFR 26.1706, prohibits reliance on data if research was fundamentally unethical or deficient relative to prevailing standards at the time; and FIFRA section 12(a)(2)(P), which makes it unlawful to use a pesticide in human tests without fully informed, fully voluntary consent. 40 CFR 26.1706 states that EPA may rely on data that are unacceptable under the standards in 40 CFR 26.1703 through 26.1705 only if EPA has: (a) Obtained the views of the HSRB, (b) provided the opportunity for public comment on the proposal to rely on the otherwise unacceptable data, (c) determined that relying on the data is crucial to a decision that would impose a more stringent regulatory restriction to protect public health than could be justified without the data, and (d) published a full explanation of the decision to rely on the data, including a thorough discussion of the ethical deficiencies of the underlying research and the full rationale for finding that the standard in item (c) was met. Regarding 40 CFR 26.1703, study 2 involved tee shirt and urine samples that came from children. As explained previously, even though EPA only intends to rely on the glove residue data from study 1 and study 2, which did not involve children, EPA chose in this case, out of an abundance of caution, to proceed under 40 CFR part 26, subpart Q.

    Regarding 40 CFR 26.1704, clear and convincing evidence that the pre-rule research was fundamentally unethical or deficient relative to prevailing ethics standards does not exist, and the research complied with FIFRA section 12(a)(2)(P). In satisfaction of 40 CFR 26.1706(a), EPA sought and obtained the views of the HSRB during the public HSRB meeting on January 12-13, 2016. The HSRB documents their views in meeting minutes and a final report before EPA publishes the explanation required by 40 CFR 26.1706(d). Pursuant to 40 CFR 26.1706(b), EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment on EPA's proposed decision to rely on the glove residue data.

    Regarding 40 CFR 26.1706(c), EPA has determined that relying on the glove residue data from the Davis et al. research is crucial to a decision to potentially impose a more stringent regulatory restriction that would improve public health protection than could be justified without relying on the data, as explained in EPA's draft human health and ecological risk assessment for the registration review of TCVP.

    VIII. Availability of HSRB Meeting Materials

    In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, the minutes of the HSRB public meeting held on January 12-13, 2016, including a description of the matters discussed and conclusions reached by the Board, must be certified by the HSRB meeting Chair and made public within 90 days of the meeting. The HSRB meeting Chair in fact certified those meeting minutes on February 24, 2016. The HSRB also will prepare a final report in response to questions posed by the EPA, which will include the Board's review and analysis of materials presented. The approved minutes, final report and other materials from the January 12-13, 2016 HSRB meeting are or will be available in docket ID number EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0588 and on the HSRB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/osa/human-studies-review-board.

    IX. Other Related Information on TCVP

    The public can view EPA's draft human health and ecological risk assessment and supporting documents for the registration review of TCVP in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov (see docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0316). Information on the Agency's registration review program and its implementing regulation is available at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation/registration-review-process.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 28, 2016. Jack E. Housenger, Director, Office of Pesticide Programs, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08281 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0762; FRL-9943-48] Registration Review; Conventional, Biopesticide and Antimicrobial Dockets Opened for Review and Comment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    With this document, EPA is opening the public comment period for several registration reviews. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Registration review dockets contain information that will assist the public in understanding the types of information and issues that the Agency may consider during the course of registration reviews. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments identified by the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the table in Unit III. A., by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information contact: The person identified as a contact in the table in Unit III.A. Also include the docket ID number listed in the table in Unit III.A. for the pesticide of interest.

    For general information contact: Richard Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; fax number: (703) 308-8090; email address: [email protected].

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farmworker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

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

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. Authority

    EPA is initiating its reviews of the pesticides identified in this document pursuant to section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136a(g)) and the Procedural Regulations for Registration Review at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C., Section 3(g) of FIFRA provides, among other things, that the registrations of pesticides are to be reviewed every 15 years. Under FIFRA, a pesticide product may be registered or remain registered only if it meets the statutory standard for registration given in FIFRA section 3(c)(5) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(5)). When used in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, the pesticide product must perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment; that is, without any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, or a human dietary risk from residues that result from the use of a pesticide in or on food.

    III. Registration Reviews A. What action is the Agency taking?

    As directed by FIFRA section 3(g), EPA is reviewing the pesticide registrations identified in the table in this unit to assure that they continue to satisfy the FIFRA standard for registration—that is, they can still be used without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. A pesticide's registration review begins when the Agency establishes a docket for the pesticide's registration review case and opens the docket for public review and comment. At present, EPA is opening registration review dockets for the cases identified in the following table.

    Table—Registration Review Dockets Opening Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Contact 1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one,2-butyl- (BBIT), 5017 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0736 Rachel Ricciardi, [email protected], (703) 347-0465. Bacillus popilliae, 4102 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0043 Kathleen Martin, [email protected], (703) 308-2857. Brodifacoum, 2755 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0767 Ricardo Jones, [email protected], (703) 347-0493. Bromadiolone, 2760 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0768 Ricardo Jones, [email protected], (703) 347-0493. Derivatives of benzoic acid, 4013 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0597 Moana Appleyard, [email protected], (703) 308-8175. Difenacoum, 7630 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0769 Nicole Zinn [email protected], (703) 308-7075. Difethialone, 7603 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0770 Nicole Zinn [email protected], (703) 308-7075. Ethofumesate, 2265 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0406 Jordan Page, [email protected], (703) 347-0467. Fluometuron, 0049 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0746 Linsey Walsh, [email protected], (703) 347-8030. Inorganic chlorates, 4049 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0080 Brittany Pruitt, [email protected], (703) 347-0289. Inorganic polysulfides, 4054 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0102 Katherine St. Clair, [email protected], (703) 347-8778. Metaldehyde, 0576 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0649 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], (703) 347-0553. Methyl Eugenol, 6203 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0542 Cheryl Greene, [email protected], (703) 308-0352. Pentachloronitrobenzene, 0128 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0348 Veronica Dutch, [email protected], (703) 308-8585. Triadimefon, 2700 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0114 Christina Motilall, [email protected], (703) 603-0522. Triadimenol, 7008 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0114 Christina Motilall, [email protected], (703) 603-0522. B. Docket Content

    1. Review dockets. The registration review dockets contain information that the Agency may consider in the course of the registration review. The Agency may include information from its files including, but not limited to, the following information:

    • An overview of the registration review case status.

    • A list of current product registrations and registrants.

    Federal Register notices regarding any pending registration actions.

    Federal Register notices regarding current or pending tolerances.

    • Risk assessments.

    • Bibliographies concerning current registrations.

    • Summaries of incident data.

    • Any other pertinent data or information.

    Each docket contains a document summarizing what the Agency currently knows about the pesticide case and a preliminary work plan for anticipated data and assessment needs. Additional documents provide more detailed information. During this public comment period, the Agency is asking that interested persons identify any additional information they believe the Agency should consider during the registration reviews of these pesticides. The Agency identifies in each docket the areas where public comment is specifically requested, though comment in any area is welcome.

    2. Other related information. More information on these cases, including the active ingredients for each case, may be located in the registration review schedule on the Agency's Web site at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation/registration-review-schedules. Information on the Agency's registration review program and its implementing regulation may be seen at http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation/registration-review-process.

    3. Information submission requirements. Anyone may submit data or information in response to this document. To be considered during a pesticide's registration review, the submitted data or information must meet the following requirements:

    • To ensure that EPA will consider data or information submitted, interested persons must submit the data or information during the comment period. The Agency may, at its discretion, consider data or information submitted at a later date.

    • The data or information submitted must be presented in a legible and useable form. For example, an English translation must accompany any material that is not in English and a written transcript must accompany any information submitted as an audiographic or videographic record. Written material may be submitted in paper or electronic form.

    • Submitters must clearly identify the source of any submitted data or information.

    • Submitters may request the Agency to reconsider data or information that the Agency rejected in a previous review. However, submitters must explain why they believe the Agency should reconsider the data or information in the pesticide's registration review.

    As provided in 40 CFR 155.58, the registration review docket for each pesticide case will remain publicly accessible through the duration of the registration review process; that is, until all actions required in the final decision on the registration review case have been completed.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 31, 2016. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08280 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0167; FRL-9944-32] Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, and Malathion Registration Review; Draft Biological Evaluations; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is announcing the availability of the draft biological evaluations for the registration reviews of all uses of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion for public review and comment. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects. Through the registration review program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on the most current scientific methods. Furthermore, EPA is meeting its obligation under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by ensuring that each pesticide's registration is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 10, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0167, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the following table.

    Registration review case name
  • and No.
  • Pesticide docket ID No. Chemical review manager, telephone number, email address
    Chlorpyrifos, 100 EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850 Dana Friedman, 703-347-8827, [email protected]. Diazinon, 238 EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0351 Khue Nguyen, 703-347-0248, [email protected]. Malathion, 248 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0317 Steven Snyderman, 703-347-0249, [email protected].

    For general questions on the registration review program, contact: Richard Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides and/or the potential impacts of pesticide use on listed species and designated critical habitat. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. Executive Summary A. What action is the agency taking?

    EPA is providing an opportunity for public review of its draft biological evaluations for the registration reviews of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects. As part of the registration review process, the Agency has completed comprehensive draft biological evaluations for all chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion uses.

    These draft biological evaluations represent the first ever nationwide assessments of these pesticides to federally endangered and threatened species (i.e., listed species) and designated critical habitat. The interim scientific methods used in these draft biological evaluations were developed collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), hereafter referred to as the Services, based on recommendations from the April 2013 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.” As part of this effort, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided expertise on crop production and pesticide uses and assistance with the use of the National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer to help define the footprint of agricultural use patterns.

    After reviewing comments received during the public comment period, EPA will issue revised final biological evaluations, explain any changes, respond to comments, and may request public input on risk mitigation before completing proposed registration review decisions for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. For those species and designated critical habitats where registered uses of the pesticides are “likely to adversely affect” species and/or habitat, USFWS and NMFS will utilize the analyses and data from the biological evaluations in their final Biological Opinions for each of the three chemicals.

    B. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    EPA is conducting its registration review of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion pursuant to section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq., and the Procedural Regulations for Registration Review at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. Section 3(g) of FIFRA provides, among other things, that the registrations of pesticides are to be reviewed every 15 years. Under FIFRA, a pesticide product may be registered, or remain registered, only if it meets the statutory standard for registration given in FIFRA section 3(c)(5) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(5)). When used in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, the pesticide product must perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment; that is, without any unreasonable risk to man or the environment.

    EPA develops endangered species biological evaluations and consults with the Services pursuant to section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., and the implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 402.

    III. Registration Reviews

    As directed by FIFRA section 3(g), EPA is reviewing the pesticide registrations for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion to ensure that these registrations continue to satisfy the FIFRA standard for registration—that is, that chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion can still be used without unreasonable adverse effects.

    EPA has been collaborating with the Services to develop interim scientific approaches to assess the impact of pesticides on listed species and designated critical habitat, as required by ESA and as recommended by the April 2013 NAS report. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion were selected for the development and implementation of these interim approaches because these pesticides were included in the first Biological Opinion issued by NMFS in response to litigation brought by the Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) with regard to salmonids in the Pacific Northwest. This Biological Opinion was later remanded to NMFS by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. The interim scientific approaches used in the draft biological evaluations for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion were developed based on a collaborative effort among the agencies, and will be refined based on the public comments received on the draft biological evaluations as well as input from an ESA stakeholder workshop planned for the summer of 2016. More information on this process is available at https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/implementing-nas-report-recommendations-ecological-risk-assessment-endangered-and.

    Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate (OP) insecticide, acaricide, and miticide used to control a variety of insects on a variety of food and feed crops. Currently registered uses include a variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, and non-agricultural areas (such golf course turf, industrial sites, greenhouses and nurseries, sod farms, and wood products). Public health uses include aerial and ground-based fogger treatments to control mosquitoes. There are also residential uses of ant and roach bait products and fire ant mound treatments. EPA has completed a draft biological evaluation to assess whether all registered uses of chlorpyrifos may affect listed species and designated critical habitat. The chlorpyrifos draft biological evaluation is viewable at: https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/biological-evaluation-chapters-chlorpyrifos. Comments on the draft biological evaluation for chlorpyrifos should be submitted to the chlorpyrifos registration review docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850) at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Diazinon is a restricted use OP insecticide currently registered for use on a number of fruits, vegetables, nuts, ornamentals, and in cattle ear tags. All residential uses were phased out as part of risk mitigation during reregistration, and there are currently no residential uses. EPA has completed a draft biological evaluation to assess whether all registered uses of diazinon may affect listed species and designated critical habitat. The diazinon draft biological evaluation is viewable at: https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/biological-evaluation-chapters-diazinon. Comments on the draft biological evaluation for diazinon should be submitted to the diazinon registration review docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0351) at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Malathion is a non-systemic, wide spectrum OP. It is used in the agricultural production of a wide variety of food/feed crops to control insects such as aphids, leafhoppers, and Japanese beetles. Malathion is also used in USDA's Cotton Boll Weevil Eradication Program, Fruit Fly (Medfly) Control Program, and for mosquito-borne disease control. It is also registered for outdoor residential uses which include vegetable gardens, home orchards, and ornamentals. EPA has completed a draft biological evaluation to assess whether all registered uses of malathion may affect listed species and designated critical habitat. The draft malathion biological evaluation is viewable at: https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/biological-evaluation-chapters-malathion. Comments on the draft biological evaluation for malathion should be submitted to the malathion registration review docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0317) at http://www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Public Review and Comment Opportunity

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.53(c), EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice of availability, for interested parties to provide comments and input concerning the Agency's draft biological evaluations for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. Such comments and input could address, among other things, the Agency's risk assessment methodologies and assumptions, as applied to these draft biological evaluations. The Agency will consider all comments received during the public comment period and make changes, as appropriate, to the draft biological evaluations. EPA will then issue final biological evaluations, explain any changes to the draft biological evaluations, and respond to comments. For those species and designated critical habitats where registered uses of the pesticides are “likely to adversely affect” species and/or habitat, USFWS and NMFS will utilize the analyses and data from the biological evaluations in their final Biological Opinions for each of the three chemicals. The final Biological Opinions for the three chemicals are currently scheduled for December 2017. In the Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the final biological evaluations, if the final biological evaluations indicate risks of concern, the Agency may provide a comment period for the public to submit suggestions for mitigating the risk identified in the final biological evaluations before developing proposed registration review decisions for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion.

    1. Other related information. Additional information on endangered species risk assessment and the NAS report recommendations are available at https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/implementing-nas-report-recommendations-ecological-risk-assessment-endangered-and. Information on the Agency's registration review program and its implementing regulation is available at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation.

    2. Information submission requirements. Anyone may submit data or information in response to this document. To be considered during a pesticide's registration review, the submitted data or information must meet the following requirements:

    • To ensure that EPA will consider data or information submitted, interested persons must submit the data or information during the comment period. The Agency may, at its discretion, consider data or information submitted at a later date.

    • The data or information submitted must be presented in a legible and useable form. For example, an English translation must accompany any material that is not in English, and a written transcript must accompany any information submitted as an audiographic or videographic record. Written material may be submitted in paper or electronic form.

    • Submitters must clearly identify the source of any submitted data or information.

    • Submitters may request the Agency to reconsider data or information that the Agency rejected in a previous review. However, submitters must explain why they believe the Agency should reconsider the data or information in the pesticide's registration review.

    As provided in 40 CFR 155.58, the registration review docket for each pesticide case will remain publicly accessible through the duration of the registration review process; that is, until all actions required in the final decision on the registration review case have been completed.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 28, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08279 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9944-85-Region 1] 2016 Spring Joint Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the joint 2016 Spring Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU). The meeting agenda will include topics regarding reducing ground-level ozone precursors and matters relative to Regional Haze and visibility improvement in Federal Class I areas in a multi-pollutant context.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on June 3, 2016 starting at 9:15 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Palomar Philadelphia, 117 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215-563-5006.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For documents and press inquiries contact: Ozone Transport Commission, 444 North Capitol Street NW., Suite 322, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 508-3840; email: [email protected]; Web site: http://www.otcair.org.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 contain at section 184 provisions for the Control of Interstate Ozone Air Pollution. Section 184(a) establishes an Ozone Transport Region (OTR) comprised of the States of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, parts of Virginia and the District of Columbia. The purpose of the OTC is to deal with ground-level ozone formation, transport, and control within the OTR.

    The Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) was formed in 2001, in response to EPA's issuance of the Regional Haze rule. MANE-VU's members include: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the Penobscot Indian Nation, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe along with EPA and Federal Land Managers.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Agenda: Copies of the final agenda will be available from the OTC office (202) 508-3840; by email: [email protected]otcair.org or via the OTC Web site at http://www.otcair.org.

    Dated: March 28, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, Region I.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08277 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099; FRL-9944-33] Flubendiamide; Notice of Receipt of Request To Voluntarily Cancel a Pesticide Product Registration AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is issuing a notice of receipt of a request by the registrant to voluntarily cancel two flubendiamide end-use products. The request would delete the registrations of the flubendiamide products SYNAPSE WG Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 264-1026) and SYNAPSE 480 Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 264-1107). EPA intends to grant this request, unless the registrant withdraws its request. If this request is granted, any sale or distribution of the products listed in this notice will not be permitted after the registration has been cancelled as described in the final order.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

    This action is directed to the public in general and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

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

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

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Background on the Receipt of Request To Cancel Registration

    This notice announces receipt by EPA of a request from Bayer CropScience LP, P.O. Box 12014, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2014 to cancel two specific flubendiamide end-use product registrations as identified in Tables 1 and 2 of Unit III. Specifically, Bayer CropScience LP submitted written requests to voluntarily cancel SYNAPSE WG Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 264-1026) on December 12, 2014, and SYNAPSE 480 Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 264-1107) on March 21, 2016. Bayer confirmed that neither formulation is commercially active.

    III. What action is the agency taking?

    This notice announces receipt by EPA of a request from Bayer CropScience LP to cancel their registrations for two specific flubendiamide product registrations. The affected products and the registrant making the request are identified in Tables 1 and 2 of this unit. Unless the request is withdrawn by the registrant, EPA intends to issue an order cancelling the affected registration.

    Table 1—Flubendiamide Product Registration With Pending Request for Cancellation Registration No. Product name Company 264-1026 SYNAPSE WG Insecticide Bayer CropScience LP. 264-1107 SYNAPSE 480 Insecticide Bayer CropScience LP.

    Table 2 of this unit includes the name and address of record for the registrant of the products listed in Table 1 of this unit. This number corresponds to the first part of the EPA registration numbers of the products listed in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 2—Registrant Requesting Voluntary Cancellation EPA company No. Company name and address 264 Bayer CropScience LP, P.O. Box 12014, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2014. IV. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)) provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may, at any time, request that any of its pesticide registrations be cancelled or amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register.

    Section 6(f)(1)(B) of FIFRA (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)(B)) requires that before acting on a request for voluntary cancellation, EPA must provide a 30-day public comment period on the request for voluntary cancellation or use termination. In addition, FIFRA section 6(f)(1)(C) (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)(C)) requires that EPA provide a 180-day comment period on a request for voluntary cancellation or termination or any minor agricultural use before granting the request, unless:

    1. The registrants request a waiver of the comment period, or

    2. The EPA Administrator determines that continued use of the pesticide would pose an unreasonable adverse effects to the environment. The flubendiamide registrant has requested that EPA waive the 180-day comment period for this action. Accordingly, EPA is providing a 30-day comment period on the proposed requests.

    V. Procedures for Withdrawal of Requests

    Registrants who choose to withdraw a request for product cancellation or use deletion should submit the withdrawal in writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. If the products have been subject to a previous cancellation action, the effective date of cancellation and all other provisions of any earlier cancellation action are controlling.

    VI. Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks

    Existing stocks are those stocks of registered pesticide products that are currently in the United States and that were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the effective date of the action. If the request for voluntary cancellation is granted, the Agency intends to publish the cancellation order in the Federal Register.

    In any order issued in response to this request for cancellation of SYNAPSE WG Insecticide and SYNAPSE 480 Insecticide, EPA proposes to include the following provisions for the treatment of any existing stocks of the products listed in Tables 1 and 2 of Unit III.

    The registrant and distributors may not sell or distribute existing stocks of the product. Users with existing stocks of the cancelled product can use the product until supplies are exhausted, provided that such use is consistent with the terms of the previously approved labeling on, or that accompanied, the cancelled product. Thereafter, registrants and any distributors of the product will be prohibited from selling or distributing the product identified in Table 1 of Unit III., except for export consistent with FIFRA section 17 (7 U.S.C. 136o) or for proper disposal. Any additional information will be set forth in a cancellation order after the products have been cancelled.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 30, 2016. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08273 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0139] Information Collection Approved by the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a revision of a currently approved public information collection pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number, and no person is required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. Comments concerning the accuracy of the burden estimates and any suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cathy Williams, Office of the Managing Director, at (202) 418-2918, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0139.

    OMB Approval Date: November 9, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: November 30, 2018.

    Title: Application for Antenna Structure Registration.

    Form Number: FCC Form 854.

    Respondents: Individuals or households, business or other for-profit entities, not-for-profit institutions and State, local or Tribal governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,400 respondents; 57,100 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .33 hours to 2.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement, recordkeeping requirement and third party disclosure reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 303, and 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 303, and 309(j), Section 102(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4332(C), and Section 1506.6 of the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality, 40 CFR 1506.6.

    Total Annual Burden: 25,682 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $1,176,813.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes. This information collection contains personally identifiable information on individuals which is subject to the Privacy Act of 1974. Information on the FCC Form 854 is maintained in the Commission's System of Records, FCC/WTB-1, “Wireless Services Licensing Records.” These licensee records are publicly available and routinely used in accordance of subsection b of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(b), as amended. Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) and materials that are afforded confidential treatment pursuant to a request made under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules will not be available for public inspection.

    Needs and Uses: The purpose of FCC Form 854 is to, among other things, register antenna structures (radio towers) that are used for communication services regulated by the Commission and make changes to existing antenna structure registrations or pending applications for registration. As discussed below, the Commission revised FCC Form 854 to implement measures adopted in a Report and Order, FCC 14-117, and sought Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for this revised information collection.

    The Commission revised this information collection due to the adoption of FCC 14-117, Report and Order, which streamlined and eliminated outdated provisions of the Commission's Part 17 rules governing the construction, marking, and lighting of antenna structures. The changes to this collection are necessary to implement two of the updates adopted in the Report and Order. The first, 17.4(j), requires owners of certain antenna structures to file FCC Form 854 with the Commission if there is any change or correction in the overall height of one foot or greater or coordinates of one second or greater in longitude or latitude of a registered antenna structure. This change will increase the number of these forms filed, or responses for this collection, by approximately 100 per annum. The second change, found in 17.4(b), requires owners to note on FCC Form 854 that the registration is voluntary if the antenna structure is otherwise not required to be registered under section 17.4. For this, an additional checkbox will be added to Form 854, but this revision will not increase the collection's average burden per response. These changes will enable the Commission to further modernize its rules while adhering to its statutory responsibility to prevent antenna structures from being hazards to air navigation.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08217 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than April 26, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. The RLP 2012 Children's Trust, Panama City, Florida, and Johnna Lombard, Trustee, Manhasset, New York; to acquire voting shares of PrimeSouth Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of PrimeSouth Bank, both in Tallassee, Alabama.

    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. Jeffery F. Teague and Sarah Shell Teague, as co-trustees of the Jeffery F. Teague and Sarah Shell Teague Joint Revocable Trust, all of El Dorado, Arkansas; Susan Shell Allison, individually, and as trustee of the Susan Allison Testamentary Trust with power to vote shares owned by her two minor children, all of Benton, Arkansas; Joseph Shell, individually, and as trustee of the Joe Shell Testamentary Trust with power to vote shares owned by the Hanna Shell Irrevocable Trust, and by his minor child, all of Batesville, Arkansas; Jay Shell with power to vote shares held by Carolyn Southerland Shell Testamentary Trust and by High Point Farms, Jayme Shell, Jessica Shell, Mary K. Shell, all of Batesville, Arkansas; and John Allison, and Anna Allison, both of Benton, Arkansas, all as members of the Allison-Shell-Teague family control group; to retain voting shares of Citizens Bancshares of Batesville, and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of The Citizens Bank, both in Batesville, Arkansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, April 6, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-08204 Filed 4-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0235; Docket No. 2015-0001; Sequence 13] General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Submission for OMB Review; Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division is submitting a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation clause 552.238-75, Price Reductions, otherwise known as the Price Reductions clause.

    The requested extension has been renamed “Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures” because it now includes a burden estimate for Commercial Sales Practices disclosures. The information collected is used to establish and maintain Federal Supply Schedule pricing and price related terms and conditions. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 72060 on November 18, 2015. One comment was received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before: May 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0235, Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0235, Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Hada Flowers/IC 3090-0235, Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0235, Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Matthew McFarland, General Services Acquisition Policy Division, 202-690-9232 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    GSA's Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program, commonly known as the GSA Schedules program or Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program, provides federal agencies with a simplified process for acquiring commercial supplies and services. The FSS program is the Government's preeminent contracting vehicle, accounting for approximately 10 percent of all federal contract dollars, with approximately $33 billion in purchases made through the program in fiscal year 2015.

    GSA is requesting an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement related to one of the major components of the FSS program, General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) clause 552.238-75, Price Reductions, otherwise known as the Price Reductions clause. However, this requested extension has been renamed “Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures” because it now includes a burden estimate for Commercial Sales Practices disclosures.

    FSS Pricing Practices

    GSA establishes price reasonableness on its FSS contracts by comparing a contractor's prices and price-related terms and conditions with those offered to their other customers. Through analysis and negotiations, GSA establishes a favorable pricing relationship in comparison to one of the contractor's customers (or category of customers) and then maintains that pricing relationship for the life of the contract. In order to carry out this practice, GSA collects pricing information through Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) disclosures and enforces the pricing relationship through General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) clause 552.238-75, Price Reductions, commonly known as the Price Reductions clause (PRC).

    Commercial Sales Practices (CSP): In accordance with GSAR 515.408(a)(2), offerors submit information in the Commercial Sales Practices Format provided in the solicitation, following the instructions at GSAR Figure 515.4-2, or submit information in their own format. In addition to when an offer is submitted, CSP disclosures are also collected prior to executing bilateral modifications for exercising a contract option period, adding items to the contract, or increasing pricing under the Economic Price Adjustment clause (GSAR 552.216-70).

    Price Reductions Clause (PRC): GSAR 538.273(b)(2) prescribes the PRC for use in all FSS solicitations and contracts. The clause is intended to ensure the Government maintains its price/discount (and/or term and condition) advantage in relation to the contractor's customer (or category of customer) upon which the FSS contract is based. The basis of award customer (or category of customer) is identified at the conclusion of negotiations and noted in the contract. Thereafter, the PRC requires FSS contractors to inform the contracting officer of price reductions within 15 calendar days. Per GSAR 552.238-75(c)(1),

    A price reduction shall apply to purchases under this contract if, after the date negotiations conclude, the Contractor—

    (i) Revises the commercial catalog, pricelist, schedule or other document upon which contract award was predicated to reduce prices;

    (ii) Grants more favorable discounts or terms and conditions than those contained in the commercial catalog, pricelist, schedule or other documents upon which contract award was predicated; or

    (iii) Grants special discounts to the customer (or category of customers) that formed the basis of award, and the change disturbs the price/discount relationship of the Government to the customer (or category of customers) that was the basis of award.

    41 U.S.C. 152(3)(B) requires FSS ordering procedures to “result in the lowest overall cost alternative to meet the needs of the Federal Government.” CSP disclosures and the PRC ensure GSA meets this objective by giving it insight into a contractor's pricing practices, which is proprietary information that can only be obtained directly from the contractor.

    Information Collection Changes and Updates

    GSA has revised this information collection by adding CSP disclosure burden estimates, renaming the information collection, and updating figures.

    Including the CSP Disclosure Burden: GSA is adding CSP disclosure burden estimates to this information collection because of comments received for its Transactional Data Reporting proposed rule (GSAR case 2013-G504), published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 11619, on March 4, 2015. GSA proposed to amend the GSAR to include a clause that would require FSS vendors to report transactional data from orders and prices paid by ordering activities. The new clause would be paired with changes to the basis of award monitoring, or “tracking customer,” requirement of the existing Price Reductions clause, resulting in a burden reduction for participating FSS contractors. The proposed rule also noted, “. . . GSA would maintain the right throughout the life of the FSS contract to ask a vendor for updates to the disclosures made on its [CSP] format . . . if and as necessary to ensure that prices remain fair and reasonable in light of changing market conditions.”

    In comments received regarding the proposed rule, industry respondents indicated retaining CSP disclosures would cancel out any burden reduction achieved by eliminating the PRC tracking customer requirement. Specifically, respondents were concerned that CSP disclosures still force them to monitor their commercial prices, which ultimately causes the associated burden for both disclosure requirements. In response, GSA agrees the burden of the PRC and CSP is related and is therefore including CSP disclosure burden estimates in this information collection extension request.

    Renaming the Information Collection: GSA is changing the information collection name from “Price Reductions Clause” to “Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures” to more accurately reflect the scope of the information collected.

    Updated Figures: The following figures were updated for the current information collection:

    • Increased the number of FSS contracts and vendors from 19,000 FSS contracts held by 16,000 vendors to 20,094 FSS contracts were held by 17,302 vendors.

    • Increased the number of price reduction modifications from 1,560 to 2,148.

    • Decreased the number of GSA OIG pre-award audits from an average of 70 to 59.

    • Increased the estimated annual time burden from 868,920 hours to 1,324,343 hours.

    • Increased the estimated annual cost burden; the new estimated annual cost burden is $90,055,353. The 2012 information collection did not provide a cost burden estimate, but if the same hourly rate ($68) was applied to the 2012 time burden, the 2012 cost burden would have been $59,086,560.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    This information collection applies to all companies that held, or submitted offers for, FSS contracts. In fiscal year 2014:

    • 20,094 contracts were active, including 1,411 contracts that were awarded and 2,213 contracts that ended over that time period.

    • 17,302 companies held FSS contracts (some companies held more than one contract).

    • 3,464 offers were submitted for FSS contracts.

    However, the number of responses consists of the number of CSP disclosures and price reduction notifications made in FY2014, as well as the average number of GSA Office of Inspector General audits performed between fiscal years 2012 and 2014.

    Heavier Lifts and Lighter Lifts

    FSS contracts are held by a diverse set of companies, which vary in terms of business size, offerings, and FSS sales volume. For example, in fiscal year 2014:

    • 32.8 percent, or 5,673 companies, reported $0 in FSS contracts.

    • 5.6 percent, or 975 companies, accounted for 80 percent of all FSS sales.

    • The top 20 percent of FSS contractors (in terms of FY2014 sales) accounted for 95.7 percent of FSS sales.

    • Only 2.6 percent of FSS contractors reported more than $1 million in FSS sales.

    In general, a contractor's FSS sales volume will have the greatest effect on the associated burden of these requirements, although the number and type of offerings, and business structure, can also be significant factors. As shown by the above figures, a relatively small number of FSS contractors account for the vast majority of FSS sales and accordingly, likely bear a heavier burden for these requirements. Conversely, the majority of FSS vendors, which are typically small businesses with lower sales volume, absorb a lighter burden for these requirements.

    To account for the differences among FSS contractors, GSA is utilizing the Pareto principle, or “80/20 rule,” which states 80 percent of effects comes from 20 percent of the population. Accordingly, GSA is separating FSS contractors among those that have a “heavier lift” (20 percent) from those that have a “lighter lift” (80 percent). Contractors with heavier lifts are those with the characteristics that lead to increased burden—more sales volume, higher number of contract items, more complex offerings, more transactions, more complex transactions, and/or intricate business structures. This methodology is used for several components of the burden analysis.

    Cost Burden Calculation

    The estimated cost burden for respondents was calculated by multiplying the burden hours by an estimated cost of $68/hour ($50/hour with a 36 percent overhead rate).

    Price Reductions Clause

    For this information collection clearance, GSA attributes the PRC-related burden to training, compliance systems, and audits, as well as a burden associated with notifying GSA of price reductions within 15 calendar days after their occurrence.

    Training: FSS contractors provide training to their employees to ensure compliance with FSS pricing disclosure requirements. In FY2014, there were 17,302 contractors, 3,460 (20 percent) with a heavier lift and 13,842 (80 percent) with a lighter lift. Contractors within the heavier lift category may need to develop formal training programs and conduct training for numerous divisions and offices, while contractors in the lighter lift category may have no need for training design and administration due to having as few as one person responsible for PRC compliance.

    Training—Heavier Lift Total Annual Responses: 3,460 Average Hours per Response: 40 Total Time Burden (Hours): 138,400 Total Cost Burden: $9,411,200 Training—Lighter Lift Total Annual Responses: 13,842 Average Hours per Response: 20 Total Time Burden (Hours): 276,840 Total Cost Burden: $18,825,120

    Compliance Systems: FSS contractors must develop systems to control discount relationships with other customers/categories of customer to ensure the basis of award pricing relationship is not disturbed. In response to the 2012 information collection request, the Coalition for Government Procurement provided the results from a survey it conducted among its members regarding the PRC burden. The Coalition survey results attributed 1,100 burden hours to developing compliance systems. However, GSA believes this figure is only attributable to heavier lift contractors and should be allocated over the 20-year life of an FSS contract because a significant part of a burden is the effort to establish a compliance system that will be used over the life of the contract. GSA is attributing a total of 600 burden hours to compliance systems for contractors with a lighter lift and is also allocating that burden over a 20-year period. The results are an annual 55-hour burden for heavier lift contractors (1,100 hours divided by 20 years) and an annual 30-hour burden for lighter lift contractors (600 hours divided by 20 years).

    In FY2014, there were 17,302 contractors, 3,460 (20 percent) with a heavier lift and 13,842 (80 percent) with a lighter lift:

    Compliance Systems—Heavier Lift Total Annual Responses: 3,460 Average Hours per Response: 55 Total Time Burden (Hours): 190,322 Total Cost Burden: $12,940,400 Compliance Systems—Lighter Lift Total Annual Responses: 13,842 Average Hours per Response: 30 Total Time Burden (Hours): 415,248 Total Cost Burden: $28,237,680

    Audits: The GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) performed an average of 59 pre-award audits of FSS contracts between FY2012 and FY2014, according to the OIG's Semiannual Congressional Reports over that time period. Respondents to a 2012 Coalition for Government Procurement survey estimated that approximately 440-470 hours were spent preparing for audits involving the PRC; the 455 hour figure is the median point in the range:

    GSA OIG Audits Total Annual Responses: 59 Average Hours per Response: 455 Total Time Burden (Hours): 26,845 Total Cost Burden: $1,825,460

    Price Reduction Notifications: 2,148 price reduction modifications were completed in FY14, with each modification requiring a notification from the contractor. In a survey conducted among GSA FSS contracting officers, respondents estimated it took an average of 4.25 hours to complete a price reduction modification. GSA believes FSS contractors bear a similar burden for this task and is therefore using the same burden estimate.

    Price Reduction Notifications Total Annual Responses: 2,148 Average Hours per Response: 4.25 Total Time Burden (Hours): 9,129 Total Cost Burden: $620,772 Commercial Sales Practices Disclosures

    The CSP burden results from disclosures required of any contractor submitting an offer for an FSS contract or modifying an FSS contract to increase prices, add items and Special Item Numbers, or exercise options. GSA attributed a negotiations burden to the PRC in the previous information collection, but is now including that burden within the CSP disclosure estimates.

    The burden estimates for CSP disclosures are based upon the estimates provided by respondents to the GSA FSS contracting officer survey. While the 77 survey respondents provided estimates regarding the amount of time it takes FSS contracting officers to complete CSP-related tasks, GSA believes FSS contractors bear a similar burden for these tasks and is therefore using the same burden estimates.

    Pre-award Disclosures: In FY2014, contractors submitted 3,464 offers for FSS contracts, with 693 (20 percent) offerors having a heavier lift (20 percent) and 2,771 (80 percent) with a lighter lift:

    Pre-award Disclosures—Heavier Lift Total Annual Responses: 693 Average Hours per Response: 41.48 Total Time Burden (Hours): 28,746 Total Cost Burden: $1,954,704 Pre-award Disclosures—Lighter Lift Total Annual Responses: 2,771 Average Hours per Response: 32.41 Total Time Burden (Hours): 89,808 Total Cost Burden: $6,106,951

    Price Increase Modifications: In FY2014, 2,509 price increase modifications were processed, including 502 (20 percent) with a heavier lift and 2,007 (80 percent) with a lighter lift:

    Price Increases—Heavier Lift Total Annual Responses: 502 Average Hours per Response: 10.45 Total Time Burden (Hours): 5,246 Total Cost Burden: $356,721 Price Increases—Lighter Lift Total Annual Responses: 2,007 Average Hours per Response: 9.71 Total Time Burden (Hours): 18,404 Total Cost Burden: $1,251,485

    Adding Items and Special Item Numbers (SINs): In FY2014, 6,861 modifications to add contract items or SINs were processed, including 1,372 (20 percent) with a heavier lift and 5,489 (80 percent) with a lighter lift:

    Addition Modifications—Heavier Lift Total Annual Responses: 1,372 Average Hours per Response: 11.13 Total Time Burden (Hours): 15,270 Total Cost Burden: $1,038,384 Addition Modifications—Lighter Lift Total Annual Responses: 5,489 Average Hours per Response: 10.65 Total Time Burden (Hours): 58,458 Total Cost Burden: $3,975,134

    Exercising Options: In FY2014, 2,237 modifications to exercise options were processed, including 447 (20 percent) with a heavier lift and 1,790 (80 percent) with a lighter lift:

    Option Modifications—Heavier Lift Total Annual Responses: 447 Average Hours per Response: 26.14 Total Time Burden (Hours): 11,685 Total Cost Burden: $794,551 Option Modifications—Lighter Lift Total Annual Responses: 1,790 Average Hours per Response: 22.32 Total Time Burden (Hours): 39,953 Total Cost Burden: $2,716,790 Total Annual Burden

    The total estimated burden imposed by Federal Supply Schedule pricing disclosures is as follows:

    Estimated Annual Time Burden (Hours) Price Reductions Clause: 1,056,774 CSP Disclosures: 267,569 Total Annual Time Burden: