Federal Register Vol. 81, No.88,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 88 (May 6, 2016)

Page Range27295-27982
FR Document

81_FR_88
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 27479 - Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards InformationPDF
81 FR 27444 - Farm Credit Administration Board; Sunshine Act; Regular MeetingPDF
81 FR 27484 - In the Matter of Giant Resources, Inc., and Rush Exploration, Inc., Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 27488 - In the Matter of EQCO2, Inc., Hondo Minerals Corp., and Liberty Gold Corp., Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 27470 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 27412 - Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India: Implementation of Determinations Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements ActPDF
81 FR 27475 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New Collection: Survey of State Criminal Investigative Agencies on Law Enforcement Use of ForcePDF
81 FR 27979 - Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determination (Sultanate of Oman) and Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
81 FR 27977 - Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From India and the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order (India) and Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order (People's Republic of China)PDF
81 FR 27410 - Foreign-Trade Zone 103-Grand Forks, North Dakota; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
81 FR 27409 - Federal Economic Statistics Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 27443 - Public Availability of Environmental Protection Agency FY 2015 Service Contract InventoryPDF
81 FR 27442 - Reconsideration of Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating UnitsPDF
81 FR 27491 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a New Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 27489 - 2016 Meetings of the Equip 2020 Plenary and Working GroupsPDF
81 FR 27469 - Notice of Public Meeting: Northern California Resource Advisory Council Resource Management Plan SubcommitteePDF
81 FR 27382 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Permitting of Greenhouse GasesPDF
81 FR 27337 - Clethodim; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
81 FR 27439 - Notice of Receipt of Requests To Voluntarily Cancel Pesticide Registrations and Amend Registrations To Terminate Certain UsesPDF
81 FR 27417 - Use of WIPO's ePCT System for Preparing the PCT Request for Filing as Part of an International Application With the USPTO as Receiving OfficePDF
81 FR 27473 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Noramco, Inc.PDF
81 FR 27473 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Almac Clinical Services Incorp (ACSI)PDF
81 FR 27467 - Announcement of Public Meeting: North American Wetlands Conservation CouncilPDF
81 FR 27472 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Sharp Clinical Services, Inc.PDF
81 FR 27472 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: MyodermPDF
81 FR 27473 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Noramco, Inc.PDF
81 FR 27381 - May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility UpdatePDF
81 FR 27393 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27392 - Ravalli Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 27442 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 27375 - Proposed Priority-Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind ProgramPDF
81 FR 27468 - Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges, Klamath County, OR; Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, CA: Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Environmental Impact StatementPDF
81 FR 27449 - Medicare Program; Meeting of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee-July 20, 2016PDF
81 FR 27422 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Savannah River SitePDF
81 FR 27411 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
81 FR 27408 - Notice of Public Meeting of the North Carolina Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss Potential Project TopicsPDF
81 FR 27418 - Procurement List; Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 27419 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 27407 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee To Discuss Approval of a Draft Report Regarding the Civil Rights Impact of School Disciplinary Policies That May Contribute to High Rates of Juvenile Incarceration in OklahomaPDF
81 FR 27407 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee To Discuss Findings and Recommendations Regarding Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in IndianaPDF
81 FR 27450 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27447 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27461 - Revision of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Pipeline System Operator Security InformationPDF
81 FR 27360 - Certified Professional Employer Organizations; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Cross-Reference to Temporary RegulationsPDF
81 FR 27390 - Increase in Fiscal Year 2016 Specialty Sugar Tariff-Rate Quota, and Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2017 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and MolassesPDF
81 FR 27315 - Certified Professional Employer Organizations; Final and Temporary RegulationsPDF
81 FR 27391 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27409 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the East Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and Notice of Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27422 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Financial Report for the Endowment Challenge Grant Program & Institutional Service Endowment ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 27447 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 27446 - Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 27447 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 27478 - Embedded Digital Devices In Safety-Related SystemsPDF
81 FR 27415 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27416 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 27488 - Allegheny Valley Railroad Company-Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption-Norfolk Southern Railway CompanyPDF
81 FR 27471 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; FFL Out of Business Records Request (ATF F 5300.3A)PDF
81 FR 27458 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27477 - Technical Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting and AgendaPDF
81 FR 27476 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Hexavalent Chromium Standards for General Industry, Shipyard Employment, and ConstructionPDF
81 FR 27489 - CaterParrott Railnet, LLC-Lease and Operation Exemption-Rail Line of Central of Georgia Railroad Company in Lamar and Upson Counties, GAPDF
81 FR 27460 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Reinstatement, Without Change; Comment Request; OMB Control No. 1653-0050PDF
81 FR 27425 - Lakewood Cogeneration, L.P.; Essential Power Rock Springs, LLC; Essential Power OPP, LLC; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
81 FR 27426 - National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Line T2KNY Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
81 FR 27428 - Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Atlantic Bridge Project Replacement ProjectPDF
81 FR 27424 - St. Charles Mesa Water District; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
81 FR 27425 - Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act; Notice Requesting Questions and Comments on Fiscal Year 2016 Other Federal Agency Cost SubmissionsPDF
81 FR 27420 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
81 FR 27425 - Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Revised Schedule for Environmental Review of the Virginia Southside Expansion Project IIPDF
81 FR 27474 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; FEL Out of Business RecordsPDF
81 FR 27475 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application To Transport Interstate or Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms (ATF F 5320.20)PDF
81 FR 27429 - Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Access Northeast Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27423 - Whitewater Green Energy, LLC; Notice of Successive Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 27432 - Aquenergy Systems, Inc.; Coneross Power Corporation; Notice of Application for Partial Transfer of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 27432 - The City of Holyoke Gas & Electric Department; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 27423 - The City of Holyoke Gas & Electric Department; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 27492 - Public Availability of the Department of Transportation FY 2015 Service Contract InventoryPDF
81 FR 27477 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27414 - Open Meeting of the Commission on Enhancing National CybersecurityPDF
81 FR 27446 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10046, TeamBank, N.A., Paola, KansasPDF
81 FR 27416 - Regional Fishery Management Councils: Council Coordination Committee; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 27493 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, Executive Order 12978PDF
81 FR 27492 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
81 FR 27460 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Application for Community Disaster Loan CancellationPDF
81 FR 27421 - Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Proposed Amoruso Ranch Project in Placer County, CA, Corps Permit Application Number SPK-2004-00888PDF
81 FR 27466 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment on the Family Self-Sufficiency Program DemonstrationPDF
81 FR 27462 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment on the: ConnectHome Baseline Survey Data CollectionPDF
81 FR 27406 - Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 27495 - Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 27470 - Request for Nominations for the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 27295 - Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 27452 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 27483 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 27482 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 27479 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 27444 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 27445 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 27471 - Certain Dental Implants: Notice of Correction Concerning Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337; Termination of Investigation; Issuance of Limited Exclusion OrderPDF
81 FR 27433 - Proposed 2025 Power Marketing PlanPDF
81 FR 27455 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27458 - National Institute of Nursing Research; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27456 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 27455 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 27485 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of FeesPDF
81 FR 27486 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of FeesPDF
81 FR 27484 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 27456 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 27456 - National Cancer Institute; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 27457 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27455 - National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 27457 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 27453 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 27457 - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 27456 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 27481 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 27480 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 27452 - Advisory Committee; Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee, RenewalPDF
81 FR 27471 - Certain Touchscreen Controllers and Products Containing the Same: Termination of an Investigation on the Basis of SettlementPDF
81 FR 27330 - Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Commissioner's Orders for A.B. Brown and Clifty CreekPDF
81 FR 27446 - Notice of Termination; 10289, First Commerce Community Bank; Douglasville, GeorgiaPDF
81 FR 27373 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Fox River, DePere to Oshkosh, WIPDF
81 FR 27309 - Definitions of “Portfolio Reconciliation” and “Material Terms” for Purposes of Swap Portfolio ReconciliationPDF
81 FR 27308 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ash Flat, ARPDF
81 FR 27359 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Slaton, TXPDF
81 FR 27356 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Linton, NDPDF
81 FR 27355 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Platte, SDPDF
81 FR 27357 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Harvey, NDPDF
81 FR 27933 - Eagle Permits; Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take and Take of Eagle NestsPDF
81 FR 27352 - Privacy Procedures for Personnel RecordsPDF
81 FR 27295 - Registration of Securities Transfer AgentsPDF
81 FR 27903 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release, Anti-Ejection Glazing for Bus PortalsPDF
81 FR 27300 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 27418 - Commission of Fine Arts; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 27387 - 2016 Rates Charged for AMS ServicesPDF
81 FR 27489 - Opportunity to Comment on the Draft Advisory Circular 150/5360-14A, Access to Airports by Individuals With DisabilitiesPDF
81 FR 27463 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
81 FR 27303 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter France)PDF
81 FR 27328 - TRICARE Program; Clarification of Benefit Coverage of Durable Equipment and Ordering or Prescribing Durable Equipment; Clarification of Benefit Coverage of Assistive Technology Devices Under the Extended Care Health Option ProgramPDF
81 FR 27393 - Notice of Availability of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Indiana Field Office Technical Guide for Public Review and CommentPDF
81 FR 27298 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 27305 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 27332 - Methoxyfenozide; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency ExemptionsPDF
81 FR 27497 - Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Programs; Medicaid Managed Care, CHIP Delivered in Managed Care, and Revisions Related to Third Party LiabilityPDF
81 FR 27342 - Amendment of the Emergency Alert SystemPDF

Issue

81 88 Friday, May 6, 2016 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES 2016 Rates Charged for AMS Services, 27387-27390 2016-10351 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

Natural Resources Conservation Service

See

Rural Housing Service

NOTICES Increase in Fiscal Year 2016 Specialty Sugar Tariff-Rate Quota, and Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2017 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and Molasses, 27390-27391 2016-10701
Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FFL Out of Business Records Request, 27471-27472 2016-10683 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, 27409 2016-10757 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Programs; Medicaid Managed Care, CHIP Delivered in Managed Care, and Revisions Related to Third Party Liability, 27498-27901 2016-09581 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27447-27452 2016-10704 2016-10705 Meetings: Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee, 27449-27450 2016-10716 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Indiana Advisory Committee, 27407 2016-10706 North Carolina Advisory Committee, 27408-27409 2016-10710 Oklahoma Advisory Committee, 27407-27408 2016-10707 Coast Guard Coast Guard PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations:: Fox River, DePere to Oshkosh, WI, 27373-27375 2016-10566 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Commission Fine Commission of Fine Arts NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 27418 2016-10402 Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 27418-27420 2016-10708 2016-10709 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Amendments to the Definitions of Portfolio Reconciliation and Material Terms for Purposes of Swap Portfolio Reconciliation, 27309-27314 2016-10565 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

RULES TRICARE Program: Clarification of Benefit Coverage of Durable Equipment and Ordering or Prescribing Durable Equipment; Clarification of Benefit Coverage of Assistive Technology Devices under the Extended Care Health Option Program, 27328-27329 2016-10265 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees, 27420-27421 2016-10671
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Almac Clinical Services Incorp, Souderton, PA, 27473 2016-10730 Myoderm, Norristown, PA, 27472 2016-10727 Noramco, Inc., Wilmington, DE, 27473-27474 2016-10726 Sharp Clinical Services, Inc., Phoenixville, PA, 27472-27473 2016-10728 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Noramco, Inc., Wilmington, DE, 27473 2016-10731 Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria: Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Program, 27375-27381 2016-10718 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Report for the Endowment Challenge Grant Program and Institutional Service Endowment Activities, 27422 2016-10697 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Western Area Power Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Savannah River Site, 27422-27423 2016-10714
Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Proposed Amoruso Ranch Project in Placer County, CA, 27421 2016-10644 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Indiana; Commissioner's Orders for A. B. Brown and Clifty Creek, 27330-27332 2016-10579 Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency Exemptions: Methoxyfenozide, 27332-27337 2016-09969 Pesticide Tolerances: Clethodim, 27337-27342 2016-10738 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Louisiana; Permitting of Greenhouse Gases, 27382-27386 2016-10739 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.; Weekly Receipts, 27442 2016-10719 Fiscal Year 2015 Service Contract Inventory, 27443-27444 2016-10756 Reconsideration of Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 27442-27443 2016-10754 Requests to Voluntarily Cancel Pesticide Registrations and Amend Registrations to Terminate Certain Uses, 27439-27442 2016-10737 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 27444 2016-10839 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 27298-27300, 27305-27308 2016-10159 2016-10215 Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter France), 27303-27305 2016-10286 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 27300-27303 2016-10404 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Ash Flat, AR, 27308-27309 2016-10556 PROPOSED RULES Establishment of Class E Airspace: Harvey, ND, 27357-27358 2016-10552 Linton, ND, 27356-27357 2016-10554 Platte, SD, 27355-27356 2016-10553 Slaton, TX, 27359-27360 2016-10555 NOTICES Draft Advisory Circular: Access to Airports by Individuals with Disabilities, 27489-27491 2016-10343 Meetings: Equip 2020 Plenary and Working Groups, 27489 2016-10751 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Amendment of the Emergency Alert System, 27342-27351 2016-09059 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27444-27446 2016-10623 2016-10624 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation RULES Registration of Securities Transfer Agents, 27295-27298 2016-10529 NOTICES Receiverships; Terminations: 10289, First Commerce Community Bank, Douglasville, GA, 27446 2016-10568 Terminations of Receivership: TeamBank, N.A., Paola, KS, 27446 2016-10651 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Community Disaster Loan Cancellation, 27460 2016-10645 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC, Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, LLC, Atlantic Bridge Project, 27428-27429 2016-10674 National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.: Proposed Line T2kny Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment Project, 27426-27428 2016-10675 Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC, 27425-27426 2016-10670 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Access Northeast Project, 27429-27432 2016-10667 Investigations and Refund Effective Dates: Lakewood Cogeneration, L.P.; Essential Power Rock Springs, LLC; Essential Power OPP, LLC, 27425 2016-10676 License Applications: City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department, 27423-27424, 27432-27433 2016-10663 2016-10664 License Transfer Applications: Aquenergy Systems, Inc., Coneross Power Corp., 27432 2016-10665 Preliminary Permit Applications: Whitewater Green Energy, LLC, 27423 2016-10666 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: St. Charles Mesa Water District, 27424-27425 2016-10673 Questions and Comments on FY 2016 Other Federal Agency Cost Submissions: Review of Cost Submittals by Other Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act, 27425 2016-10672 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27491-27492 2016-10752 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 27447 2016-10696 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 27447 2016-10694 Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities, 27446-27447 2016-10695 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: East Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, 27409-27410 2016-10698 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Eagle Permits: Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take and Take of Eagle Nests, 27934-27976 2016-10542 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges, Klamath County, OR; Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, CA, 27468-27469 2016-10717 Meetings: North American Wetlands Conservation Council, 27467-27468 2016-10729 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee, 27452 2016-10585 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27391-27392 2016-10699 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 27492-27494 2016-10646 2016-10647 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Reorganizations under Alternative Site Frameworks: Foreign-Trade Zone 103, Grand Forks, ND, 27410-27411 2016-10760 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27393 2016-10722 Meetings: Ravalli Resource Advisory Committee, 27392-27393 2016-10720 2016-10721 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27452-27453 2016-10635 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: ConnectHome Baseline Survey, 27462-27463 2016-10641 Family Self-Sufficiency Program Demonstration, 27466-27467 2016-10642 Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 27463-27466 2016-10324 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Certified Professional Employer Organizations, 27315-27328 2016-10700 PROPOSED RULES Certified Professional Employer Organizations, 27360-27373 2016-10702 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman, 27979-27982 2016-10762 Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from India and the People's Republic of China, 27978-27979 2016-10761 Export Trade Certificate of Review, 27411-27412 2016-10711 Implementation of Determinations Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India, 27412-27414 2016-10765 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Dental Implants: Notice of Correction Concerning Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337; Limited Exclusion Order, 27471 2016-10622 Certain Touchscreen Controllers and Products Containing the Same, 27471 2016-10580 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 27470-27471 2016-10773 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

See

Justice Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application to Transport Interstate or Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act Firearms, 27475 2016-10668 FEL Out of Business Records, 27474 2016-10669
Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survey of State Criminal Investigative Agencies on Law Enforcement Use of Force, 27475-27476 2016-10763 Labor Department Labor Department See

Labor Statistics Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Hexavalent Chromium Standards for General Industry, Shipyard Employment, and Construction, 27476-27477 2016-10680
Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Technical Advisory Committee, 27477 2016-10681 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Northern California Resource Advisory Council Resource Management Plan Subcommittee, 27469-27470 2016-10745 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release, Anti-Ejection Glazing for Bus Portals, 27904-27932 2016-10418 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, 27414-27415 2016-10652 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 27457-27458 2016-10595 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 27453-27455 2016-10594 National Cancer Institute, 27456-27457 2016-10597 2016-10598 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, 27455 2016-10596 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 27456 2016-10599 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 27457 2016-10593 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 27455-27457 2016-10610 2016-10611 2016-10613 National Institute of Nursing Research, 27458 2016-10612 National Institute on Aging, 27456 2016-10592 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 27415-27416 2016-10692 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 27416 2016-10691 Regional Fishery Management Councils: Council Coordination Committee, 27416-27417 2016-10650 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council, 27470 2016-10637 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27477-27478 2016-10656 National Resources Natural Resources Conservation Service NOTICES Indiana Field Office Technical Guide, 27393-27406 2016-10218 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 27479 C1--2016--09981 Guidance: Embedded Digital Devices In Safety-Related Systems, 27478-27479 2016-10693 Patent Patent and Trademark Office PROPOSED RULES May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update, 27381-27382 2016-10724 NOTICES Use of World Intellectual Property Organization ePCT System for Preparing Patent Cooperation Treaty Request for Filing as Part of an International Application, 27417-27418 2016-10733 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Privacy Procedures for Personnel Records, 27352-27354 2016-10538 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 27479-27484 2016-10588 2016-10589 2016-10590 2016-10591 2016-10600 2016-10601 2016-10602 2016-10628 2016-10629 2016-10630 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant; Correction, 27295 2016-10636 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27406-27407 2016-10640 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: International Securities Exchange, LLC, 27485-27486 2016-10608 ISE Gemini, LLC, 27486-27488 2016-10607 Trading Suspension Orders: EQCO2, Inc., Hondo Minerals Corp., and Liberty Gold Corp., 27488 2016-10790 Giant Resources, Inc., and Rush Exploration, Inc., 27484-27485 2016-10792 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27458-27460 2016-10682 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Lease and Operation Exemptions: CaterParrott Railnet, LLC; Rail Line from Central of Georgia Railroad Co., Lamar and Upson Counties, Ga., 27489 2016-10679 Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption: Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. from Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 27488-27489 2016-10686 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Fiscal Year 2015 Service Contract Inventory, 27492 2016-10659
Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pipeline System Operator Security Information, 27461-27462 2016-10703 Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Immigration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 27460-27461 2016-10678 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, 27495 2016-10638 Western Western Area Power Administration NOTICES Proposed 2025 Power Marketing Plan, 27433-27439 2016-10620 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 27498-27901 2016-09581 Part III Transportation Department, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27904-27932 2016-10418 Part IV Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 27934-27976 2016-10542 Part V Commerce Department, International Trade Administration, 27978-27982 2016-10762 2016-10761 Reader Aids

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

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

81 88 Friday, May 6, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service 7 CFR Part 3570 RIN 0575-AD02 Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant; Correction AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

The Agency published a document in the Federal Register of January 14, 2016 at 81 FR 1861 establishing a technical assistance and training grant program for qualified public bodies, nonprofit corporations, and federally recognized tribes and Indian Tribes on Federal and State Reservations that will serve rural areas for the purpose of enabling the grantees to provide technical assistance and training with respect to essential community facilities authorized under section 306(a)(1) of the CONACT (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)) This document has an incorrect cross-reference and an ineligible project purpose which needs to be removed due to the publication of the new 7 CFR part 1970 regulations.

DATES:

Effective May 6, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be directed to Nathan Chitwood, (573) 876-0965.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Need for Correction

As published, the final rule contains an incorrect cross-reference.

In § 3570.264(d) of the final rule, there is an incorrect cross-reference to § 3570.262(c)(4). The correct cross-reference is § 3570.263(a)(4).

As published, the final rule contains a list of Ineligible project purposes on page 1868, column 3. 3570.264(k) reads “Prepare environmental assessments”. Due to the publication of 7 CFR part 1970 in the Federal Register on March 2, 2016, the Agency may now permit program applicants to prepare environmental documentation in certain situations, subject to Agency review and approval. The deletion of “Prepare environmental assessment” is be made in order to be in compliance with 7 CFR part 1970.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3570

Grant programs—Housing and community development, Reporting requirements, Rural areas, and Technical assistance.

Accordingly, 7 CFR part 3570 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

PART 3570—COMMUNITY PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for part 3570 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989.

§ 3570.264 [Amended]
2. Section 3570.264 is amended by: a. Removing “§ 3570.262(c)(4)” from paragraph (d) and adding in its place “§ 3570.263(a)(4)”. b. Removing and reserving paragraph (k).
Dated: April 28, 2016. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-10636 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 341 RIN 3064-AE41 Registration of Securities Transfer Agents AGENCY:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

ACTION:

Final rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

On December 22, 2015, the FDIC published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for public comment to amend its regulations requiring insured State nonmember banks, or subsidiaries of such banks, that act as transfer agents for qualifying securities under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ('34 Act) to register with the FDIC (proposed rule). The FDIC is now issuing that proposed rule as final and without change (final rule). The final rule requires insured State savings associations and subsidiaries of such State savings associations that act as transfer agents for qualifying securities to register with the FDIC, similar to the registration requirements applicable to insured State nonmember banks and subsidiaries of such banks. Second, the final rule revises the definition of qualifying securities to reflect statutory changes to the '34 Act made by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). The final rule is consistent with the FDIC's continuing review of its regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996.

DATES:

This final rule is effective July 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Judy Gross, Senior Policy Analyst, (202) 898-7074, [email protected]; or Rachel Ackmann, Counsel, (202) 898-6858, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The ’34 Act provides that an entity must register as a transfer agent if it functions as a transfer agent with respect to any security registered under section 12 of the ’34 Act (Section 12) or if it would be required to be registered except for the exemption from registration provided by Section 12(g)(2)(B) or Section 12(g)(2)(G).1 A transfer agent registers by filing an application for registration with the appropriate regulatory agency.2 Prior to the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 3 (Dodd-Frank Act), the FDIC was the appropriate regulatory agency only for a state-chartered (State) insured bank that is not a member of the Federal Reserve System and a subsidiary of any such bank, and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) was the appropriate regulatory agency for a State or federal savings association.4

1 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(c)(1).

2 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(c)(2).

3 Public Law 111-203 (2010).

4 15 U.S.C. 78c. Additionally, the FDIC has authority to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions in the '34 Act related to the registration of transfer agents of any institution for which it is the appropriate regulatory agency. 15 U.S.C. 78w(a).

In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act provided for a substantial reorganization of the regulation of State and Federal savings associations and their holding companies. On July 21, 2011, (the “transfer date” established by section 311 of the Dodd-Frank Act), the powers, duties, and functions formerly assigned to, or performed by, the OTS were transferred to (i) the FDIC, as to State savings associations; (ii) the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), as to Federal savings associations; and (iii) the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as to savings and loan holding companies. The Dodd-Frank Act also amended the '34 Act to define the FDIC as the appropriate regulatory agency for insured State savings associations, and subsidiaries thereof, along with insured State nonmember banks, and subsidiaries thereof.5

5 Public Law 111-203, Section 376(a) (2010).

In 2012, the JOBS Act increased the thresholds at which securities must be registered under Section 12(g)(1) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).6 As amended by the JOBS Act, Section 12(g)(1) generally requires securities' issuers to register their securities when the issuer has total assets exceeding $10,000,000 and a class of equity security (other than an exempted security) held of record by either—(i) 2,000 persons or (ii) 500 persons who are not accredited investors (as such term is defined by the SEC).7

6 Public Law 112-106 (2012).

7 15 U.S.C. 78l(g)(1)(A).

The JOBS Act also amended Section 12(g)(1) to provide that in the case of an issuer that is a bank or a bank holding company, the issuer's securities must be registered when the issuer has total assets exceeding $10,000,000 and a class of equity security (other than an exempted security) held of record by 2,000 or more persons.8

8 15 U.S.C. 78l(g)(1)(B).

Part 341 of the FDIC's regulations (part 341) implements Section 12 of the '34 Act by requiring State nonmember banks and subsidiaries thereof that are transfer agents of qualifying securities to register with the FDIC.9 (Part 341 does not currently include requirements for State savings associations or their subsidiaries.) Part 341 defines “qualifying securities” as securities registered on a national securities exchange; or securities issued by a company or bank with 500 or more shareholders and $1 million or more in total assets, except for securities exempted from registration with the SEC by Section 12(g)(2) (C, D, E, F and H).10 The second prong of the definition of qualifying securities, regarding securities issued by a company or bank with 500 or more shareholders and $1 million or more in total assets, is derived from the statutory requirements in Section 12(g)(1) for registering securities with the SEC.11 As a result of the amendments to the '34 Act made by the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act, the current exclusion of State savings associations and subsidiaries thereof and the regulatory definition of qualifying securities currently found in part 341 is inconsistent with the statutory threshold for registration requirements now provided in Section 12(g)(1).

9 12 CFR part 341.

10 12 CFR 341.2.

11 15 U.S.C. 78l.

The OTS did not issue a rule regarding the registration of securities transfer agents. Instead, the OTS issued a memorandum to covered financial institutions informing such institutions that because of statutory changes in the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006,12 savings and loan associations, their subsidiaries, and savings and loan holding companies should register as transfer agents with the OTS rather than the SEC.13 Therefore, this final rule does not rescind any regulation issued by the OTS that was transferred to the FDIC following the transfer date.

12 Public Law 109-301 (2006).

13 OTS CEO Memorandum Number 258 (July 27, 2007), available at http://www.occ.gov/static/news-issuances/ots/ceo-memos/ots-ceo-memo-258.pdf.

II. Proposed Rule

On December 22, 2015, the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register for public comment. In it, the FDIC proposed amendments to its regulations requiring insured State nonmember banks, or subsidiaries of such banks, to register with the FDIC if they act as transfer agents for qualifying securities under Section 12. The FDIC did not receive any comments on the proposed rule. The FDIC is now issuing the proposed rule as final and without change.

III. Description of the Final Rule a. Section 341.1 Scope

The final rule is part of the FDIC's continuing efforts to enact rule changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act and more recent statutory changes, such as the JOBS Act, and makes it clear that part 341 applies to insured State nonmember banks, insured State savings associations, and the subsidiaries of such institutions. Expanding the scope of part 341 to include State savings associations is consistent with provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and serves to increase regulatory consistency for all FDIC-supervised institutions. To that end, the final rule defines the term “covered institution” to include an insured State nonmember bank, an insured State savings association, and the subsidiaries of such institutions.

b. Section 341.2 Definitions

The final rule reconciles the regulatory definition of qualifying securities with the statutory amendments to the '34 Act required by the JOBS Act. The final rule defines qualifying securities as (1) securities registered on a national securities exchange pursuant to Section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 78l(b)) or (2) securities required to be registered under Section 12(g)(1) (15 U.S.C. 78l(g)(1)), except for securities exempted from registration with the SEC by Section 12(g)(2) (C, D, E, F, and H). As such, securities exempted from registration with the SEC by Sections 12(g)(2)(B) and (G) are included in the definition of qualifying securities. (Section 12(g)(2)(B) includes securities issued by an investment company registered pursuant to section 8 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-8), and Section 12(g)(2)(G) refers to securities of certain insurance companies.) Therefore, the final rule defines qualifying securities as: (a) Securities registered on a national securities exchange; (b) securities issued by (1) a company with total assets in excess of $10 million and a class of equity securities (other than exempted securities) held of record by either: (i) 2,000 persons, or (ii) 500 persons who are not accredited investors or (2) a bank or bank holding company with total assets exceeding $10 million and a class of equity securities (other than exempted securities) held of record by 2,000 or more persons; (c) securities issued by investment companies registered pursuant to section 15 U.S.C. 80a-8; and (d) securities issued by insurance companies exempt from registration under Section 12(g)(2)(G).

The definition of “qualifying securities” cites to Section 12(g)(1) instead of reciting specific quantitative standards to ensure that the FDIC's regulations remain consistent with any future statutory changes to Section 12(g)(1) .

c. Section 341.7 Delegations of Authority

The final rule removes the delegations of authorities related to the registration of securities transfer agents from the rule. In the past, the FDIC has taken steps to remove delegations of authority from its regulations in order to provide the agency greater flexibility in the decision-making process.14 The removal of the delegations of authority from the regulation does not change the existing delegation; it simply moves the delegation from the FDIC's regulations. Interested parties may access the FDIC's current delegations of authority on the agency's Web site at www.fdic.gov.

14 67 FR 79246 (Dec. 27, 2002).

d. Technical Corrections

The final rule also makes certain technical corrections to part 341, such as revising outdated citations and updating the name of the FDIC division from which covered institution should request relevant forms.

IV. Regulatory Analyses A. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the agencies 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.15 The FDIC has reviewed the final rule and determined that it does not introduce any new collection of information pursuant to the PRA.

15 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. The current OMB Control Numbers for state nonmember banks filing the transfer agent registration and amendment form is OMB Control No: 3064-0026. The current OMB Control Numbers for state savings associations filing the transfer agent registration and amendment form is OMB Control No: 3064-0027.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (RFA), requires an agency, in connection with a final rule, to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis describing the impact of the final rule on small entities (defined by the Small Business Administration for purposes of the RFA to include banking entities with total assets of $550 million or less) or to certify that the final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For the reasons provided below, the FDIC certifies that the final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

The final rule does not affect a substantial number of small entities.16 Currently only 17 entities are registered with the FDIC as registered transfer agents. Additionally, the FDIC has not received any new registrations for several years. In fact, over the last 10 years, 18 entities have deregistered as transfer agents (the most recent deregistration was in 2014). Furthermore, if any currently registered transfer agent does not meet the threshold requirements, it could deregister. Therefore, the final rule will likely reduce burden on small entities by increasing the number of entities that could deregister with the FDIC. As such, the final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

16 In 2010, the OTS estimated that 5 savings associations would be required to register as transfer agents. 75 FR 22184 (2010).

C. Plain Language

Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires the FDIC to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The FDIC sought to present the proposed rule in a simple and straightforward manner and specifically requested comments from the public on how it might make the proposed rule easier to understand. The FDIC did not receive any suggestions on the use of plain language. The FDIC has drafted the final rule in a similar manner to the proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 341

Banks, banking; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Savings associations; Securities.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 12 CFR Chapter III Authority and Issuance

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is amending part 341 of chapter III of Title 12, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 341—REGISTRATION OF SECURITIES TRANSFER AGENTS 1. The authority citation for part 341 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 2, 3, 17, 17A and 23(a), Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (15 U.S.C. 78b, 78c, 78q, 78q-1 and 78w(a)).

2. Revise § 341.1 to read as follows:
§ 341.1 Scope.

This part is issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the FDIC) under sections 2, 3(a)(34)(B), 17, 17A and 23(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Act), as amended (15 U.S.C. 78b, 78c(a)(34)(B), 78q, 78q-1 and 78w(a)) and applies to all insured State nonmember banks, insured State savings associations, or subsidiaries of such institutions, that act as transfer agents for securities registered under section 12 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78l), or for securities exempt from registration under subsections (g)(2)(B) or (g)(2)(G) of section 12 (15 U.S.C. 781(g)(2)(B) and (G)) (securities of investment companies, including mutual funds, and certain insurance companies). Such securities are qualifying securities for purposes of this part.

3. In § 341.2, revise paragraphs (h) and (i) to read as follows:
§ 341.2 Definitions.

(h) The term covered institution means an insured State nonmember bank, an insured State savings association, and any subsidiary of such institutions.

(i) The term qualifying securities means:

(1) Securities registered on a national securities exchange (15 U.S.C. 78l(b)); or

(2) Securities required to be registered under section 12(g)(1) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78l(g)(1)), except for securities exempted from registration with the SEC by section 12(g)(2) (C, D, E, F, and H) of the Act.

4. § 341.3, revise paragraph (a) and the last sentence in paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 341.3 Registration as securities transfer agent.

(a) Requirement for registration. Any covered institution that performs any of the functions of a transfer agent as described in § 341.2(a) with respect to qualifying securities shall register with the FDIC in the manner indicated in this section.

(c) * * * Form TA-1 may be completed electronically and is available from the FDIC at www.fdic.gov or the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council at www.ffiec.gov, or upon request, from the Director, Division of Risk Management Supervision (RMS), FDIC, Washington, DC 20429.

5. In § 341.5, revise the last sentence in paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 341.5 Withdrawal from registration.

(b) * * * A Request for Deregistration form is available electronically from www.fdic.gov or by request from the Director, Division of Risk Management Supervision (RMS), FDIC, Washington, DC 20429.

§ 341.7 [Removed]
6. Remove § 341.7.

By order of the Board of Directors.

Dated at Washington, DC, this 26th day of April, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-10529 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0250; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-216-AD; Amendment 39-18505; AD 2016-09-07] 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 A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. This AD requires replacing certain pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides with certain new pitot probes. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective June 10, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 10, 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-2015-0250.

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-2015-0250; 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:

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 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) (“the SNPRM”) to amend 14 CFR part 39 for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79750). We preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (“the NPRM”) that published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2015 (80 FR 12094). The NPRM proposed to require replacing certain pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides with certain new pitot probes. The NPRM was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. The SNPRM proposed to revise the NPRM by reducing the proposed compliance time for replacing certain pitot probes based on a risk assessment due to additional reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0205, dated October 9, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Occurrences have been reported on A320 family aeroplanes of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather conditions. Investigation results indicated that A320 aeroplanes equipped with Thales Avionics Part Number (P/N) 50620-10 or P/N C16195AA pitot probes appear to have a greater susceptibility to adverse environmental conditions that aeroplanes equipped with certain other pitot probes.

Prompted by earlier occurrences, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued [DGAC] AD 2001-362 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/F-2001-362] [which corresponds to paragraph (f) of FAA AD 2004-03-33, Amendment 39-13477 (69 FR 9936, March 3, 2004)] to require replacement of Thales (formerly known as Sextant) P/N 50620-10 pitot probes with Thales P/N C16195AA probes.

Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, Thales pitot probe P/N C15195BA was designed, which improved airspeed indication behavior in heavy rain conditions, but did not demonstrate the same level of robustness to withstand high-altitude ice crystals. Based on these findings, EASA have decided to implement replacement of the affected Thales [pitot] probes as a precautionary measure to improve the safety level of the affected aeroplanes.

Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0237 (later revised) [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2014_0237.pdf/AD_2014-0237], retaining the requirements of DGAC France AD 2001-362, which was superseded, and cancelling two other DGAC ADs, to require replacement of Thales Avionics pitot probes P/N C16195AA and P/N C16195BA.

Since EASA issued AD 2014-0237R1 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2014-0237R1] was issued, results of further analyses have determined that the compliance time (48 months) of that AD has to be reduced in relation to the risk assessment.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0237R1, which is superseded, but reduces the compliance time.

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-2015-0250.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comment received. United Airlines has no objection to the SNPRM.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available 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 SNPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed the following Airbus service information:

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 30, dated June 18, 2015.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

The service information describes procedures for replacing certain Thales Avionics pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides. 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 953 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it takes about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $21,930 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $21,223,310, or $22,270 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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-09-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18505. Docket No. FAA-2015-0250; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-216-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 10, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD affects AD 2004-03-33, Amendment 39-13477 (69 FR 9936, March 3, 2004) (“AD 2004-03-33”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

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

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

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 34, Navigation.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement of Certain Pitot Probes on the Captain, First Officer, and Standby Sides

Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace any Thales pitot probe having part number (P/N) C16195AA or P/N C16195BA, with a Goodrich pitot probe having P/N 0851HL, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 30, dated June 18, 2015. Accomplishing the replacement in this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2004-03-33 for that airplane only.

(h) Optional Methods of Compliance for Replacement Required by Paragraph (g) of This AD

(1) Replacement of the pitot probes in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012 (pitot probes on the captain and standby sides); and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012 (pitot probes on the first officer side); is an acceptable method of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(2) Airplanes on which Airbus Modification 25578 was embodied in production, except for post-modification 25578 airplanes on which Airbus Modification 155737 (installation of Thales pitot probes) was also embodied in production, are compliant with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it can be conclusively determined that no Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA, P/N C16195BA, or P/N 50620-10 has been installed since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness. Post-modification 25578 airplanes on which Airbus Modification 155737 (installation of Thales pitot probes) was also embodied in production must be in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

(1) 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 the service information identified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(xxvi) of this AD. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 04, dated May 24, 2000.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 05, dated September 11, 2000.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 06, dated October 18, 2001.

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 07, dated December 4, 2001.

(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 08, dated January 15, 2003.

(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 09, dated February 17, 2003.

(vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 10, dated November 21, 2003.

(viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 11, dated August 18, 2004.

(ix) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 12, dated December 2, 2004.

(x) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 13, dated January 18, 2005.

(xi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 14, dated April 21, 2005.

(xii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 15, dated July 19, 2005.

(xiii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 16, dated November 23, 2006.

(xiv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 17, dated February 14, 2007.

(xv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 18, dated October 9, 2009.

(xvi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 19, dated November 9, 2009.

(xvii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 20, dated December 1, 2010.

(xviii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 21, dated March 24, 2011.

(xix) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 22, dated July 19, 2011.

(xx) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 23, dated February 3, 2012.

(xxi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 24, dated April 12, 2012.

(xxii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 25, dated September 4, 2012.

(xxiii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 26, dated September 16, 2013.

(xxiv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 27, dated March 18, 2014.

(xxv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 28, dated September 1, 2014.

(xxvi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 29, dated February 16, 2015.

(2) This paragraph provides credit for the replacement of pitot probes on the captain and standby sides specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if the replacement was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, dated December 2, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(3) This paragraph provides credit for the replacement of pitot probes on the first officer side as specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, dated March 9, 2010, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) Parts Installation Limitations

(1) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(1)(i) or (j)(1)(ii) of this AD: No person may install on any airplane a Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA.

(i) For airplanes with a Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA installed: After accomplishing the replacement required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(ii) For airplanes without a Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA installed: As of the effective date of this AD.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane a Thales pitot probe having part number P/N 50620-10.

(k) 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

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

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0205, dated October 9, 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-2015-0250.

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

(m) 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 A320-34-1170, Revision 30, dated June 18, 2015.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

(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 April 20, 2016. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-10215 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6149; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-047-AD; Amendment 39-18510; AD 2016-09-12] 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 certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments for disengaged decompression panels, and reinstalling any disengaged panels. This AD was prompted by several reports of disengaged decompression panels found on in-service airplanes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct disengaged decompression panels from the bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments. In the event of a cargo compartment fire, this condition would provide a path for smoke and Halon to enter the flight compartment and passenger cabin, which could result in the inability to contain and extinguish a fire.

DATES:

This AD is effective May 23, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 23, 2016.

We must receive comments on this AD by June 20, 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, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6149.

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-2016-6149; 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:

Caspar Wang, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6414; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We have received several reports of disengaged decompression panels found on in-service airplanes. It appears these decompression panels disengaged prior to delivery, during test flights. Tests done by the airplane manufacturer revealed some decompression panels disengage at a pressure differential below the design/intended value. This condition, if not corrected, would provide a path for smoke and Halon to enter the flight compartment and passenger cabin in the event of a cargo compartment fire, which could result in the inability to contain and extinguish a fire.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments for disengaged decompression panels, and reinstalling any disengaged panels. 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.

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-2016-6149.

Interim Action

We consider this AD interim action. The airplane manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

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 if any decompression panel is disengaged from the bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments and a cargo compartment fire were to occur, the fire could not be contained or extinguished. 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-2016-6149 and Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-047-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 42 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 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 per inspection cycle $0 $255 per inspection cycle $10,710 per inspection cycle.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary reinstallation that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action:

On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Reinstallation 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85
    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): 2016-09-12 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18510; Docket No. FAA-2016-6149; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-047-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective May 23, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by several reports of disengaged decompression panels found on in-service airplanes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct disengaged decompression panels from the bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments. In the event of a cargo compartment fire, this condition would provide a path for smoke and Halon to enter the flight compartment and passenger cabin, which could result in the inability to contain and extinguish a fire.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Do a general visual inspection of the bilge barriers located in the forward and aft cargo compartments for disengaged decompression panels, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 5., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015.

    (1) For Group 1 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015: Inspect within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For Group 2 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015: Inspect within 180 flight cycles or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (h) Reinstallation of Decompression Panels

    If any disengaged decompression panel is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, reinstall the panel, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (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, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) 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 Caspar Wang, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6414; fax: 425-917-6590; 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 B787-81205-SB500009-00, Issue 001, dated November 16, 2015.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (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 April 25, 2016. Ross Landes, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10404 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3741; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-040-AD; Amendment 39-18507; AD 2016-09-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter France) AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2013-08-17 for Airbus Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, and SA-366G1 helicopters. AD 2013-08-17 required initial and recurring inspections of the 9-degree fuselage frame for a crack and repairing the frame if a crack exists. This new AD modifies the compliance times and expands the inspection area of the 9-inch frame. The actions of this AD are intended to detect a crack in the 9-degree frame to prevent loss of structural integrity and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective June 10, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of June 10, 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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3741.

    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-2015-3741; 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, any incorporated-by-reference service information, 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:

    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 2013-08-17, Amendment 39-17434 (78 FR 25380, May 1, 2013) and add a new AD. AD 2013-08-17 applied to Airbus Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, and SA-366G1 helicopters and required initial and recurring inspections of the inner angles and flanges of the 9-degree fuselage frame on the right-hand (RH) and left-hand (LH) sides for a crack. If a crack was found, AD 2013-08-17 required repairing the frame. AD 2013-08-17 was prompted by EASA Emergency AD No. 2010-0064-E, dated April 1, 2010, to correct an unsafe condition for the specified model helicopters. EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, advises that of a crack found in the 9-degree frame of an AS 365 N2 helicopter that had logged a total of 10,786 flight hours. EASA states that the time required for initiation of a crack in this area varies according to the weight and balance data of the different aircraft versions.

    The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2015 (80 FR 79274). The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2014-0159, dated July 7, 2014, which supersedes EASA Emergency AD No. 2010-0064-E. EASA advises of further analysis on the strength of the 9-degree frame by Airbus Helicopters, which indicates compliance times should be modified and the inspection area expanded. Consequently, the NPRM proposed retaining the inspections of the 9-degree fuselage frame for a crack but in the expanded area and within the modified compliance times. These actions are intended to detect a crack in the 9-degree frame to prevent loss of structural integrity and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 79274, December 21, 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 the EASA 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 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

    We do not require contacting the manufacturer for approved repair instructions. We also do not allow flight with a known crack.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus Helicopters has issued an Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB), Revision 2, dated April 7, 2014, containing the following three numbers: No. 05.00.57 for the Model SA-365N and N1, and AS-365N2 and N3 and for military Model AS365F, Fs, Fi, and K helicopters; No. 05.39 for Model SA-366G1 and military Model SA 366-GA helicopters; and No. 05.00.25 for military Model AS565MA, MB, SA, SB, and UB helicopters.

    The EASB specifies checking at regular intervals for a crack in the areas of the inner angles and flanges of the 9-degree frame on the RH and LH sides, near the splice. Revision 2 of the EASB modifies the compliance times, adds a compliance time based on take-off/landing cycles, and expands the inspection areas up to the junction with the upper part of the frame. EASA classified this service information as mandatory and issued EASA AD No. 2014-0159 to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

    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 40 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 9-degree frame requires 3 work-hours per inspection for a cost of $255 per helicopter and $10,200 for the fleet per inspection cycle.

    • Repairing the 9-degree frame requires 24 work-hours for a labor cost of $2,040. Parts cost $3,350 for a total cost of $5,390 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-08-17, Amendment 39-17434 (78 FR 25380, May 1, 2013) and adding the following new AD: 2016-09-09 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-18507; Docket No. FAA-2015-3741; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-040-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, and SA-366G1 helicopters, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the 9-degree frame, which could result in the loss of structural integrity and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2013-08-17, Amendment 39-17434 (78 FR 25380, May 1, 2013).

    (d) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective June 10, 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

    (1) Within 110 hours time-in-service (TIS) after reaching the hours or landings threshold, whichever occurs first, listed in Table 1 to Paragraph (f)(1) of this AD or within 110 hours TIS from the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS, using a 10X or higher magnifying glass and a light, inspect the 9-degree fuselage frame on the right-hand and left-hand sides for a crack in the areas depicted in Figures 1 and 2 of Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. AS365 05.00.57, Revision 2, dated April 7, 2014, or EASB No. SA366 05.39, Revision 2, dated April 7, 2014, as applicable to your model helicopter. For purposes of this AD, a landing would be counted anytime the helicopter lifts off into the air and then lands again regardless of the duration of the landing and regardless of whether the engine is shut down.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (f)(1) Helicopter model Hours TIS Landings SA-365N 11,490 22,980 SA-365N1 10,490 20,980 AS-365N2 9,140 18,280 AS-365N3 8,740 17,480 SA-366G1 8,390 16,780

    (2) If there is a crack, before further flight, repair the frame. Repairing a frame does not constitute terminating actions for the repetitive inspection requirements of this AD.

    (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, Texas 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

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014-0159, dated July 7, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-3741.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5311, Fuselage Main, Frame.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference 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) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05.00.57, Revision 2, dated April 7, 2014.

    (ii) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05.39, Revision 2, dated April 7, 2014.

    Note 1 to paragraph (j)(2):

    Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05.00.57 and Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05.39, both Revision 2, and both dated April 7, 2014, are co-published as one document along with Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 05.00.25, Revision 2, dated April 7, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (3) For Airbus Helicopters 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.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

    (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 Fort Worth, Texas, on April 22, 2016. Scott A. Horn, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10286 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-8427; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-212-AD; Amendment 39-18508; AD 2016-09-10] 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) 2007-10-10 R1 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). AD 2007-10-10 R1 required revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems. This new AD requires revising the maintenance program or inspection program to incorporate revised fuel maintenance and inspection tasks. This AD was prompted by issuance of more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective June 10, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of June 10, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of December 28, 2009 (74 FR 65398, December 10, 2009).

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of June 27, 2007 (72 FR 28827, May 23, 2007).

    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]airbus.com; 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-2015-8427.

    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-2015-8427; 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:

    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 2007-10-10 R1, Amendment 39-16134 (74 FR 65398, December 10, 2009) (“AD 2007-10-10 R1”). AD 2007-10-10 R1 applied 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). The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2016 (81 FR 1573) (“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 2014-0194, dated October 15, 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:

    Prompted by an accident * * *, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 88, [http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFAR.nsf/0/EEFB3F94451DC06286256C93004F5E07?OpenDocument&Highlight=sfar 88], and the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) published Interim Policy INT/POL/25/12. In response to these regulations, Airbus conducted a design review to develop Fuel Airworthiness Limitations (FAL) for Airbus on A300-600 and A300-600ST aeroplanes.

    The FAL were specified in Airbus A300-600 FAL document ref. 95A.1929/05 at issue 02 and in the A300-600 [Airworthiness Limitation Section] ALS variation to FAL document issue 02 ref. 0CVLG110007/C0S issue 01, for A300-600 and A300-600ST aeroplanes.

    EASA issued [EASA] AD 2006-0201 to require compliance with the FAL documents (comprising maintenance/inspection tasks and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)).

    EASA AD 2006-0201 was superseded by EASA AD 2007-0095 (later revised) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2007-10-10 R1, Amendment 39-16134 (74 FR 65398, December 10, 2009)], which retained the original requirements and corrected and updated the compliance paragraphs concerning task ref. 28-18-00-03-1 and CDCCLs.

    Since EASA AD 2007-0095R1 was published, Airbus issued A300-600 ALS Part 5, prompted by EASA policy statement (EASA D2005/CPRO) which requests design approval holders to integrate Fuel Tank Safety items into an ALS document. The A300-600 ALS Part 5 is approved by EASA.

    Failure to comply with the items as identified in Airbus A300-600 ALS Part 5 could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the aeroplane.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2007-0095R1, which is superseded, and requires implementation of the new and more restrictive maintenance instructions and/or airworthiness limitations as specified in Airbus A300-600 ALS Part 5.

    The unsafe condition is the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank explosions 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-2015-8427.

    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 Changes Made in This AD

    We have corrected certain paragraph references in paragraph (g) and Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD.

    We have revised certain document citations in paragraph (h) of this AD. This change is necessary to meet the Office of the Federal Register's requirements for documents that are incorporated by reference in this AD.

    We have also determined that the compliance time for revising the ALS to incorporate certain CDCCLs specified in paragraph (i) of this AD should be within 12 months after June 27, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-10-10, Amendment 39-15051 (72 FR 28827, May 23, 2007) (“AD 2007-10-10”)). The compliance time stated in the proposed AD was “Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD.” We have revised paragraph (i) of this AD accordingly. The proposed AD clearly indicated that we intended to restate the requirements of that paragraph from the previous AD, with no changes.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously, 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 A300-600 Airworthiness Limitations Section Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 00, dated May 27, 2014. The airworthiness limitations introduce mandatory instructions and more restrictive maintenance requirements. 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 122 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2007-10-10 R1, and retained in this AD take about 2 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 2007-10-10 R1 is $170 per product.

    We also estimate that it takes about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $10,370, 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) 2007-10-10 R1, Amendment 39-16134 (74 FR 65398, December 10, 2009), and adding the following new AD: 2016-09-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-18508. Docket No. FAA-2015-8427; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-212-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective June 10, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2007-10-10 R1, Amendment 39-16134 (74 FR 65398, December 10, 2009) (“AD 2007-10-10 R1”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to 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), certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by Airbus issuing more restrictive instructions and/or fuel airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Revision of the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) To Incorporate Fuel Maintenance and Inspection Tasks, With Corrected Paragraph References

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2007-10-10 R1, with corrected paragraph references. Within 3 months after June 27, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-10-10, Amendment 39-15051 (72 FR 28827, May 23, 2007) (“AD 2007-10-10”)), revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A300-600 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated May 31, 2006, as defined in Section 1, “Maintenance/Inspection Tasks,” of Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005; or Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 2, dated May 16, 2007. For all tasks identified in Section 1 of these documents, the initial compliance times start from the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, and the repetitive inspections must be accomplished thereafter at the intervals specified in Section 1 of these documents, except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (1) June 27, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-10-10).

    (2) The date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    Airbus Operator Information Telex (OIT) SE 999.0076/06, dated June 20, 2006, identifies the applicable sections of the Airbus A300-600 Airplane Maintenance Manual for accomplishing the tasks specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1929/05.

    (h) Retained Revision of Initial Compliance Time for Task 28-18-00-03-1, With Revised Document Citations

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2007-10-10 R1, with revised document citations. For Task 28-18-00-03-1, “Operational check of low-level/underfull/calibration sensors,” identified in Section 1, “Maintenance/Inspection Tasks” of Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005; or Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 2, dated May 16, 2007: The initial compliance time is the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD. Thereafter, Task 28-18-00-03-1 must be accomplished at the repetitive interval specified in Section 1 of these documents.

    (1) Prior to the accumulation of 40,000 total flight hours.

    (2) Within 72 months or 20,000 flight hours after June 27, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-10-10), whichever occurs first.

    (i) Retained Revision of the ALS To Incorporate CDCCLs, With Revised Compliance Time

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2007-10-10 R1, with a revised compliance time. Within 12 months after June 27, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-10-10), revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A300-600 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated May 31, 2006, as defined in Section 2, “Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations,” of Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005; or Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 2, dated May 16, 2007.

    (j) New Requirement of This AD: Revise the Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating the airworthiness limitations as specified in Airbus A300-600 Airworthiness Limitations Section Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 00, dated May 27, 2014. The initial compliance times for the actions specified in Airbus A300-600 Airworthiness Limitations Section Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 00, dated May 27, 2014, are at the later of the times specified in Airbus A300-600 Airworthiness Limitations Section Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 00, dated May 27, 2014, or within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Accomplishing the revision required by this paragraph terminates the actions required by paragraphs (g) through (i) of this AD.

    (k) New Requirement of This AD: No Alternative Actions, Intervals, and/or CDCCLs

    After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (j) 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)(1) of 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-114, 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 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0194, dated October 15, 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-2015-8427.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(6) and (n)(7) 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 June 10, 2016.

    (i) Airbus A300-600 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 00, dated May 27, 2014. The issue date of this document is not identified on the title page.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on December 28, 2009 (74 FR 65398, December 10, 2009).

    (i) Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1929/05, Issue 2, dated May 16, 2007.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) The following service information was approved for IBR on June 27, 2007 (72 FR 28827, May 23, 2007).

    (i) Airbus A300-600 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated May 31, 2006.

    (ii) Airbus A300-600 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005.

    (6) 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.

    (7) 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.

    (8) 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 April 21, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10159 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-4235; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-6] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ash Flat, AR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends the airspace designation and airport name in Class E airspace by changing the designation from Cherokee Village Airport, AR, to Ash Flat, AR; and changing the airport name from Cherokee Village Airport to Sharp County Village Airport, Ash Flat, AR. These changes reflect the current information in the FAAs aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, July 21, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    History

    In a review of the airspace, the FAA found that the airport designation and airport name for Cherokee Village Airport, AR, as published in FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, has changed. This is an administrative change removing Cherokee Village, AR, from the Class E designation, and establishing Ash Flat, AR, in its place, and changing the airport name from Cherokee Village Airport to Sharp County Regional Airport, Ash Flat, AR. The geographic coordinates of the airport also are adjusted.

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This action amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by removing the airport designation Cherokee Village, AR, and airport name of Cherokee Village Airport from Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and establishing the new designation, Ash Flat, AR; and airport name, Sharp County Regional Airport, Ash Flat, AR, in its place. The geographic coordinates of the airport also are adjusted.

    This is an administrative change amending the airspace designation for Sharp County Regional Airport, Ash Flat, AR, to be in concert with the FAA's aeronautical database, and does not affect the boundaries or operating requirements of the airspace; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW AR E5 Ash Flat, AR [New] Sharp County Regional Airport, AR (Lat. 36°15′54″ N., long. 91°33′46″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Sharp County Regional Airport.

    ASW AR E5 Cherokee Village, AR [Removed]
    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 19, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10556 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 23 RIN 3038-AE17 Definitions of “Portfolio Reconciliation” and “Material Terms” for Purposes of Swap Portfolio Reconciliation AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission” or “CFTC”) is amending its regulations in connection with the terms for which counterparties must exchange and resolve discrepancies when engaging in portfolio reconciliation.

    DATES:

    The final rule is effective May 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frank N. Fisanich, Chief Counsel, 202-418-5949, [email protected]; KatherineS. Driscoll, Associate Chief Counsel, 202-418-5544, [email protected]; Gregory Scopino, Special Counsel, 202-418-5175, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Proposed Rule

    Under § 23.502 of the Commission's regulations,1 swap dealers (“SD”) and major swap participants (“MSP”), as defined in § 1.3 of the Commission's regulations, must reconcile their swap portfolios with one another and provide non-SD and non-MSP counterparties with regular opportunities for portfolio reconciliation.2 Section 23.500(i) 3 defines the term “portfolio reconciliation” as any process by which the two parties to one or more swaps: (1) Exchange the terms of all swaps in the swap portfolio between the counterparties; (2) exchange each counterparty's valuation of each swap in the swap portfolio between the counterparties as of the close of business on the immediately preceding business day; and (3) resolve any discrepancy in material terms and valuations. Section 23.500(g) defines “material terms” to mean all terms of a swap required to be reported in accordance with part 45 of this chapter.4

    1 17 CFR 23.502.

    2 17 CFR 23.502; see Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio Compression, and Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 77 FR 55904 (Sept. 11, 2012) (“Portfolio Reconciliation Final Rule”) at 55926.

    3 17 CFR 23.500(i).

    4 17 CFR 23.500(g). Part 45 of the Commission regulations governs swap data recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The swap terms that must be reported under part 45 are found in appendix 1 to part 45. See 17 CFR part 45, App. 1; see also 17 CFR 45.1 (defining “primary economic terms” as all of the terms of a swap matched or affirmed by the counterparties in verifying the swap, including at a minimum each of the terms included in the most recent Federal Register release by the Commission listing minimum primary economic terms for swaps in the swap asset class in question and stating that the current list of minimum primary economic terms is in appendix 1); Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, 77 FR 2197 (Jan. 13, 2012) (promulgating the list of primary economic terms). Examples of primary economic terms include the price of the swap, payment frequency, type of contract (e.g., a “vanilla option” or “complex exotic option”), execution timestamp, and, if the swap is a multi-asset class swap, the primary and secondary asset classes. 17 CFR part 45, App. 1.

    On September 22, 2015, the Commission proposed to amend the definition of “material terms” in § 23.500(g) to exclude nine specific data fields (the “Proposal”).5 It was then—and remains so now—the intention of the Commission to alleviate the burden of resolving discrepancies with respect to a swap that are not relevant to the ongoing rights and obligations of the parties and the valuation of the swap without impairing the Commission's regulatory mission.6 The nine excluded data fields from the Proposal (hereinafter referred to as the “Proposed Excluded Data Fields”) are:

    5 Proposal to Amend the Definition of “Material Terms” for Purposes of Swap Portfolio Reconciliation, 80 FR 57129, Sept. 22, 2015. The Commission's Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight had previously provided SDs and MSPs with no-action relief stating it would not recommend an enforcement action against an SD or MSP that omits eleven specific data fields from the portfolio reconciliation process required under § 23.502. See CFTC Letter 13-31 (June 26, 2013).5

    6See the Proposal, 80 FR at 57131.

    1. An indication that the swap will be allocated;

    2. If the swap will be allocated, or is a post-allocation swap, the legal entity identifier 7 of the agent;

    7 A legal entity identifier is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code, to uniquely identify legally distinct entities that engage in financial transactions. See Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee, http://www.leiroc.org/; 17 CFR 45.6.

    3. An indication that the swap is a post-allocation swap;

    4. If the swap is a post-allocation swap, the unique swap identifier; 8

    8 A unique swap identifier is a unique identifier assigned to all swap transactions which identifies the transaction (the swap and its counterparties) uniquely throughout the duration of the swap's existence. See 17 CFR 45.5.

    5. Block trade indicator;

    6. With respect to a cleared swap, the execution timestamp;

    7. With respect to a cleared swap, the timestamp for submission to swap data repository (“SDR”);

    8. Clearing indicator; and

    9. Clearing venue.9

    9 The Proposed Excluded Data Fields modified the No-Action Excluded Data Fields by: (1) Amending the execution timestamp data field to be specific to cleared swaps; (2) amending the timestamp for submission to an SDR data field to be specific to cleared swaps; (3) removing the data field containing an indication of whether the clearing requirement exception in CEA section 2(h)(7) has been elected with respect to an uncleared swap; and (4) removing the data field containing the identity of the counterparty electing the clearing requirement exception in CEA section 2(h)(7). The Commission proposed to retain those data fields for uncleared swaps as “material terms” because a discrepancy in this information in the records of the counterparties could mean that the related information is erroneous in the records of an SDR, which could have an impact on the Commission's regulatory mission.

    In the Proposal, the Commission asked for comments on a number of issues related to the appropriate scope of portfolio reconciliation. For example, the Commission asked for comment on whether counterparties should only have to exchange the “material terms” of swaps or whether counterparties should be required to exchange all terms of swaps (material or not).10 The Commission also sought comment concerning, among other things, whether additional data fields should be excluded from portfolio reconciliation exercises.11

    10 Proposal, 80 FR at 57132.

    11Id.

    II. Summary of Comments

    In response to the Proposal, the Commission received four comments.12 All of the commenters supported going further than the Proposal by, for example, allowing counterparties to avoid having to reconcile non-material terms. None of the commenters wanted the Commission to keep § 23.500 as it was. Additionally, none of the commenters suggested that the Commission do less than was proposed to reduce the burdens associated with portfolio reconciliation exercises. All four commenters urged the Commission to further reduce the scope of terms that must be reconciled for discrepancies than what had been suggested in the Proposal.

    12 These comment letters are on the Commission's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1619.

    In particular, Chris Barnard of Germany stated that he supported “amending the definition of `material terms' to not include terms that are not relevant to the valuation of swaps portfolios” and amending “§ 23.500(i)(1) so that counterparties only have to exchange the `material terms' (which would not include the Proposed Excluded Data Fields) of swaps.” 13

    13See Letter from Chris Barnard (Nov. 17, 2015), http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/ViewComment.aspx?id=60560&SearchText=.

    Likewise, the Japanese Bankers Association recommended that the Commission amend § 23.500(i)(1) so that swap counterparties only have to exchange the “material terms” of swaps, consistent with the Proposed Excluded Data Fields.14 The Japanese Bankers Association further stated that “[t]he removal of the data reconciliation requirement of the Proposed Excluded Data Fields will generate significant cost savings.” 15

    14 Letter from the Japanese Bankers Association (Nov. 16, 2015), http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/ViewComment.aspx?id=60556&SearchText=.

    15Id.

    Additionally, consistent with the Proposal, Freddie Mac stated that it “believes that the Commission should continue to exclude the execution timestamp and [SDR] submission timestamp data fields with respect to non-cleared swap transactions from the definition of `material terms' under 23.500(g) for purposes of compliance with the portfolio reconciliation requirements of 23.502.” 16

    16 Letter from FreddieMac (Nov. 23, 2015), http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/ViewComment.aspx?id=60563&SearchText=.

    In addition, ISDA commented that it believes that “[t]he data fields that need to be exchanged and those which need to be reconciled should be the same” in that “[t]hese should only include data fields which were agreed upon between the parties as a term of the swap and [are] relevant to the mutual obligations of a swap.” 17 ISDA agreed with the exclusion of the Proposed Excluded Data Fields for purposes of portfolio reconciliation but believes that the Commission should further expand the list of excluded items. ISDA suggests that the Commission define, “material terms,” such that it would be limited to the primary economic terms of a swap, minus 25 specific data elements referenced in Appendix A to ISDA's comment letter.18 The data elements in question are otherwise required to be reported under Part 45, but are not, according to ISDA, relevant to the mutual obligations and valuation of swaps.19

    17 Letter from ISDA, at 4 (Nov. 20, 2015), http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/ViewComment.aspx?id=60561&SearchText=.

    18Id. at 2.

    19Id.

    ISDA's 25 recommended excluded terms are the following:

    1. An indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a SD with respect to the swap;

    2. An indication of whether the reporting party is an MSP with respect to the swap;

    3. If the reporting counterparty is not an SD or a MSP with respect to the swap, an indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a financial entity as defined in section 2(h)(7)(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“Act”);

    4. An indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a U.S. person;

    5. An indication that the swap will be allocated;

    6. If the swap will be allocated, or is a post-allocation swap, the legal entity identifier of the agent;

    7. An indication of whether the swap is a post-allocation swap;

    8. If the swap is a post-allocation swap, the unique swap identifier of the original transaction between the reporting counterparty and the agent;

    9. An indication of whether the non-reporting counterparty is an SD with respect to the swap;

    10. An indication of whether the non-reporting counterparty is an MSP with respect to the swap;

    11. If the non-reporting counterparty is not an SD or an MSP with respect to the swap, an indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a financial entity as defined in section 2(h)(7)(c) of the Act;

    12. An indication of whether the non-reporting counterparty is a U.S. person;

    13. An indication that the swap is a multi-asset swap;

    14. For a multi-asset swap, an indication of the primary asset class;

    15. For a multi-asset swap, an indication of the secondary asset class(es);

    16. An indication that the swap is a mixed swap;

    17. For a mixed swap reported to two non-dually-registered swap data repositories, the identity of the other SDR (if any) to which the swap is or will be reported;

    18. Block trade indicator;

    19. Execution timestamp;

    20. Timestamp for submission to SDR;

    21. Clearing indicator;

    22. Clearing venue;

    23. If the swap will not be cleared, an indication of whether the clearing requirement exception in section 2(h)(7) of the Act was elected;

    24. The identity of the counterparty electing the clearing requirement exception in section 2(h)(7) of the Act; and

    25. Any other term(s) of the swap matched or affirmed by the counterparties in verifying the swap.20

    20Id.

    With respect to the twenty-fifth term, ISDA stated that such term was “[n]ot suitable for material terms reconciliation” because “[u]ndefined data fields cannot be reconciled between parties or supported by portfolio reconciliation.” 21

    21Id.

    III. Final Rule

    After careful consideration, the Commission has decided to finalize the rule by: (1) Modifying § 23.500(i)(1) to define “portfolio reconciliation” as, inter alia, any process by which the two parties to one or more swaps exchange the material terms of all swaps in the swap portfolio between the counterparties, and (2) modifying § 23.500(g) to define “material terms” to mean the minimum primary economic terms of a swap, as defined in appendix 1 of part 45 of the Commission's regulations, other than the first 24 terms listed above.

    After analyzing and considering the materiality of such terms, the Commission believes that the terms are not material for purposes of portfolio reconciliation exercises. Specifically, the Commission has determined that these 24 data fields: (i) Pertain to static items about entering into the swap; (ii) pertain to static data fields about a party's status; (iii) are only relevant to cleared transactions; (iv) are data which is not agreed, exchanged, or confirmed between the parties; or (v) are not relevant to the swap's daily valuation. The Commission also believes that the removal of these terms from reconciliations would alleviate the burden of resolving discrepancies in terms of a swap that are not relevant to the ongoing rights and obligations of the parties and the valuation of the swap without impairing the Commission's regulatory mission. The Commission's view of these “Excluded Data Fields” only applies to the “portfolio reconciliation” process and has no bearing on other obligations that counterparties must adhere to, such as, but not limited to, recordkeeping and reporting obligations. Thus the final rule would make the portfolio reconciliation process more efficient without harming the Commission's ability to regulate the market. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to adopt the 24 terms as the “Excluded Data Fields” to be listed in § 23.500(g)'s definition of material terms.

    The twenty-fifth data field listed above—“[a]ny other term(s) of the swap matched or affirmed by the counterparties in verifying the swap”—is a provision that could include terms, unlike the 24 excluded terms above, that would be relevant to or affect the valuation of the swap or the ongoing rights and obligations of the counterparties.22 Additionally, reconciling terms captured by this data field only covers terms that are matched or affirmed by the counterparties in verifying the swap, and terms that are matched or affirmed by the counterparties must, in any event, be memorialized and recorded, thereby providing a basis for counterparties to know which data fields must be included in portfolio reconciliation exercises. Accordingly, the Commission is not persuaded that the twenty-fifth data field is ambiguous and has determined not to exclude it from the definition of material terms.

    22 For example, the Commission has stated that this field could include terms such as an “early termination option clause” in an interest-rate swap. See Exhibit C in appendix 1 to part 45; see also Exhibit C to appendix 1 to part 45 (listing the minimum primary economic terms data for foreign exchange transactions other than cross-currency swaps, and stating that the field for any other term(s) of the swap matched or affirmed by the counterparties in verifying the trade would include, for options, premium, premium currency, premium payment date; for non-deliverable trades, settlement currency, valuation (fixing) date; indication of the economic obligations of the counterparties).

    The Commission will, however, provide an additional measure of certainty to swap counterparties in the final rule by modifying the definition of “material terms” in § 23.500(g) to mean the minimum primary economic terms as defined in appendix 1 of part 45 of the Commission's regulations (as opposed to meaning the primary economic terms more generally, without reference to the minimum terms enumerated in appendix (1), minus the Excluded Data Fields. Under this approach, market participants looking for the list of terms or data fields that must be exchanged during portfolio reconciliation exercises can look to the tables in appendix 1 to part 45 (minus the 24 Excluded Data Fields), which primarily feature concrete terms.

    With these modifications to the existing regulations, the final rule will make it such that the terms that must be exchanged during portfolio reconciliation exercises will be identical to the terms that have to be resolved for discrepancies, both of which will be reduced from what was required under the regulations as originally promulgated. The Commission is finalizing the rule as such because the Commission believes that modifying the rule in this manner will provide for a streamlined and efficient portfolio reconciliation process that will continue to provide counterparties (and the Commission) with sufficient information about swap transactions. Accordingly, the Commission believes that the Final Rule will result in fewer “false positives” and provide for an overall more effective portfolio reconciliation process.

    IV. Administrative Compliance A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act 23 requires that agencies consider whether the rules they propose will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, if so, provide a regulatory flexibility analysis reflecting the impact. For purposes of resolving any discrepancy in material terms and valuations, the final rule amends the definition in § 23.500(g) of the Commission regulations so that the term “material terms” is defined as the minimum primary economic terms of a swap other than the 24 Excluded Data Fields. In connection with portfolio reconciliation, § 23.500(i)(1) requires counterparties to exchange the material terms of all swaps, which is now consistent with § 23.500(i)(3), which requires counterparties to resolve any discrepancy in “material terms” and valuations. As a result of the change to the definition of “material terms” in § 23.500(g) of the Commission regulations, SDs and MSPs will not be required to include the 24 Excluded Data Fields in portfolio reconciliations. Accordingly, counterparties also will not have to resolve discrepancies of material terms or valuations in connection with the 24 Excluded Data Fields. The Commission has previously determined that SDs and MSPs are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.24

    23 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    24 Policy Statement and Establishment of Definitions of “Small Entities” for Purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 47 FR 18618, 18619 (Apr. 30, 1982). The Regulatory Flexibility Act is limited to direct impact to small entities and not on indirect impacts on these businesses, which may be tenuous and difficult to discern. See Mid-Tex Elec. Coop., Inc. v. FERC, 773 F.2d 327, 340 (D.C. Cir. 1985); Am. Trucking Assns. v. EPA, 175 F.3d 1027, 1043 (D.C. Cir. 1985). Nonetheless, the Commission notes that any financial end-users that may be indirectly impacted by the proposed rule are likely to be eligible contract participants, and, as such, they would not be small entities. See Opting Out of Segregation, 66 FR 20740, 20743 (Apr. 25, 2001).

    Thus, for the reasons stated above, the Commission believes that the amendments to the definitions of “material terms” and “portfolio reconciliation” will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, hereby certifies, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that the regulations in this Federal Register release will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) 25 imposes certain requirements on Federal agencies, including the Commission, in connection with their conducting or sponsoring any collection of information, as defined by the PRA. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

    25 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    In connection with the proposal, the Commission anticipated that, if adopted the Final Rule would require an amendment to existing collection of information OMB Control Number 3038-0068 with respect to the collection of information entitled “Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, and Portfolio Compression Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants.” 26 The Commission therefore submitted this proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The Commission previously had discussed, for purposes of the PRA, the burden 27 that the regulation mandating, inter alia, portfolio reconciliation would impose on market participants.28 In particular, the Commission estimated the burden to be 1,282.5 hours for each SD and MSP, and the aggregate burden for SDs and MSPs—based on a then-projected 125 SDs and MSPs—was 160,312.5 burden hours.29

    26See OMB Control No. 3038-0068, http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAOMBHistory?ombControlNumber=3038-0068.

    27 “For purposes of the PRA, the term `burden' means the `time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, or provide information to or for a Federal Agency.' ” Portfolio Reconciliation Final Rule, 77 FR at 55959.

    28 Portfolio Reconciliation Final Rule, 77 FR at 55958-60.

    29 Portfolio Reconciliation Final Rule, 77 FR at 55959.

    The final rule amends the definition in § 23.500(g) of the Commission regulations so that the term “material terms” means the minimum primary economic terms of a swap other than the 24 Excluded Data Fields.30 As noted above, under the final rule, clause (1) of the definition of “portfolio reconciliation” in § 23.500(i) requires the parties to exchange the material terms of all swaps between them and clause (3) of § 23.500(i) requires parties to resolve any discrepancy in “material terms” and valuations. The change will clarify that SDs and MSPs are not required to include the 24 Excluded Data Fields in portfolio reconciliations or in any resolution of discrepancies of material terms or valuations.

    30 As noted earlier, the final rule is amending the definition of the term, “material terms,” at § 23.500(g) to exclude 24 data fields that will not be considered “material terms” for the purposes of “portfolio reconciliation” as that term is defined in § 23.500(i)(3).

    As discussed above, the final rule reduces the number of “material terms” that counterparties are required to exchange and resolve for discrepancies during portfolio reconciliations, but will not eliminate the overall portfolio reconciliation requirement itself. The Commission stated that it believed that the Proposal would reduce the time burden for portfolio reconciliation by one burden hour for each SD and MSP, which would reduce the annual burden to 1,281.5 hours per SD and MSP. The Commission stated that it believed that the Proposal would result in one hour of less work for computer programmers for SDs and MSPs because the programmers who have to match the needed data fields from two different databases would have fewer data fields to obtain and resolve for discrepancies. In the Proposal, the Commission estimated that, given that there are 106 provisionally registered SDs and MSPs, the proposed amendment would result in an aggregate burden of 135,839 burden hours if adopted. The final rule, however, will reduce the time burden on SDs and MSPs even more than what was included in the proposal, and there is one less provisionally registered MSP. In light of the fact that the final rule will remove 24 data fields entirely from portfolio reconciliations, and based on a total of 105 (as opposed to 106) provisionally registered SDs and MSPs, the Commission believes that the final rule will reduce the time burden for portfolio reconciliation by approximately eight burden hours for each SD and MSP, which would reduce the annual burden to 1,274.5 hours per SD and MSP, with an aggregate burden of 133,822.5. In the Proposal, the Commission invited the public and other Federal agencies to comment on any aspect of the reporting burdens discussed above, but did not receive any such comments.

    C. Considerations of Costs and Benefits

    Section 15(a) of the Act requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its actions before promulgating a regulation under the Act or issuing an order. Section 15(a) further specifies that the costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of the following five broad areas of market and public concern: (1) Protection of market participants and the public; (2) efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; (3) price discovery; (4) sound risk management practices; and (5) other public interest considerations. The Commission considers the costs and benefits resulting from its discretionary determinations with respect to the section 15(a) factors.

    1. Background

    The Commission believes that, while portfolio reconciliation generally helps counterparties to manage risk, commentators were persuasive in their arguments that portfolio reconciliation should only involve exchanging and resolving discrepancies in material terms, and that material terms should not include the 24 Excluded Data Fields mentioned above. The Commission has been convinced that exchanging the 24 Excluded Data Fields does not improve the management of risks in swaps portfolios. By eliminating the requirement to exchange data fields that do not impact the valuation of the swap or the payment obligations of the counterparties and thereby reducing the number of data fields that parties must resolve for differences in portfolio reconciliation exercises, the Commission believes the final rule will decrease the costs that its current regulations impose on SDs and MSPs (and their counterparties) without a concomitant reduction in the benefits obtained from portfolio reconciliation exercises under the existing regulatory framework, as described below.

    For purposes of considering the costs and benefits of the final rule, the Commission has used its current rules as the baseline. Currently, counterparties to swap transactions must exchange certain data elements for each swap, and then compare these and validate each element, even where the element is not relevant to the valuation of the swap or the payment obligations of the counterparties. The final rule circumscribes this process to include only those data elements that are relevant on an ongoing basis to the valuation of the swap or the payment obligations of the counterparties. Accordingly, the Commission does not believe the final rule will impose any new costs on SDs, MSPs, or their counterparties.

    2. Costs

    Rather, as described below, the Commission believes that, in the aggregate, the final rule will decrease the costs that its regulations impose on SDs and MSPs (and their counterparties) because it would eliminate the requirement to exchange and resolve discrepancies in swap terms that remain constant (or that do not impact the valuation of swaps or the payment obligations of the counterparties) and thereby reduce the number of data fields requiring particular attention in portfolio reconciliation exercises.

    The Commission does not believe the final rule will impair the Commission's ability to oversee and regulate the swaps markets. Portfolio reconciliation is designed to enable counterparties to understand the current status or value of swap terms. Because the Commission's proposal only is removing terms from the general portfolio reconciliation process that are not critical to the valuation of the swap or to the ongoing obligations of the counterparties, it will not negatively impact the amount of information available to the Commission about swaps. The Commission believes that this final rule will reduce SDs,' MSPs,' or their counterparties' costs of complying with Commission regulations because it will reduce the number of terms that counterparties must exchange during portfolio reconciliations.

    3. Benefits

    The Commission believes that the final rule will reduce the annual burden hours for each SD and MSP by four hours, resulting in a total of 1,278.5 hours, which leads to an aggregate number, based on 105 registrants, of 134,242.5 burden hours. The Commission previously estimated that, assuming 1,282.5 annual burden hours per SD and MSP, the financial cost of its regulations on each SD and MSP would be $128,250.31 Therefore, based on those prior estimates, an eight-hour reduction in the annual burden hours for each SD and MSP would result in a financial cost of $127,450 per registrant. Accordingly, the Commission estimates that the aggregate financial burden of its regulations on the 105 provisionally registered SDs and MSPs would be $13,382,250.32

    31 Portfolio Reconciliation Final Rule, 77 FR at 55959.

    32 Previously, the Commission had estimated that, if 125 entities had registered as SDs and MSPs, the aggregate burden would be $16,031,250. Id.

    In addition, the Commission believes that the final rule benefits SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties because it will enable them to focus on reconciling data fields that actually impact the valuations of swaps and the obligations of the counterparties. Potentially, this change will enable the portfolio reconciliation process to be more efficient without reducing its usefulness as a risk management tool.

    4. Section 15(a)

    Section 15(a) of the Act requires the Commission to consider the effects of its actions in light of the following five factors:

    a. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

    For the reasons discussed above, the Commission believes that, notwithstanding its decision to remove the 24 Excluded Data Fields from the list of material terms that counterparties must exchange during portfolio reconciliations, its regulations will continue to protect market participants and the public.

    b. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Markets

    For the reasons discussed above, the Commission believes that the final rule will increase resource allocation efficiency of market participants engaging in reconciliation exercises without increasing the risk of harm to the financial integrity of markets.

    c. Price Discovery

    For the reasons discussed above, the Commission did not identify any impact on price discovery as a result of the proposed regulation, and did not believe there would be one, but sought comment as to any potential impact. The Commission did not receive any comments on this issue. Accordingly, the Commission continues to believe the final rule will not impact price discovery.

    d. Sound Risk Management

    For the reasons discussed above, the Commission believes that the final rule is consistent with sound risk management practices because the regulatory change will not impair an entity's ability to conduct portfolio reconciliations.

    e. Other Public Interest Considerations

    The Commission did not identify any other public interest considerations, but welcomed comment on whether the proposal would promote public confidence in the integrity of derivatives markets by ensuring meaningful regulation and oversight of all SDs and MSPs. The Commission did not receive any comments about this issue.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 23

    Authority delegations (Government agencies), Commodity futures, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission amends 17 CFR part 23 as set forth below:

    PART 23—SWAP DEALERS AND MAJOR SWAP PARTICIPANTS 1. The authority citation for part 23 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6, 6a, 6b, 6b-1, 6c, 6p, 6r, 6s, 6t, 9, 9a, 12, 12a, 13b, 13c, 16a, 18, 19, 21.

    2. In § 23.500, revise paragraphs (g) and (i)(1) to read as follows:
    § 23.500 Definitions.

    (g) Material terms means the minimum primary economic terms (as defined in Appendix 1 of part 45 of this chapter) of a swap other than the following:

    (1) An indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a swap dealer with respect to the swap;

    (2) An indication of whether the reporting party is a major swap participant with respect to the swap;

    (3) If the reporting counterparty is not a swap dealer or a major swap participant with respect to the swap, an indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a financial entity as defined in section 2(h)(7)(c) of the Act;

    (4) An indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a U.S. person;

    (5) An indication that the swap will be allocated;

    (6) If the swap will be allocated, or is a post-allocation swap, the legal entity identifier of the agent;

    (7) An indication of whether the swap is a post-allocation swap;

    (8) If the swap is a post-allocation swap, the unique swap identifier of the original transaction between the reporting counterparty and the agent;

    (9) An indication of whether the non-reporting counterparty is a swap dealer with respect to the swap;

    (10) An indication of whether the non-reporting counterparty is a major swap participant with respect to the swap;

    (11) If the non-reporting counterparty is not a swap dealer or a major swap participant with respect to the swap, an indication of whether the reporting counterparty is a financial entity as defined in section 2(h)(7)(c) of the Act;

    (12) An indication of whether the non-reporting counterparty is a U.S. person;

    (13) An indication that the swap is a multi-asset swap;

    (14) For a multi-asset swap, an indication of the primary asset class;

    (15) For a multi-asset swap, an indication of the secondary asset class(es);

    (16) An indication that the swap is a mixed swap;

    (17) For a mixed swap reported to two non-dually-registered swap data repositories, the identity of the other swap data repository (if any to which the swap is or will be reported;

    (18) Block trade indicator;

    (19) Execution timestamp;

    (20) Timestamp for submission to swap data repository;

    (21) Clearing indicator;

    (22) Clearing venue;

    (23) If the swap will not be cleared, an indication of whether the clearing requirement exception in section 2(h)(7) of the Act was elected; and

    (24) The identity of the counterparty electing the clearing requirement exception in section 2(h)(7) of the Act.

    (i) * * *

    (1) Exchange the material terms of all swaps in the swap portfolio between the counterparties;

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 2, 2016, by the Commission. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission. Note:

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

    Amendments to the Definitions of “Portfolio Reconciliation” and “Material Terms” for Purposes of Swap Portfolio Reconciliation—Commission Voting Summary and Commissioner's Statement Appendix 1—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Bowen and Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    Appendix 2—Statement of Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo

    I support the final rule amending the definitions of portfolio reconciliation and material terms for purposes of swap portfolio reconciliation. I commend the Commission and Division of Swap Dealer & Intermediary Oversight staff for replacing no-action relief with a rulemaking subject to a cost-benefit analysis and the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

    In the proposal I raised two concerns. First, I questioned the logic of the proposed rule to require the exchange of all terms throughout the life of a swap as part of a portfolio reconciliation exercise, but then require reconciliation of only the material terms. I am pleased that the Commission has amended the definition of portfolio reconciliation to require the exchange of material terms so that the terms that must be exchanged are the same as those that must be reconciled.

    Second, I questioned the logic of the proposed rule to treat as material terms, and thus require the reconciliation of, data fields that will not change over time, such as execution timestamp and timestamp for submission to a swap data repository. I am also pleased that the Commission has revised the definition of material terms to mean the minimum primary economic terms as defined in appendix 1 of part 45 of the Commission's regulations and to exclude several additional data fields that are not relevant to the ongoing rights and obligations of the parties and the valuation of the swap.

    The final rule streamlines the portfolio reconciliation process and reduces costs for market participants without undermining the Commission's objectives for portfolio reconciliation. The final rule is much improved from the proposal so I am pleased to support it.

    [FR Doc. 2016-10565 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 301 and 602 [TD 9768] RIN 1545-BN20 Certified Professional Employer Organizations; Final and Temporary Regulations AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final and temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final and temporary regulations relating to certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs). The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 requires the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations. These final and temporary regulations contain the requirements a person must satisfy in order to become and remain a CPEO. The final and temporary regulations will affect persons that apply to be CPEOs and are certified by the IRS as meeting the applicable requirements. The text of these final and temporary regulations also serves, in part, as the text of the proposed regulations (REG-127561-15) set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These final and temporary regulations are effective on May 6, 2016.

    Applicability Date: For date of applicability, see § 301.7705-2T(o).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa L. Duce at (202) 317-6798 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collections of information contained in these regulations have been reviewed and, pending receipt and evaluation of public comments, approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1545-2266.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number.

    For further information concerning this collection of information, where to submit comments on the collection of information and the accuracy of the estimated burden, and suggestions for reducing this burden, please refer to the preamble to the cross-referenced notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register.

    Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

    Background Overview

    The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, enacted on December 19, 2014, as part of The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-295), added new sections 3511 and 7705 to the Internal Revenue Code (Code) relating to the federal employment tax 1 consequences and certification requirements, respectively, of a certified professional employer organization (CPEO). The ABLE Act requires the IRS to establish a voluntary program for persons to apply to become certified as a CPEO. This document contains temporary regulations under section 7705 that, together with a forthcoming revenue procedure that will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, describe the application process and certification requirements necessary for a person to become and remain a CPEO.

    1 For purposes of this preamble, “federal employment taxes” refers to taxes imposed under subtitle C of the Code.

    The temporary regulations in this document apply on and after July 1, 2016, the date the IRS will begin accepting applications for CPEO certification. These temporary regulations, along with the forthcoming revenue procedure and the application forms and instructions that the IRS plans to release before July 1, 2016, provide guidance to enable persons that wish to apply to become CPEOs to prepare and submit applications on and after July 1, 2016, and to enable the IRS to begin processing these applications and make determinations as to whether to approve or deny certification.

    Proposed regulations published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register provide general guidance regarding the federal employment tax consequences under section 3511 for persons certified as CPEOs and their customers, as well as certain definitions under section 7705 that are necessary to implement section 3511. The proposed regulations also propose to adopt the temporary regulations in this document by cross-reference.

    The regulations have been divided, as described, into temporary regulations and proposed regulations in order to balance the interest in considering public comments on rules before they apply with the desire to provide guidance on application procedures that is effective early enough to open the application process and implement the statutory provisions.

    The forthcoming revenue procedure will prescribe the specifics of the application process for a person to become a CPEO. In the future, the IRS intends to release another revenue procedure that prescribes the ongoing requirements that CPEOs must meet to maintain certification and describes the consequences of the failure to meet the ongoing requirements.

    Professional Employer Organizations

    A professional employer organization (PEO), sometimes referred to as an employee leasing company, enters into an agreement with a client to perform some or all of the federal employment tax withholding, reporting, and payment functions related to workers performing services for the client. The terms of a PEO arrangement typically provide that the PEO is the employer (or “co-employer”) of the client's employees and is responsible for paying the employees and for the related federal employment tax compliance. A PEO also may manage human resources, employee benefits, workers compensation claims, and unemployment insurance claims for the client. The client typically pays the PEO a fee based on payroll costs plus an additional amount. In most cases, however, the employees working in the client's business are the common law employees of the client for federal tax purposes, and the client is therefore legally responsible for federal employment tax compliance.

    The ABLE Act of 2014

    The ABLE Act requires the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for persons to become CPEOs. Section 7705 provides a framework for the IRS to establish such a program. Section 7705(a) defines a CPEO as a person who applies to be treated as a CPEO for purposes of section 3511 and has been certified by the Secretary as meeting the requirements of section 7705(b). Being certified as a CPEO has certain federal employment tax consequences under section 3511 that are described in the proposed regulations under that section published in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register.

    Section 7705(b) sets forth the certification requirements that a person must satisfy in order to become a CPEO. Under the statute, a person meets the requirements of section 7705(b) if: (1) The person (and any owner, officer, and other person as may be specified in regulations) demonstrates that it meets such requirements as the Secretary shall establish, including requirements relating to tax status, background, experience, business location, and annual financial audits; (2) agrees to satisfy certain bond and financial review requirements; (3) agrees to satisfy reporting requirements imposed by the Secretary; (4) computes its taxable income using an accrual method of accounting unless the Secretary approves another method; (5) agrees to verify on such periodic basis as the Secretary may prescribe that it continues to meet the certification requirements; and (6) agrees to notify the Secretary in writing (within such time as the Secretary may prescribe) of any change that materially affects the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information that was previously made or provided to the IRS in order to meet the certification requirements.

    Section 7705(c) prescribes bond and independent financial review requirements that a person must satisfy in order to become and remain a CPEO. To meet these requirements, section 7705(c)(2) provides that a CPEO must post a bond for the payment of federal employment taxes (in a form acceptable to the Secretary) that is in an amount at least equal to a specified amount. This specified amount is, for the period beginning on April 1 of any calendar year through March 31 of the following calendar year, the greater of five percent of the CPEO's liability under section 3511 in the preceding calendar year (but not more than $1,000,000) or $50,000.

    Under section 7705(c)(3)(A), a CPEO must, as of the most recent audit date, cause to be prepared and provided to the Secretary (in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe) an opinion of an independent certified public accountant (CPA) as to whether the CPEO's financial statements are presented fairly in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Section 7705(c)(6) states that the audit date for these purposes is six months after the completion of the CPEO's fiscal year.

    Section 7705(c)(3)(B) requires a CPEO to provide to the Secretary, by the last day of the second month beginning after the end of each calendar quarter, an assertion that the CPEO has withheld and made deposits of all federal employment taxes (other than Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes under chapter 23 of the Code) and an examination level attestation from an independent CPA that states this assertion is fairly stated in all material respects.

    Section 7705(d) gives the Secretary the authority to suspend or revoke the certification of any person for purposes of section 3511 if the Secretary determines that such person is not satisfying the agreements or requirements of sections 7705(b) or (c), or fails to satisfy applicable accounting, reporting, payment, or deposit requirements. Section 7705(f) provides that the Secretary shall make available to the public the name and address of each person certified as a CPEO and each person whose certification is suspended or revoked.

    November 2015 IRS Request for Information on PEO Industry Practices

    In an effort to streamline the implementation of a new federal CPEO program and better understand the potential impact of such a program on the PEO industry, on November 17, 2015, the IRS requested information from the public regarding certain PEO industry practices. See IRS News Release IR-2015-127. In particular, the IRS requested information on current PEO industry practices relating to financial audits, verification of payroll tax obligations, working capital and net worth requirements, and covered employees. In response to the IRS request for information, the IRS received comments from seven taxpayers, which were considered in developing the temporary regulations.

    Explanation of Provisions 1. Applicable Definitions

    The temporary regulations define a CPEO as a person that applies to be certified as a CPEO in accordance with the temporary regulations and has been certified by the IRS as meeting the requirements under those regulations. Consistent with section 7705(b), most of the requirements in these temporary regulations apply both to persons that have been certified as CPEOs and to any person that has applied to be certified and whose application for certification is pending with the IRS (referred to in the temporary regulations as “CPEO applicants”).

    Section 7705(b)(1) provides that the Secretary may establish requirements for certification that apply not only to the CPEO applicant or CPEO, but also to “any owner, officer, and other persons as may be specified in regulations.” Accordingly, the temporary regulations contain a number of requirements that apply to certain owners, officers, and other individuals (referred to in the regulations as “responsible individuals”), as well as certain persons that are related to the CPEO (referred to as “related entities” and “precursor entities”). The remainder of this section 1 of the preamble explains the definitions of these categories of persons.

    a. Responsible Individual

    The temporary regulations generally define a responsible individual as an individual in any of the following categories with respect to the CPEO applicant or CPEO: (1) Certain owners; (2) directors and officers; (3) individuals with ultimate responsibility for implementing the decisions of the organization's governing body; (4) individuals with ultimate responsibility for the organization's management and operations; (5) individuals with ultimate responsibility for managing the organization's finances; (6) managing members or general partners; (7) the sole proprietor of a sole proprietorship; and (8) any other individuals with primary responsibility for federal employment tax compliance of the organization.

    With respect to determining whether an individual is a responsible individual by reason of ownership, the temporary regulations specify that, in the case of a CPEO applicant or CPEO that is a corporation, a responsible individual includes any individual who owns 33 percent or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the corporation entitled to vote or the total value of shares of all classes of stock of the corporation. In the case of a CPEO applicant or CPEO that is a partnership (defined in the temporary regulations as a business entity that is classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes under §§ 301.7701-1, 301.7701-2, and 301.7701-3), a responsible individual includes any individual who owns 33 percent or more of the profits interest or capital interest in the partnership. In both cases, ownership may be direct or indirect and is determined by applying the constructive ownership rules of section 1563(e) with respect to stock ownership and by substituting the term “interest” for the term “stock” and the term “partnership” for the term “corporation” used in that section, as appropriate for purposes of determining whether an interest in a partnership is indirectly owned by any person. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS request comments regarding the administrability of applying the definition of responsible individual with respect to ownership of profits interests in a partnership, the value of which may fluctuate over time.

    With respect to directors and officers of the CPEO applicant or CPEO, the temporary regulations provide that a director is any voting member of the governing body (such as the board of directors). An officer is determined by reference to the organization's organizing document, bylaws, or resolutions, or is otherwise designated consistent with state law (and often includes an organization's president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary).

    The temporary regulations also provide that a responsible individual includes any individual who, regardless of title, has ultimate responsibility for: (1) implementing the decisions of the organization's governing body (typically, the chief executive officer (CEO), executive director, or president); (2) supervising the management, administration, or operation of the organization (typically, the chief operating officer (COO)); or (3) managing the organization's finances (typically, the chief financial officer (CFO) or treasurer). Any individual who serves with the titles of executive director, president, CEO, COO, CFO, or treasurer will be considered to have the ultimate responsibilities that are consistent with that title. The temporary regulations also provide that an individual with this ultimate responsibility may include an individual who is not treated as an employee of the CPEO applicant or CPEO.

    b. Related Entity

    The temporary regulations define a related entity of a CPEO applicant or CPEO as including any person that is a member of a controlled group (within the meaning of sections 414(b) and (c) and the regulations thereunder, with two adjustments) of which the CPEO is also a member. Section 414(b) incorporates by reference the controlled group definitions in section 1563. Likewise, the regulations prescribed under section 414(c)—§§ 1.414(c)-2 and 1.414(c)-3—rely on principles that are substantially similar to the controlled group definitions in section 1563. However, with respect to persons that are not providers of employment-related services, the temporary regulations substitute “more than 50 percent” for “at least 80 percent” in each place the term appears in section 1563(a) and § 1.414(c)-2. For persons that are providers of employment-related services, the temporary regulations substitute “more than 5 percent” for “at least 80 percent” in each place the term appears in section 1563(a) and § 1.414(c)-2. The temporary regulations define a provider of employment-related services as a person that provides payroll or other employment tax administration and compliance services to clients, including, but not limited to, collecting, reporting, and paying employment taxes with respect to wages or compensation paid by the provider of employment-related services to individuals performing services for the clients. A provider of employment-related services includes, but is not limited to, a PEO and a CPEO.

    A related entity of a CPEO applicant or CPEO also includes any provider of employment-related services if a majority of the directors or a majority of the officers of the CPEO applicant or CPEO are also directors or officers, respectively, of the provider of employment-related services. Finally, a related entity includes any provider of employment-related services with an owner who is a responsible individual of both the provider of employment-related services and the CPEO applicant or CPEO by virtue of the individual's ownership percentage.

    c. Precursor Entity

    The temporary regulations generally define a precursor entity as including any related entity of a CPEO applicant that is or was a provider of employment-related services and has ceased operations, dissolved, or made a substantial asset transfer to the CPEO applicant during the calendar year that the CPEO applicant applies for certification or any of the three preceding calendar years. A precursor entity also includes a related provider of employment-related services that plans to make a substantial asset transfer to the CPEO applicant while the application for certification is pending or in the 12-month period following the date of the CPEO applicant's application.

    For this purpose, the temporary regulations define a substantial asset transfer as any transfer of 35 percent or more of the value of the transferor's operating assets, whether through one or a series of transactions and whether accomplished through sale, lease, gift, assignment, succession, merger, consolidation, corporate separation, or any other means. The temporary regulations further provide that operating assets include both tangible and intangible resources related to the conduct of the transferor's trade or business, including but not limited to such intangible assets as contracts, agreements, receivables, employees, and goodwill (which includes the value of a trade or business based on expected continued customer patronage due to its name, reputation, or any other factors). In the case of a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) or service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) 2 with a provider of employment-related services, even if the contract or agreement is not sold, gifted, assigned, or otherwise formally transferred to a CPEO applicant, it will be considered transferred from a person to the CPEO applicant if the person entered into the contract or agreement but the CPEO applicant reports, withholds, or pays, under its employer identification number (EIN), any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to the wages of any individuals covered by the contract or agreement.

    2 A service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) is a written or oral agreement pursuant to which the payor: (1) Asserts it is the employer (or “co-employer”) of individuals performing services for the client; (2) pays wages or compensation to the individuals for services the individuals perform for the client; and (3) assumes responsibility to collect, report, and pay, or assumes liability for, any employment taxes with respect to the wages or compensation paid by the payor to the individuals performing services for the client.

    Finally, the temporary regulations contain a rule for purposes of determining whether a provider of employment-related services that has ceased operations, dissolved, or made a substantial asset transfer to a CPEO applicant is a related entity of the CPEO applicant. Specifically, the provider of employment-related services is a related entity of a CPEO applicant if it would be or would have been a related entity of the CPEO applicant as described in section 1.b of the preamble at the time of the provider's ceasing of operations, dissolution, or substantial asset transfer, as applicable. This determination is based on the provider's ownership and responsible individuals at the time of its ceasing of operations, dissolution, or substantial asset transfer, as applicable, and the ownership and responsible individuals of the CPEO applicant at the time of its application.

    2. Application Process and Effective Date of Certification

    The temporary regulations provide that in order to be certified, a CPEO applicant must submit a properly completed and executed application to the IRS. In addition, the CPEO applicant's responsible individuals must also submit the information required by the regulations and in further guidance.

    The IRS will notify the CPEO applicant as to whether its application for certification has been approved or denied and the effective date of its certification. If the IRS denies the application, the IRS will inform the CPEO applicant of the reason(s) for denial. The temporary regulations also state that if the IRS approves a CPEO applicant's application for certification, the IRS will make available to the public the name and address of the CPEO, as well as the effective date of its certification.

    3. Requirements for Certification

    Section 7705(b)(1) provides that, to become and remain certified as a CPEO,3 a person, as well as any owner, officer, or other person specified in regulations (which, in the temporary regulations, is any responsible individual, related entity, or precursor entity), must meet such requirements as the Secretary shall establish in order for the person to be certified, including requirements with respect to tax status, background, experience, business location, and annual financial audits. The temporary regulations elaborate upon the requirements that a CPEO applicant and CPEO must meet in each of these categories to become and remain certified.

    3 Section 7705(a)(1) provides that a person must be certified by the Secretary as meeting the requirements of section 7705(b) to become certified as a CPEO, and section 7705(b)(5) provides that the person must agree to verify that it continues to meet the requirements of section 7705(b) on such periodic basis as the Secretary may prescribe. In addition, section 7705(d) provides that the Secretary may suspend or revoke a certification of any person if the Secretary determines that such person is not satisfying the agreements or requirements of section 7705(b) (including the CPEO's agreement to verify that it continues to meet the requirements of section 7705(b) that it makes pursuant to section 7705(b)(5)).

    The temporary regulations provide that the IRS may deny a CPEO applicant's application for certification or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification if a CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of the precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals of the CPEO applicant or CPEO, fails to meet any applicable requirement described in the regulations or other applicable guidance. The temporary regulations also provide that the IRS will deny a CPEO applicant's application for certification or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification if the IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that such failure presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes. In determining whether one or more failures to meet the requirements described in the regulations presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes, the IRS will generally consider all relevant facts and circumstances, including the size, scope, nature, significance, recurrence, and timing of and reason for the failure(s), and, in the case of a CPEO, any prior failures of the CPEO to meet the requirements of this section.

    a. Suitability

    The Treasury Department and the IRS view tax compliance of the CPEO applicant or CPEO, and of its responsible individuals, related entities, and precursor entities, as an important factor in determining whether the CPEO applicant's or the CPEO's certification presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes. Therefore, the temporary regulations provide that the IRS may deny an application for certification, or suspend or revoke a CPEO's certification, if the CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, has failed to pay any applicable federal, state, or local taxes or file any required federal, state, or local tax or information returns in a timely and accurate manner, unless the failure to file or failure to pay is determined to be due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. In addition, the temporary regulations provide that a CPEO must be a business entity described in § 301.7701-2(a) except that it may not be a disregarded entity for federal tax purposes under §§ 301.7701-2 and 301.7701-3 (without regard to the special rule in § 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv) that provides that such entities are corporations for federal employment tax purposes). Under § 301.7701-2(a), a business entity is any entity recognized for federal tax purposes that is not properly classified as a trust under § 301.7701-4 or otherwise subject to special treatment under the Code.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS consider the criminal background of a CPEO applicant or CPEO and its responsible individuals to present a material risk to tax compliance and, therefore, the absence of such criminal background is another important requirement for certification. Consistent with section 7705(b)(1), which includes background as a category with respect to which the IRS may establish requirements for certification, the temporary regulations state that the IRS may deny an application for certification, or suspend or revoke a CPEO's certification, if the CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, has been charged or convicted of any criminal offense under the laws of the United States or of a state or political subdivision thereof, or is the subject of an active IRS criminal investigation. This is also consistent with suggestions made by the Joint Committee on Taxation, which noted that the regulations under section 7705(b)(1) could include requirements for favorable criminal background checks. See Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCS), General Explanation of Tax Legislation Enacted in the 113th Congress, JCS-1-15, at 233 (March 2015) (General Explanation). Additionally, the IRS may consider whether the CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals of the CPEO applicant or CPEO, is listed on any sanctions list compiled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the Department of Treasury, including but not limited to the OFAC Consolidated Sanctions List and the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List.

    The temporary regulations further state, consistent with section 7705(b)(1), that the IRS may deny a CPEO applicant's application for certification, or suspend or revoke a CPEO's certification, if the CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, has been sanctioned or had a license, registration, or accreditation (including a license, registration, or accreditation relating to its status or ability to operate as a PEO) denied, suspended, or revoked by a court of competent jurisdiction, licensing board, assurance or other professional organization, or federal or state agency, court, body, board, or other authority for any misconduct that bears upon the suitability of the CPEO applicant or CPEO to perform its professional functions. Such misconduct may relate to dishonesty, fraud, or breach of trust and would include any criminal or civil penalties for violating any state laws prohibiting the transfer or acquisition of a business solely or primarily for the purpose of obtaining a lower unemployment tax rate or avoiding a higher unemployment tax rate.

    In addition, the temporary regulations provide that the IRS may deny a CPEO applicant's application for certification, or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification, if the CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, fails to demonstrate a history of financial responsibility, which the IRS may assess through checks on credit history and other similar indicators.

    With respect to the requirements relating to experience referred to in section 7705(b)(1), the Treasury Department and the IRS consider it important that a CPEO applicant or CPEO be managed by individuals with knowledge or experience regarding federal and state employment tax compliance and business practices relating to those compliance requirements. This is consistent with the suggestions made by the Joint Committee on Taxation. See General Explanation at 233. The temporary regulations provide that the IRS may deny a CPEO applicant's application for certification or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification if the CPEO applicant or CPEO and its responsible individuals fail to demonstrate adequate collective knowledge or experience with respect to federal or state employment tax reporting, depositing, and withholding requirements; handling and accounting of payroll, tax payments, and other funds on behalf of others; effective recordkeeping systems; retention of qualified personnel and legal advisors; and general business and risk management.

    The temporary regulations provide that the IRS may deny a CPEO applicant's application for certification, or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification, if the CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its responsible individuals, gives false or misleading information (including by intentionally omitting relevant information) or participates in any way in the giving of false or misleading information, to the IRS, knowing, or having reason to know, the information to be false or misleading. For these purposes, the term “information” includes: facts or other matters contained in testimony, federal tax returns, and financial statements and opinions regarding such statements; applications for certification (and all accompanying documentation); affidavits, declarations, assertions, attestations, statements, and agreements; periodic verifications that the requirements of this section continue to be met; and any other information that is required to be provided by these temporary regulations, section 3511 and the regulations thereunder, or further guidance.

    In order to confirm the accuracy of information provided to the IRS with respect to these requirements, the temporary regulations require the CPEO applicant or CPEO, and each of its responsible individuals, to take such actions as are necessary to authorize the IRS to investigate the accuracy of statements and submissions made by the CPEO applicant or CPEO, including waiving confidentiality and privilege when necessary, and to conduct comprehensive background checks, including, but not limited to, checks on tax compliance, criminal background, professional experience (including through the contact of third-party references), credit history, and professional sanctions. In addition, each responsible individual of a CPEO applicant or CPEO must submit fingerprints in the time and manner and under the circumstances prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance. The IRS is considering whether to expand the category of individuals who must authorize the IRS to conduct comprehensive background checks and submit fingerprint cards to include certain directors, officers, and owners of a CPEO applicant's or CPEO's related entities. Treasury and the IRS request comments regarding such possible expansion, including how any such expansion could be as administrable as possible. To submit comments, please follow the instructions in the “Comments and Requests for Public Hearing” section in the notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    b. Business Location

    Section 7705(b)(1) specifically lists business location as one of the categories of certification requirements that the Secretary may establish. The temporary regulations require a CPEO applicant or CPEO to have one or more established physical business locations in the United States at which regular operations that constitute a trade or business within the United States (within the meaning of section 864(b)) take place and at which a significant portion of its CPEO-related functions are carried on and the administrative records relating to those functions are kept.4 The temporary regulations also require the CPEO applicant or CPEO to be created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any state. The temporary regulations further require that a majority of the CPEO applicant's or CPEO's responsible individuals be citizens or residents of the United States. Finally, a CPEO applicant or CPEO must use only financial institutions described in section 265(b)(5) to hold its cash and cash equivalents, receive payments from customers, and pay wages and federal employment taxes. Under section 265(b)(5), a financial institution is, among other requirements, a person who is subject to federal or state supervision as a financial institution or a bank or trust company that is subject to supervision and examination by state or federal authority having supervision over banking institutions.

    4 This requirement is consistent with the General Explanation, which provides that “the existence of an established business location within the United States at which significant operations regularly take place” is a business location requirement that the Secretary could impose. General Explanation, at 234.

    c. Financial Statements

    In addition to the specific requirements with respect to financial statements in section 7705(c), section 7705(b)(1) provides that the Secretary may establish requirements with respect to annual financial audits. Pursuant to these provisions, the temporary regulations require a CPEO applicant to provide to the IRS, with its application, a copy of its annual audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year as of the date it applies for certification. If a CPEO applicant applies for certification before the last day of the sixth month following its most recently completed fiscal year, and the audit of the financial statements for this fiscal year has not yet been completed at the time of application, a CPEO applicant must also provide to the IRS a copy of its audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year, if any. The temporary regulations provide that the CPEO applicant must subsequently provide to the IRS the financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year by the last day of the sixth month after such fiscal year ends. In addition, for any fiscal year that ends after the CPEO applicant applies for certification and on or before the effective date of certification, if applicable, the CPEO applicant must provide the audited financial statements by the last day of the sixth month after such fiscal year ends. The obligation to provide the audited financial statements described in the preceding sentence continues to apply after the CPEO applicant is certified as a CPEO. Once certified, pursuant to section 7705(b)(1), a CPEO is required by the temporary regulations to provide a copy of its annual audited financial statements to the IRS within six months of the end of each fiscal year (beginning with the first fiscal year that ends after the CPEO's effective date of certification). For these purposes, a CPEO applicant's or CPEO's fiscal year will be considered completed once the last day of that fiscal year has ended, even if the CPEO was not operating or certified for the full fiscal year or the fiscal year was a short year consisting of fewer than 12 months.

    Additionally, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe a CPEO with annual audited financial statements that reflect positive working capital (as determined in accordance with GAAP) presents a materially lower risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes than a CPEO without such financial statements. Accordingly, pursuant to section 7705(b)(1) and consistent with several state PEO certification and registration laws, the temporary regulations require a CPEO applicant or CPEO to cause to be prepared and provided to the IRS, by the same date it must provide a copy of its annual audited financial statements, an opinion of an independent CPA that such financial statements reflect positive working capital for the fiscal year, unless the exception described in the next paragraph applies. In addition, the temporary regulations require this opinion to set forth in detail a calculation of the CPEO applicant's or CPEO's working capital. Consistent with section 7705(c)(3)(A), this CPA opinion must also generally state that the financial statements are presented fairly in accordance with GAAP.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that working capital may fluctuate over the course of a CPEO's fiscal year due to normal business operations. To allow for some fluctuation in working capital, the temporary regulations contain an exception to the positive working capital requirement. Under this exception, a CPEO applicant or CPEO will not fail to meet the positive working capital requirement if three requirements are satisfied. First, the CPEO applicant or CPEO must have negative working capital for no more than two consecutive fiscal quarters of that fiscal year (as demonstrated by the financial statements for the final fiscal quarter of the fiscal year or the quarterly statements described in this section 3.c of the preamble for any other fiscal quarter). Second, the CPEO applicant or CPEO or its CPA must provide an explanation to the IRS describing the reason for the failure in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance. Third, the IRS must determine, in its sole discretion, that the failure does not present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    The temporary regulations provide special rules for newly established CPEO applicants. A CPEO applicant that was not operating as a provider of employment-related services for all or part of the most recently completed fiscal year as of the date it applies for certification must also provide a copy of the audited financial statements of any precursor entity for the precursor entity's most recently completed fiscal year as of the date of the application for certification, as well as a CPA opinion that these financial statements demonstrate positive working capital and are presented fairly in accordance with GAAP. The financial statements and CPA opinion for a precursor entity must be provided in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    In accordance with section 7705(c)(3)(A), the temporary regulations require the opinion regarding a CPEO's financial statements to be provided by a CPA who is independent of the CPEO. For this purpose, the temporary regulations require a CPA to be independent as prescribed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Professional Standards, Code of Professional Conduct, and its interpretations and rulings. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments regarding whether the CPA independence guidelines or requirements of other governmental agencies or departments or industry self-regulatory bodies, as adapted for a CPA of a CPEO, would better ensure the impartiality of CPAs providing opinions on CPEO's financial statements, such as: (1) The Department of Labor's guidelines on the independence of CPAs retained by employee benefit plans under 29 CFR 2509.75-9; (2) the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) independence guidelines for auditors reporting on financial statements included in SEC filings; and (3) the Government Accountability Office's auditor independence requirements under Government Auditing Standards that cover federal entities and organizations receiving federal funds.

    As previously noted, section 7705(b)(5) requires a CPEO to verify on a periodic basis that it meets certification requirements. In accordance with this requirement and pursuant to the Secretary's general authority under section 7705(b)(1) to establish requirements for CPEOs to become and remain certified, the temporary regulations further require a responsible individual of the CPEO applicant or the CPEO to provide, by the last day of the second month after the end of each calendar quarter and beginning with the most recently completed quarter as of the date of the application for certification, a statement verifying under penalties of perjury that the CPEO applicant or the CPEO has positive working capital with respect to the most recently completed fiscal quarter. However, as with the requirement that annual financial statements reflect positive working capital, the temporary regulations also contain an exception to this requirement. The exception applies only if the CPEO does not have negative working capital at the end of the two fiscal quarters immediately preceding the fiscal quarter to which the statement relates. As with the exception provided with respect to annual financial statements that reflect negative working capital, the CPEO must also provide an explanation to the IRS describing the reason for the failure in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance, and the IRS must determine, in its sole discretion, that the failure does not present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    d. Quarterly Assertion and Attestation

    Section 7705(c)(3)(B) requires a CPEO to provide to the Secretary an assertion and examination level attestation regarding its compliance with federal employment tax withholding and depositing requirements. In accordance with this provision, the temporary regulations state that a CPEO must provide, on a quarterly basis and beginning with the first calendar quarter that ends after the CPEO's effective date of certification, an assertion signed by a responsible individual under penalties of perjury stating that the CPEO has withheld and made deposits of all federal employment taxes (other than taxes imposed by chapter 23 of the Code) as required for the quarter.5 In addition, the CPEO must provide an examination level attestation from a CPA stating that this assertion is fairly stated. The assertion and attestation must be provided by the last day of the second month after the end of each calendar quarter. These quarterly assertion and attestation requirements also apply to a CPEO applicant, who must provide the required assertion and attestation for the most recently completed calendar quarter as of the date of its application for certification and each subsequent calendar quarter while its application is pending. A CPEO applicant that was not operating as a provider of employment-related services during the most recently completed calendar quarter as of the date of its application for certification or during any quarter that ends while its application for certification is pending must provide an assertion and attestation for any precursor entity in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    5 Although the temporary regulations (and section 7705(c)(3)(B)) do not require the assertion to include a statement with respect to taxes imposed by chapter 23 of Code, the IRS expects to evaluate compliance with deposit requirements with respect to taxes imposed by chapter 23 through tax compliance checks.

    The temporary regulations provide that a CPEO applicant or CPEO will not fail to meet the quarterly assertion and attestation requirements if the CPA examination level attestation indicates that the CPEO applicant or CPEO has failed to withhold or make deposits in certain immaterial respects, provided that the attestation includes a summary of the immaterial failures that were found and states that the failures were immaterial and isolated and do not reflect a meaningful lapse in compliance with federal employment tax withholding and deposit requirements. Furthermore, in order for this exception for immaterial failures to apply, the IRS must determine, in its sole discretion, that the isolated and immaterial failures identified by the CPA do not present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    e. Bond Requirements

    Section 7705(c)(2) sets forth the bond requirements that a person must satisfy in order to become and remain a CPEO. The provisions of section 7101 and its accompanying regulations apply to bonds required by section 7705(c)(2), except to the extent modified in the temporary regulations. The temporary regulations provide that a CPEO must post a bond for the payment of federal employment taxes in a specified amount. This specified amount is, for each period beginning on April 1 of any calendar year (or, in the case of a newly certified CPEO, on the effective date of certification) and ending on March 31 of the following calendar year (the bond period), an amount that is at least equal to the greater of: (1) Five percent of the CPEO's liability under section 3511 (or, if applicable, the liability as determined for newly certified CPEOs, discussed in section 3.e.i of this preamble) during the calendar year preceding the bond period, but not more than $1,000,000; or (2) $50,000. The proposed regulations require the bond to be issued by a surety company that holds a certificate of authority from the Secretary as an acceptable surety on federal bonds and meets such other requirements as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    One benefit of the bond requirement in section 7705(c) is that the CPEO must submit to the bonding surety's financial underwriting process to obtain the bond, which provides the IRS with a certain level of assurance concerning the financial condition of the CPEO. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that this benefit is substantially diminished if the CPEO obtains the bond by posting collateral in the amount of the bond. For this reason, the temporary regulations provide that the CPEO must meet the bond requirements without posting collateral.

    i. Calculating Five Percent of Liability Under Section 3511

    In calculating five percent of its liability under section 3511 (or, if applicable, the liability described in the subsequent paragraph) during the preceding calendar year, the temporary regulations require that a CPEO base its calculation on the amount of applicable federal employment taxes 6 it reported and paid in the preceding calendar year. However, if the CPEO or the IRS subsequently determines that the applicable federal employment tax liability for the preceding calendar year was higher than the amount reported and paid (and makes an adjustment or assessment, respectively, reflecting that determination), and if the bond that the CPEO had posted was less than $1,000,000, the CPEO must post a strengthening bond that, together with the initially-posted bond, equals a total amount that reflects the adjusted applicable federal employment tax liability up to $1,000,000. Alternatively, the CPEO could post a superseding bond in such an adjusted amount.

    6 As noted in the Background section of this preamble, the term “federal employment taxes” includes all taxes imposed under Subtitle C of the Code, including income tax withholding and FICA, RRTA, and FUTA taxes. As such, the liability described in this paragraph is based on an amount that includes both the employee and employer shares of FICA and RRTA, as well as income tax withholding and FUTA.

    A newly certified CPEO will not have any liability under section 3511 for the calendar year preceding its certification on which to base its calculation of the required bond amount. In such cases, the temporary regulations provide that, in calculating the bond amount, the liability used for the preceding calendar year (or portion thereof) 7 when the CPEO was not certified is the federal employment tax liability of the CPEO 8 and of any precursor entity of the CPEO that made a substantial asset transfer to the CPEO, that results from one or more service agreements described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2). In determining the federal employment tax liability of a precursor entity of a CPEO for a preceding year, only liability amounts that resulted from service agreements that were transferred or are intended to be transferred to the CPEO (at the time that the amount of the bond is determined) are included. If no such precursor entity exists and the CPEO otherwise had no federal employment tax liability during the preceding calendar year, the amount of the bond will be $50,000.

    7 Unless the CPEO is certified effective January 1, the CPEO will not have liability under section 3511 for the portion of the calendar year in which it was certified that preceded its certification.

    8 For purposes of this paragraph, the term “CPEO” is intended to include the CPEO before it applied for certification and while its application for certification was pending.

    ii. Cancellation

    The temporary regulations provide that the bond posted by a CPEO must provide that it may be cancelled by the surety only after the surety gives written notice to the IRS and the CPEO. (See Form 14751, “Certified Professional Employer Organization Surety Bond,” for details on the time and manner in which such written notice must be provided.) The bond must also provide that, if the surety cancels the bond without issuing a superseding bond to the CPEO, the surety will remain liable for all federal employment tax liability accrued by the CPEO during the period beginning with the effective date of the first bond issued by the surety to the CPEO in any consecutive series of bonds issued by that surety prior to cancellation and ending with the cancellation (the total bond period), up to the penal amount of the bond at the time of cancellation. The temporary regulations provide that a cancelling surety will remain liable for federal employment tax liability accrued during the total bond period up to the penal amount of the bond for as long as the Commissioner may assess and collect taxes for such period under sections 6501 and 6502.

    4. Controlled Groups

    The temporary regulations provide that CPEO applicants and CPEOs that are members of a controlled group, within the meaning of sections 414(b) and (c), will be treated as a single CPEO applicant or CPEO for purposes of the financial statement, quarterly assertion and attestation, and bond requirements described in this preamble, except that the annual and quarterly requirements imposed under the scope of sections 7705(b)(1) and 7705(b)(5) with respect to positive working capital apply to each CPEO applicant or CPEO on a separate basis.

    5. Consents To Disclose

    In order to receive and maintain certification, the temporary regulations state that a CPEO applicant or CPEO must provide such consents for the IRS to disclose confidential tax information to its customers, and to other persons as necessary to carry out the purposes of these regulations, that relates to its certification and obligations to report, deposit, and pay federal employment taxes as the Commissioner may require in further guidance.

    6. Periodic Verification and Notification of Material Changes

    Consistent with section 7705(b)(5), the temporary regulations require a CPEO to verify periodically that it continues to meet the certification requirements in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance. Consistent with section 7705(b)(6), the temporary regulations provide that a CPEO applicant or CPEO must notify the IRS, in the time and manner prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance, of any change that materially affects the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information that was previously made or provided to the IRS. The Treasury Department and the IRS expect to provide further details regarding these requirements in a future revenue procedure that will prescribe the ongoing requirements that CPEOs must meet to maintain certification.

    7. Accrual Method of Accounting

    Consistent with section 7705(b)(4), the temporary regulations require a CPEO to compute its taxable income using an accrual method of accounting or, if applicable, another method that the Commissioner prescribes in further guidance.

    8. Compliance With Reporting Obligations

    The temporary regulations provide that a CPEO must make reports to the IRS and to its clients as provided in section 3511(g) and regulations issued thereunder. This includes the filing of all federal employment tax and information returns. The temporary regulations also require a CPEO to file all returns, schedules, reports, and other forms and documents on magnetic media when required to do so by section 3511(g) and regulations issued thereunder, or by other Treasury regulations. With respect specifically to the requirement that CPEOs file Form 940, “Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” and Form 941, “Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return,” on magnetic media, compliance with this requirement is a condition of certification. The CPEO program is a voluntary certification regime; a person that does not wish to file Forms 940 and 941 on magnetic media is not obligated to apply for or obtain certification as a CPEO.

    9. Suspension and Revocation

    The temporary regulations provide that the IRS may suspend or revoke the certification of any CPEO as a result of a failure to meet any of the requirements for CPEOs, and the IRS will suspend or revoke certification if the IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that such failure presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes. If a CPEO's certification is suspended, section 3511 will not apply to any contract described in section 7705(e)(2) into which the CPEO enters during the suspension period. If a CPEO's certification is revoked, the organization will not be considered a CPEO for purposes of section 3511 after the effective date of such revocation unless and until it again applies and is again certified as a CPEO. However, an organization whose certification as a CPEO has been revoked may not re-apply to be certified as a CPEO until one year has passed since the effective date of its revocation. Neither the suspension nor the revocation of an organization's status as a CPEO will affect its potential liability under § 31.3504-2.

    The temporary regulations provide that an organization whose certification as a CPEO has been suspended or revoked must notify its customers of the suspension or revocation (in the time and manner provided in further guidance). In addition, the IRS will make public a CPEO's suspension or revocation and may also individually notify the CPEO's customers of such suspension or revocation.

    Effective/Applicability Date

    The IRS has announced that it plans to begin accepting applications for CPEO certification on July 1, 2016. Accordingly, the temporary regulations apply on and after July 1, 2016. Pursuant to section 7805(e)(2), the temporary regulations expire on or before May 3, 2019.

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

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

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. For the applicability of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) please refer to the Special Analyses section of the preamble to the cross-referenced notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, these regulations have been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these regulations are Melissa Duce, Andrew Holubeck, and Neil Shepherd of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in the development of these regulations.

    List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 602

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR parts 301 and 602 are amended as follows:

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 is amended by adding entries in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 301.7705-1T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 7705(h).

    Section 301.7705-2T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 7705(h).

    Par. 2. Sections 301.7705-1T and 301.7705-2T are added to read as follows:
    § 301.7705-1T Certified professional employer organization.

    (a) Application. The definitions set forth in this section apply for purposes of this section, § 301.7705-2T and sections 3302(h), 3303(a)(4), 3511, 6053(c)(8), and 7528(b)(4).

    (b) Definitions—(1) Certified professional employer organization (CPEO) means a person that applies to be certified as a CPEO in accordance with § 301.7705-2T(a) and has been certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as meeting the requirements of § 301.7705-2T. For purposes of § 301.7705-2T(g)(2), the term CPEO also includes the person before it applied for certification and while its application is pending with the IRS. For all other purposes, a person is a CPEO as of the effective date of its certification (as specified in the certification notice described in § 301.7705-2T(a)(2)) and until its certification is revoked by the IRS (as described in § 301.7705-2T(n)) or, if earlier and applicable, until the CPEO voluntarily terminates its certification in the time and manner prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance.

    (2) CPEO applicant means a person that has applied to be certified as a CPEO in accordance with § 301.7705-2T(a) and whose application is pending with the IRS.

    (3) CPEO contract. [Reserved]

    (4) Certified public accountant (CPA) means a certified public accountant who—

    (i) With respect to a CPEO applicant or CPEO, is independent of the CPEO applicant or CPEO (as prescribed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Professional Standards, Code of Professional Conduct, and its interpretations and rulings);

    (ii) Is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS;

    (iii) Is duly qualified to practice in any state;

    (iv) Files with the IRS a written declaration that he or she is currently qualified as a CPA and authorized to represent the CPEO applicant or CPEO before the IRS; and

    (v) Meets such other requirements as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    (5) Covered employee. [Reserved]

    (6) Customer. [Reserved]

    (7) Federal employment taxes means the taxes imposed by subtitle C of the Internal Revenue Code.

    (8) Guidance includes guidance published in the Federal Register or Internal Revenue Bulletin, as well as administrative guidance such as forms, instructions, publications, or other guidance on the IRS.gov Web site.

    (9) Partnership means a business entity (as described in § 301.7701-2(a)) that is classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes under §§ 301.7701-1, 301.7701-2, and 301.7701-3. Accordingly, any references to a managing member or general partner of a partnership mean a managing member or general partner of an entity that is classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes.

    (10) Precursor entity—(i) In general. A precursor entity means, with respect to a CPEO applicant, any related entity of the CPEO applicant that is or was a provider of employment-related services that—

    (A) Has made a substantial asset transfer to the CPEO applicant during the calendar year that the CPEO applicant applies for certification or any of the three preceding calendar years or plans to make such a substantial asset transfer while the application for certification is pending or in the 12-month period following the date of the CPEO applicant's application for certification; or

    (B) Has ceased operations or dissolved during the calendar year that the CPEO applicant applied for certification or any of the three preceding calendar years.

    (ii) Related. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(10), a provider of employment-related services is considered a related entity of a CPEO applicant if it is a related entity within the meaning of paragraph (b)(12) of this section or if it would be or would have been such a related entity based on the ownership and responsible individuals of the provider of employment-related services at the time of its substantial asset transfer, ceasing of operations, or dissolution, as applicable, and the ownership and responsible individuals of the CPEO applicant at the time of its application.

    (11) Provider of employment-related services means a person that provides employment tax administration, payroll services, or other employment-related compliance services to clients, including, but not limited to, collecting, reporting, and paying employment taxes with respect to wages or compensation paid by the person to individuals performing services for the clients. A provider of employment-related services includes, but is not limited to, a CPEO.

    (12) Related entity means, with respect to a CPEO applicant or CPEO, any person that meets one or more of the following criteria:

    (i) The person is a member of a controlled group of which the CPEO applicant or CPEO is also a member. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(12)(i), controlled group has the meaning given to such term by sections 414(b) and (c) and the regulations thereunder, except that—

    (A) With respect to a person that is not a provider of employment-related services “more than 50 percent” will be substituted for “at least 80 percent” each place it appears in section 1563(a) (which is cross-referenced in section 414(b)) and § 1.414(c)-2 of this chapter); and

    (B) With respect to a person that is a provider of employment-related services, “more than 5 percent” will be substituted for “at least 80 percent” each place it appears in section 1563(a) and § 1.414(c)-2 of this chapter; or

    (ii) The person is a provider of employment-related services and—

    (A) A majority of the directors or a majority of the officers (as described in paragraph (b)(13)(ii) of this section) of the CPEO applicant or CPEO are directors or officers (as described in paragraph (b)(13)(ii) of this section), respectively, of the provider of employment-related services; or

    (B) An individual is a responsible individual of both the provider of employment-related services and the CPEO applicant or CPEO by reason of paragraph (b)(13)(i) of this section.

    (13) Responsible individual means, with respect to a CPEO applicant or CPEO, (or, for purposes of paragraphs (b)(10)(ii) or (b)(12)(ii) of this section, a provider of employment-related services), the following individuals:

    (i) Any individual who owns, directly or indirectly and applying the constructive ownership rules of section 1563(e) with respect to stock ownership and by substituting the term “interest” for the term “stock” and the term “partnership” for the term “corporation” used in that section, as appropriate for purposes of determining whether an interest in a partnership is indirectly owned by any person, 33 percent or more of—

    (A) In the case of a corporation, the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote of such corporation or of the total value of shares of all classes of stock of such corporation; or

    (B) In the case of a partnership, the capital interest or profits interest of such partnership.

    (ii) Any individual who is a director or an officer. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(13)(ii), a director is a voting member of the governing body (that is, the board of directors or equivalent controlling body authorized under state law to make governance decisions on behalf of the organization), and the officers are determined by reference to the organizing document, bylaws, or resolutions of the governing body, or otherwise designated consistent with state law. Officers may include a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.

    (iii) Any individual who, regardless of title, has ultimate responsibility for implementing the decisions of the organization's governing body. An individual who serves with the title of chief executive officer, executive director, and/or president has this ultimate responsibility. An individual with this ultimate responsibility may include an individual who is not treated as an employee of the organization. If this ultimate responsibility resides with two or more individuals (for example, co-presidents), who may exercise such responsibility in concert or individually, then each individual is a responsible individual.

    (iv) Any individual who, regardless of title, has ultimate responsibility for supervising the management, administration, or operation of the organization. An individual who serves with the title of chief operating officer has this ultimate responsibility. An individual with this ultimate responsibility may include an individual who is not treated as an employee of the organization. If this ultimate responsibility resides with two or more individuals, who may exercise such responsibility in concert or individually, then each individual is a responsible individual.

    (v) Any individual who, regardless of title, has ultimate responsibility for managing the organization's finances. An individual who serves with the title of chief financial officer or treasurer has this ultimate responsibility. An individual with this ultimate responsibility may include an individual who is not treated as an employee of the organization. If this ultimate responsibility resides with two or more individuals who may exercise the responsibility in concert or individually, then each individual is a responsible individual.

    (vi) In the case of a partnership, any individual who is a managing member or general partner.

    (vii) In the case of a sole proprietorship, the sole proprietor.

    (viii) Any other individual with primary responsibility for the organization's federal employment tax compliance.

    (14) Self-employed individual. [Reserved]

    (15) Substantial asset transfer means any transfer of 35 percent or more of the value of the operating assets of the person making the transfer, whether through one or a series of transactions and whether accomplished through sale, lease, gift, assignment, succession, merger, consolidation, corporate separation, or any other means. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(15), operating assets include both tangible and intangible resources related to the conduct of the person's trade or business, including but not limited to such intangible assets as contracts, agreements, receivables, employees, and goodwill (which includes the value of a trade or business based on expected continued customer patronage due to its name, reputation, or any other factors). In the case of a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) or a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) of this chapter entered into by a provider of employment-related services, even if the contract or agreement is not sold, gifted, assigned, or otherwise formally transferred to a CPEO applicant, it will be considered transferred from the provider of employment-related services to the CPEO applicant if the CPEO applicant reports, withholds, or pays, under its employer identification number (EIN), any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to the wages of any individuals covered by the contract or agreement.

    (c) Effective/applicability date—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, this section applies on and after July 1, 2016.

    (2) Definitions related to section 3511. [Reserved]

    (3) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on or before May 3, 2019.

    § 301.7705-2T CPEO certification requirements.

    (a) Application requirement and certification—(1) Application. To be certified as a certified professional employer organization (CPEO), a person must submit a properly completed and executed application for certification as a CPEO in the time and manner prescribed by, and providing such information as required by, this section and any further guidance issued by the Commissioner. In addition, the applicant's responsible individuals must submit such information as is specified in this section and further guidance.

    (2) Notice. A CPEO applicant will be notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whether its application for certification has been approved or denied, and, if approved, the effective date of certification. If the IRS denies the application, the IRS will inform the CPEO applicant of the reason(s) for denial.

    (3) Public disclosure of certification. If the IRS approves a CPEO applicant's application for certification, the IRS will make available to the public the name and address of the CPEO, as well as the effective date of its certification, in the time and manner described in further guidance.

    (4) Effective date of certification. A CPEO's certification will be effective as of the effective date of certification specified in the notice described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and in the public disclosure described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section and will continue in effect until the effective date of the revocation of the CPEO's certification, if any, as described in paragraph (n) of this section or, if earlier, the date that the CPEO voluntarily terminates its certification in the time and manner prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance.

    (b) Requirements for certification. To receive and maintain certification, a CPEO applicant or CPEO must meet the requirements described in this section, as well as any additional requirements the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance. In addition, any precursor entities, related entities, and responsible individuals (as defined in §§ 301.7705-1T(b)(10), (12), and (13), respectively) of the CPEO applicant or CPEO must meet any requirements applicable to them described in this section and in further guidance. The IRS may deny an application for certification or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification if a CPEO applicant or CPEO, or one or more of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, fails to meet any applicable requirement described in this section or other applicable guidance, and the IRS will do so if the IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that such failure presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes. In determining whether one or more failures to meet the requirements described in this section presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes, the IRS generally will consider all relevant facts and circumstances, including the size, scope, nature, significance, recurrence, and timing of and reason for the failure and, in the case of a CPEO, any prior failures of the CPEO to meet the requirements of this section.

    (c) Suitability—(1) In general. The IRS may deny an application for certification or revoke or suspend a CPEO's certification for any of the following reasons:

    (i) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, has failed to pay any applicable federal, state, or local taxes or file any required federal, state, or local tax or information returns in a timely and accurate manner, unless the failure is determined to be due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.

    (ii) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, has been charged or convicted of any criminal offense under the laws of the United States or of a state or political subdivision thereof, or is the subject of an active IRS criminal investigation.

    (iii) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, has been sanctioned, or had a license, registration, or accreditation (including a license, registration, or accreditation relating to its status or ability to operate as a professional employer organization) denied, suspended, or revoked, by a court of competent jurisdiction, licensing board, assurance or other professional organization, or federal or state agency, court, body, board, or other authority for any misconduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, or breach of trust or that otherwise bears upon the suitability of the CPEO applicant or CPEO to perform its professional functions (including, but not limited to, any civil or criminal penalty described in 42 U.S.C. 503(k)(1)(D) imposed by state law).

    (iv) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, is listed on any sanctions list compiled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the Department of Treasury, including, but not limited to the OFAC Consolidated Sanctions List and the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List.

    (v) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its precursor entities, related entities, or responsible individuals, fails to demonstrate a history of financial responsibility, which the IRS may assess by checks on credit history and other similar indicators.

    (vi) The CPEO applicant or CPEO and the responsible individuals of the CPEO applicant or CPEO fail to demonstrate adequate collective knowledge or experience with respect to:

    (A) Federal or state employment tax reporting, depositing, and withholding requirements;

    (B) Handling and accounting of payroll, tax payments, and other funds on behalf of others;

    (C) Effective recordkeeping systems;

    (D) Retention of qualified personnel and legal advisors as needed; and

    (E) General business and risk management.

    (vii) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or any of its responsible individuals, gives false or misleading information (including by intentionally omitting relevant information), or participates in any way in the giving of false or misleading information, to the IRS, knowing, or having reason to know, that the information is false or misleading. For the purpose of this subsection, “information” includes (but is not limited to) facts or other matters contained in testimony, federal tax returns, and financial statements and opinions regarding such statements; applications for certification (and all accompanying documentation); affidavits, declarations, assertions, attestations, statements, and agreements; and periodic verifications that the requirements of this section continue to be met; and any other information that is required to be provided by this section, section 3511(g) and regulations thereunder, or further guidance.

    (2) Must be a business entity that is not a disregarded entity. A CPEO must be a business entity described in § 301.7701-2(a), except that a CPEO may not be a business entity that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner for federal tax purposes under §§ 301.7701-2 and 301.7701-3 (without regard to the special rule in § 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv) that provides that such entities are corporations for federal employment tax purposes). Accordingly, a CPEO may not be an individual or an entity classified as a trust under § 301.7701-4.

    (3) Authorization to investigate suitability. A CPEO applicant or CPEO, and each of its responsible individuals, must take such actions as are necessary to authorize the IRS to investigate the accuracy of statements and submissions, including waiving confidentiality and privilege when necessary, and to conduct comprehensive background checks, including, but not limited to, checks on tax compliance, criminal background, professional experience (including through the contact of third-party references), credit history, and professional sanctions. In addition, a CPEO applicant or CPEO, and any of its responsible individuals, must provide the IRS with such additional information as the IRS may request to facilitate such background investigations. Each responsible individual of a CPEO applicant or CPEO must also submit fingerprints in the time and manner and under the circumstances prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance.

    (d) Business location—(1) State of organization. A CPEO applicant or CPEO must be created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any state.

    (2) Business location in the United States. A CPEO applicant or CPEO must have one or more established, physical business locations in the United States at which regular operations that constitute a trade or business within the United States (within the meaning of section 864(b)) take place and at which a significant portion of its CPEO-related functions are carried on and administrative records are kept.

    (3) United States responsible individuals. A majority of the CPEO applicant's or CPEO's responsible individuals must be citizens or residents of the United States.

    (4) Use of financial institution. A CPEO applicant or CPEO must use only financial institutions described in section 265(b)(5) to hold its cash and cash equivalents, receive payments from customers, and pay wages and federal employment taxes.

    (e) Financial statements—(1) CPEOs. By the last day of the sixth month after the end of each fiscal year, and beginning with the first fiscal year that ends after the CPEO's effective date of certification, a CPEO must cause to be prepared and provided to the IRS a copy of its annual audited financial statements for the fiscal year and an opinion of a certified public accountant (CPA) that such financial statements—

    (i) Are presented fairly in accordance with GAAP; and

    (ii) Reflect positive working capital or, only if the CPEO satisfies the requirements of paragraph (e)(3) of this section, reflect negative working capital, with such opinion in either case setting forth in detail a calculation of the CPEO's working capital as reflected in the financial statements.

    (2) CPEO applicants—(i) In general. A CPEO applicant must cause to be prepared and provided to the IRS, with its application, a copy of its annual audited financial statements and an opinion with respect to such financial statements (as described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section) for the most recently completed fiscal year as of the date it applies for certification. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if a CPEO applicant applies for certification before the last day of the sixth month following its most recently completed fiscal year, and the audit of the financial statements for this fiscal year has not yet been completed at the time of application, a CPEO applicant must provide to the IRS, with its application, the financial statements and opinion described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section for the immediately preceding fiscal year, if any, and must subsequently provide to the IRS the financial statements and opinion described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section for the most recently completed fiscal year by the last day of the sixth month after such fiscal year ends. In addition, for any fiscal year that ends after the CPEO applicant applies for certification and on or before the effective date of certification, if applicable, the CPEO applicant must provide the audited financial statements and opinion described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section by the last day of the sixth month after such fiscal year ends. The obligation to provide the audited financial statements described in the preceding sentence continues to apply even if the CPEO applicant is certified as a CPEO prior to the date the audited financial statements are provided.

    (ii) Newly established CPEO applicants. In addition to the requirements in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, a CPEO applicant that was not operating as a provider of employment-related services for all or part of the most recently completed fiscal year as of the date it applies for certification must provide a copy of the audited financial statements of any precursor entity, if one exists, and an opinion with respect to such financial statements (as described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section) for the precursor entity's most recently completed fiscal year as of the date of the application for certification in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance, as well as such additional information as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    (3) Exception to positive working capital requirement. A CPEO applicant or CPEO with annual audited financial statements for a fiscal year that do not reflect positive working capital will not fail to meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section if—

    (i) The CPEO applicant or CPEO has negative working capital for no more than two consecutive fiscal quarters of that fiscal year, as demonstrated by the financial statements (for the final fiscal quarter in the fiscal year) and the statements described in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section (for any other fiscal quarter);

    (ii) The CPEO applicant or CPEO, or its CPA, provides, in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance, an explanation to the IRS describing the reason for the failure; and

    (iii) The IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that the failure does not present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    (4) Completed fiscal year. For purposes of this paragraph (e), a fiscal year will be considered completed once the last day of that fiscal year has ended, regardless of whether the CPEO applicant or CPEO was in operation or certified for all 12 months of the fiscal year or the fiscal year consisted of fewer than 12 months.

    (f) Quarterly assertions and attestations—(1) CPEOs. By the last day of the second month after the end of each calendar quarter, and beginning with the first calendar quarter, that ends after the CPEO's effective date of certification, a CPEO must provide the following to the IRS:

    (i) An assertion, signed by a responsible individual under penalties of perjury, stating that the CPEO has withheld and made deposits of all federal employment taxes (other than taxes imposed by chapter 23 of the Code) as required by subtitle C for such calendar quarter and an examination level attestation from a CPA stating that such assertion is fairly stated in all material respects.

    (ii) A statement signed by a responsible individual under penalties of perjury verifying that the CPEO has positive working capital (as determined in accordance with GAAP) at the end of the most recently completed fiscal quarter, as well as such additional financial information that the Commissioner may specify in further guidance.

    (2) Exceptions(i) Immaterial failures. A CPEO will not fail to meet the requirements of paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section if the CPA examination level attestation indicates that the CPEO has failed to withhold or make deposits in certain immaterial respects, provided that—

    (A) The attestation provides a summary of the immaterial failures that were found;

    (B) The attestation states that the failures were immaterial and isolated and do not reflect a meaningful lapse in compliance with federal employment tax withholding and deposit requirements; and

    (C) The IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that the isolated and immaterial failures identified by the CPA do not present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    (ii) Negative working capital. A CPEO with negative working capital at the end of a fiscal quarter will not fail to meet the requirements of paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section if—

    (A) The CPEO does not have negative working capital at the end of the two fiscal quarters immediately preceding such fiscal quarter, as demonstrated by the financial statements described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, if available, or the statements described in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section;

    (B) The CPEO provides an explanation to the IRS describing the reason for such negative working capital in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance; and

    (C) The IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that the negative working capital does not present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    (3) CPEO applicants—(i) In general. By the last day of the second month after the end of each calendar quarter, beginning with the most recently completed calendar quarter as of the date of a CPEO applicant's application for certification and ending with the most recently completed calendar quarter as of the effective date of certification (if applicable), a CPEO applicant must provide to the IRS the assertion, examination level attestation, and working capital statement described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, subject to the exceptions described in paragraph (f)(2) of this section (though substituting “CPEO applicant” for “CPEO”).

    (ii) Newly established CPEO applicants. A CPEO applicant that was not operating as a provider of employment-related services during the most recently completed calendar quarter as of the date of its application for certification or during any calendar quarter that ends while its application for certification is pending must provide to the IRS the assertion, examination level attestation, and working capital statement described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section with respect to any precursor entity, if applicable, in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance, as well as such additional information as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    (g) Bond—(1) In general. A CPEO must post a bond for the payment of federal employment taxes issued in the form and containing the terms prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance and in an amount described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

    (2) Bond amount—(i) In general. The amount of the bond described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section must be, for each period beginning on April 1 of any calendar year and ending on March 31 of the following calendar year (or, in the case of a newly certified CPEO, beginning with the effective date of certification and ending on the subsequent March 31) (the bond period), at least equal to the greater of—

    (A) Five percent of the CPEO's liability under section 3511 (or, if applicable, the liability described in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section) during the calendar year preceding the beginning of the bond period, but not more than $1,000,000; or

    (B) $50,000.

    (ii) Amount of bond in first and second year as a CPEO. If a CPEO does not have any liability under section 3511 for all or a portion of a preceding calendar year because the CPEO was not certified as a CPEO for all or a portion of that preceding calendar year, the liability applied for purposes of paragraph (g)(2)(i)(A) of this section for the entirety or portion of the preceding calendar year during which the CPEO was not certified will be the federal employment tax liability of the CPEO, and of any precursor entity of the CPEO described in § 301.7705-1T(b)(10)(i)(A), that results from one or more service agreements described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) of this chapter. With respect to the federal employment tax liability of such precursor entity during a preceding calendar year, the liability will only be applied for purposes of paragraph (g)(2)(i)(A) of this section to the extent it results from service agreements that have been transferred or are intended to be transferred by the precursor entity to the CPEO at the time the bond amount is determined. For purposes of this paragraph (g)(2)(ii), an entity is considered a precursor entity of a CPEO described in § 301.7705-1T(b)(10)(i)(A) if it was determined to be its precursor entity under that section at the time it was a CPEO applicant.

    (3) Cancellation—(i) Notice. A bond required under this paragraph (g) must provide that it may be cancelled by the surety only after the surety gives written notice of such cancellation to the IRS and the CPEO in such time and manner as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    (ii) Ongoing liability. A bond required under this paragraph (g) must provide that, if a surety cancels the bond without issuing a superseding bond to the CPEO, the surety will, notwithstanding the cancellation, remain liable for all federal employment tax liability accrued by the CPEO during the period beginning with the effective date of the first bond issued by the surety to the CPEO in any consecutive series of bonds issued by that surety prior to cancellation and ending with the cancellation of the bond (the total bond period), up to the penal amount of the bond at the time of the cancellation. A cancelling surety will remain liable as described in this paragraph (g)(3)(ii) for federal employment tax liability accrued during the total bond period up to the penal amount of the bond for as long as the Commissioner may assess and collect taxes for such period under sections 6501 and 6502.

    (4) Strengthening bonds to reflect CPEO adjustment or IRS assessment. In calculating five percent of its liability under section 3511 (or other applicable federal employment tax liability) for a preceding calendar year for purposes of determining a bond amount, a CPEO must base its calculation on the amount of applicable federal employment taxes that it reported and paid for that preceding calendar year. However, if the CPEO or the IRS subsequently determines during the period for which the bond amount applies that the applicable federal employment tax liability for the preceding calendar year was higher than the amount reported and paid (and makes an adjustment or assessment, respectively, reflecting such determination) and if the bond that the CPEO had posted was less than $1,000,000, the CPEO must post a strengthening bond that, together with the initially-posted bond, equals a total amount that reflects the adjusted applicable federal employment tax liability up to $1,000,000. Alternatively, such a CPEO could post a superseding bond in such adjusted amount.

    (5) No posting of collateral. A CPEO must meet the bond requirements of this paragraph (g) without posting collateral.

    (6) Requirements for surety. Any surety that issues a bond required by this paragraph (g) to a CPEO must be a surety company that holds a certificate of authority from the Secretary as an acceptable surety on federal bonds and meets such other requirements as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    (h) Controlled group. All CPEO applicants and CPEOs that are members of a controlled group within the meaning of sections 414(b) and (c) will be treated as a single CPEO applicant or CPEO for purposes of paragraphs (e) (other than (e)(1)(ii)), (f) (other than (f)(1)(ii)), and (g) of this section.

    (i) Consents to disclose. To receive and maintain certification, a CPEO applicant or CPEO must provide such consents for the IRS to disclose confidential tax information to its customers, and to other persons as necessary to carry out the purposes of these regulations, that relates to its certification and obligations to report, deposit, and pay federal employment taxes as the Commissioner may require in further guidance.

    (j) Periodic verification. A CPEO must periodically verify that it continues to meet the requirements of this section in the time and manner prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance.

    (k) Notification of material changes. A CPEO applicant or CPEO must notify the IRS, in the time and manner prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance, of any change that materially affects the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information that was previously made or provided to the IRS.

    (l) Accrual method of accounting. A CPEO must compute its taxable income using an accrual method of accounting or, if applicable, another method that the Commissioner provides for in further guidance.

    (m) Compliance with reporting obligations—(1) In general. A CPEO must agree to make reports to the IRS and to its clients as provided in section 3511(g) and the regulations thereunder, including filing all federal employment tax returns and information returns as required.

    (2) Filing on magnetic media. A CPEO must file all returns, schedules, reports, and other forms and documents on magnetic media when required by section 3511(g) and the regulations thereunder or other Treasury regulations.

    (n) Suspension and revocation—(1) In general. The IRS may suspend or revoke the certification of any CPEO, in the time and manner and under the circumstances prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance, as a result of one or more failures to meet any of the requirements for CPEOs described in this section, section 3511(g) and the regulations thereunder, and any further guidance and will suspend or revoke certification if the IRS determines, in its sole discretion, that such failure(s) present a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes. See paragraph (b) of this section for the factors the IRS will consider in determining whether one or more failures to meet any of the requirements described in this section presents a material risk to the IRS's collection of federal employment taxes.

    (2) Suspension. Section 3511 will not apply to any contract described in section 7705(e)(2) into which the CPEO enters while its certification is suspended.

    (3) Revocation. If an organization's certification as a CPEO is revoked, the organization will not be considered a CPEO for purposes of section 3511 unless and until it again applies to be certified as a CPEO in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section and is again certified by the IRS as meeting the requirements of this section. An organization whose certification as a CPEO has been revoked may not re-apply to be certified as a CPEO until one year has passed since the effective date of its revocation.

    (4) Disclosure of suspension and revocation—(i) Notification by the CPEO. An organization whose certification as a CPEO has been suspended or revoked must notify its customers of such suspension or revocation in the time and manner prescribed by the Commissioner in further guidance.

    (ii) Disclosure by the IRS. If the IRS suspends or revokes an organization's certification as a CPEO, the IRS will make available to the public the fact of such suspension or revocation in the time and manner described in further guidance. The IRS may also individually notify the organization's customers of such suspension or revocation.

    (o) Effective/applicability date—(1) In general. This section applies on and after July 1, 2016.

    (2) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on or before May 3, 2019.

    PART 602—OMB CONTROL NUMBERS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT Par. 3. The authority citation for part 602 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 4. In § 602.101, paragraph (b) is amended by adding the following entries in numerical order to the table to read as follows:
    § 602.101 OMB Control numbers.

    (b) * * *

    CFR Part or section where identified and described Current OMB Control No. *    *    *    *    * 301.7705-1T 1545-2266 301.7705-2T 1545-2266 *    *    *    *    *
    Kirsten B. Wielobob, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: April 28, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2016-10700 Filed 5-4-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 199 [DOD-2013-HA-0053] RIN 0720-AB59 TRICARE Program; Clarification of Benefit Coverage of Durable Equipment and Ordering or Prescribing Durable Equipment; Clarification of Benefit Coverage of Assistive Technology Devices Under the Extended Care Health Option Program AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The DoD published a final rule on December 31, 2014 (79 FR 78707-78714). This rule makes correcting amendments to the previously published final rule to clarify that only the replacement of lost or stolen rental durable equipment is excluded from coverage. Additionally, in the final rule, DoD mistakenly used asterisks in a paragraph it was revising in its entirety. To correct this mistake and ensure that all revisions are appropriately codified, these correcting amendments set out the full text of the impacted paragraph.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective May 6, 2016. These correcting amendments are applicable January 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gail L. Jones, (303) 676-3401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    It has been determined that these correcting amendments are not significant regulatory actions. These correcting amendments do not meet the criteria in these Executive Orders.

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

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

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

    It has been certified that these correcting amendments are subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because they would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. These are correcting amendments to the existing regulation.

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

    It has been determined that these correcting amendments do not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

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

    (1) The States;

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

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

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199

    Claims, Dental health, Health care, Health insurance, Individuals with disabilities, and Military personnel.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 199 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

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

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

    2. In § 199.4, paragraph (d)(3)(ii) is revised to read as follows:
    § 199.4 Basic program benefits.

    (d) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Durable equipment—(A) Scope of benefit. (1) Durable equipment, which is for the specific use of the beneficiary and is ordered by an authorized individual professional provider listed in § 199.6(c)(3)(i), (ii) or (iii), acting within his or her scope of licensure shall be covered if the durable equipment meets the definition in § 199.2 and—

    (i) Provides the medically appropriate level of performance and quality for the medical condition present and

    (ii) Is not otherwise excluded by this part.

    (2) Items that may be provided to a beneficiary as durable equipment include:

    (i) Durable medical equipment as defined in § 199.2;

    (ii) Wheelchairs. A wheelchair, which is medically appropriate to provide basic mobility, including reasonable additional costs for medically appropriate modifications to accommodate a particular physiological or medical need, may be covered as durable equipment. An electric wheelchair, or TRICARE approved alternative to an electric wheelchair (e.g., scooter) may be provided in lieu of a manual wheelchair when it is medically indicated and appropriate to provide basic mobility. Luxury or deluxe wheelchairs, as described in paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(A)(3) of this section, include features beyond those required for basic mobility of a particular beneficiary are not authorized.

    (iii) Iron lungs.

    (iv) Hospital beds.

    (v) Cardiorespiratory monitors under conditions specified in paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.

    (3) Whether a prescribed item of durable equipment provides the medically appropriate level of performance and quality for the beneficiary's condition must be supported by adequate documentation. Luxury, deluxe, immaterial, or non- essential features, which increase the cost of the item relative to a similar item without those features, based on industry standards for a particular item at the time the equipment is prescribed or replaced for a beneficiary, are not authorized. Only the “base” or “basic” model of equipment (or more cost- effective alternative equipment) shall be covered, unless customization of the equipment, or any accessory or item of supply for any durable medical equipment, is essential, as determined by the Director (or designee), for—

    (i) Achieving therapeutic benefit for the patient;

    (ii) Making the equipment serviceable; or

    (iii) Otherwise assuring the proper functioning of the equipment.

    (B) Cardiorespiratory monitor exception. (1) When prescribed by a physician who is otherwise eligible as a CHAMPUS individual professional provider, or who is on active duty with a United States Uniformed Service, an electronic cardiorespiratory monitor, including technical support necessary for the proper use of the monitor, may be cost-shared as durable medical equipment when supervised by the prescribing physician for in-home use by:

    (i) An infant beneficiary who has had an apparent life-threatening event, as defined in guidelines issued by the Director, OCHAMPUS, or a designee, or

    (ii) An infant beneficiary who is a subsequent or multiple birth biological sibling of a victim of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or

    (iii) An infant beneficiary whose birth weight was 1,500 grams or less, or

    (iv) An infant beneficiary who is a pre-term infant with pathologic apnea, as defined in guidelines issued by the Director, OCHAMPUS, or a designee, or

    (v) Any beneficiary who has a condition or suspected condition designated in guidelines issued by the Director, OCHAMPUS, or a designee, for which the in-home use of the cardiorespiratory monitor otherwise meets Basic Program requirements.

    (2) The following types of services and items may be cost-shared when provided in conjunction with an otherwise authorized cardiorespiratory monitor:

    (i) Trend-event recorder, including technical support necessary for the proper use of the recorder.

    (ii) Analysis of recorded physiological data associated with monitor alarms.

    (iii) Professional visits for services otherwise authorized by this part, and for family training on how to respond to an apparent life threatening event.

    (iv) Diagnostic testing otherwise authorized by this part.

    (C) Exclusions. Durable equipment, which is otherwise qualified as a benefit is excluded from coverage under the following circumstances:

    (1) Durable equipment for a beneficiary who is a patient in a type of facility that ordinarily provides the same type of durable equipment item to its patients at no additional charge in the usual course of providing its services.

    (2) Durable equipment, which is available to the beneficiary from a Uniformed Services Medical Treatment Facility.

    (D) Basis for reimbursement. (1) Durable equipment may be provided on a rental or purchase basis. Coverage of durable equipment will be based on the price most advantageous to the government taking into consideration the anticipated duration of the medically necessary need for the equipment and current price information for the type of item. The cost analysis must include a comparison of the total price of the item as a monthly rental charge, a lease-purchase price, and a lump-sum purchase price and a provision for the time value of money at the rate determined by the U.S. Department of Treasury. If a beneficiary wishes to obtain an item of durable equipment with deluxe, luxury, immaterial or non-essential features, the beneficiary may agree to accept TRICARE coverage limited to the allowable amount that would have otherwise been authorized for a similar item without those features. In that case, the TRICARE coverage is based upon the allowable amount for the kind of durable equipment normally used to meet the intended purpose (i.e., the standard item least costly). The provider shall not hold the beneficiary liable for deluxe, luxury, immaterial, or non- essential features that cannot be considered in determining the TRICARE allowable costs. However, the beneficiary shall be held liable if the provider has a specific agreement in writing from the beneficiary (or his or her representative) accepting liability for the itemized difference in costs of the durable equipment with deluxe, luxury, or immaterial features and the TRICARE allowable costs for an otherwise authorized item without such features.

    (2) In general, repairs of beneficiary owned durable equipment are covered when necessary to make the equipment serviceable and replacement of durable equipment is allowed when the durable equipment is not serviceable because of normal wear, accidental damage or when necessitated by a change in the beneficiary's condition. However, repairs of durable equipment damaged while using the equipment in a manner inconsistent with its common use, and replacement of lost or stolen rental durable equipment are excluded from coverage. In addition, repairs of deluxe, luxury, or immaterial features of durable equipment are excluded from coverage.

    § 199.5 [Amended]
    3. In § 199.5: a. Paragraph (c)(2)(v) is amended by removing the phrase “as well as lost or stolen devices”. b. Paragraph (c)(8)(iii) is amended by adding the word “rental” after the word “stolen”, and by removing the second occurrence of “and/or AT devices”.
    Dated: April 27, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10265 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0075; EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0090; FRL-9946-08-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Commissioner's Orders for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval of revisions to the Indiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to EPA in parallel process form on January 27, 2016, and February 5, 2016, and final form on March 21, 2016, and March 31, 2016. The submittals consist of orders issued by the Commissioner of IDEM that require more stringent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions limits than those currently contained in the SIP for Vectren's A.B. Brown Generating Station (A.B. Brown) and Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation's Clifty Creek Generating Station (Clifty Creek). EPA proposed approval of these revisions to the Indiana SIP on February 25, 2016 and received no adverse comments. EPA's approval of these revisions makes the Commissioner's orders' SO2 emissions limits and applicable reporting, recordkeeping, and compliance demonstration requirements federally enforceable.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0075 and EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0090. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either through www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Jenny Liljegren, Physical Scientist, at (312) 886-6832 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jenny Liljegren, Physical Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6832, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Why did IDEM issue these commissioner's orders? II. What are the SO2 limits in these Commissioner's orders? III. By what criterion is EPA reviewing this SIP revision? IV. What action is EPA taking? V. Incorporation by Reference VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Why did IDEM issue these Commissioner's orders?

    IDEM submitted parallel process revision requests to its SIP on January 27, 2016, and February 5, 2016, for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, respectively, and final revision requests on March 21, 2016, and March 31, 2016, for Clifty Creek and A.B. Brown, respectively. The submittals consist of orders issued by IDEM's Commissioner that establish more stringent SO2 emissions limits than those currently contained in the SIP for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek. The orders also contain applicable reporting, recordkeeping, and compliance demonstration requirements. Each order contains a requirement to determine compliance by the use of a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS), to maintain records adequate to document compliance with the SO2 emissions limits, to submit to IDEM quarterly reports, and to apply to incorporate these order requirements, including the emissions limits, reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and methods to determine compliance into each facility's Part 70 operating permit, respectively. IDEM established these SO2 emissions limits to enable the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek to qualify in the future for being designated “attainment” of the 2010 primary SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Under a Federal consent decree,1 EPA is required to designate, under the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, certain areas in the United States including the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek by July 2, 2016. The history of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and the consent decree is explained in detail in the February 25, 2016 proposed rule (81 FR 9395).

    1Sierra Club v. McCarthy, No. 3-13-cv-3953 (N.D.Cal. March 2, 2015).

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to take action on IDEM's request to approve these Commissioner's orders into the Indiana SIP and thereby make them federally enforceable. It is not, however, to take action on whether the SO2 emissions limits in these Commissioner's orders are adequate for EPA to designate attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS for the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek. EPA intends to designate the areas near the sources that meet the criteria for the first phase of the consent decree designations, including the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, under a separate future rulemaking, which was the subject of an EPA proposal on March 1, 2016, “EPA Responses to Certain State Designation Recommendations for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard: Notice of Availability and Public Comment Period” (81 FR 10563).

    Indiana requested that EPA “parallel process” these SIP revisions to expedite action on the Commissioner's orders. Under this procedure, the state submitted copies of the draft revision requests to EPA on January 27, 2016, and February 5, 2016, for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, respectively, before completing its public comment process. EPA published a proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (81 FR 9395) and solicited public comment in approximately the same timeframe during which the state solicited public comment. Indiana received and responded to comments received during its public process. EPA received two comments. One comment supported the proposed Clifty Creek emissions limit. A second comment, associated with the A.B. Brown order, was not germane to our current action.

    Indiana submitted its final SIP revision requests to EPA on March 21, 2016, and March 31, 2016, for Clifty Creek and A.B. Brown, respectively. There were no changes to the original Commissioner's Orders (2016-01 and 2016-02). As a result, EPA is proceeding with this final rulemaking.

    II. What are the SO2 limits in these Commissioner's orders?

    For A.B. Brown, Indiana issued Commissioner's Order 2016-01 on January 11, 2016, with a compliance date of April 19, 2016. This order established two new limits for A.B. Brown: One limit for Unit 1 when running alone and one limit for Units 1 and 2 when running simultaneously. The emissions limits are 0.855 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU for coal-fired boiler Unit 1 operating alone and 0.426 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU for Units 1 and 2 operating simultaneously. These limits supplement a limit contained in a February 22, 1979, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit of 0.69 pounds per MMBTU for coal-fired boiler Unit 2.

    For Clifty Creek, Indiana issued Commissioner's Order 2016-02 on February 1, 2016, with a compliance date of April 19, 2016. This order established a combined emission limit for the six coal-fired boilers (Units No. 1 through No. 6) located at Clifty Creek of 2,624.5 lbs of SO2 per hour as a 720 operating hour rolling average when any of Units No.1 through No. 6, or any combination thereof, is operating.

    III. By what criterion is EPA reviewing this SIP revision?

    EPA is evaluating these revisions on the basis of whether they strengthen Indiana's SIP. Prior to Commissioner's Order 2016-01, A.B. Brown had an SO2 emissions limit in its operating permit of 6.0 lbs SO2 per MMBTU for coal-fired boiler Unit 1. Prior to Commissioner's Order 2016-02 Clifty Creek had an SO2 emissions limit in its operating permit for Units 1 through 6 not to exceed 7.52 lbs of SO2 per MMBTU on a thirty (30) day rolling weighted average. The new SO2 emissions limits established by IDEM in Commissioner's Order 2016-01 and Commissioner's Order 2016-02 for A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, respectively, are substantially more stringent than the previous limits and will therefore strengthen Indiana's SIP.

    The adequacy of these limits for providing for attainment of the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS is not a prerequisite for approval of these limits. Nevertheless, the purpose of these limits is to provide for attainment, and the adequacy of these limits for this purpose is addressed in a separate rulemaking (81 FR 10563). On February 16, 2016, EPA wrote a letter to Indiana stating that we intended to designate the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek as nonattainment in the absence of federally enforceable limits. The letter also stated that if the limits in the Commissioner's orders (2016-01 and 2016-02) were made federally enforceable, EPA anticipated that we would designate suitable portions of Posey county and Jefferson county as attainment/unclassifiable. EPA solicited public comments on this proposal (81 FR 10563), and EPA intends to make final the designation determinations for the areas of the country addressed by these responses, including the areas near A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek, no later than July 2, 2016. EPA received adverse comments pertaining, among other things, to the portion of this rulemaking that indicated that the A.B. Brown and Clifty Creek proposed limits, if made federally enforceable, would suffice to justify an attainment/unclassifiable designation. EPA is currently reviewing these and other comments received regarding that proposal.

    IV. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is finalizing approval of Commissioner's Order 2016-01 and Commissioner's Order 2016-02 into the Indiana SIP. EPA confirms that the SO2 emissions limits in these orders for A.B. Brown (Commissioner's Order 2016-01) and Clifty Creek (Commissioner's Order 2016-02) are more stringent than the current SIP SO2 emissions limits for these sources. By approving these Commissioner's orders into the Indiana SIP, these SO2 emissions limits and applicable reporting, recordkeeping, and compliance demonstration requirements contained in the orders become federally enforceable and strengthen the Indiana SIP.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Indiana Administrative Code described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 5, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: April 27, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. In § 52.770 the table in paragraph (d) is amended by adding new entries for “A.B. Brown Generating Station” and “Clifty Creek Generating Station”, to read as follows:
    § 52.770 Identification of plan.

    (d) * * *

    EPA-Approved Indiana Source-Specific Provisions CO date Title SIP rule EPA approval Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1/11/2016 A.B. Brown Generating Station N.A. 5/6/16, [insert Federal Register citation] Limitation intended to support attainment designation. 2/1/2016 Clifty Creek Generating Station N.A. 5/6/16, [insert Federal Register citation] Limitation intended to support attainment designation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10579 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0591; FRL-9945-28] Methoxyfenozide; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency Exemptions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes time-limited tolerances for residues of methoxyfenozide in or on rice, grain and rice, bran resulting from use of methoxyfenozide in accordance with the terms of an emergency exemption issued under section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This action is in response to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation's issuance of a crisis emergency exemption under FIFRA section 18 authorizing use of the pesticide on rice, bran and rice, grain. This time-limited tolerance regulation establishes a maximum permissible level for residues of methoxyfenozide in or on these commodities. These time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2019.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective May 6, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before July 5, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0591, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

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

    Under section 408(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0591 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before July 5, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0591, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background and Statutory Findings

    EPA, on its own initiative, in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6) of, 21 U.S.C. 346a(e) and 346a(1)(6), is establishing time-limited tolerances for residues of methoxyfenozide in or on rice, bran and rice, grain at 4.0 and 0.50 parts per million (ppm), respectively. These time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2019.

    Section 408(l)(6) of FFDCA requires EPA to establish a time-limited tolerance or exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for pesticide chemical residues in food that will result from the use of a pesticide under an emergency exemption granted by EPA under FIFRA section 18. Such tolerances can be established without providing notice or period for public comment. EPA does not intend for its actions on FIFRA section 18 related time-limited tolerances to set binding precedents for the application of FFDCA section 408 and the safety standard to other tolerances and exemptions. Section 408(e) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance on its own initiative, i.e., without having received any petition from an outside party.

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

    Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to exempt any Federal or State agency from any provision of FIFRA, if EPA determines that “emergency conditions exist which require such exemption.” EPA has established regulations governing such emergency exemptions in 40 CFR part 166.

    III. Emergency Exemption for Methoxyfenozide on Rice, Grain and Rice, Bran and FFDCA Tolerances

    The California Department of Pesticide Regulation asserted that an emergency condition existed in accordance with the criteria for approval of an emergency exemption, and utilized a crisis exemption under FIFRA section 18 to allow the use of methoxyfenozide on rice to control armyworm and Western yellow striped armyworm in Butte, Glenn, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation invoked the crisis exemption provision on August 27, 2015. After having reviewed the submission and determining that the risks associated with the emergency use were reasonable in comparison to the expected benefits to the California rice growers who faced the largest outbreak of armyworms in 25 years and significant economic loss, EPA concurred on the crisis exemption. The crisis exemption expired on September 10, 2015.

    As part of its evaluation of the emergency exemption application, EPA assessed the potential risks presented by residues of methoxyfenozide in or on rice, bran and rice, grain. In doing so, EPA considered the safety standard in FFDCA section 408(b)(2), and EPA decided that the necessary tolerances under FFDCA section 408(l)(6) would be consistent with the safety standard and with FIFRA section 18. Consistent with the need to move quickly on the emergency exemption in order to address an urgent non-routine situation and to ensure that the resulting food is safe and lawful, EPA is issuing these tolerances without notice and opportunity for public comment as provided in FFDCA section 408(l)(6). Although these time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2019, under FFDCA section 408(l)(5), residues of the pesticide not in excess of the amounts specified in the tolerances remaining in or on rice, bran and rice, grain after that date will not be unlawful, provided the pesticide was applied in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and the residues do not exceed a level that was authorized by these time-limited tolerances at the time of that application. EPA will take action to revoke these time-limited tolerances earlier if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe.

    Because these time-limited tolerances are being approved under emergency conditions, EPA has not made any decisions about whether methoxyfenozide meets FIFRA's registration requirements for use on rice, grain and rice, bran or whether permanent tolerances for this use would be appropriate. Under these circumstances, EPA does not believe that these time-limited tolerance decisions serve as a basis for registration of methoxyfenozide by a State for special local needs under FIFRA section 24(c). Nor do these tolerances by themselves serve as the authority for persons in any State other than California to use this pesticide on the applicable crops under FIFRA section 18 absent the issuance of an emergency exemption applicable within that State. For additional information regarding the crisis emergency exemption for methoxyfenozide, contact the Agency's Registration Division at the address provided under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

    Consistent with the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure expected as a result of this emergency exemption request and the time-limited tolerances for residues of methoxyfenozide on rice, bran and rice, grain at 4.0 and 0.50 ppm, respectively, measured as 3-methoxy-2-methylbenzoic acid 2-(3,5-dimethylbenzoyl)-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-hydrazide. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with establishing time-limited tolerances follows.

    A. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for methoxyfenozide used for human risk assessment is discussed in Table 1 of Unit III B. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of August 27, 2014 (79 FR 51103) (FRL-9913-99). Further, the Agency's exposure and risk assessment for the emergency use on rice, bran and rice, grain is discussed in greater detail in “Methoxyfenozide: Human Health Risk Assessment for the Proposed Use of the Insecticide (Associated with Section 18 Registration) on Rice in California,” January 5, 2016 is available in the docket at the address provided under ADDRESSES.

    B. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to methoxyfenozide, EPA considered exposure under the time-limited tolerances established by this action as well as all existing methoxyfenozide tolerances in 40 CFR 180.544. EPA assessed dietary exposures from methoxyfenozide in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure. No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for methoxyfenozide; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic aggregate dietary (food and drinking water) exposure and risk assessment, EPA used the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model software (Version 3.16) with the Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM-FCID). This software includes 2003 to 2008 food consumption data from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). All current and proposed uses of methoxyfenozide, were included in this assessment. As to residue levels in food, the chronic dietary assessment assumes 100% crop treated (PCT). DEEM (Version 7.81) default processing factors were used for most processed commodities that do not have individual tolerances. The only exception was a processing factor of 0.2X that was used for orange juice from a processing study. The chronic dietary assessment is highly conservative (protective); therefore, providing an upper-bound estimate of dietary exposure and risk.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data referenced in Unit IV.A., EPA has concluded that methoxyfenozide should be classified as “Not Likely to Be Carcinogenic to Humans.” As a result, a cancer dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary for methoxyfenozide, and was not conducted.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The residues of concern in drinking water are methoxyfenozide and the degradates, RH-117,236 and RH-131,154, which are only present at low concentrations. The Agency used screening-level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for methoxyfenozide and its degradates in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of methoxyfenozide and its degradates. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    Based on the FPQA Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST), Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCI-GROW), and the Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of methoxyfenozide and its degradates for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 7.57 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 214 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 214 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Methoxyfenozide is currently registered for use on ornamentals in and around home gardens, which could result in residential exposures. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Residential handlers were assessed for potential short-term inhalation exposures from mixing, loading, and applying methoxyfenozide. A quantitative dermal assessment for residential handlers was not conducted since there is no systemic toxicity associated with dermal exposures to methoxyfenozide. Adult post-application exposures were not quantitatively assessed since no dermal hazard was identified for methoxyfenozide and inhalation exposures are typically negligible in outdoor settings. Furthermore, the inhalation exposure assessment performed for residential handlers is representative of worse case inhalation exposures and is considered protective for post-application inhalation exposure scenarios.

    Post-application oral exposure to children is not expected since the extent to which young children engage in activities associated with areas where treated ornamentals are grown (or utilize these areas for prolonged periods of play) is low. Therefore, an incidental oral post-application exposure assessment was not conducted. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/trac6a05.pdf.

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

    EPA has not found methoxyfenozide to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and methoxyfenozide does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that methoxyfenozide does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    C. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There is no evidence of qualitative or quantitative susceptibility of the developing fetus or offspring, based on the developmental and reproductive toxicity study results for methoxyfenozide. No developmental toxicity was observed in either the rat or rabbit developmental toxicity studies, and there was no evidence of offspring or reproductive toxicity in the rat two-generation reproductive toxicity study.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for methoxyfenozide is complete, including studies addressing potential pre- and post-natal susceptibility, neurotoxicity, and immunotoxicity.

    ii. There is no evidence that methoxyfenozide is neurotoxic, and a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional uncertainty factors (UFs) to account for neurotoxicity are not required.

    iii. There is no residual uncertainty, and no evidence increased susceptibility in the developing or young animal.

    iv. The dietary exposure assessments do not underestimate potential exposure from food and drinking water, and the use pattern indicates a low potential for residential exposure.

    D. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. An acute aggregate risk assessment takes into account acute exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water. No adverse effect resulting from a single oral exposure was identified and so, there is no acute dietary endpoint of concern. Therefore, methoxyfenozide is not expected to pose an acute risk.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to methoxyfenozide from food and water will utilize 84% of the cPAD for children 1 to 2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of methoxyfenozide is not expected.

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

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in an aggregate MOE of 540. Because EPA's level of concern for methoxyfenozide is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, methoxyfenozide is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating intermediate-term risk for methoxyfenozide.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, methoxyfenozide is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

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

    EPA concludes that there is reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children, from aggregate exposure to methoxyfenozide residues because the Section 18 emergency use of methoxyfenozide on rice will result in negligible increases in dietary exposure to all subgroups relative to the safety findings reached in the August 27, 2014 Federal Register document.

    V. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An adequate enforcement methodology is available to enforce the tolerance expression, using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), with either tandem mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS), or ultraviolet detection (UV).

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

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    There are currently no established Codex or Canadian MRLs for methoxyfenozide residues in rice commodities.

    VI. Conclusion

    Therefore, time-limited tolerances are established for residues of methoxyfenozide, (3-methoxy-2-methylbenzoic acid 2-(3,5-dimethylbenzoyl)-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-hydrazide), in or on rice, grain at 0.50 ppm; and rice, bran at 4.0 ppm. These tolerances will expire on December 31, 2019.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

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

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

    VIII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: April 21, 2016. Daniel J. Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.544, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 180.544 Methoxyfenozide; tolerances for residues.

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. Time-limited tolerances are established for residues of the insecticide methoxyfenozide, including its metabolites and degradates in or on the commodities listed in the table below, resulting from use of the pesticide under a Section 18 emergency exemption granted by EPA. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in the following table is to be determined by measuring only methoxyfenozide (3-methoxy-2-methylbenzoic acid 2-(3,5-dimethylbenzoyl)-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl) hydrazide) in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per million Expiration/
  • revocation date
  • Rice, bran 4.0 December 31, 2019. Rice, grain 0.50 December 31, 2019.
    [FR Doc. 2016-09969 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0035; FRL-9945-68] Clethodim; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of clethodim in or on multiple commodities which are identified and discussed later in this document. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective May 6, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before July 5, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0035, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0035 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before July 5, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0035, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-for Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (80 FR 28925) (FRL-9927-39), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4E8334) by Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.458 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide clethodim, 2-[(1E)-1-[[[(2E)-3-chloro-2-propenyl]oxy]imino]propyl]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one, and its metabolites containing the 5-(2-ethylthiopropyl)cyclohexene-3-one and 5-(2-ethylthiopropyl)-5-hydroxycyclohexene-3-one moieties and their sulphoxides and sulphones, calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of clethodim, in or on stevia at 12 parts per million (ppm); pome fruit group 11-10 at 0.2 ppm; stone fruit group 12-12 at 0.2 ppm; bulb onion subgroup 3-07A at 0.2 ppm; low growing berry subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry at 3.0 ppm; rapeseed subgroup 20A, except flax 0.5 ppm; sunflower subgroup 20B at 5.0 ppm; cottonseed subgroup 20C at 1.0 ppm; and fruiting vegetable group 08-10 at 1.0 ppm. Also, this notice further requests amending 40 CFR 180.458 by removing the following commodity listings: canola seed at 0.5 ppm, cotton, undelinted seed at 1.0 ppm, peach at 0.2 ppm, onion, bulb at 0.2 ppm, strawberry at 3.0 ppm, and sunflower, seed at 5.0 ppm, upon establishment of the aforementioned tolerances. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Valent USA Corporation, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has made some modifications to petitioned-for crop tolerances. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    The liver is the target organ based on repeated dosing by either oral or dermal routes in rats, mice, and dogs. The observed liver effects are characterized by increased liver weights, clinical chemistry changes, and centrilobular hepatic hypertrophy. Most of the liver effects that occurred at or below 100 milligrams/kilogram body weight (mg/kg bw) were considered as adaptive effects and not adverse. Decreased body weight was also a common finding across studies and species. In the 1-year dog oral toxicity study, hematological changes such as increased platelet and leukocyte counts were also noted.

    Developmental effects were not present in rabbits; the rat developmental toxicity study showed reduced fetal body weights and an increase in the incidence of delayed ossification of the lower vertebrae at the same dose where maternal toxicity was found. Neither reproductive nor offspring effects were seen in the 2-generation rat reproduction study. Therefore, the data did not show an increased susceptibility in the young. The clethodim database also showed no potential for neurotoxicity or immunotoxicity.

    The rat and mouse carcinogenicity studies did not show treatment-related increases in tumor incidence. Clethodim is not genotoxic and is classified as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by Clethodim as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document”, Clethodim. Human Health Aggregate Risk Assessment for the Proposed New Uses on Stevia, Pome Fruit Group 11-10, Stone Fruit Group 12-12, Bulb Onion Subgroup 3-07A, Low Growing Berry Subgroup 13-07G, (except Cranberry); Rapeseed Subgroup 20A (except Flax Seed), Sunflower Subgroup 20B, Cottonseed Subgroup 20C, and Fruiting Vegetable Group 8-10, pages number 29 through 34 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0035.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/assessing-human-health-risk-pesticides.

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

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Clethodim for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure
  • and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for
  • risk assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 1 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 1 mg/kg/day
  • Acute neurotoxicity studies—rats.
  • LOAEL = 1,000 mg/kg based on clinical observation from two acute neurotoxicity studies (one study was conducted in 2006 and another was completed in 2012). The clinical observation included decreased spontaneous activity, ruffled fur, head tilt, and hunched posture.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL = 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.3 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.3 mg/kg/day
  • Carcinogenicity study—mice.
  • LOAEL = 150 mg/kg/day based on reduced survival; decreased red cell mass; and increased incidences of bile duct hyperplasia, of pigmentation of the liver, and of foci of amphophilic macrophages in the lung.
  • Incidental Oral Short-Term (1-30 days) NOAEL = 75 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10X
  • UFH = 10X
  • FQPA SF = 1X
  • LOC for MOE = 100 90-day oral toxicity—dogs.
  • LOAEL = 125 mg/kg/day based on increased absolute and relative liver weights, and histological changes characterized by cytoplasmic vesiculation and vacuolation of the central lobular hepatocytes in both sexes.
  • Inhalation Short-Term (1 to 30 days) NOAEL = 75 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10X
  • UFH = 10X
  • FQPA SF = 1X
  • LOC for MOE = 100 90-day oral toxicity—dogs
  • LOAEL = 125 mg/kg/day based on increased absolute and relative liver weights, and histological changes characterized by cytoplasmic vesiculation and vacuolation of the central lobular hepatocytes in both sexes.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) Clethodim is classified as “Not Likely” to be carcinogenic based no treatment-related increase in tumor incidence in rat and mouse carcinogenicity studies. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to clethodim, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing clethodim tolerances in 40 CFR 180.458. EPA assessed dietary exposures from clethodim in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

    Such effects were identified for clethodim. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model software with the Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM-FCID), Version 3.16, which incorporates 2003-2008 food consumption data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA conducted unrefined acute dietary analyses assuming tolerance-level residues for all commodities and 100 percent crop treated (PCT). Unless tolerances were established for processed commodities, DEEM version 7.81 default processing factors were assumed.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the DEEM-FCID, Version 3.16, which incorporates 2003-2008 food consumption data from the USDA's NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, EPA conducted unrefined chronic dietary analyses assuming tolerance-level residues for all commodities and 100 PCT. Unless tolerances were established for processed commodities, DEEM version 7.81 default processing factors were assumed.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that clethodim does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk was not conducted.

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for clethodim. Tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening-level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for clethodim in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of clethodim. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

    Based on the First Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of clethodim for acute exposures are 330 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 1,430 ppb for ground water.

    For chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 137 ppb for surface water and 1,150 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model.

    For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 1,430 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 1,150 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

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

    Clethodim is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: In and around ornamental plant beds, landscaped area, trees, and ground covers (mulch). There are no residential uses associated with proposed new uses. EPA has previously assessed clethodim residential exposure using the following assumptions: Short-term residential handler inhalation exposures represent the “worst case” high-end exposure. Because a dermal hazard was not identified, residential handler and post-application dermal risk assessments were not conducted. No other post-application exposures were assessed either because the potential for exposure via non-dietary ingestion for young children is unlikely due to the limited residential uses for clethodim products. The extent to which young children engage in the types of activities associated with these areas (i.e., ornamental landscapes) or utilize these areas for prolonged periods of play is low. No intermediate-term or chronic exposures are expected from the currently registered residential uses.

    Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.

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

    EPA has not found clethodim to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and clethodim does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that clethodim does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There is no evidence of increased susceptibility of fetuses as compared to maternal animals following in utero and/or postnatal exposure to clethodim in the developmental toxicity studies in rats or rabbits, and no increased sensitivity in pups as compared to adults in the 2-generation rat reproduction toxicity study. There are no residual uncertainties concerning prenatal and postnatal toxicity and no neurotoxicity concerns.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for clethodim is complete.

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

    iii. There is no evidence of increased susceptibility of fetuses as compared to maternal animals following in utero and/or postnatal exposure to clethodim in the developmental toxicity studies in rats or rabbits, and no increased sensitivity in pups as compared to adults in the 2-generation rat reproduction toxicity study. In the rat developmental study, reduced ossification seen at the same dose that resulted in maternal toxicity is considered secondary to reduced maternal body weight, and is not considered qualitative susceptibility. There are no residual uncertainties concerning prenatal and postnatal toxicity and no neurotoxicity concerns.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to clethodim in drinking water. Post application exposure of children and incidental oral exposures to toddlers are expected to be negligible. All exposure estimates are based on conservative assumptions that will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by clethodim.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. An acute aggregate risk assessment takes into account acute exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water. Acute exposure is not expected for the residential exposure pathway. Therefore, the acute aggregate risk would be equivalent to the acute dietary exposure estimates.

    Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to clethodim will occupy 29% of the aPAD for all infants <1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. There are no chronic residential exposure scenarios. Therefore, the chronic aggregate risk would be equivalent to the chronic dietary exposure (food and drinking water) estimate. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to clethodim from food and water will utilize 30% of the cPAD for all infants <1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Clethodim is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to clethodim. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in the short-term aggregate risk estimate for adults ages 20-49 is a MOE of 2,200. Because EPA's level of concern for clethodim is a MOE of 100 or below, this MOE is not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, clethodim is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating intermediate-term risk for clethodim.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, clethodim is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodologies are available: FDA Multiresidue Methods, gas chromatography/flame photometric detection in the sulfur mode (GC/FPD-S) and gas chromatography method with mass selective detection (GC/MSD).

    These methods have been adequately validated for the analyses of residues of clethodim in/on crop matrices.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has established MRLs for clethodim in or on onion bulb and garlic at 0.5 ppm, tomato at 1 ppm, rapeseed at 0.5 ppm, sunflower seed at 0.5 ppm, and cotton seed at 0.5 ppm. The U.S. tolerances for rapeseed subgroup 20A, fruiting vegetables crop group 8-10, and onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A are harmonized with the Codex MRLs for rapeseed, tomato, and bulb onion and garlic, respectively.

    However, the U.S. tolerances for sunflower subgroup 20B and cottonseed subgroup 20C are not harmonized with the corresponding Codex MRLs for sunflower seed and cotton seed since the MRL values are lower than the U.S tolerances. The U.S. tolerances cannot be lowered to harmonize because doing so could result in residues above the tolerances when following the U.S. approved label directions.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

    The Agency made changes to the naming of certain petitioned-for commodities to reflect the current commodity definitions and significant figures used by the Agency. Although the petitioner requested a tolerance on stevia only, EPA established a tolerance on stevia, dried leaves because the dried commodity represents stevia that will be found in the U.S. trade market. Moreover, the Agency is removing certain commodities from the table at § 180.458(a) in order to eliminate redundancies upon the establishment of new crop group tolerances that were not identified in the petition: mustard, seed at 0.5 ppm, safflower, seed at 5.0 ppm, sesame, seed at 0.35 ppm, vegetable, fruiting group 8 at 1.0 ppm.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of clethodim, 2-[(1E)-1-[[[(2E)-3-chloro-2-propenyl]oxy]imino]propyl]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one, and its metabolites containing the 5-(2-ethylthiopropyl)cyclohexene-3-one and 5-(2-ethylthiopropyl)-5-hydroxycyclohexene-3-one moieties and their sulphoxides and sulphones, calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of clethodim, in or on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry at 3.0 ppm; cottonseed subgroup 20C at 1.0 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11-10 at 0.20 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.20 ppm; onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A at 0.50 ppm; rapeseed subgroup 20A, except flax seed at 0.50 ppm; stevia, dried leaves at 12 ppm; sunflower subgroup 20B at 5.0 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 1.0 ppm. EPA is also removing the following established tolerances that are superseded by this action: Canola seed, at 0.50 ppm; cotton, undelinted seed at 1.0 ppm; mustard, seed at 0.50 ppm; peach at 0.20 ppm; onion, bulb at 0.20 ppm; strawberry at 3.0 ppm; safflower, seed at 5.0 ppm; sesame, seed at 0.35 ppm; sunflower, seed at 5.0 ppm; vegetable, fruiting group 8 at 1.0 ppm. Finally, as a housekeeping measure, the Agency is removing two individual tolerances that are subsumed within other crop group tolerances contained in § 180.458: Bean, dry, seed at 2.5 ppm is covered by the entry for vegetable, legume, group 6, except soybean at 3.5 ppm and potato at 0.5 ppm is covered by the entry for vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 1.0 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: April 28, 2016. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.458, in the table in paragraph (a): a. Remove the entry for “Bean, dry, seed;” b. Add alphabetically an entry for “Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry;” c. Remove the entry for “Canola seed;” d. Add alphabetically an entry for “Cottonseed subgroup 20C;” e. Remove the entry for “Cotton, undelinted seed;” f. Add alphabetically entries for “Fruit, pome, group 11-10” and “Fruit, stone, group 12-12;” g. Remove the entries for “Mustard, seed” and “Onion, bulb;” h. Add alphabetically an entry for “Onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A;” i. Remove the entries for “Peach” and “Potato;” j. Add alphabetically an entry for “Rapeseed subgroup 20A, except flax seed;” k. Remove the entries for “Safflower, seed,” “Sesame, seed,” and “Strawberry;” l. Add alphabetically an entry for “Stevia, dried leaves;” m. Remove the entries for “Sunflower, seed,” and “Vegetable, fruiting group 8;” and n. Add alphabetically the entries for “Sunflower subgroup 20B” and “Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10.”

    The additions read as follows:

    § 180.458 Clethodim; tolerance for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts
  • per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry 3.0 *    *    *    *    * Cottonseed subgroup 20C 1.0 *    *    *    *    * Fruit, pome, group 11-10 0.20 Fruit, stone, group 12-12 0.20 *    *    *    *    * Onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A 0.50 *    *    *    *    * Rapeseed subgroup 20A, except flax seed 0.50 *    *    *    *    * Stevia, dried leaves 12 *    *    *    *    * Sunflower subgroup 20B 5.0 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 1.0 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2016-10738 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 11 [ET Docket No. 04-296; FCC 16-32] Amendment of the Emergency Alert System AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) revises its rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to incorporate new multilingual alerting reporting requirements into its State EAS Plan reporting requirements. The Commission takes this action in response to a Petition for Immediate Interim Relief (Petition) jointly filed by the Independent Spanish Broadcasters Association (ISBA), the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc., and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (now called The Multicultural, Media, Telecom and Internet Council) (MMTC) (collectively, “Petitioners”).

    DATES:

    Effective June 6, 2016, except for the amendments to § 11.21(d) through (f), which contain modifications to information collection requirements that were previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Once OMB has approved the modifications to these collections, the Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those paragraphs and rule amendments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Fowlkes, Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-7452, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Order (Order) in ET Docket No. 04-296, FCC 16-32, adopted on March 23, 2016, and released on March 30, 2016. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov.

    Synopsis of the Order

    1. The Order revises the EAS rules to require State EAS Plans to include a description of the manner, if any, in which EAS Participants (the broadcasters, cable systems, and other service providers subject to the EAS rules) make available EAS alert message content to persons who communicate in languages other than English. The Order requires EAS Participants to furnish such information to State Emergency Communications Committees (SECC) upon SECC request so that the SECCs can compile this data and submit it as part of their State EAS Plan.

    2. The Commission adopts these requirements in response to the Petition. As a general matter, the Commission supports the Petitioners' goals and has, accordingly, provided repeated opportunities for comment. As described below, the Petition proposes various changes to the Part 11 rules governing the EAS to facilitate the dissemination of multilingual EAS alerts and non-EAS emergency information. Although the Commission does not find that the facts and record support the Petitioners' proposed Part 11 rule revisions, it finds that the reporting requirements adopted in the Order will, by other means, provide information that may facilitate the dissemination of multilingual local, state and national emergency information via the EAS. Thus, the Commission declines to grant the Petition's proposed Part 11 rule changes, but adopts reporting requirements to acquire information that may facilitate the dissemination of multilingual local, state and national emergency information via the EAS.

    I. Background A. The EAS

    3. The EAS is a national public warning system through which broadcasters, cable systems, and other EAS Participants deliver alerts to the public to warn them of impending emergencies and dangers to life and property. The primary purpose of the EAS is to provide the President with “the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public at the National, State and Local Area levels during periods of national emergency.” The EAS also is used to distribute alerts issued by state and local governments, as well as by the National Weather Service (NWS). Although EAS Participants are required to broadcast Presidential alerts, they participate in broadcasting state and local EAS alerts on a voluntary basis. As the Commission noted previously in this docket, its authority to require participation in the EAS emanates from sections 1, 4(i) and (o), 303(r), and 706 of the Communications Act. The Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the NWS implement the EAS at the federal level.

    4. The EAS is a broadcast-based, hierarchical alert message distribution system in which an alert message originator at the local, state or national level encodes (or arranges to have encoded) a message in the EAS Protocol. The alert is then broadcast from one or more EAS Participants, and subsequently relayed from one station to another until all affected EAS Participants have received the alert and delivered it to the public. This process of EAS alert distribution among EAS Participants is often referred as the “daisy chain” distribution architecture. Because this EAS architecture has been in place since the inception of the EAS, it is often referred to as the “legacy EAS.” Since June 30, 2012, however, authorized emergency alert authorities also have been able to distribute EAS alerts over the Internet to EAS Participants (who in turn deliver the alert to the public) by formatting those alerts in the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and delivering those alerts through the FEMA administered Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). This CAP-based process for distributing alerts to EAS Participants represents the “IP-based EAS.”

    5. Both the legacy and IP-based EAS architectures are designed so that EAS Participants deliver to the public the alert content they receive from the EAS sources they monitor. Further, the EAS architecture and equipment is designed to operate automatically, both to minimize the risk of operator error and to facilitate EAS operation at unattended stations. Because the EAS is a top-down, closed, automated message distribution system in which alert messages are passed along from one entity to another—under tight technical tolerances required to ensure that the system functions properly—EAS Participants currently have a limited capacity to alter the content of the alert messages they receive, including translations of messages to alternate languages.

    6. In particular, the EAS header codes, End-of-Message (EOM) code, and audio message (if included) that comprise any given EAS alert are determined by the entity that originates the alert (typically, the NWS or state and local emergency management authorities). The EAS equipment of EAS Participants that receive the EAS alert convert the header codes into visual crawls and broadcast the audio—if the EAS Participant's broadcasts are monitored by downstream stations, it will re-encode (regenerate) the alert so as to trigger EAS equipment in such monitoring stations, thus perpetuating the daisy chain alert distribution cycle. All of these functions are typically done automatically. In terms of timing, state and local EAS alerts are required to be broadcast within 15 minutes of receipt, and the alert messages themselves are typically limited to a duration of two minutes. An EAS Participant seeking to broadcast a non-English language translation of the audio message contained in the EAS alert message it receives within the parameters of the EAS rules, would have to manually (1) ensure the entire length of the alert, including the translated audio portion, did not exceed two minutes, and (2) complete the translation and insertion processes within 15 minutes. Further, any such audio generated by that EAS Participant would be captured by downstream stations monitoring its broadcasts, thus raising the potential for the translated audio being rebroadcast (by the monitoring stations) to unintended audiences. The same timing elements would hold true for the visual portion of the alert, which under the legacy system is a textual rendition of the location, event, time period and other relevant header code elements.

    7. Although EAS Participants currently have limited capacity to alter the alert message content they receive, the Part 11 rules allow EAS Participants that provide non-English language programming to broadcast state and local EAS announcements in the primary language of the EAS Participant. Accordingly, non-English language EAS Participants may, for example, broadcast required visual crawls in their primary language and include in such crawls translations of other language(s), if their equipment permits. Further, CAP provides alert originators with the capability to provide both enhanced text concerning an emergency condition (such as where to seek shelter) and multiple translations of such text. The Commission also permits, but does not require, EAS Participants to utilize Text-to-Speech (TTS) software, if configured in their EAS equipment, to generate multiple language audio translations of enhanced text contained in a CAP alert message. Accordingly, there are mechanisms in place currently to distribute multilingual EAS alerts.

    8. In adopting rules to facilitate CAP alerting in the Fifth Report and Order (Fifth Report and Order) in EB Docket No. 04-296, 77 FR 16706, March 22, 2012, the Commission concluded that it was necessary to maintain the legacy EAS alert distribution architecture. The Commission therefore limited the CAP-related changes it made to the Part 11 EAS rules to ensuring that EAS Participants' EAS equipment will be capable of receiving and converting CAP-formatted messages into an EAS Protocol-compliant message. In taking this approach, the Commission observed that the legacy EAS architecture provided certain inherent operational benefits, including a robust capability to provide the public with alerts even after damage to the electrical power grid, and that replacing this legacy system altogether was both premature and technically unfeasible. The Commission also observed that its approach to CAP and its CAP EAS rules were consistent with FEMA's efforts to integrate the EAS with IPAWS. Accordingly, while CAP greatly expands the scope of information that alert originators can distribute directly to EAS Participants, the legacy EAS remains the backbone for distributing information between EAS Participants via the daisy chain process.

    9. As indicated, state and local emergency management authorities use the EAS to originate state and localized emergency alert messages. Section 11.21 of the EAS rules, 47 CFR 11.21, requires that state and local EAS operations must be described in State (and Local) EAS Plans, which must be submitted to the Commission for approval so that the Commission can ensure that these operations are consistent with national plans, FCC regulations, and national EAS operations. State EAS Plans are compiled and maintained by SECCs, and include information related to state and federal activations of the EAS.

    B. The Petition

    10. The Petition proposes various modifications to the Commission's Part 11 rules to “provide for the dissemination of multilingual local, state and national emergency information via the EAS.” MMTC has submitted various comments and ex parte filings subsequent to the Petition's filing that explicate its positions on the Petition and, more generally, multilingual emergency alerts and information. For example, in 2010, MMTC stated that “the problem today is receiving information in-language during and after an emergency.” In 2013, MMTC stated that the Commission should require “broadcasters to work together, and with state and market counterparts, to develop a plan that communicates each party's responsibility based on likely contingencies.”

    C. Procedural History

    11. The Commission formally sought comment on the Petition in the First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) in EB Docket No. 04-296, 70 FR 71023, 71072, November 25, 2005, asking, among other things, how the Petition's proposals could be implemented and inviting comment on any other proposals regarding how best to provide alerts to non-English speakers. The Commission received five comments and reply comments addressing the Petition specifically, all of which (except for those filed by MMTC) opposed the Petition's proposals. With respect to multilingual alerting generally, the majority of comments addressing this issue contended that responsibility for issuing multilingual alerts should rest with alert message originators, and that it would be impractical and unduly burdensome for EAS Participants to translate, transcribe or otherwise effect multilingual alerting at their facilities.

    12. The Commission subsequently took up the Petition in the Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), in EB Docket No. 04-296, 72 FR 62123, 62195, November 2, 2007. Specifically, the Commission observed that “Petitioners' request is broader than the formal EAS structure.” In the Further Notice portion of the Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission sought more general comment on the technical, economic, practical, and legal issues involved in making emergency information accessible to persons whose primary language is not English. The majority of responding comments again opposed any obligation on EAS Participants to supply non-English alerts, contending that responsibility for issuing multilingual alerts should rest with alert message originators, and that it would be impractical for EAS Participants to effect multilingual alerting at their facilities.

    13. On March 25, 2010, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) released a Public Notice (Part 11 Public Notice) in EB Docket No. 04-296, DA 10-500, released on March 25, 2010, which sought comment regarding what changes to the Part 11 rules might be needed to fully implement the obligation to process CAP-formatted alerts. Although the Part 11 Public Notice did not seek comment specifically on the Petition, the Bureau invited comment generally on “what rules changes, if any, are necessary to our Part 11 rules to ensure access to a CAP-based EAS by people . . . who do not speak English.” Again, the vast majority of comments addressing this issue contended that alert message originators must be responsible for providing the alert in the languages of the area being alerted.

    14. On March 11, 2014, the Bureau released a Public Notice in EB Docket No. 04-296, DA 14-336, released on March 11, 2014, which sought to refresh the record on the Petition initiated by the First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, by, among other things, requesting updates on the state of multilingual EAS alerts and other possible solutions by which the Commission could facilitate multilingual EAS alerts. The Bureau also sought updated comment on the specific proposals in the Petition as well as on MMTC's proposal, articulated in its December 12, 2013, ex parte letter filed in EB Docket No. 04-296, that broadcast stations within any given market be required to enter into emergency communications plans to support each other in the case of an emergency. While all respondents generally supported the goals of the Petition, EAS Participant respondents opposed the methods proposed to achieve them. Non-EAS Participant parties supported MMTC's goal of serving non-English speakers, but either did not address or did not directly support the methods requested by the Petition.

    15. MMTC responded to objections that the Petition was inconsistent with the EAS architecture by contending that while its proposals “include EAS alerts, the primary goal of [its emergency communications plan] proposal is to ensure broadcasters, in their capacity as public trustees, distribute emergency information before, during, and after an emergency in the languages understood by the communities they serve.” MMTC contended that translation technology “is not yet capable of capturing the nuances of language through which critical information is transmitted, making it essential that a real person convey lifesaving information in a variety of languages,” and that “[u]nder the designated hitter model, multilingual messages should be translated at the point of origin or broadcast by a live person.” MMTC also contended that “[v]oluntary plans have not been put into place since Hurricane Katrina set this proceeding in motion,” and that “[n]one of the State EAS plans address multilingual EAS alerts.”

    II. Discussion A. State EAS Plans Must Describe State Multilingual EAS Alerting Activities

    16. Consistent with the record in this proceeding, the Commission supports the general goal of making emergency alert content distributed over the EAS more accessible to persons whose primary language is not English. While providing multilingual translations of an EAS alert audio message as part of a state or local EAS alert that is processed in automated mode can only be effected by the alert originator, some capabilities do exist within the EAS structure for distributing non-English language translations of the alert content, such as through the EAS visual crawl. States and localities that have the capabilities to originate CAP-formatted alert messages have more flexibility to distribute EAS alerts—enhanced textual information and audio—in multiple languages. Moreover, states have always had the flexibility to implement state and local EAS alerting however they see fit, provided such implementations are consistent with the existing EAS technical and operational architecture and the Part 11 rules.

    17. The Commission agrees with the majority of commenters that alert originators are best positioned to effect multilingual alerting, since station operators simply pass down the EAS message as received within the allotted two minute timeframe and, by and large, do not have the necessary capabilities and/or time to translate or originate that alert in another language. The Commission observes that comments submitted in response to the 2014 Public Notice suggest that mandated “one size fits all” solutions to addressing the issue of multilingual EAS alert content and, more generally, non-EAS emergency information, may not account for the variance of key factors, such as the make-up of the local population, topography, etc., that applies in each market.

    18. The Commission also observes, however, that State EAS Plans currently on file do not describe what actions the state or its localities, in conjunction with the EAS Participants therein, or the EAS Participants themselves, whether acting individually or collectively, are taking with respect to distributing EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences. Accordingly, to ensure that the Commission has sufficient and accurate information on any existing state and local mechanisms to distribute multilingual state and local EAS alert content, and more generally, to ensure that the issue of disseminating EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences has been examined by EAS Participants and state and local emergency authorities, as coordinated by the SECCs, the Order requires that State EAS Plans include a description of what steps, if any, have been or will be taken by EAS Participants, whether individually or in conjunction with state and local emergency authorities, to disseminate, broadcast, or otherwise make available, EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences in such audiences' primary language. Such descriptions shall include relevant factors that explain the degree to which alerts have been disseminated or broadcast in multiple languages. As a corollary to this reporting requirement, the Order requires EAS Participants to cooperate with state and local emergency authorities, and SECCs, to identify such information. The Commission mandates no specific compliance method, but rather wishes to provide the broadest flexibility to state and local governments and EAS Participants to describe any steps that have been taken to provide multilingual EAS Alerts for their respective communities. This requirement may be fulfilled by indicating that no steps have been taken.

    19. In order that we may assess these efforts, we require EAS Participants to provide the following information to their respective SECCs, who in turn will include such information in the State EAS Plan submitted to the Commission for approval:

    • A description of any actions taken by the EAS Participant (acting individually, in conjunction with other EAS Participants in the geographic area, and/or in consultation with state and local emergency authorities), to make EAS alert content available in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s);

    • A description of any future actions planned by the EAS Participant, in consultation with state and local emergency authorities, to provide EAS alert content in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s), along with an explanation for the EAS Participant's decision to plan or not plan such actions; and

    • Any other relevant information that the EAS Participant may wish to provide, including state-specific demographics on languages other than English spoken within the state, and identification of resources used or necessary to originate current or proposed multilingual EAS alert content. In particular we urge EAS Participants and SECCs to include any pilot projects or other initiatives that involve translation technologies or other innovative approaches to providing non-English alerts and emergency information to the public.

    20. This information will enable the Commission to ensure that any existing multilingual EAS alerting activities are consistent with the Part 11 rules, and may provide insight into what mechanisms may work best. Similarly, information identifying why multilingual EAS activities are not being planned may provide insight into structural impediments that might be ameliorated by future Commission or federal action, if appropriate. The collection and availability of this information also will aid states, EAS Participants, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties in their efforts, if any, to establish mechanisms for disseminating multilingual EAS content and other emergency information. In terms of mechanics, the Order requires that EAS Participants furnish the required information to SECCs no later than one year from the effective date of the Order, and that all required information be compiled and summarized by the SECCs and included in or submitted as amendments to the State EAS Plans no later than six months after that. The Commission concludes that one year is sufficient time for EAS Participants to gather, prepare and submit the required information, as the vast majority of the required information is already in their possession as it is required in their regular course of business. The Commission further concludes that the integration of this data into a State EAS Plan, either as an amendment or a new plan, is a largely administrative process for which six months should be sufficient. In the event that there is a material change to any of the information that EAS Participants are required to furnish their respective SECCs, EAS Participants must, within 60 days of the occurrence of such material change, submit a letter to their respective SECCs, copying the Bureau, that describe such change. The Order requires SECCs to incorporate the information in such letters as amendments to the State EAS Plans on file with the Bureau.

    21. Beyond this reporting requirement, the Order does not require any particular outcome with respect to what is done to facilitate access to multilingual EAS alert content. EAS Participants may conclude that no specific actions to facilitate access to multilingual EAS alert content is warranted or feasible in their area for any number of reasons. On the other hand, the mere process of examining this issue in coordination with state and local emergency authorities may lead to implementation of mechanisms that would expand access to EAS alert content, if appropriate.

    22. The Commission believes that the compliance costs to EAS Participants of the rules adopted in the Order will be minimal, and largely limited to internal administrative charges associated with drafting a brief statement, and submitting that statement, and any other relevant information that the EAS Participant may wish to provide to their SECC for inclusion into the State EAS Plan for the state in which the EAS Participant operates. Based on the record, it seems likely that the vast majority of EAS Participants will need to submit nothing more than a very brief statement to their SECC explaining their decision to plan or not plan future actions to provide EAS alert content in languages other than English to their non-English speaking audience(s).

    23. For the presumably small percentage of EAS Participants that actually are engaged in multilingual EAS activities, the filing will merely require that they supply a summary of actions they already have taken in this regard. Because the Commission anticipates that the aggregate costs associated with requiring EAS Participants to file summary statements or activities reports will be minimal, the potential benefits of promoting the delivery of alerts to those who communicate in a language other than English or may have a limited understanding of the English language will far exceed those costs imposed.

    24. With regard to these benefits, the Commission finds that accurately understanding how the EAS is accessible to the entire public, including those who do not have a proficiency in English, will strengthen this already resilient public alert and warning tool in a manner that may help save lives and protect property during times of national, state, regional, and local emergencies.

    25. Finally, the Commission's decision is limited to EAS content—i.e., information that is formatted in the EAS Protocol or CAP and processed over existing EAS equipment and facilities. While MMTC has asserted that “the problem today is receiving information in-language during and after an emergency,” the Commission observes that the EAS is not designed to function as a conduit for non-EAS emergency information, and such information falls outside the scope of the EAS and the Part 11 rules.

    B. The Petition's Proposals Are Unsupported and Lack Specificity

    26. The Commission has observed that the record in this proceeding provides scant support for the methods proposed by the Petition to achieve their outcomes. Instead, as indicated, the vast majority of commenters have consistently argued that state and local authorities responsible for originating alerts are best positioned to distribute multilingual alerts, and therefore should be responsible for the language content of alerts. The record also supports reliance upon voluntary arrangements among and between EAS Participants and other parties to achieve multilingual solutions that reflect the resources, localized needs and environmental characteristics of the communities they serve. These facts and record do not support the Petition's proposed revisions to the Part 11 rules.

    27. The Commission also observes, as commenters have pointed out, that the Petition's proposed methods for implementing the Designated Hitter plan within the EAS architecture lack specificity, and it is therefore difficult to determine whether or how such implementation could be effected from the federal level. Commenters also have observed that the Petition's proposals implicate technical problems that could compromise the operation of the EAS. In sum, the concludes that the Petition does not provide sufficient detail as to the precise functionalities it seeks to achieve through its proposed Part 11 rule revisions and how those could be implemented within the technical architecture, including the EAS Protocol and distribution mechanisms, of the EAS.

    28. Against this backdrop, and given that options for effectuating multilingual EAS alerts at the local level necessitates voluntary solutions tailored to the relevant multilingual needs of the community served, the Commission does not support moving forward with the Petition's specific proposals. Accordingly, while the Commission grants the Petition to the extent the actions taken in the Order are consistent with the Petition's stated purpose of facilitating the dissemination of multilingual local, state and national emergency information via the EAS—i.e., by amending the Part 11 rules to incorporate the reporting requirements described above—the Commission otherwise denies the Petition.

    III. Procedural Matters A. Accessible Formats

    29. 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).

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    30. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, see 5 U.S.C. 603, the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies and rules addressed in this document.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    31. This document contains modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. These modified requirements will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to comment on the new or modified information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    32. In this present document, we have assessed the effects of the information collection associated with the reporting requirements set forth in this Order, and find that because this information collection involves information that is readily available and easily accessible to all EAS Participants, none of these requirements should pose a substantial burden for businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

    D. Congressional Review Act

    33. The Commission will send a copy of this Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”), see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    E. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    34. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) in EB Docket No. 04-296, 70 FR 71023, 71072, November 25, 2005. The Commission sought written comment on the proposals in the Further Notice portion of the First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including comment on the IRFA. Because the Order amends the Commission's rules, this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Order

    35. This Order adopts changes to the Commission's Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to require that State EAS Plans include a description of what steps have been taken by broadcasters, cable systems, and other entities subject to the Part 11 rules (generally referred to as “EAS Participants”), whether individually or in conjunction with state and local emergency authorities, to disseminate or broadcast, or otherwise make available, EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences in such audiences' primary language. This Order also requires that State EAS Plans include a description of any future actions planned by EAS Participants, in consultation with state and local emergency authorities, to provide EAS alert content available in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s), along with an explanation for the Participant's decision to plan or not plan such actions. The objectives of this rule change are to ensure that the Commission has sufficient and accurate information on any existing state and local mechanisms to distribute multilingual state and local EAS alert content, and more generally, to ensure that the issue of disseminating EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences has been examined by EAS Participants and state and local emergency authorities, as coordinated by the State Emergency Communications Committees.

    1. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    36. The Small Business Administration (SBA) filed no comments in this proceeding, and there were no other comments specifically addressed to the IRFA.

    2. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will Apply

    37. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of, the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein. The RFA generally defines the term “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 SBA.

    38. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards. First, nationwide, there are a total of approximately 28.2 million small businesses, according to the SBA. In addition, a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,315 small organizations. Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 89,476 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States. We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,506 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    39. Television Broadcasting. The SBA defines a television broadcasting station that has no more than $35.5 million in annual receipts as a small business. Business concerns included in this industry are those primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in the station's own studio, from an affiliated network, or from an external source.

    40. According to Commission staff review of the BIA Financial Network, Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database as of March 31, 2013, about 90 percent of an estimated 1,385 commercial television stations in the United States have revenues of $38.5 million or less. Based on this data and the associated size standard, we conclude that the majority of such establishments are small. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (“NCE”) stations to be 396. We do not have revenue estimates for NCE stations. These stations rely primarily on grants and contributions for their operations, so we will assume that all of these entities qualify as small businesses. In addition, there are approximately 567 licensed Class A stations, 2,227 licensed low power television (“LPTV”) stations, and 4,518 licensed TV translators. Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all LPTV licensees qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    41. We note that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities affected by the proposed rules because the revenue figures on which this estimate is based do not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies.

    42. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission is unable at this time and in this context to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its market of operation. Accordingly, the foregoing estimate of small businesses to which the rules may apply does not exclude any television stations from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore over-inclusive to that extent. An additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. It is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and our estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    43. Radio Stations. This Economic Census category comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in the station's own studio, from an affiliated network, or from an external source. The SBA defines a radio broadcasting entity that has $38.5 million or less in annual receipts as a small business. According to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Radio Analyzer Database as of June 5, 2013, about 90 percent of the 11,340 of commercial radio stations in the United States have revenues of $38.5 million or less. Therefore, the majority of such entities are small. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial radio stations to be 3,917. We do not have revenue data or revenue estimates for these stations. These stations rely primarily on grants and contributions for their operations, so we will assume that all of these entities qualify as small businesses. We note that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. In addition, to be determined to be a “small business,” the entity may not be dominant in its field of operation. We note that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and our estimate of small businesses may therefore be over-inclusive.

    44. The same SBA definition that applies to radio broadcast licensees would apply to low power FM (“LPFM”) stations. The SBA defines a radio broadcast station as a small business if such station has no more than $38.5 million in annual receipts. Currently, there are approximately 864 licensed LPFM stations. Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these licensees qualify as small under the SBA definition.

    45. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. This industry comprises establishments “primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks.” Transmission facilities “may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies.” Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services. By exception, “establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” In this category, the SBA deems a wired telecommunications carrier to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category. Of these, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees. On this basis, the Commission estimates that a substantial majority of the providers of wired telecommunications carriers are small.

    46. Cable Television Distribution Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. This category is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category. Of these, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of these businesses can be considered small.

    47. Cable Companies and Systems (Rate Regulation). The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,600 active cable systems in the United States. Of this total, all but nine cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,600 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have fewer than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard as well, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.

    48. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” There are approximately 52,403,705 cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 524,037 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, we find that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    49. Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. Broadband Radio Service systems, previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (“MDS”) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (“MMDS”) systems, and “wireless cable,” transmit video programming to subscribers and provide two-way high speed data operations using the microwave frequencies of the Broadband Radio Service (“BRS”) and Educational Broadband Service (“EBS”) (previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (“ITFS”)). In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a “small business” as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three years. The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (“BTAs”). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, we estimate that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities. After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, we find that there are currently approximately 440 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission's rules. In 2009, the Commission conducted Auction 86, which resulted in the licensing of 78 authorizations in the BRS areas. The Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) will receive a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small business) will receive a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) will receive a 35 percent discount on its winning bid. Auction 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale of 61 licenses. Of the ten winning bidders, two bidders that claimed small business status won four licenses; one bidder that claimed very small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed entrepreneur status won six licenses.

    50. In addition, the SBA's placement of Cable Television Distribution Services in the category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is applicable to cable-based Educational Broadcasting Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. This category is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category. Of these, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of these businesses can be considered small. Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities. In addition to Census data, the Commission's internal records indicate that as of September 2014, there are 2,207 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that of these 2,207 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.

    51. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules for the category “Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite)” is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment of fewer than 1000 employees. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small.

    52. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Incumbent LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to incumbent local exchange services. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. This category is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category. Of these, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses.

    53. We have included small incumbent LECs in this present RFA analysis. As noted above, a “small business” under the RFA is one that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard (e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer employees), and “is not dominant in its field of operation.” The SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small incumbent LECs are not dominant in their field of operation because any such dominance is not “national” in scope. We have therefore included small incumbent LECs in this RFA analysis, although we emphasize that this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations in other, non-RFA contexts.

    54. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (Competitive LECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services or competitive access provider services. Of these 1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 186 have more than 1,500 employees. In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers. Of the 72, seventy have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are small.

    55. Satellite Telecommunications. This category comprises firms “primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.” The category has a small business size standard of $32.5 million or less in average annual receipts, under SBA rules. For this category, Census Bureau data for 2007 show that there were a total of 512 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 482 firms had annual receipts of less than $25 million. Consequently, we estimate that the majority of satellite telecommunications providers are small entities.

    56. All Other Telecommunications. “All Other Telecommunications” is defined as follows. “This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “All Other Telecommunications,” which consists of all such firms with gross annual receipts of $32.5 million or less. For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 2,383 firms that operated for the entire year. Of those firms, a total of 2,346 had gross annual receipts of less than $25 million. Thus, we estimate that the majority of All Other Telecommunications firms can be considered small.

    57. Direct Broadcast Satellite (“DBS”) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS, by exception, is now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which was developed for small wireline businesses. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007 shows 3,188 firms in this category. Of these, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees. Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small. However, the data we have available as a basis for estimating the number of such small entities were gathered under a superseded SBA small business size standard formerly titled “Cable and Other Program Distribution.” The definition of Cable and Other Program Distribution provided that a small entity is one with $12.5 million or less in annual receipts. Currently, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great investment of capital for operation: DIRECTV and DISH Network. Each currently offers subscription services. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Because DBS service requires significant capital, we believe it is unlikely that a small entity as defined by the SBA would have the financial wherewithal to become a DBS service provider.

    3. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    58. There are revisions to current Part 11 reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements set forth in the Order. Specifically, the Order revises section 11.21(a) to require that State EAS Plans include a description of what steps have been taken by broadcasters, cable systems, and other entities subject to the Part 11 rules (generally referred to as “EAS Participants”), whether individually or in conjunction with state and local emergency authorities, to disseminate or broadcast, or otherwise make available, EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences in such audiences' primary language. This Order also requires that State EAS Plans include a description of any future actions planned by EAS Participants, in consultation with state and local emergency authorities, to provide EAS alert content available in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s), along with an explanation for the Participant's decision to plan or not plan such actions. The objectives of these rule changes are to ensure that the Commission has sufficient and accurate information on any existing state and local mechanisms to distribute multilingual state and local EAS alert content, and more generally, to ensure that the issue of disseminating EAS alert content to non-English speaking audiences has been examined by EAS Participants and state and local emergency authorities, as coordinated by the SECCs.

    4. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

    59. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business alternatives that it has considered in reaching its conclusions, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): “(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.”

    60. Based on the Commission's review of the record, the Commission finds that it is practicable for all SECCs and EAS Participants, including small and rural EAS Participants, to comply with the minimal reporting requirements set forth in the Order without incurring unduly burdensome costs. With respect to alternative approaches, the Commission already has invited EAS Participants and other stakeholders to describe their multilingual alerting activities generally in the 2014 Public Notice, but the response to that request for voluntary submission of information was sparse an inadequate.

    61. Further, this Order finds that the life-saving public safety benefits of imposing the reporting requirements, which include improved Federal oversight of the EAS, potential expansion of access to EAS alert content by those who communicate in a language other than English or may have a limited understanding of the English language, aiding state decision-making in multilingual EAS activities, and helping consumers to understand the level of multilingual alerting that exists in their areas, far outweigh the one-time, minimal costs of such requirements.

    62. Finally, in the event that small entities face unique circumstances with respect to these requirements, such entities may request waiver relief from the Commission. Accordingly, the Commission finds that it has discharged its duty to consider the burdens imposed on small entities.

    63. Report to Congress: The Commission will send a copy of the Order, including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.

    IV. Ordering Clauses

    64. Accordingly, it is ordered that pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g), 706, and 715 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 615, this Order is adopted, and the Petition for Immediate Interim Relief filed by the Independent Spanish Broadcasters Association, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc., and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is hereby granted as described herein, and otherwise denied.

    65. It is further ordered that the rules adopted herein, which contain new or modified information collection requirements, will become effective on the date specified in a Commission notice published in the Federal Register announcing their approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act by the Office of Management and Budget, which date will be June 6, 2016.

    66. 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 Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 11

    Radio, Television.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 11 as follows:

    PART 11—EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) 1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 154 (i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g) and 606.

    2. Section 11.21 is amended by revising the introductory text and adding paragraphs (d) through (f) to read as follows:
    § 11.21 State and local area plans and FCC mapbook.

    EAS plans contain guidelines which must be followed by EAS Participants' personnel, emergency officials, and National Weather Service (NWS) personnel to activate the EAS. The plans include the EAS header codes and messages that will be transmitted by key EAS sources (NP, LP, SP and SR). State and local plans contain unique methods of EAS message distribution such as the use of the Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS). The plans also include information on actions taken by EAS Participants, in coordination with state and local governments, to ensure timely access to EAS alert content by non-English speaking populations. The plans must be reviewed and approved by the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, prior to implementation to ensure that they are consistent with national plans, FCC regulations, and EAS operation.

    (d) EAS Participants are required to provide the following information to their respective State Emergency Communications Committees (SECC) within one year from the publication in the Federal Register of a notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the modified information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and an effective date of the rule amendment:

    (1) A description of any actions taken by the EAS Participant (acting individually, in conjunction with other EAS Participants in the geographic area, and/or in consultation with state and local emergency authorities), to make EAS alert content available in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s),

    (2) A description of any future actions planned by the EAS Participant, in consultation with state and local emergency authorities, to provide EAS alert content available in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s), along with an explanation for the Participant's decision to plan or not plan such actions, and

    (3) Any other relevant information that the EAS Participant may wish to provide, including state-specific demographics on languages other than English spoken within the state, and identification of resources used or necessary to originate current or proposed multilingual EAS alert content.

    (e) Within six months of the expiration of the one-year period referred to in subsection (d) of this section, SECCs shall, as determined by the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, provide a summary of such information as an amendment to or as otherwise included as part of the State EAS Plan filed by the SECC pursuant to this section 11.21.

    (f) EAS Participants shall, within 60 days of any material change to the information they have reported pursuant to paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section, submit letters describing such change to both their respective SECCs and the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. SECCs shall incorporate the information in such letters as amendments to the State EAS Plans on file with the Bureau under this section 11.21.

    [FR Doc. 2016-09059 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 88 Friday, May 6, 2016 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 297 RIN 3206-AN27 Privacy Procedures for Personnel Records AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposes to amend part 297 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, to implement a 60-day timeframe for individuals to appeal or submit requests for administrative review of initial decisions regarding access and amendment requests involving records maintained in OPM systems of records. This proposed change will allow greater efficiency in processing appeals and requests for administrative review and will also improve the office's records maintenance and disposal policies. OPM's retention of the Privacy Act Case Records are to be maintained in accordance with the NARA General Records Schedule 14 which relies on whether or not the request is appealed to institute a disposal timeframe. The addition of this appeal or administrative review timeframe will allow offices to dispose of records in accordance with the NARA General Records Schedule 14. OPM is also proposing to update the points of contact for Privacy Act matters, including where to address appeals or requests for administrative review of access and amendment denials involving records maintained in OPM systems of records.

    OPM also proposes to amend part 297 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations to implement exemptions for the OPM Central-9/Personnel Investigations Records, the OPM Internal 16/Adjudications Officer Control Files, the newly established OPM Internal 20/Integrity Assurance Officer Control Files, and the newly established OPM Internal 19/Investigative Training Records. In this proposed rulemaking, OPM proposes to exempt portions of these system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act to safeguard national security information, and law enforcement information, to protect the identities of sources who furnished information under an express promise of confidentiality, and to safeguard qualifications testing and examination materials that would, if released, compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments by July 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or RIN number 3206-AN27 by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include RIN number 3206-AN27 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Program Manager, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act office, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Investigative Services, 1137 Branchton Road, P.O. Box 618, Boyers, PA 16018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Program Manager, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act office, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Investigative Services, (724) 794-5612.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OPM is amending 5 CFR 297.207(c)(1), (c)(2), and 297.306(a) to add a timeframe for individuals to appeal or ask for an administrative review of initial denials of access and requests to amend a record made by a Federal official, when a record is maintained in an OPM system of records. Individuals will have 60 days from the date of an initial decision to appeal or ask for an administrative review of the initial decision. This change will allow for efficiency in processing appeals and requests for administrative review and also improve the office's record maintenance and disposal policies. The office's Privacy Act Case Records are to be maintained in accordance with the NARA General Records Schedule 14 which relies on whether or not the request is appealed to institute a disposal timeframe. The addition of this timeframe will allow the offices to dispose of records in accordance with the NARA General Records Schedule 14.

    In addition, OPM proposes amendments to points of contact for Privacy Act matters in 5 CFR 297.106; where to address of access denials in 5 CFR 297.207(c)(1) and (c)(2); and where to address requests for administrative review of initial amendment denials in 5 CFR 297.301(e) and (f).

    The Privacy Act of 1974 allows Government agencies to exempt certain records from the access and amendment provisions. If an agency claims an exemption, however, it must issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to make clear to the public the reasons why a particular exemption is claimed.

    OPM is amending 5 CFR 297.501(b)(5) to exempt certain records in the Personnel Investigations Records (OPM/CENTRAL-9) from the Privacy Act's requirement to maintain only information specifically relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency, e.g., relevant to the adjudication of an investigation at a specific point in time, when the information is relevant to future personnel security or suitability determinations.

    OPM is proposing to add 5 CFR 297.501(b)(9) to claim specific exemptions from certain requirements of the Privacy Act for the Adjudications Officer Control Files (OPM/Internal-16) to safeguard national security information and law enforcement information, to protect the identities of sources who furnished information under an express promise of confidentiality, and protect the testing and examining material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service when release of this information would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

    OPM is proposing to add 5 CFR 297.501(b)(10) to claim specific exemptions from certain requirements of the Privacy Act for the Integrity Assurance Officer Control Files (OPM/Internal-20). OPM proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act to safeguard national security information, law enforcement information, protect the identities of sources who furnished information under an express promise of confidentiality, and protect the testing and examining material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service when release of this information would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process. OPM is also proposing to exempt certain records in this system from the Privacy Act's requirement to maintain only information specifically relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency, e.g., investigations into specific allegations of misconduct, negligence or error, when the information is relevant to establishing patterns of misconduct, negligence, or error.

    OPM is also proposing to add 5 CFR 297.501(b)(11) to claim specific exemptions from certain requirements of the Privacy Act for the Investigative Training Records (OPM/Internal-19). OPM proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act to protect testing and examining material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service when release of this information would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

    Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for OPM are not significant rules. The rules do not (1) have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a sector of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive orders.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. Chapter 6)

    It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule for OPM does not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it is concerned only with the administration of Privacy Act systems of records within OPM.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for OPM impose no additional information collection requirements on the public under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532)

    It has been determined that this Privacy Act rulemaking for OPM does not involve a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more and that such rulemaking will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    It has been determined that the Privacy Act rules for OPM do not have federalism implications. The rule does 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.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 297

    Privacy.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Office of Personnel Management is proposing to amend 5 CFR part 297 as follows:

    PART 297—PRIVACY PROCEDURES FOR PERSONNEL RECORDS 1. The authority citation for part 297 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 3, Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896 (5 U.S.C. 552a).

    2. Amend § 297.106 to read as follows:

    To determine what records the Office maintains in its system of records, requesters must write to the Program Director, Information Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415. Using the Office's response, requesters can contact the particular system manager indicated in the Office's notices of its systems published in the Federal Register for further assistance in determining if the Office maintains information pertaining to them.

    3. Amend § 297.207 by revising paragraph (c)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
    § 297.207 Denials of access and appeals with respect to such denials.

    (c) * * *

    (1) For initial denials made by an agency, when the record is maintained in an Office Governmentwide system of records, a request for administrative review should be made within 60 days to the Program Director, Information Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

    (2) For denials initially made by an Office official, when a record is maintained in an internal or central system of records, a request for administrative review must be made within 60 days from the date of the initial decision to the General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

    4. Amend § 297.301 by revising paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 297.301 General Provisions.

    (e) A request for administrative review of an agency denial to amend a record in the Office's systems of record should be addressed to the Program Director, Information Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

    (f) A request for administrative review of a denial to amend a record by an Office official should be addressed to the General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

    5. Amend § 297.306 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 297.306 Appeal of a denial of a request to amend a record.

    (a) An individual who disagrees with an initial denial to amend a record may file a written appeal of that denial to the appropriate official. The appeal must be made within 60 days from the date of the initial decision. In submitting an appeal, the individual should provide a copy of the original request for amendment, a copy of the initial denial decision, and a statement of the specific reasons why the initial denial is believed to be in error. Any appeal should be submitted to the official designated in the initial decision letter. The appeal should include the words “PRIVACY ACT APPEAL” in capital letters on the envelope and at the top of the letter of appeal.

    6. Amend § 297.501 by revising paragraph (b)(5), and by adding paragraphs (b)(9), (b)(10), and (b)(11) to read as follows:
    § 297.501 Exemptions

    (b) * * *

    (5) Personnel Investigations Records (OPM/CENTRAL-9).

    (i) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), and (e)(1). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject, access to and amendment of records, and maintaining in its records only such information that is relevant and necessary.

    (ii) Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made for the reasons that follow:

    (A) From subsection (c)(3) and (d), because access to the record, amendment of the record, or release of the accounting of disclosures of the record could disclose sensitive information that could be detrimental to national security; inform the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of another agency or law enforcement entity; compromise the safety of the individuals protected pursuant to 18 U.S.C 3056; affect compliance with a statutory mandate concerning statistical records; identify confidential sources who might not otherwise come forward and who furnished information under an express promise that the sources' identity would be held in confidence (or prior to the effective date of the Act, under an implied promise); compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process; or compromise evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services.

    (B) From subsection (e)(1), because in the course of personnel background investigations the accuracy of information obtained or introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not be strictly relevant or necessary to favorably or unfavorably adjudicate a specific investigation at a specific point in time. However, in the interests of protecting the public trust and national security, it is appropriate to retain all information that may aid in establishing patterns in such areas as criminal conduct, alcohol and drug abuse, financial dishonesty, allegiance, foreign preference or influence, and psychological conditions, that are relevant to future personnel security or suitability determinations.

    (9) Adjudication Officer Control Files (OPM/Internal-16).

    (i) All information in the Adjudications Officer Control Files that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), (5) and (6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d), or 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) standing alone. These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records.

    (ii) Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made, because access to the record, amendment of the record, or release of the accounting of disclosures of the record could disclose sensitive information that could be detrimental to national security; inform the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of another agency or law enforcement entity; identify confidential sources who might not otherwise come forward and who furnished information under an express promise that the sources' identity would be held in confidence (or prior to the effective date of the Act, under an implied promise); or compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

    (10) Integrity Assurance Office Control Files (OPM/Internal-20).

    (i) All information in the Integrity Assurance Officer Control Files that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552(k)(1), (2), (5), and (6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d) and (e)(1). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject, access to and amendment of records, and maintaining in its records only such information that is relevant and necessary.

    (ii) Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made and the reasons for the exemptions are as follows:

    (A) From subsection (c)(3) and (d), because access to the record, amendment of the record, or release of the accounting of disclosures of the record could disclose sensitive information that could be detrimental to national security; inform the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of another agency or law enforcement entity; identify confidential sources who might not otherwise come forward and who furnished information under an express promise that the sources' identity would be held in confidence (or prior to the effective date of the Act, under an implied promise); or compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

    (B) From subsection (e)(1), because in the course of investigations into specific allegations of misconduct, negligence or error, the accuracy of information obtained or introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not be strictly relevant or necessary to the specific investigation. However, in the interests of ensuring the quality and accuracy of investigations, and protecting the public's trust in the integrity of personnel investigation program, it is appropriate to retain all information that may aid in establishing patterns of misconduct, negligence, or error.

    (11) Investigative Training Records (OPM/Internal-19).

    (i) All information in the Investigative Training Records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records.

    (ii) Exemption from subsection (c)(3) and (d) is justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made because access to the record, amendment of the record, or release of the accounting of disclosures of the record could compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing and examining process used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service.

    [FR Doc. 2016-10538 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-53-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5386; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-12] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Platte, SD AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E en route domestic airspace in the Platte Municipal Airport, Platte, SD area, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20591. You must identify the docket number FAA-2016-5386/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-12, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raul Garza, Jr., Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5874.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-5386/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-12.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    This action proposes to amend Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by establishing Class E en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 75-mile radius of Platte Municipal Airport, Platte, SD. This action would contain aircraft while in IFR conditions under control of Minneapolis ARTCC by safely vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas.

    Class E airspace areas are published in Paragraph 6006 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document would be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En Route Domestic Airspace Areas. AGL SD E6 Platte, SD [New] Platte Municipal Airport (Lat. 43°24′17″ N., long. 098°49′50″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 75-mile radius of Platte Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on April 20, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10553 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5456; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-11] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Linton, ND AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E en route domestic airspace in the Linton Municipal Airport, Linton, ND area, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20591. You must identify the docket number FAA-2016-5456/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-11, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raul Garza, Jr., Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5874.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-5456/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-11.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    This action proposes to amend Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by establishing Class E en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 125-mile radius of Linton Municipal Airport, Linton, ND. This action would contain aircraft while in IFR conditions under control of Minneapolis ARTCC by safely vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas.

    Class E airspace areas are published in Paragraph 6006 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document would be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En Route Domestic Airspace Areas. AGL ND E6 Linton, ND [New] Linton Municipal Airport (Lat. 46°13′14″ N., long. 100°14′44″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 125-mile radius of Linton Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on April 20, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10554 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-5387; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-13] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Harvey, ND AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E en route domestic airspace in the Harvey Municipal Airport, Harvey, ND area, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20591. You must identify the docket number FAA-2016-5387/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-13, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raul Garza, Jr., Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5874.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-5387/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-13.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    This action proposes to amend Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by establishing Class E en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 100-mile radius of Harvey Municipal Airport, Harvey, ND, excluding Canadian airspace. This action would contain aircraft while in IFR conditions under control of Minneapolis ARTCC by safely vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas.

    Class E airspace areas are published in Paragraph 6006 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document would be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En Route Domestic Airspace Areas. AGL ND E6 Harvey, ND [New] Harvey Municipal Airport (Lat. 47°47′28″ N., long. 099°55′54″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 100-mile radius of Harvey Municipal Airport, excluding that airspace within Canada.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on April 20, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10552 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3785; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-9] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Slaton, TX AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace at Slaton, TX. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures developed at Slaton Municipal Airport, for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-3785; Docket No. 16-ASW-9, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raul Garza Jr., Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5874.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-3785/Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-9.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Slaton Municipal Airport, Slaton, TX, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW TX E5 Slaton, TX [New] Slaton Municipal Airport, TX (Lat. 33°29′07″ N., long. 101°39′42″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Slaton Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on April 20, 2016. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10555 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 31 and 301 [REG-127561-15] RIN 1545-BN19 Certified Professional Employer Organizations; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Cross-Reference to Temporary Regulations AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains proposed regulations that set forth the Federal employment tax liabilities and other obligations of persons certified by the IRS as certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs) in accordance with provisions enacted as part of The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. The proposed regulations also propose to adopt, by cross-reference, the text of temporary regulations in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register, which relate to the requirements for applying for, receiving, and maintaining certification as a CPEO. These proposed regulations will affect persons who apply to be treated as CPEOs and who are certified by the IRS as meeting the applicable requirements. In certain instances, the proposed regulations will also affect the federal employment tax liabilities and other obligations of customers of the CPEO.

    DATES:

    Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by August 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-127561-15), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-127561-15), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224 or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (REG-127561-15).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning these proposed regulations, Melissa L. Duce at (202) 317-6798; concerning submissions of comments or to request a public hearing, Oluwafunmilayo Taylor at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information contained in this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)). Comments on the collection of information should be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for the Department of the Treasury, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503, with copies to the Internal Revenue Service, Attn: IRS Reports Clearance Officer, SE:W:CAR:MP:T:T:SP, Washington, DC 20224. Comments on the collection of information should be received by July 5, 2016.

    Comments are specifically requested concerning:

    Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Internal Revenue Service, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    The accuracy of the estimated burden associated with the proposed collection of information;

    How the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected may be enhanced;

    How the burden of complying with the proposed collection of information may be minimized, including through forms of information technology; and

    Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    The collection of information in the proposed regulations is in § 31.3511-1(g) and flows from section 3511(g) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), which provides that the Secretary shall develop such reporting and recordkeeping rules, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary determines necessary or appropriate to ensure compliance by CPEOs with subtitle C of the Code. Section 31.3511-1(g)(1) clarifies that the reporting and recordkeeping requirements described in subtitle F of the Code that are currently applicable to employers apply to CPEOs that are treated as employers under § 31.3511-1(a), and § 31.3511-1(g)(3)(ii) specifically requires a CPEO to file on magnetic media Form 940, “Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” and Form 941, “Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return,” along with all required schedules. The collection of information associated with complying with such reporting and recordkeeping requirements is reflected in the burden estimates for the relevant requirements under subtitle F. The collection of information associated with §§ 31.3511-1(g)(3)(i) and (ii), relating to information that CPEOs must report to the IRS regarding their customers, will be reflected in the burden estimates for new Form 8973, “Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement,” and in the amendments made to the applicable Schedules R of Forms 940 and 941. The collection of information associated with §§ 31.3511-1(g)(3)(iii) through (vi) relates to requirements imposed by § 301.7705-2T and are reflected in the burden estimates for that section. The collections of information associated with § 31.3511-1(g)(3)(vii) and (viii), relating to any information the IRS determines is necessary to promote compliance with respect to credits described in section 3511(d) and any other information the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance, will be reflected in the future guidance requesting such information from CPEOs.

    The collection of information in § 31.3511-1(g)(4) of the proposed regulations, regarding information a CPEO must provide to its customers, relates to: (1) An annual requirement to provide customers with the information necessary to claim specified credits for which the amount of the credit is determined by reference to the amount of employment tax wages or federal employment taxes; (2) a requirement to notify a customer of any transfers by the CPEO of the customer's contract meeting the requirements of section 7705(e)(2) (CPEO contract) or of any suspension or revocation of the CPEO's certification; and (3) if any covered employees are not or cease to be work site employees because they perform services at a location where the 85 percent threshold described in the definition of “work site employee” in § 301.7705-1(b)(17) is not met, a requirement to notify the customer that it may also be liable for federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to such covered employees. Similarly, § 31.3511-1(g)(5)(i) requires that any CPEO contract between a CPEO and a customer must: (1) Contain the name and Employer Identification Number (EIN) of the CPEO fulfilling the federal employment tax obligations covered by the contract; (2) require the CPEO to provide the notices outlined in § 31.3511-1(g)(4); (3) describe the information that the CPEO will provide that is necessary for the customer to claim specified credits; and (4) specify that the CPEO must notify the customer that it may also be liable for federal employment taxes on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to any employees who are not work site employees. Further, any service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) that is not a CPEO contract, must notify (or be accompanied by notification to) the client that the agreement does not alter the client's liability for federal employment taxes on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the employees covered by the agreement. While a CPEO must provide customers with the information necessary to claim the specified credits annually and agree to provide customers and clients with the described notifications in each new CPEO contract or service agreement entered into during a particular taxable year, the remaining notification obligations outlined in §§ 31.3511-1(g)(4) and (5) relate to other events that are less predictable and may be infrequent—such as transfers of existing CPEO contracts, suspension or revocation of the CPEO's certification, or the reclassification of employees at a particular work site as non-work site employees. Moreover, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS expect that CPEOs participating in this voluntary program will be able to build upon pre-existing systems and processes through which they communicate with their clients. With regard to the collections of information required in §§ 31.3511-1(g)(4) and (5), the Treasury Department and the IRS have reached the following reporting burden estimates for the expected recordkeepers (which are CPEOs):

    Estimated number of recordkeepers: 275.

    Estimated average annual burden hours per recordkeeper: 6 hours.

    Estimated total annual recordkeeping burden: 1650 hours.

    Estimated frequency of collections of such information: Periodic.

    The collection of information in the temporary regulations is in § 301.7705-2T and flows from sections 7705(b) and (c), which relate to the requirements that a person must satisfy to become and remain certified as a CPEO. The collection of information required to apply for and receive certification and to meet the requirements under § 301.7705-2T related to posting a security bond will be reflected in the burden estimates for Form 14737, “Request for Voluntary IRS Certification of a Professional Employer Organization”; Form 14737-A, “Responsible Individual Personal Attestation”; and Form 14751, “Certified Professional Employer Organization Surety Bond.” The collection of information required by §§ 301.7705-2T(j) and (k), relating to periodic verification that the CPEO continues to meet the requirements of § 301.7705-2T and a CPEO's obligation to report any change that materially affects the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information that was previously made or provided to the IRS, will be published in a future revenue procedure that will prescribe the procedures related to these requirements.

    Section 301.7705-2T(e) of the temporary regulations requires a CPEO to provide annually a copy of its annual audited financial statements and an opinion of a certified public accountant (CPA) regarding such financial statements. The collection of information required by § 301.7705-2T(f)(1)(i) relates to quarterly assertions that the CPEO has withheld and made deposits of all required federal employment taxes for the calendar quarter and examination level attestations from a CPA stating that such assertion is fairly stated in all material respects. In addition, § 301.7705-2T(f)(1)(ii) requires a quarterly statement signed by a responsible individual verifying that the CPEO has positive working capital with respect to the most recently completed fiscal quarter. While it is expected that CPEOs will generally maintain annual audited financial statements during the normal course of their business, rather than solely as a result of § 301.7705-2T(e), the Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that § 301.7705-2T(e) may impose new reporting requirements relating to underlying elements of those financial statements that will require additional time on the part of the CPEO and additional review by a CPA. In addition, § 301.7705-2T(f) requires CPEOs to submit statements regarding their working capital and assertions and exam level attestations related to their tax compliance on a quarterly basis. With respect to the collections of information required in §§ 301.7705-2T(e) and (f), the Treasury Department and the IRS have reached the following reporting burden estimates for CPEOs:

    Estimated number of recordkeepers: 275.

    Estimated average annual burden hours per recordkeeper: 60 hours.

    Estimated total annual recordkeeping burden: 16,500 hours.

    Estimated frequency of collections of such information: Quarterly.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and return information are confidential, as required by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

    Background

    The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (the ABLE Act), enacted on December 19, 2014, as part of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-295), added new sections 3511 and 7705 to the Code relating to the federal employment tax obligations and certification requirements of a “certified professional employer organization” (CPEO). Additionally, the ABLE Act made conforming amendments to sections 3302, 3303(a), 6053(c), 6652, and 7528 relating to obligations, requirements, and penalties applicable to a CPEO. This notice of proposed rulemaking contains proposed regulations under sections 3511 and 7705 regarding federal employment tax obligations of a CPEO and related definitions. This document also proposes to adopt, by cross-reference, temporary regulations under section 7705 published in the Rules and Regulations portion of this issue of the Federal Register, which relate to the requirements for applying for, receiving, and maintaining certification as a CPEO. The preamble to the temporary regulations explains those regulations and the statutory provisions they are designed to implement.

    Federal Employment Taxes

    When an individual performs services for another person, an employer-employee relationship may exist. Generally, the Code provides that the existence of an employer-employee relationship is determined by applying the usual common law rules to the particular facts and circumstances of each case. See section 3121(d)(2). Under the common law rules, an employment relationship exists when the person for whom the services are performed has the right to control and direct the individual who performs the services, not only as to the result to be accomplished by the work but also as to the details and means by which that result is accomplished. See §§ 31.3121(d)-1(c), 31.3231(b)-1(a)(2), 31.3306(i)-1(b), and 31.3401(c)-1(b).

    Employers generally are required to deduct and withhold federal income tax and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes from wages paid to their employees under sections 3402(a) and 3102(a) and are separately liable for the employer's share of FICA taxes under section 3111. FICA taxes consist of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax and the Hospital Insurance (HI) tax (which includes the additional tax under section 3101(b)(2), known commonly as the Additional Medicare Tax (AdMT)). The amount of wages for OASDI purposes is limited to wages paid by an employer to an employee during a calendar year not exceeding the contribution and benefit base (as determined under section 230 of the Social Security Act), which is an annually adjusted amount. Thus, there is a ceiling on the wages subject to OASDI. Accordingly, once an employee's wages from an employer reach this annually adjusted amount, the OASDI portion of the FICA tax does not apply for the remainder of the calendar year.

    In contrast, there is no ceiling on wages subject to the HI tax. See sections 3101, 3111, and 3121(a). However, under section 3102(f)(1), employers are only required to withhold AdMT from an employee's wages to the extent that those wages exceed $200,000 in a calendar year. Thus, there is a withholding threshold of $200,000 annually on wages subject to AdMT withholding.

    Instead of FICA taxes, railroad employers are required to deduct and withhold Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) taxes from their employees' compensation and are separately liable for the employer's share of RRTA taxes. RRTA taxes consist of tier 1 taxes and tier 2 taxes. Tier 1 taxes parallel the OASDI and HI taxes applicable to other employers and employees. Tier 2 taxes consist of employer and employee taxes on railroad compensation up to the tier 2 contribution base for the calendar year. See sections 3201(a), 3211(a), and 3221(a).

    Under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), taxes are imposed on the first $7,000 of wages paid to a covered employee by an employer during the calendar year. See section 3301(2). An employer may take a credit against its FUTA tax liability for its contributions to a state unemployment fund and, in certain cases, an additional credit for contributions that would have been required if the employer had been subject to a higher contribution rate under state law. See section 3301 et seq.

    All taxes imposed under subtitle C of the Code, including income tax withholding, FICA, RRTA, and FUTA taxes, are collectively referred to in this preamble as “federal employment taxes.” The applicable contribution bases for FICA, RRTA, and FUTA taxes, collectively, are referred to in this preamble as the “annual wage base.” Sections 31.3102-1(d), 31.3202-1(e), and 31.3403-1 establish that the employer is the person liable for the withholding and payment of federal employment taxes, whether or not amounts are actually withheld.

    An employer must file an employment tax return reporting federal employment taxes for each employment tax return period. Generally, an employer files Form 941, “Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return,” to report wages the employer paid during a quarter of a calendar year that are subject to federal income tax withholding and FICA taxes. Wages an employer pays that are subject to FUTA tax are reported annually on Form 940, “Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Return.” Employers that pay compensation subject to the RRTA tax file Form CT-1, “Employer's Annual Railroad Retirement Tax Return,” as well as Form 941, to report federal income tax withholding. All employers that pay wages or compensation subject to federal income tax withholding, FICA tax, or RRTA tax must file Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” and Form W-3, “Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements,” with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and furnish a Form W-2 to each employee.

    Federal employment taxes generally apply to all remuneration for services performed by an employee for an employer. However, specific exceptions apply to particular types of remuneration and particular types of services, which may depend on the type of employer for whom services are performed or the nature of those services. For example, remuneration paid by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) to an employee who is paid less than $100 in a calendar year is excluded from the definition of “wages” for FICA purposes, and services performed in the employ of certain tax-exempt organizations are excluded from the definition of “employment” for FUTA purposes. In addition, various definitions and special rules, relevant for purposes of computing the applicable annual wage base, apply to certain types of employers, employees, and employment relationships.

    Furthermore, as noted earlier in this preamble, remuneration paid by an employer to an employee within any calendar year is excepted from the OASDI portion of FICA, the equivalent portion of tier 1 RRTA, and FUTA taxes to the extent it exceeds the applicable annual wage base. However, the annual wage base applies on an employer-by-employer basis, and, thus, only remuneration received during any calendar year by an employee from the same employer is considered in applying the annual wage bases for purposes of the remuneration paid by that employer. See §§ 31.3121(a)(1)-1(a)(3) and 31.3306(b)(1)-1(a)(3) for FICA and FUTA taxes, respectively. Similarly, the AdMT withholding threshold applies only with regard to remuneration received during any calendar year by an employee from the same employer.

    Accordingly, if during a calendar year the employee receives remuneration from more than one employer, generally, both the annual wage base and withholding threshold apply separately to the remuneration that the employee received during that calendar year from each employer.1 Consequently, if an employee works for multiple employers during a year, a separate annual wage base and withholding threshold generally apply in determining each employer's tax liability with respect to remuneration paid to the employee. However, if during any calendar year an employer (the “successor employer”) acquires substantially all of the property used in a trade or business of another employer (the “predecessor employer”) then, for purposes of the annual wage base, any remuneration with respect to employment paid to such individual by the predecessor employer during such calendar year and prior to the acquisition is considered as having been paid by the successor employer. See sections 3121(a)(1), 3231(e)(2)(C), and 3306(b)(1).

    1 In such case, remuneration received in any calendar year from each employer up to the amount of the applicable annual wage base constitutes wages and is subject to the OASDI portion of FICA tax and the equivalent portion of tier 1 RRTA tax. However, under section 6413(c), the employee may be entitled to a special credit or refund of a portion of the employee tax deducted from wages received during the calendar year. Thus, an employee is subject to OASDI or RRTA tax only with respect to remuneration up to the applicable wage base for a year, regardless of whether the employee works for only one employer or for more than one employer during the year. See § 31.6413(c)-1.

    If a person (payor) pays wages or compensation to employees who are employed by one or more employers, the Secretary is authorized, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary under section 3504, to designate such payor to perform acts required of employers under the Code. Section 3504 further provides that, except as otherwise prescribed by the Secretary, all provisions of law (including penalties) applicable with respect to an employer are applicable to the payor so designated, but each employer for whom the payor acts remains subject to the provisions of the law (including penalties) applicable to the employer. Consequently, both an employer and the payor designated in accordance with regulations under section 3504 are liable for the federal employment taxes on wages or compensation paid by the payor. Section 31.3504-2 of the regulations provides circumstances under which a payor is designated to perform the acts required of an employer and is liable for federal employment taxes with respect to wages or compensation paid by the payor to individuals performing services for the payor's client pursuant to a service agreement between the payor and the client, as defined therein. Consistent with section 3504, § 31.3504-2 provides that the client remains liable for the federal employment taxes on wages paid by the payor to employees of the client.

    In addition to an employer's federal employment tax obligations, various tax credits are available to employers based on the amount of wages and federal employment taxes paid by the employer. For example, the amount of an employer's work opportunity credit is based on a portion of FUTA wages paid by the employer to employees who are members of certain specified groups. See section 51(c).

    Certain reporting requirements relating to tips apply to large food or beverage establishments. In the case of such an establishment, an employer is generally required to report certain information relating to receipts and tips to the IRS each calendar year. Additionally, the employer must also provide employees with written statements showing certain information for each calendar year, including the amount of tips allocated to the employee for the year. See section 6053(c).

    Professional Employer Organizations

    A professional employer organization (PEO), sometimes referred to as an employee leasing company, is an entity that enters into an agreement with a client to perform some or all of the federal employment tax withholding, reporting, and payment functions related to workers performing services for the client. A PEO also may manage human resources, employee benefits, workers compensation claims, and unemployment insurance claims for the client. The terms of a PEO arrangement typically provide that the PEO is the employer or “co-employer” of the workers and is responsible for paying the workers and for the related federal employment tax compliance. Under this arrangement, the PEO remits the wages to the workers and typically files, under its name and EIN, Forms 940 and 941 and, where applicable, Form CT-1 to report the wages or compensation and employment taxes it paid. Additionally, the PEO files Forms W-2 and Form W-3 with the SSA and furnishes a Form W-2 to each worker.

    The client typically pays the PEO a fee based on payroll costs plus an additional amount. In most cases, however, the workers working in the client's business are the employees of the client under the common law rules, and the client is legally responsible for federal employment tax compliance, even though the PEO may also be legally responsible for federal employment tax compliance under § 31.3504-2.

    The ABLE Act of 2014

    The ABLE Act requires the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for PEOs. Section 7705(a) defines a CPEO as a person that applies to the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) to be treated as a CPEO for purposes of section 3511 and has been certified by the Secretary as meeting certain requirements. Those requirements are described in the temporary regulations under section 7705 published in the Rules and Regulations portion of this issue of the Federal Register.

    Under sections 3511(a)(1) and (c)(1), for purposes of federal employment taxes and other obligations under the federal employment tax rules, a CPEO is generally treated as the employer of any individual performing services for a customer of the CPEO and covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) between the CPEO and the customer (CPEO contract), but only with respect to remuneration remitted to the individual by the CPEO. A contract meets the requirements of section 7705(e)(2) with respect to an individual performing services for the customer and, therefore, is a CPEO contract if the contract is in writing and provides that the CPEO will assume responsibility, without regard to the receipt or adequacy of payment from the customer, for: (1) Payment of wages to the individual; (2) reporting, withholding, and payment of any federal employment taxes with respect to the individual's wages; and (3) any employee benefits that the contract may require the CPEO to provide to the individual. The CPEO must also assume responsibility in a CPEO contract for recruiting, hiring, and firing the individual (in addition to the customer's responsibility in that regard) and for maintaining employee records relating to the individual. Finally, the CPEO must agree in a CPEO contract to be treated as a CPEO for federal employment tax purposes with respect to the individual.

    With respect to an individual covered by a CPEO contract who performs services for a customer at a work site meeting the requirements of section 7705(e)(3) (a work site employee), section 3511(a)(1) specifies that no person other than the CPEO is treated as the employer for federal employment tax purposes with respect to remuneration remitted by the CPEO to such individual. A work site meets the requirements of section 7705(e)(3) with respect to an individual if at least 85 percent of the individuals performing services for the customer at the work site where the individual performs services are subject to one or more CPEO contracts with the CPEO. For this purpose, individuals who are excluded employees within the meaning of section 414(q)(5) (such as newly hired or part-time employees) are not taken into account.

    Sections 3511(a)(2) and (c)(2) provide that the exceptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on type of employer and that would apply if the CPEO were not treated as the employer under sections 3511(a)(1) or (c)(1) of the provision continue to apply. Thus, for example, if services performed in the employ of a customer that is a tax-exempt organization would be excluded from employment for FUTA purposes, the fact that a CPEO is treated as the employer for federal employment tax purposes does not affect the application of the exclusion.

    On entering into a CPEO contract with a customer with respect to a work site employee, section 3511(b) provides that a CPEO is treated as a successor employer and the customer is treated as a predecessor employer during the term of the CPEO contract. On termination of a CPEO contract with respect to a work site employee, the customer is treated as a successor employer and the CPEO is treated as a predecessor employer.

    For purposes of various tax credits enumerated in section 3511(d) under which the amount of the credit is determined by reference to the amount of federal employment taxes or the amount of wages subject to federal employment taxes, the credit with respect to a work site employee performing services for a customer applies to the customer, not to the CPEO. Consequently, in determining the amount of the credit, the customer, and not the CPEO, is to take into account federal employment taxes and wages paid by the CPEO with respect to the work site employee and for which the CPEO receives payment from the customer. The CPEO is required to furnish the customer and the Secretary with any information necessary for the customer to claim the credit.

    The CPEO provisions do not apply in the case of a customer which bears a relationship to a CPEO described in section 267(b) (relating to transactions between related taxpayers) or section 707(b) (relating to transactions between a partner and partnership). In the application of such sections, rules based on more than 50 percent ownership are applied by substituting 10 percent for 50 percent. See section 3511(e).

    A CPEO has no federal employment tax liability under section 3511(a) or (c) with respect to remuneration paid by the CPEO to an individual that constitutes net earnings from self-employment to the individual. Specifically, section 3511(f) provides that an individual with net earnings from self-employment derived from a CPEO customer's trade or business, including a partner of a customer that is a partnership, is not a work site employee for federal employment tax purposes with respect to remuneration paid by a CPEO. In addition, section 3511(c) provides that, for purposes of its federal employment tax liability, a CPEO is not treated as the employer of any individual covered by a CPEO contract and described in section 3511(f) with respect to remuneration paid by the CPEO to the individual. Together, these two provisions relieve the CPEO of any federal employment tax liability under section 3511(a) or (c) with respect to such self-employed individuals.

    Under section 3511(g), the Secretary is directed to develop such reporting and recordkeeping rules, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary determines necessary or appropriate to ensure compliance with the applicable federal employment tax provisions by CPEOs. Such rules are to address: (1) Notification of the Secretary in the case of the commencement or termination of a service contract with a customer and the EIN of the customer; (2) information the Secretary determines is necessary for the customer to claim specified credits and the manner in which the information is to be provided; and (3) other information the Secretary determines is essential to promote compliance with respect to specified credits and FUTA credits under section 3302. Such rules are to be designed in a manner that streamlines, to the extent possible, the application of the requirements of sections 3511 and 7705, the exchange of information between a CPEO and its customers, and the reporting and recordkeeping obligations of the CPEO. Similarly, under section 3511(h), the Secretary is directed to prescribe such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of section 3511.

    In addition to adding new sections 3511 and 7705 to the Code, the ABLE Act made conforming amendments to sections 3302, 3303(a), 6053(c), 6652, and 7528 relating to obligations, requirements, and penalties applicable to a CPEO. If a CPEO, or a customer of a CPEO, makes a contribution to a state's unemployment fund with respect to wages paid to a work site employee, the CPEO is eligible for the credits available under section 3302 with respect to such contribution. See section 3302(h). Similarly, under section 3303(a)(4), a CPEO is allowed an additional credit under section 3302(b) with respect to any reduced rate of contributions permitted by a state law if the Secretary of Labor finds that under such law the CPEO is permitted to collect and remit contributions during the taxable year to the state unemployment fund with respect to a work site employee. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that section 3302(h) and section 3303(a)(4) apply exclusively with respect to wages paid to work site employees and request comments on the application of the respective credits with respect to wages paid to individuals covered by a CPEO contract who are not work site employees.

    For purposes of reporting requirements relating to large food or beverage establishments, section 6053(c)(8) provides that, if a CPEO is treated as the employer of a work site employee under section 3511, the customer for whom the work site employee performs services is the employer for purposes of the applicable reporting requirements. However, the CPEO is required to furnish the customer and the Secretary with any information the Secretary prescribes as necessary to complete the required reporting.

    Section 6652 provides for certain penalties for failure to file certain information returns, registration statements, and similar reports. The ABLE Act provided a new penalty in section 6652(n) specifically for failures to timely make a complete report required under sections 3511, 6053(c)(8), or 7705. In the case of such a failure, section 6652(n) imposes a penalty to be paid (on notice and demand by the Secretary and in the same manner as tax) by the CPEO in an amount equal to $50 for each report with respect to which there was such a failure. In the case of any failure due to negligence or intentional disregard, an amount equal to $100 for each report shall be paid.

    Finally, section 7528(b)(4) provides that the fee charged in connection with the CPEO program shall be an annual fee not to exceed $1,000 per year per applicant.

    Explanation of Provisions 1. Applicable Definitions

    Section 7705 provides numerous statutory definitions related to the operation of section 3511. The proposed regulations incorporate these statutory definitions and clarify the following terms: Customer, covered employee, work site employee, work site, and self-employed individual.

    The proposed regulations define a “customer” as any person who enters into a CPEO contract (that is, a contract that meets the requirements of section 7705(e)(2), as described in the Background section of this preamble) with a CPEO. A provider of employment-related services that uses its own EIN for filing federal employment tax returns on behalf of its clients (or who used its own EIN immediately prior to entering into a CPEO contract with the CPEO) is specifically excluded from being a customer of a CPEO for purposes of section 3511, even if such provider has entered into a CPEO contract with the CPEO and would, but for this exclusion, be a customer of the CPEO.2

    2 References in this preamble and the proposed regulations to “customers” are limited to those persons who have entered into a CPEO contract and any rules applicable to a customer apply only with respect to that contract. In contrast, the term “client” is used more broadly to include persons receiving services from a provider of employment-related services (that may or may not be a CPEO) in instances when those services are not covered by a CPEO contract.

    With respect to a customer, a “covered employee” is any individual (other than a self-employed individual, as described subsequently in this section of the preamble) who is covered by a CPEO contract with that customer. Consistent with section 7705(e), the proposed regulations define the term “work site employee” as a covered employee who performs services for a customer of a CPEO at a “work site” where at least 85 percent of the individuals performing services are subject to one or more CPEO contracts between the CPEO and the customer.

    The proposed regulations generally define “work site” as a physical location at which an individual regularly performs services for a customer of a CPEO. If there is no such location, the work site is the location from which the customer assigns work to the individual. Thus, for example, the “work site” for a technician who performs assignments at various or changing locations is the location from which the technician is dispatched on each particular assignment. The work site may not be the individual's residence or a telework site unless the customer requires the individual to work at that site. In applying the term “work site,” contiguous locations are treated as a single physical location and thus a single work site, and noncontiguous locations that are not reasonably proximate are treated as separate physical locations and thus separate work sites. However, the CPEO may treat noncontiguous locations that are reasonably proximate as a single physical location and thus a single work site. Any two work sites that are separated by 35 or more miles or that operate in a different industry or industries will not be treated as reasonably proximate. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that, under certain circumstances, the physical location at which an individual regularly performs services for a customer may be difficult to ascertain. Accordingly, comments are requested on the definition of work site as set forth in § 301.7705-1(b)(16) and any additional clarifications that would facilitate a determination of an individual's work site.

    The proposed regulations also provide that a covered employee will be considered a work site employee for the entirety of a calendar quarter if he or she qualifies as a work site employee at any time during that quarter. Consequently, for any calendar quarter, a covered employee is either a work site employee or not a work site employee for the entire quarter and cannot be a work site employee for part of the quarter and a non-work site employee for the other part. On the other hand, a covered employee can be a work site employee for one or more calendar quarters of the year and a non-work site employee for other calendar quarters during the same year.

    The proposed regulations provide that the determination of whether a covered employee is a work site employee is made separately with regard to each work site at which the covered employee regularly provides services and for each customer for which the covered employee is providing services. If, during the same calendar quarter, a covered employee regularly provides services at more than one work site for a single customer or more than one customer of a particular CPEO, that employee may be counted among the covered employees at each of those sites. In accordance with section 7705(e)(3), the proposed regulations provide that, in determining whether the 85 percent threshold is met, individuals who are excluded employees within the meaning of section 414(q)(5) (such as newly hired or part-time employees) are not taken into account as either covered employees or individuals performing services, although such individuals may otherwise be covered employees and work site employees under the proposed regulations.

    Finally, the proposed regulations also clarify that, in determining whether at least 85 percent of the individuals performing services are subject to one or more CPEO contracts between the CPEO and the customer, a self-employed individual who would be a covered employee but for the exclusion of self-employed individuals from the definition of covered employee (as described in this section of the preamble) is taken into account. For this and other purposes, the proposed regulations define a “self-employed individual” as an individual with net earnings from self-employment (as defined in section 1402(a) and without regard to the exceptions thereunder) derived from providing services covered by a CPEO contract, whether such net earnings are derived from providing services as a non-employee to a customer of a CPEO, from the individual's own trade or business as a sole proprietor customer of the CPEO, or as a partner in a partnership that is a customer of the CPEO, but only with regard to such net earnings. Accordingly, a self-employed individual, whether an independent contractor to the customer, a sole proprietor customer of the CPEO, or a partner in a partnership customer of the CPEO, is not considered to be a work site employee under section 3511(f) with regard to such earnings. However, in the limited case in which such an individual also is paid wages by a CPEO under a CPEO contract with the customer, the individual may nevertheless be a work site employee with respect to such wages. In all cases, the self-employed individual covered by a CPEO contract is appropriately counted in determining whether the 85 percent threshold is met.

    2. CPEO as Employer of Covered Employees

    Consistent with sections 3511(a)(1) and (c)(1), the proposed regulations provide that, for purposes of federal employment taxes and other obligations under the federal employment tax rules, a CPEO is treated as the employer of any covered employee (whether or not a work site employee), but only with respect to remuneration remitted to the individual by the CPEO. Consistent with section 3511(a)(1), the proposed regulations also provide that, with respect to a covered employee who is a work site employee, no person other than the CPEO will be treated as the employer of the work site employee for federal employment tax purposes with respect to remuneration remitted by the CPEO to such work site employee. In contrast, in the case of a covered employee who is not a work site employee, the proposed regulations provide that a person other than the CPEO is also treated as an employer of the employee for purposes of federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the employee if such person is determined to be an employer of the employee without regard to the application of section 3511.

    3. Application of Federal Employment Tax Exemptions, Exclusions, Definitions, and Other Rules

    Under sections 3511(a)(2) and (c)(2), the exceptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on the type of employer and that would apply if the CPEO were not treated as the employer under section 3511 continue to apply with respect to remuneration remitted by the CPEO. Thus, sections 3511(a)(2) and (c)(2) necessitate a determination of whether the CPEO, the customer, or a third party is the employer of a covered employee without regard to section 3511 for purposes of applying federal employment tax exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules. Under the Code, the existence of an employer-employee relationship is generally determined by applying the common law rules to the particular facts and circumstances of each case. While the terms of a PEO arrangement typically provide that the PEO is the employer (or “co-employer”) of the employees and is responsible for paying the employees and for the related federal employment tax compliance, in most instances the customer is actually the common law employer of such employees.

    To avoid the need to make a common law employment determination for purposes of sections 3511(a)(2) and (c)(2), the proposed regulations provide that, for purposes of federal employment taxes, the exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on type of employer and that apply to remuneration remitted by a CPEO to a covered employee are presumed to be based on the customer for whom the covered employee provides services. Additionally, if a covered employee provides services for more than one customer of the CPEO during the calendar year, the presumption applies separately to remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the covered employee with respect to each such customer. This presumption in the proposed regulations generally eliminates the need to make a determination as to which person is the employer (in the absence of section 3511) for purposes of the exceptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on type of employer.

    The proposed regulations also provide, however, that the presumption may be rebutted if the Commissioner determines, or the CPEO demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence, that the relationship between the customer and the covered employee is not the legal relationship of employer and employee. If the presumption is rebutted, the exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on type of employer and which apply to remuneration remitted by a CPEO to a covered employee will be based on the person determined to be the employer of the covered employee without regard to the application of section 3511. The presumption can be rebutted by a demonstration that either the CPEO or a third party other than the customer is actually the employer for federal employment tax purposes and, therefore, the proper party on which to base the exceptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules. In any event, the presumption does not create any inference with respect to who is an employer or employee or whether an employment relationship exists for other federal tax purposes or any other provision of law.

    4. Annual Wage Base and Withholding Threshold

    Under sections 3511(a) and (c), a CPEO is treated as the employer of any covered employee with respect to remuneration remitted to the individual by the CPEO. Thus, pursuant to section 3511, a CPEO has an employment relationship with the covered employee of a customer during the term of the CPEO contract with the customer that is separate from and independent of any employment relationship the customer may have with the employee. Consequently, during the calendar year in which a CPEO enters into a CPEO contract with a customer with respect to a covered employee, the covered employee may receive remuneration from more than one employer.

    The proposed regulations provide that, except as provided with respect to successor and predecessor employers described in section 5 of this preamble, remuneration received by a covered employee from a CPEO for performing services for a customer of the CPEO within any calendar year is subject to a separate annual wage base and withholding threshold that are each computed with respect to such remuneration, without regard to any remuneration received by the covered employee during the calendar year from any other employer (including, if applicable, remuneration received directly from the customer receiving services from the employee). Thus, upon entering into a CPEO contract with a customer with respect to a covered employee, the CPEO starts a new annual wage base and withholding threshold with respect to the covered employee (unless the CPEO is treated as a successor or predecessor employer, as described in section 5 of this preamble). Additionally, any remuneration paid by the customer directly to a covered employee during the term of a CPEO contract is not paid by the CPEO and, consequently, is not included in the CPEO's annual wage base and withholding threshold with respect to the covered employee.

    The proposed regulations also provide that if, during a calendar year, a covered employee receives remuneration from a CPEO for services performed by the covered employee for more than one customer of the CPEO, the annual wage base and withholding threshold do not apply to the aggregate remuneration received by the covered employee from the CPEO for services performed for all such customers. Rather, the annual wage base and withholding threshold apply separately to the remuneration received by the covered employee from the CPEO with respect to services performed for each customer. The maintenance of a separate annual wage base and withholding threshold with respect to each customer for which a covered employee performs services during a calendar year recognizes both the CPEO's status as an employer of the covered employee under section 3511 and the CPEO's responsibilities under a CPEO contract with respect to services performed by a covered employee for each individual customer. Additionally, a separate annual wage base and withholding threshold with respect to each customer for which a covered employee performs services is needed for purposes of applying some of the exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules discussed in section 3 of this preamble and the treatment of some of the credits discussed in section 6 of this preamble. Thus, if a single employee receives remuneration under CPEO contracts with more than one customer, the CPEO must maintain a separate annual wage base and withholding threshold for the employee with respect to each customer.

    5. Successor Employer Status

    Consistent with section 3511(b), the proposed regulations also provide that, for purposes of computing the annual wage base, a CPEO and its customer are treated as: (1) A successor and predecessor employer, respectively, upon entering into a CPEO contract with respect to a work site employee who is performing services for the customer; and (2) a predecessor and successor employer, respectively, upon termination of the CPEO contract between the CPEO and the customer with respect to the work site employee. Consistent with the quarterly work site employee determination discussed in section 1 of this preamble, the determination of whether an employee is a work site employee for this purpose is made during the quarter in which the CPEO enters into (or terminates) the CPEO contract with respect to the employee. That is, an employee will be considered a work site employee for the entirety of a calendar quarter if he or she qualifies as a work site employee at any time during that quarter. Accordingly, a CPEO is a successor employer (or predecessor employer) with regard to any covered employee who is a work site employee at any point during the quarter in which the CPEO entered into (or terminated) the CPEO contract with respect to the employee. On the other hand, as also noted in section 1 of this preamble, a covered employee can be a work site employee for one or more calendar quarters of the year and a non-work site employee for other calendar quarters during the same year. Accordingly, the proposed regulations provide that a CPEO entering into a CPEO contract with a customer with respect to a covered employee who is not a work site employee at any time during that calendar quarter will not be treated as a successor employer regardless of whether, during the term of the CPEO contract, the covered employee subsequently becomes a work site employee. Similarly, a CPEO terminating a CPEO contract with a customer with respect to a covered employee who is not a work site employee at any time during that calendar quarter will not be treated as a predecessor employer regardless of whether, during the term of the CPEO contract, the covered employee had previously been a work site employee. The quarterly determination of work site employee status is utilized for purposes of the successor employer and predecessor employer determinations (as well as for other purposes under the proposed regulations) in order to have a consistent quarterly work site employee determination for all purposes and therefore assist with administrability.

    6. Treatment of Credits

    Section 3511(d) governs the treatment of various tax credits under which the amount of the credit is determined by reference to the amount of wages or federal employment taxes. Section 3511(d)(2) specifies these credits as the credits under section 41 (credit for increasing research activity), section 45A (Indian employment credit), section 45B (credit for portion of employer social security taxes paid with respect to employee cash tips), section 45C (clinical testing expenses for certain drugs for rare diseases or conditions), section 45R (employee health insurance expenses of small employers), section 51 (work opportunity credit), section 1396 (empowerment zone employment credit), and any other section as provided by the Secretary. Consistent with section 3511(d), the proposed regulations provide that any specified credit with respect to a work site employee performing services for a customer applies to the customer, not to the CPEO. Consequently, in determining the amount of the credit, the customer, and not the CPEO, takes into account wages and federal employment taxes paid by the CPEO with respect to the work site employee and for which the CPEO receives payment from the customer. As noted in the discussion of the annual wage base and withholding threshold in section 4 of this preamble, a CPEO must maintain a separate annual wage base and withholding threshold with respect to each customer for which a covered employee performs services during a calendar year. Consequently, with respect to a work site employee performing services for more than one customer of a CPEO during a calendar year, each customer for which the employee performs services takes into account wages and federal employment taxes paid by the CPEO only with respect to services performed by the work site employee for that customer in determining the treatment of credits by that customer. The proposed regulations also provide that, consistent with section 3511(d)(2)(H), the Commissioner may specify other credits subject to the treatment provided for under section 3511(d).

    The proposed regulations do not specify any other credits, but the Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on whether other credits should be specified in these regulations or in other guidance. Additionally, the Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that the application of the specified tax credits to the customer under section 3511(d) applies exclusively with respect to work site employees. Accordingly, comments are also requested on the treatment of tax credits with respect to covered employees who are not work site employees.

    7. Special Rules Applicable to Related Customers, Self-Employed Individuals, and Other Circumstances

    Consistent with section 3511(e), the proposed regulations do not apply in the case of a customer that is related to the CPEO. For these purposes, the proposed regulations provide that a customer is related to a CPEO if that customer bears a relationship to a CPEO described in section 267(b) or section 707(b), except that “10 percent” will be substituted for “50 percent” wherever the latter term appears in those sections. For administrative purposes such as verifying correct CPEO employment tax reporting and determining whether successor employer rules apply, the IRS must know when a CPEO has entered into a CPEO contract with a customer. For this reason, the proposed regulations also exclude from section 3511 any customer that has commenced a service contract with a CPEO if the commencement of such service contract has not been reported to the IRS in accordance with the requirements described in § 31.3511-1(g)(3)(i) of the proposed regulations (discussed in section 8 of this preamble).

    Consistent with section 3511(f), which provides that a self-employed individual is not a work site employee with respect to remuneration paid by a CPEO, and with section 3511(c), which provides that a CPEO is not treated as an employer of a self-employed individual, the proposed regulations provide that section 3511 does not apply to any self-employed individual. Nevertheless, as discussed in section 1 of this preamble, a self-employed individual may be counted as an employee covered by a CPEO contract for purposes of determining whether the 85 percent threshold for qualification of other covered employees as work site employees is met, as described in section 1 of this preamble.

    Finally, the proposed regulations provide that section 3511 does not apply to any CPEO contract in which a CPEO enters while its certification has been suspended by the IRS or to a CPEO whose certification has been revoked or voluntarily terminated.

    8. Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

    Consistent with section 3511(g), the proposed regulations describe various recordkeeping and reporting requirements applicable to CPEOs that are designed to ensure compliance with the applicable federal employment tax provisions. Significantly, the proposed regulations provide that a CPEO that is treated as an employer of a covered employee pursuant to section 3511 must meet all reporting and recordkeeping requirements described in subtitle F of the Code that are applicable to employers in a manner consistent with such treatment. Additionally, a CPEO must file the returns required of all employers by subtitle F.

    Moreover, a CPEO must file Forms 940 and 941, and all required accompanying schedules, on magnetic media unless the CPEO is provided a waiver by the Commissioner. The proposed regulations define magnetic media as electronic filing, as well as other media specifically permitted under the applicable regulations, revenue procedures, publications, forms, instructions, or other guidance.

    a. Reporting to the IRS by CPEOs

    Consistent with section 3511(g)(1), the proposed regulations provide that a CPEO must report information relating to the commencement or termination of any CPEO contract with a customer and the name and EIN of such customer.

    The proposed regulations also provide that, with any Form 940 or Form 941 that a CPEO files, the CPEO must attach the applicable Schedule R (or any successor form) containing such information as the Commissioner may require about each of its customers under a CPEO contract and any clients under a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2). As noted previously, a CPEO is also required to file Forms 940 and 941, including all required schedules, on magnetic media as a condition of certification.

    So that the IRS can better reconcile the total amounts of wages and taxes reported on Forms 940 and 941 with the amounts of wages and taxes reported on the attached Schedule R, the proposed regulations provide that, in addition to providing information about each customer under a CPEO contract, a CPEO must also include such information as the Commissioner may require about each of its clients under a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) that is not a CPEO contract. To assist the IRS in verifying which entities reported on the Schedule R are customers under a CPEO contract, and which are clients under a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) that is not a CPEO contract, the proposed regulations require that a CPEO must also report information relating to the commencement or termination of a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) with a client, and the name and EIN of each such client.

    In addition, the proposed regulations specify that a CPEO must provide periodic verification to the IRS that it continues to meet the CPEO certification requirements of the temporary regulations, as described in § 301.7705-2T(j), and report any change that materially affects the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information that was previously made or provided by the CPEO to the IRS, as described in § 301.7705-2T(k). The time and manner of this ongoing periodic verification will be specified in further guidance. Finally, the proposed regulations require that a CPEO provide: (1) A copy of its audited financial statements and an opinion of a certified public accountant regarding such financial statements, as described in § 301.7705-2T(e)(1); (2) the quarterly statements, assertions, and attestations regarding those assertions described in § 301.7705-2T(f); (3) any information that the IRS specifies in further guidance is necessary to promote compliance with respect to the credits described in § 31.3511-1(e)(2) of the proposed regulations and section 3302; and (4) any other information the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    b. Reporting to Customers by CPEOs

    The proposed regulations require a CPEO to report certain information to its customers. Consistent with sections 3511(g)(2) and (3), a CPEO must provide each of its customers with the information necessary for the customer to claim the specified credits for which the amount of the credit is determined by reference to the amount of wages or federal employment taxes. The proposed regulations provide that a CPEO must also notify the customer if its CPEO contract has been transferred to another person (or if another person will report, withhold, or pay, under such other person's EIN, any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to the wages of any individuals covered by its CPEO contract), and provide the customer with the name and EIN of such other person. In addition, a CPEO must also notify each of its current customers of any suspension or revocation of the CPEO's certification. Finally, if any covered employees are not or cease to be work site employees with respect to a calendar quarter because they perform services at a location at which the 85 percent threshold described in section 1 of this preamble is no longer met, the proposed regulations provide that the CPEO must notify the customer that it may be liable for federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to such covered employees.

    c. Information and Agreements in Any Contract or Agreement Between a CPEO and Client

    The proposed regulations provide that any CPEO contract with a customer must: (1) Contain the name and EIN of the CPEO reporting, withholding, and paying any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to any remuneration paid to individuals covered by the CPEO contract or service agreement; (2) require the CPEO to provide the customer with all of the notices and information described in section 8.b of this preamble; (3) describe the information that the CPEO will provide which is necessary for the customer to claim credits; and (4) specify that the CPEO must notify the customer that the customer may also be liable for federal employment taxes on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to covered employees if the sites at which they perform services do not (or ever cease to) meet the 85 percent threshold described in § 301.7705-1(b)(18). The proposed regulations also provide that if a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) is not a CPEO contract (and thus the employees covered by that service agreement are not covered employees), or if section 3511 does not otherwise apply to a contract as described in section 7 of this preamble, the service agreement or contract should be accompanied by a notification to the client explaining that the service agreement or contract is not covered by section 3511 and does not alter the client's liability for federal employment taxes on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the individuals covered by the service agreement or contract.

    9. Penalties Applicable to CPEOs

    Although the ABLE Act provided the new penalty under section 6652(n) for failures to timely make required reports under sections 3511, 6053(c)(8), and 7705, the Treasury Department and the IRS note that many of the reports required under sections 3511 and 7705 are also subject to existing penalties and additions to tax. For example, because CPEOs are treated as employers of covered employees, CPEOs must meet the reporting requirements applicable to employers, including the filing of quarterly Forms 941. A CPEO that fails to file a Form 941 is subject to the addition to tax under section 6651(a)(1). Accordingly, the proposed regulations provide that a CPEO that is treated as an employer of a covered employee under section 3511 and that is required to meet the reporting requirements of an employer is subject to the same penalties and additions to tax as an employer with respect to such reporting requirements, including but not limited to penalties and additions to tax under sections 6651, 6656, 6672, 6721, 6722, and 6723.

    The proposed regulations further clarify that the section 6652(n) penalty will apply to reports required under section 3511. The proposed regulations provide that a CPEO is subject to penalty under section 6652(n) for any failure to attach the applicable Schedule R (or any successor form) to Forms 940 or 941. The proposed regulations also provide that the CPEO is subject to penalty under section 6723 for any failure (including multiple failures within a single document) to include the EIN of each customer on Schedule R.

    Finally, the proposed regulations clarify that, because the requirement to file Forms 940 and 941 on magnetic media is a condition of certification, any failure to file those forms, along with all required schedules, on magnetic media does not constitute a failure to file for the purposes of the section 6651(a)(1) addition to tax or failure to make a report for the purposes of the penalty under section 6652(n). The consequence of any failure to file these forms and associated schedules on magnetic media is the potential suspension or revocation of certification as a CPEO.

    Proposed Effective/Applicability Dates

    These regulations are proposed to be effective on and after the date these rules are published in the Federal Register as final or temporary regulations. Taxpayers may rely on these proposed regulations beginning July 1, 2016, and until final or temporary regulations are published.

    Availability of IRS Documents

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

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations. It is hereby certified that the regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The collection of information is in §§ 31.3511-1(g) and 301.7705-2T. The certification is based on the following:

    The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that the organizations that choose to apply for this voluntary certification program are likely to be entities that already have many of the systems and processes in place that are needed to comply with these regulations. For example, it is expected that CPEOs will generally maintain annual audited financial statements during the normal course of their business, rather than solely as a result of § 301.7705-2T(e). Moreover, the requirements in §§ 301.7705-2T(e) and (f) for demonstrating positive working capital on an annual basis and for the quarterly assertions regarding employment tax compliance build upon requirements already reflected in many state PEO certification and registration laws, thereby minimizing the economic impact on those CPEO applicants already subject to the similar state law requirements.

    In addition, many of the requirements in §§ 31.3511-1(g) and 301.7705-2T that impose a collection of information on CPEOs constitute one-time notifications to the IRS, customers, or clients or notifications that relate to events in the life cycle of a CPEO that are less predictable and may be infrequent—such as transfers of existing CPEO contracts, making material changes to agreements previously provided to the IRS, suspension or revocation of the CPEO's certification, or the reclassification of employees at a particular work site as non-work site employees—and thus will have a minimal economic impact on the CPEO. Moreover, the Treasury Department and the IRS expect that CPEOs participating in this voluntary program will be able to build upon pre-existing systems and processes through which they already communicate with their clients.

    For these reasons, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, these regulations have been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

    Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the Addresses heading. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of the proposed rules. All comments will be available at www.regulations.gov or upon request. A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal authors of these regulations are Melissa Duce, Andrew Holubeck, and Neil Shepherd of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in the development of these regulations.

    List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 31

    Employment taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Pensions, Railroad retirement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social Security, Unemployment compensation.

    26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR parts 31 and 301 are proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 31—EMPLOYMENT TAXES AND COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT THE SOURCE Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 31 is amended by adding an entry in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 31.3511-1 is also issued under 26 U.S.C. 3511(h).

    Par. 2. Section 31.3511-1 is added to subpart F to read as follows:
    § 31.3511-1 Certified professional employer organization.

    (a) Treatment as employer—(1) In general. For purposes of the federal employment taxes and other obligations imposed under chapters 21 through 25 of subtitle C of the Internal Revenue Code (federal employment taxes), a certified professional employer organization (CPEO) (as defined in § 301.7705-1T(b)(1) of this chapter) is treated as the employer of any covered employee (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(5) of this chapter), but only with respect to remuneration remitted by the CPEO to such covered employee.

    (2) Work site employee. In the case of a covered employee who is a work site employee (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(17) of this chapter), no person other than the CPEO is treated as the employer of the work site employee for purposes of federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the work site employee.

    (3) Non-work site employee. In the case of a covered employee who is not a work site employee, a person other than the CPEO is also treated as an employer of the employee for purposes of federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the employee if such person is determined to be an employer of the employee without regard to the application of this paragraph (a) and section 3511.

    (b) Exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules—(1) In general. Solely for purposes of federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by a CPEO to a covered employee, the application of exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on the type of employer is presumed to be based on the type of employer of the customer of the CPEO for whom the covered employee performs services. If a covered employee performs services for more than one customer of the CPEO during the calendar year, the presumption described in the previous sentence applies separately to remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the covered employee for services performed with respect to each such customer.

    (2) Presumption rebutted. The presumption set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may be rebutted if either the Commissioner determines, or the CPEO demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence, that the relationship between the customer and the covered employee is not the legal relationship of employer and employee as set forth in § 31.3401(c)-1. If such a determination or demonstration is made, then, with respect to remuneration remitted by a CPEO to a covered employee, the application of exemptions, exclusions, definitions, and other rules that are based on the type of employer will be based on the type of employer of the person determined by the Commissioner or demonstrated by the CPEO to be the common law employer of the covered employee in accordance with § 31.3401(c)-1.

    (3) No inference from presumption. The presumption set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not create any inference with respect to the determination of who is an employer or employee or whether the legal relationship of employer and employee exists for federal tax purposes or for purposes of any other provision of law (other than for paragraph (b)(1) of this section).

    (c) Annual wage limitation, contribution base, and withholding threshold—(1) CPEO has separate taxable wage base, contribution base, and withholding threshold. For purposes of applying the annual wage limitations under sections 3121(a)(1) and 3306(b)(1) (relating to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, respectively), the contribution base under section 3231(e)(2) (relating to the Railroad Retirement Tax Act), and the withholding threshold under section 3102(f)(1) (relating to the Additional Medicare Tax), remuneration received by a covered employee from a CPEO for performing services for a customer of the CPEO within any calendar year is subject to a separate annual wage limitation, contribution base, and withholding threshold that are each computed without regard to any remuneration received by the covered employee during the calendar year from any other employer (including, if applicable, remuneration received directly from the customer receiving services from the employee). Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a CPEO is treated as a successor or predecessor employer for purposes of the annual wage limitations and contribution base upon entering into or terminating a CPEO contract (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(3) of this chapter) with respect to a work site employee, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

    (2) Performance of services for more than one customer. If, during a calendar year, a covered employee receives remuneration from a CPEO for services performed by the covered employee for more than one customer of the CPEO, the annual wage limitation, contribution base, and withholding threshold do not apply to the aggregate remuneration received by the covered employee from the CPEO for services performed for all such customers. Rather, the annual wage limitation, contribution base, and withholding threshold apply separately to the remuneration received by the covered employee from the CPEO with respect to services performed for each customer.

    (d) Successor employer status—(1) In general. For purposes of sections 3121(a)(1), 3231(e)(2)(C), and 3306(b)(1), a CPEO and its customer are treated as—

    (i) A successor and predecessor employer, respectively, upon entering into a CPEO contract with respect to a work site employee who is performing services for the customer; and

    (ii) A predecessor and successor employer, respectively, upon termination of the CPEO contract between the CPEO and the customer with respect to the work site employee who is performing services for the customer.

    (2) Non-work site employee. A CPEO entering into a CPEO contract with a customer during a calendar quarter with respect to a covered employee who is not a work site employee at any time during that calendar quarter will not be treated as a successor employer (and the customer will not be treated as a predecessor employer) for purposes of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section regardless of whether, during the term of the CPEO contract, the covered employee subsequently becomes a work site employee. Similarly, a CPEO terminating a CPEO contract with a customer during a calendar quarter with respect to a covered employee who is not a work site employee at any time during that calendar quarter will not be treated as a predecessor employer (and the customer will not be treated as a successor employer) for purposes of paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section regardless of whether, during the term of the CPEO contract, the covered employee had previously been a work site employee.

    (e) Treatment of credits—(1) In general. For purposes of the credits specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section—

    (i) The credit with respect to a work site employee performing services for a customer applies to the customer, not to the CPEO; and

    (ii) In computing the credit, the customer, and not the CPEO, is to take into account wages and federal employment taxes paid by the CPEO with respect to the work site employee and for which the CPEO receives payment from the customer.

    (2) Credits specified. A credit is specified in this paragraph if such credit is allowed under—

    (i) Section 41 (credit for increasing research activity);

    (ii) Section 45A (Indian employment credit);

    (iii) Section 45B (credit for portion of employer social security taxes paid with respect to employee cash tips);

    (iv) Section 45C (clinical testing expenses for certain drugs for rare diseases or conditions);

    (v) Section 45R (employee health insurance expenses for small employers);

    (vi) Section 51 (work opportunity credit);

    (vii) Section 1396 (empowerment zone employment credit); and

    (viii) Any other section specified by the Commissioner in further guidance (as defined in § 301.7705-1T(b)(8) of this chapter).

    (f) Section not applicable to related customers, self-employed individuals, and other circumstances. This section does not apply—

    (1) In the case of any customer that—

    (i) Has a relationship to a CPEO described in section 267(b) (including, by cross-reference, section 267(f)) or section 707(b), except that “10 percent” shall be substituted for “50 percent” wherever it appears in such sections; or

    (ii) Has commenced a CPEO contract with the CPEO but such commencement has not been reported to the IRS as described in paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this section; or

    (2) To remuneration paid by a CPEO to any self-employed individual (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(14) of this chapter);

    (3) To any CPEO contract that a CPEO enters into while its certification has been suspended by the IRS; or

    (4) To any CPEO whose certification has been revoked or voluntarily terminated.

    (g) Reporting and recordkeeping—(1) Reporting and recordkeeping for employers. A CPEO that is treated as an employer of a covered employee pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section must meet all reporting and recordkeeping requirements described in subtitle F of the Code that are applicable to employers in a manner consistent with such treatment.

    (2) Reporting on magnetic media—(i) In general. A CPEO must file on magnetic media any Form 940, “Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” and Form 941, “Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return,” and all required accompanying schedules, as well as such other returns, schedules, and other required forms and documents as is required by further guidance.

    (ii) Waiver. The Commissioner may waive the requirements of this paragraph (g)(2) in case of undue economic hardship. The principal factor in determining hardship will be the amount, if any, by which the cost of filing the return, schedule, or other required form or document on magnetic media in accordance with this paragraph (g)(2) exceeds the cost of filing on or by other media. A request for a waiver must be made in accordance with applicable guidance. The waiver will specify the type of filing (that is, the name of the form or schedule) and the period to which it applies. In addition, the waiver will be subject to such terms and conditions regarding the method of filing as may be prescribed by the Commissioner.

    (iii) Magnetic media. The term magnetic media means any magnetic media permitted under applicable guidance. These generally include electronic filing, as well as other media specifically permitted under the applicable guidance.

    (3) Reporting to the IRS by CPEOs. A CPEO must report the following to the IRS in such time and manner, and including such information, as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance:

    (i) The commencement or termination of any CPEO contract (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(3) of this chapter) with a customer, or any service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) with a client, and the name and employer identification number (EIN) of such customer or client.

    (ii) With any Form 940 and Form 941 that it files, all required schedules, including but not limited to the applicable Schedule R (or any successor form), containing such information as the Commissioner may require about each of its customers under a CPEO contract (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(3) of this chapter) and each of its clients under a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2). A CPEO must file Form 940 and Form 941, along with all required schedules, on magnetic media, unless the CPEO is granted a waiver by the Commissioner in accordance with paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section.

    (iii) A periodic verification that it continues to meet the requirements of § 301.7705-2T of this chapter, as described in § 301.7705-2T(j).

    (iv) Any change that materially affects the continuing accuracy of any agreement or information that was previously made or provided by the CPEO to the IRS, as described in § 301.7705-2T(k) of this chapter.

    (v) A copy of its audited financial statements and an opinion of a certified public accountant regarding such financial statements, as described in § 301.7705-2T(e)(1) of this chapter.

    (vi) The quarterly statements, assertions, and attestations regarding those assertions described in § 301.7705-2T(f)(1) of this chapter.

    (vii) Any information the IRS determines is necessary to promote compliance with respect to the credits described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section and section 3302.

    (viii) Any other information the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance.

    (4) Reporting to customers by CPEOs. A CPEO must meet the following reporting requirements with respect to its customers in such time and manner, and including such information, as the Commissioner may prescribe in further guidance:

    (i) Provide each of its customers with the information necessary for the customer to claim the credits described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

    (ii) Notify any customer if its CPEO contract has been transferred to another person (or if another person will report, withhold, or pay, under such other person's EIN, any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to the wages of any individuals covered by its CPEO contract) and provide the customer with the name and EIN of such other person.

    (iii) If the CPEO's certification is suspended or revoked as described in § 301.7705-2T(n) of this chapter, notify each of its current customers of such suspension or revocation.

    (iv) If any covered employees are not or cease to be work site employees because they perform services at a location at which the 85 percent threshold described in § 301.7705-1(b)(17) of this chapter is not met, notify the customer that it may also be liable for federal employment taxes imposed on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to such covered employees, as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (5) Information and agreements in any contract or agreement between a CPEO and a customer or client. Any CPEO contract (as defined in § 301.7705-1(b)(3) of this chapter) between a CPEO and a customer or service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) between a CPEO and a client must—

    (i) In the case of a contract that is a CPEO contract,—

    (A) Contain the name and EIN of the CPEO reporting, withholding, and paying any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to any remuneration paid to individuals covered by the contract or agreement;

    (B) Require the CPEO to provide to the customer the notices and information required by paragraph (g)(4) of this section;

    (C) Describe the information that the CPEO will provide that is necessary for the customer to claim the credits specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section; and

    (D) Require the CPEO to notify the customer that the customer may also be liable for federal employment taxes on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to covered employees if the work sites at which they perform services do not (or ever cease to) meet the 85 percent threshold described in § 301.7705-1(b)(17) of this chapter; and

    (ii) In the case of a service agreement described in § 31.3504-2(b)(2) that is not a CPEO contract (and thus the individuals covered by that contract are not covered employees), or if this section does not apply to the contract under paragraph (f) of this section, notify, or be accompanied by a notification to, the client that the service agreement or contract is not covered by section 3511 and does not alter the client's liability for federal employment taxes on remuneration remitted by the CPEO to the employees covered by the service agreement or contract.

    (h) Penalties—(1) In general. A CPEO that is treated as an employer of a covered employee under this section and that is required to meet the reporting requirements of an employer is subject to the same penalties and additions to tax as an employer with respect to such reporting requirements, including but not limited to penalties and additions to tax under sections 6651, 6656, 6672, 6721, 6722, and 6723.

    (2) Failures to timely make reports required under section 3511. CPEOs are subject to penalty under section 6652(n) with respect to reports required to be made to the IRS in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(3) of this section and reports required to be made to customers in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

    (3) Failures to attach Schedule R. A CPEO is subject to penalty under section 6652(n) for failure to attach Schedule R (or successor form) to Forms 941 or 940 as required by paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of this section. A CPEO is also subject to penalty under section 6723 for failure to include the EIN of each customer on Schedule R of Form 941 or 940. See § 301.6723-1 of this chapter for the application of the section 6723 penalty in the case of multiple failures on a single document.

    (4) Failures to file on magnetic media. With respect to the requirement in paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of this section that a CPEO must file Forms 940 and 941, along with all required schedules, on magnetic media, a failure to file on magnetic media does not constitute a failure to file for purposes of section 6651(a)(1) nor does it constitute a failure to make a report for purposes of section 6652(n). Rather, the requirement to file Forms 940 and 941 on magnetic media is a condition of maintaining certification as a CPEO.

    (i) Effective/applicability date. These rules are effective on and after the date of publication of the Treasury decision adopting these rules as final or temporary regulations. Taxpayers may rely on these rules beginning July 1, 2016, and until final or temporary regulations are published.

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Par. 3. The authority citation for part 301 is amended by adding entries in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 301.7705-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 7705(h).

    Section 301.7705-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 7705(h).

    Par. 4. Sections 301.7705-1 and 301.7705-2 are added to read as follows:
    § 301.7705-1 Certified professional employer organization.

    (a) The definitions set forth in this section apply for purposes of this section, §§ 31.3511-1 and 301.7705-2, and sections 3302(h), 3303(a)(4), 6053(c)(8), and 7528(b)(4).

    (b) [The text of proposed § 301.7705-1(b)(1) through (2) is the same as the text of § 301.7705-1T(b)(1) through (2) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (3) CPEO contract means a service contract between a CPEO and a customer that is in writing and provides that, with respect to an individual providing services to the customer, the CPEO will—

    (i) Assume responsibility for payment of wages to the individual, without regard to the receipt or adequacy of payment from the customer for the services;

    (ii) Assume responsibility for reporting, withholding, and paying any applicable federal employment taxes with respect to the individual's wages, without regard to the receipt or adequacy of payment from the customer for the services;

    (iii) Assume responsibility for any employee benefits that the service contract may require the CPEO to provide to the individual, without regard to the receipt or adequacy of payment from the customer for such benefits;

    (iv) Assume responsibility for recruiting, hiring, and firing the individual in addition to the customer's responsibility for recruiting, hiring, and firing the individual;

    (v) Maintain employee records relating to the individual; and

    (vi) Agree to be treated as a CPEO for purposes of section 3511 with respect to the individual.

    (4) [The text of proposed § 301.7705-1(b)(4) is the same as the text of § 301.7705-1T(b)(4) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (5) Covered employee means, with respect to a customer, any individual (other than a self-employed individual, as defined in paragraph (b)(14) of this section) who performs services for the customer and who is covered by a CPEO contract between the CPEO and the customer.

    (6) Customer—(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(6)(ii) of this section, a customer is any person who enters into a CPEO contract with a CPEO.

    (ii) Persons who are not customers. A provider of employment-related services that uses its own EIN for filing federal employment tax returns on behalf of its clients (or who used its own EIN immediately prior to entering into a CPEO contract with the CPEO) is not a customer, even if it has entered into a CPEO contract with the CPEO.

    (7) [The text of proposed § 301.7705-1(b)(7) through (13) is the same as the text of § 301.7705-1T(b)(7) through (13) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (14) Self-employed individual means an individual with net earnings from self-employment (as defined in section 1402(a) and without regard to the exceptions thereunder) derived from providing services covered by a CPEO contract, whether such net earnings from self-employment are derived from providing services as a non-employee to a customer of the CPEO, from the individual's own trade or business as a sole proprietor customer of the CPEO, or as an individual who is a partner in a partnership that is a customer of the CPEO, but only with regard to such net earnings.

    (15) [The text of proposed § 301.7705-1(b)(15) is the same as the text of § 301.7705-1T(b)(15) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (16) Work site means a physical location at which an individual regularly performs services for a customer of a CPEO or, if there is no such location, the location from which the customer assigns work to the individual. A work site may not be the individual's residence or a telework site unless the customer requires the individual to work at that site. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(16), work sites that are contiguous locations will be treated as a single physical location and thus a single work site, and noncontiguous locations that are not reasonably proximate will be treated as separate physical locations and thus separate work sites. A CPEO may treat noncontiguous locations that are reasonably proximate as a single physical location and thus a single work site. Any two work sites that are separated by 35 or more miles or that operate in a different industry or industries will not be treated as reasonably proximate for purposes of this paragraph (b)(16).

    (17) Work site employee—(i) In general. A work site employee means, with respect to a customer, a covered employee who performs services for such customer at a work site where at least 85 percent of the individuals performing services for the customer are covered employees of the customer.

    (ii) Self-employed individuals. Solely for purposes of determining whether the 85 percent threshold described in paragraph (b)(17)(i) of this section is met, a self-employed individual described in paragraph (b)(14) of this section is treated as a covered employee if such individual would be a covered employee but for the exclusion of self-employed individuals from the definition of covered employee in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.

    (iii) Excluded employees. In determining whether the 85 percent threshold described in paragraph (b)(17)(i) of this section is met, an individual that is an excluded employee described in section 414(q)(5) is not treated either as an individual providing services or a covered employee.

    (iv) Treatment for calendar quarter. A covered employee will be considered a work site employee for the entirety of a calendar quarter if the employee qualifies as a work site employee at any time during that quarter.

    (v) Separate determination for each work site. The determination of whether a covered employee is a work site employee is made separately with regard to each work site at which the covered employee regularly provides services and for each customer for which the covered employee is providing services. A covered employee may be determined to be a work site employee of more than one work site during a calendar quarter.

    (c) [The text of proposed § 301.7705-1(c)(1) is the same as the text of § 301.7705-1T(c)(1) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    (2) Definitions related to section 3511. Paragraphs (b)(3), (5), (6), (14), (16), and (17) of this section are applicable on the date of publication of the Treasury decision adopting these rules as final or temporary regulations.

    § 301.7705-2 CPEO certification process.

    [The text of proposed § 301.7705-2 is the same as the text of § 301.7705-2T published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    Kirsten B. Wielobob, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10702 Filed 5-4-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0256] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Fox River, DePere to Oshkosh, WI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule for all drawbridges over the Fox River between DePere, WI and Oshkosh, WI. A review of the current regulation was requested by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Fox River Navigational System Authority.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before: June 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0256 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Lee D. Soule, Bridge Management Specialist, Ninth Coast Guard District; telephone 216-902-6085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive Order FR Federal Register NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code WIS-DOT Wisconsin Department of Transportation FRNSA Fox River Navigational System Authority CN-RR Canadian National Railroad II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    This proposed rule was requested by WIS-DOT and FRNSA to align drawbridge operating schedules with lock schedules, and make the yearly schedules permanent and easier to follow for the entire river system. The drawbridge and lock schedules that have been set each year by local authorities have generally followed the same dates as the dates in this proposed rule for the beginning and end of the navigation season; April through October. These periods are generally accepted as the established annual schedules by vessel operators and bridge operators on the river system. With no current winter schedule for drawbridges, this proposed rule will also establish permanent winter operating schedules for all drawbridges over Fox River between DePere and Oshkosh, WI.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend the Fox River regulation at 33 CFR 117.1087. This proposed rule removes George Street Bridge from the regulation, establishes consistent annual dates for drawbridge schedules between river miles 7.13 and 58.3, eliminates currently exempted bridge opening times during certain days and times in Oshkosh, makes permanent the requirement for vessels to provide 2-hours advance notice between midnight and 8 a.m., and establishes the winter bridge operating schedules throughout the entire river system.

    Currently, the regulation for Fox River drawbridges includes the opening schedule for drawbridges in Green Bay, WI, where large commercial vessel traffic continues to transit. This proposed rule does not include any changes to the schedules for drawbridges over the commercial ship channel in Green Bay.

    The sections of the current regulation that includes all other drawbridges between river mile 7.13 in DePere, WI at the DePere Pedestrian Bridge, to river mile 58.3 in Oshkosh, WI, describe inconsistent dates and times for required drawbridge openings, particularly for the four highway drawbridges in Oshkosh. They also include a reference to George Street Bridge at mile 7.27. George Street Bridge has been removed since the last update of these regulations. The Oshkosh drawbridges in the current regulation contain exemptions during certain dates and times where the drawbridges are not required to open for vessels or vessels must provide advance notice prior to passing during nighttime hours.

    This proposed rule establishes the requirement for all drawbridges, except the Canadian National Railroad (CN-RR) Bridge at mile 55.72 in Oshkosh, to open on signal between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight each day from April 27 to October 7 every year. This schedule would match the lock schedule established by FRNSA and drawbridge schedules used by WIS-DOT. Between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m., except for the CN-RR Bridge in Oshkosh, all drawbridges would open for vessels if at least 2-hours advance notice of arrival is provided.

    The CN-RR Bridge at mile 55.72 in Oshkosh is located where Fox River feeds into the southwest section of Lake Winnebago. The portion of Fox River in the Oshkosh area, and Lake Winnebago, are among the busiest portions of the Fox River System for recreational vessel traffic. The CN-RR Bridge provides 6 feet of vertical clearance in the closed position and prevents most vessels from passing under the bridge, thereby requiring the drawbridge to open regularly for vessels. This is also the location of first responders and public safety vessels that may require the bridge to open at any time to perform rescue or emergency operations on Lake Winnebago. Vessels in distress or seeking shelter from weather on Lake Winnebago may also need the CN-RR Bridge to open at any time. A delay in bridge openings at this location may endanger life or property and is therefore exempted from the proposed 2-hour advance notice requirement from vessels for all other drawbridges between midnight and 8 a.m.

    All drawbridges would be required to open if at least 12-hours advance notice is provided prior to passing between October 8 and April 26 each year.

    The proposed dates, times, and conditions have been employed by local authorities for approximately 10 years and are generally accepted by vessel operators in the area as established conditions. The proposed dates, times, and conditions have also been reviewed and accepted by WIS-DOT and FRNSA during the development of this NPRM.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and Executive Orders and discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    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 NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that vessels can still transit the bridge given advanced notice during times when vessel traffic is at its lowest. The proposed drawbridge schedule is virtually the same as has been used by vessel operators in the area for approximately 10 years.

    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 certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule standardizes drawbridge schedules that have been in place and would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator because the bridges will open with advance notice during low traffic times on the waterway or when ice conditions hinder normal navigation.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call 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 proposed 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 proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which 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 preliminary 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 proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are 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. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 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 paragraphs (b) and (c) in § 117.1087 to read as follows:
    § 117.1087 Fox River.

    (b) All drawbridges between mile 7.13 in DePere and mile 58.3 in Oshkosh, except the Canadian National Railroad Bridge at mile 55.72, shall open as follows:

    (1) From April 27 through October 7, the draws shall open on signal, except between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. when the draws shall open if at least 2-hours advance notice is given.

    (2) From October 8 through April 26, the draws shall open if at least 12-hours advance notice is given.

    (c) The draw of the Canadian National Railroad Bridge at mile 55.72 shall open on signal, except from October 8 through April 26 when the draw shall open if at least 12-hours advance notice is given.

    Dated: April 21, 2016. J.K. Little, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, Acting.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10566 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Docket ID ED-2016-OSERS-0018; CFDA Number: 84.160D.] Proposed Priority—Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Program AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Proposed priority.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year 2016 and later years. We take this action to provide training to working interpreters in order to develop a new skill area or enhance an existing skill area.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5062, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-5076.

    Privacy Note:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority that each comment addresses.

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

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about these proposed regulations by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also inspect the comments in person in Room 5040, 550 12th Street SW., PCP, Washington, DC 20202-5076, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

    Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, to establish interpreter training programs or to provide financial assistance for ongoing interpreter programs to train a sufficient number of qualified interpreters throughout the country. The grants are designed to train interpreters to effectively interpret and transliterate using spoken, visual, and tactile modes of communication; ensure the maintenance of the interpreting skills of qualified interpreters; and provide opportunities for interpreters to raise their skill level competence in order to meet the highest standards approved by certifying associations and to effectively meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 709(c) and 772(a) and (f).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 396.

    PROPOSED PRIORITY: This notice contains one proposed priority.

    Interpreter Training in Specialized Areas Background

    Over the past 20 years, the fields of interpreting and interpreter training have changed significantly in order to effectively respond to the evolving needs of children and adults in the United States who are deaf,1 including consumers of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system. These changes bring with them an array of unfamiliar communication challenges for interpreters, which are driving the need for new training and development priorities (Schafer and Cokely, 2016). Interpreters are increasingly providing services to deaf individuals with idiosyncratic and dysfluent language; being called upon to be fluent in English, ASL, and one other language in order to provide trilingual interpretation; and providing services to deaf individuals in highly specialized academic and employment settings (Schafer and Cokely, 2016).

    1 As used in this notice, the word “deaf” refers to (1) “deaf” and “Deaf” people, i.e., to the condition of deafness; (2) “deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind;” and (3) individuals who are culturally Deaf and who use American Sign Language (ASL). “Deaf” refers only to the third group.

    In 2016, the National Interpreter Education Center (NIEC) released a report based on information and input collected over current and previous grant cycles through needs assessments, national surveys, and survey software platforms. A practitioner survey was conducted in 2014 to gather data from interpreters on their experiences in interpreting for consumers who are deaf and hard of hearing. One question on the survey asked interpreters whether they have served an increased number of deaf individuals with idiosyncratic language. Overall, 24 percent of respondents reported an increase in the number of individuals with idiosyncratic language served, and 38 percent of respondents reported the numbers of individuals with idiosyncratic sign language have “remained the same.” This trend dates back more than five years (Schafer and Cokely, 2016). The 2014 Practitioner survey also illustrates a growing demand for trilingual interpreting services. In that survey, 68 percent of respondents reported a need for third language fluency (Schafer and Cokely, 2016).

    The data from the 2014 Practitioner Survey was substantiated by data from the 2015 National Interpreter Education Center Trends Survey. In the Trends survey, 66 percent of service provider respondents reported an increase in the number of deaf individuals from a household with a foreign spoken language, and 35 percent of respondents reported an increase in the number of deaf individuals using a foreign signed language (Schafer and Cokely, 2016).

    The 2015 Trends Survey also indicates that Federal legislation mandating communication access may have begun to pay off, creating more opportunities for deaf individuals to pursue postsecondary and graduate level education and specialized training. As a result, individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing are obtaining jobs in law, medicine, engineering, higher education, and high tech industries in greater numbers. The Trends Survey documented 47 percent of service providers reporting the number of deaf individuals pursuing education or employment in specialized fields increasing (Schafer and Cokely, 2016).

    The data from the 2014 Practitioner Survey and 2015 Trends Survey give support to the conclusion that interpreters must be able to understand and communicate proficiently using technical vocabulary and highly specialized discourse in a variety of complex subject matters in both ASL and English. Interpreters must also be prepared to meet the communication needs of individuals who are “Deaf Plus” 2 with dysfluent first language skills, who pose many challenges for interpreters who do not have superior proficiency in ASL or a ready arsenal of communication strategies (Schafer and Cokely, 2016).

    2 The term “Deaf Plus” refers to an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing in addition to having other medical, physical, emotional, cognitive, educational, or social challenges (Schafer and Cokely, page 5).

    Training, even for qualified interpreters, is needed in all of these specialized areas to build a workforce that is reflective of the population it serves and equipped to meet a variety of extremely diverse communication needs. To address this problem, the Assistant Secretary proposes a priority to establish projects to train interpreters in specialized areas.

    Apart from this, generally, the pool of qualified interpreters is insufficient to meet the needs of deaf consumers in the United States. For this reason, we are publishing a proposed priority elsewhere in the Federal Register to establish a national model demonstration center to better prepare novice interpreters to become nationally certified sign language interpreters.

    References

    Schafer, Trudy, MPA. MIP, Center Director, and Cokely, Dennis, Ph.D., Principle Investigator, “Report on the National Needs Assessment Initiative New Challenges-Needed Challenges” (National Interpreter Education Center at Northeastern University) (March 2016).

    Proposed Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund projects that provide training for English-American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter training in specialized areas. The training must be provided to working interpreters (e.g., interpreters with a baccalaureate degree in ASL-English who possess a minimum of three years of relevant experience as an interpreter) who need to develop a new skill area or enhance an existing skill area. Within this proposed priority, the Assistant Secretary intends to fund training in the following specialty areas: (1) Interpreting for consumers with dysfluent language competencies (e.g., individuals who use idiosyncratic signs or display limited first language competency in either spoken or sign language, due to delayed acquisition of the first language); (2) trilingual interpreting (e.g., language fluency in first, second, and third languages with one of the three languages being ASL); and (3) field-initiated topics.

    During the project, applicants must develop and deliver training of sufficient scope, intensity, and duration for working interpreters to achieve increased skill, knowledge, and competence in a specialty area. Applicants may develop a new training program or stand-alone modules that could also be incorporated into an existing baccalaureate degree ASL-English program. The training program or modules must be developed by the end of the first year of the project period and delivered in years two, three, four, and five of the project period.

    The projects must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, the following outcomes:

    (a) An increase in the number of interpreters who are trained to work with deaf consumers who require specialized interpreting; and

    (b) An increase in the number of interpreters trained in specialty areas who obtain or advance in employment in the areas for which they were prepared.

    To be considered for funding, applicants must meet the requirements contained in this proposed priority, which are as follows:

    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will address the need for sign language interpreters in a specialized area. To address this requirement, applicants must:

    (1) Present applicable data demonstrating the need for interpreters in the specialty area for which training will be developed by the project in at least three distinct, noncontiguous geographic areas, which may include the U.S. Territories;

    (2) Explain how the project will increase the number of working interpreters in a specialty area who demonstrate the necessary competencies to meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. To meet this requirement, the applicant must—

    (i) Identify competencies working interpreters must demonstrate in order to provide high-quality services in the identified specialty area using practices that are promising or based on instruction supported by evidence and intervention, when available; and

    (ii) Demonstrate that the identified competencies are based on practices that are promising or supported by evidence that will result in effectively meeting the communication needs of individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Design,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Provide training in person or remotely to at least three distinct, noncontiguous geographic areas identified in paragraph (a)(1);

    (2) Identify and partner with trainers who are certified and recognized in the specialty area through formal or informal certification to develop and deliver the training. If certification is not available in the specialty area, provide evidence of relevant training and experience (e.g., provide a portfolio that includes training verification, video samples, letters of support from consumers and employers, etc.);

    (3) Be based on current research and make use of practices that are promising or supported by evidence. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and practices that are promising or supported by evidence in the development and delivery of its products and services;

    (ii) How the proposed project will engage working interpreters with different learning styles; and

    (iii) How the proposed project will ensure working interpreters interact with deaf individuals who have a range of communication skills, from those with limited language skills to those with high-level, professional language skills.

    (c) In the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Services,” the applicant must—

    (1) Demonstrate how the project will ensure equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups who have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability;

    (2) Describe the criteria that will be used to identify high-quality applicants for participation in the program, including any pre-assessments that may be used to determine the skill, knowledge base, and competence of the working interpreter;

    (3) Describe the recruitment strategies the project will use to attract high-quality working interpreters, including specific strategies targeting high-quality participants from traditionally underrepresented groups (e.g., individuals with disabilities and individuals living in remote areas);

    (4) Describe how the project will ensure that all training activities and materials are fully accessible;

    (5) Describe the approach that will be used to enable more working interpreters to participate in and successfully complete the training program, specifically participants who need to work while in the program, have child care or elder care considerations, or live in geographically isolated areas. The approach must emphasize innovative instructional delivery methods, such as distance learning or block scheduling (a type of academic scheduling that offers students fewer classes per day for longer periods of time), which would allow working interpreters to more easily participate in the program;

    (6) Describe the approach that will be used to enable working interpreters to successfully complete the program or stand-alone modules, to include mentoring, monitoring, and accommodation support services;

    (7) Describe how the project will incorporate practices that are promising and supported by evidence for adult learners;

    (8) Demonstrate how the project is of sufficient scope, intensity, and duration to adequately prepare working interpreters in the identified specialty area of training. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe how—

    (i) The components of the proposed project will support working interpreters' acquisition and enhancement of the competencies identified in paragraph (a)(2)(i);

    (ii) The components of the project will allow working interpreters to apply their content knowledge in a practical setting;

    (iii) The proposed project will provide working interpreters with ongoing guidance and feedback; and

    (iv) The proposed project will provide ongoing induction opportunities and support working interpreters after completion of the specialty area program.

    (9) Demonstrate how the proposed project will actively engage representation from consumers, consumer organizations, and service providers, especially vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, interpreters, interpreter training programs, and individuals who are deaf and deaf-blind in the project, including project development, design, implementation, delivery of training, dissemination, sustainability planning, program evaluation, and other relevant areas as determined by the applicant;

    (10) Describe how the project will conduct dissemination and coordination activities. To meet this requirement, the applicant must—

    (i) Describe its plan for disseminating information to and coordinating with VR agencies, American Job Centers and other workforce partners regarding finding interpreters with the specialized interpreting skills needed; disseminating information to working interpreters about training available in the specialized area, and broadly disseminating successful strategies for preparing working interpreters in a specialized area;

    (ii) Describe its strategy for disseminating products developed during the project period. To meet this requirement the applicant must—

    (A) Develop and maintain a state-of-the-art archiving and dissemination system that is open and available to the public and provides a central location for later use of training materials, including curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, examples of emerging and promising practices, and any other relevant material;

    (B) Provide a minimum of three Webinars or video conferences over the course of the project. Applicants may determine the audience, content, and goals of this activity. For instance, applicants may consider disseminating information to working interpreters not enrolled in the program about training in a specialty area, as well as interacting with interpreter educators about the curriculum or training module design, challenges, solutions, and results achieved.

    Note:

    All products produced by the grantees must meet government- and industry-recognized standards for accessibility, including section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    (iii) Describe its approach for incorporating the use of information technology (IT) into all aspects of the project. The approach must include establishing and maintaining a state-of-the-art IT platform that is sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information.

    Note:

    In meeting the requirements mentioned in paragraphs (c)(10)(ii)(A) and (B) and (c)(10)(iii) above, projects may either develop new platforms or systems or may modify existing platforms or systems, so long as the requirements of this priority are met.

    (iv) Describe its approach for conducting coordination and collaboration activities. To meet this requirement, the applicant must—

    (A) Establish a community of practice 3 in the specialty area of training that focuses on project activities in this priority and acts as a vehicle for communication and exchange of information among participants in the program and other relevant stakeholders;

    3 A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who work together to solve a persistent problem or to improve practice in an area that is important to them and who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis. CoPs exist in many forms, some large in scale that deal with complex problems, others small in scale that focus on a problem at a very specific level. For more information on communities of practice, see: www.tadnet.org/pages/510.

    (B) Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with other relevant Department-funded projects, as applicable;

    (C) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer and other RSA staff as required; and

    (D) Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate, as appropriate, with key staff in State VR agencies, such as the State Coordinators for the Deaf; State and local partner programs; consumer organizations and associations, including those that represent individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and late deafened; and relevant RSA partner organizations and associations.

    (d) In the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan,” include an evaluation plan for the project. To address this requirement, the evaluation plan must describe—

    (1) An approach, using pre- and post-assessments, for assessing the level of knowledge, skills, and competencies gained among participants;

    (2) An approach for assessing the application of knowledge, skills, and competencies after completion; and

    (3) An approach for incorporating oral and written feedback from trainers, from deaf consumers, and any feedback from mentoring sessions conducted with the participants;

    (4) Evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses that will be used to evaluate the project;

    (5) Measures of progress in implementation, including the extent to which the project's activities and products have reached their target populations; intended outcomes or results of the project's activities in order to evaluate those activities; and how well the goals and objectives of the proposed project, as described in its logic model,4 have been met;

    4 A logic model communicates how the project will achieve its intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project.

    (6) How the evaluation plan will be implemented and revised, as needed, during the project. The applicant must designate at least one individual with sufficient dedicated time, experience in evaluation, and knowledge of the project to coordinate the design and implementation of the evaluation. For example, coordination with any identified partners in the application and RSA to make revisions post award to the logic model in order to reflect any changes or clarifications to the model and to the evaluation design and instrumentation with the logic model (e.g., designing instruments and developing quantitative or qualitative data collections that permit collecting of progress data and assessing project outcomes);

    (7) The standards and targets for determining effectiveness of the project;

    (8) How evaluation results will be used to examine the effectiveness of implementation and the progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and

    (9) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project activities achieved their intended outcomes.

    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—

    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment with the project from persons who are members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability;

    (2) The proposed project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide training to working interpreters and to achieve the project's intended outcomes;

    (3) The applicant and any identified partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits;

    (f) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—

    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and

    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks.

    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;

    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and

    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, especially relevant partners, groups, and organizations described throughout this notice, in its development and operation.

    (g) Address the following application requirements. The applicant must—

    (1) Include, in Appendix A, a logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed project;

    (2) Include, in Appendix A, person-loading charts and timelines, as applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the narrative; and

    (3) Include, in the budget, attendance at a one-day intensive review meeting in Washington, DC, during the third quarter of the third year of the project period.

    Specialty Areas

    With this proposed priority, the Secretary intends to fund four national projects in the following specialty areas: (1) Interpreting for consumers with dysfluent language competencies (e.g., individuals who use idiosyncratic signs or display limited first language competency in either spoken or sign language, due to delayed acquisition of the first language); (2) trilingual interpreting (e.g., language fluency in first, second, and third languages with one of the three languages being ASL); and (3) field-initiated topics. Applicants must identify the specific focus area (1, 2, or 3) under which they are applying as part of the competition title on the application cover sheet (SF form 424, line 4). Applicants may not submit the same proposal under more than one specialty area.

    Specialty Area 1: Interpreting for Consumers With Dysfluent Language Competencies

    Interpreting for consumers with dysfluent language competencies include: (1) Those with limited, idiosyncratic, or differing levels of first and second language fluency in English and ASL); (2) those who have families using non-English spoken languages at home and have limited or no fluency in English and ASL; (3) those with cognitive and physical disabilities that impact linguistic competencies; and (4) those who are deaf-blind with varying levels of vision and hearing functions.

    Specialty Area 2: Trilingual Interpreting

    Trilingual interpreting is interpreting between three different languages; that is, two spoken languages such as English and Spanish, and ASL. This requires a working interpreter to be competent in three different languages and seamlessly facilitate communication between those languages in real time. RSA is seeking to fund similar projects in trilingual interpreting that includes languages that may be spoken in the United States.

    During the 2010-2016 grant cycle, RSA funded the development of trilingual interpreting specialized training between English and Spanish, and ASL. Therefore, proposals focusing on English and Spanish, and ASL are not eligible under this proposed priority.

    Specialty Area 3: Field-Initiated Topics

    Field-initiated topics that address the needs of working interpreters to acquire specialized knowledge and competencies. These topics may address new specialty areas that require development of training modules of sufficient intensity, duration, and scope of sequence to warrant funding of an entire grant. Proposed topics may also replace training in an established specialty area that is no longer relevant. For instance, applicants may propose new or updated training, such as interpreting in a VR setting given reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, by WIOA. Applicants may also propose a new subset of training in an established specialty area. For instance, in health care interpreting, mental health might be one permissible subset of training because it has its own unique challenges and complexities in terms of setting and deaf consumer needs. In addition, applicants must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the need for the proposed new specialty training project or to show that an existing specialized training project is not adequately meeting the training needs of interpreters in order to better meet the linguistic and communication needs of Deaf consumers.

    Field-initiated topics not eligible under this proposed priority include topics focusing on educational interpreting for pre-k-12 students. In addition, applicants proposing to continue or expand existing training developed in prior grant cycles for deaf-blind interpreting, health care interpreting, legal interpreting, trilingual interpreting in English/Spanish/ASL, deaf self-advocacy training, interpreting in a VR setting, interpreting provided by Deaf Interpreters, and video remote interpreting and video relay interpreting) will not be considered eligible under this priority.

    Note:

    The Secretary intends to fund a total of four projects in FY 2016 that have been awarded at least eighty-percent of the maximum possible points, including at least one project from each of the three specialty areas. As a result, the Secretary may fund applications out of rank order.

    Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).

    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

    Final Priority: We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:

    This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this proposed regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

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

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

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

    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that would maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing this proposed priority only on a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.

    Through this priority, working interpreters will receive training in a specialty area in order to better meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf, including consumers of VR. The training ultimately will improve the quality of VR services and the competitive integrated employment outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities. This priority would promote the efficient and effective use of Federal funds.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the Department provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: The public understands the Department's collection instructions, respondents can provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents.

    This proposed priority contains information collection requirements that are approved by OMB under the National Interpreter Education program 1820-0018; this proposed regulation does not affect the currently approved data collection.

    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10718 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 1 [Docket No.: PTO-P-2016-0003] May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility (July 2015 Update) to provide further guidance to examiners in determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. The USPTO announced the July 2015 Update in the Federal Register, and sought public comment on the July 2015 Update. The USPTO has since issued a memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps titled “Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant's Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection” in response to those public comments, which is available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The memorandum seeks to improve examiner correspondence with regard to subject matter eligibility rejections. Further, additional life science examples to assist examiners in making eligibility determinations have been published and are available on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The USPTO is now seeking public comment on subject matter eligibility on an on-going basis.

    DATES:

    The comment period is open-ended, and comments will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments must be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to: [email protected] Electronic comments submitted in plain text are preferred, but also may be submitted in ADOBE® portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD® format. The comments will be available for viewing via the Office's Internet Web site (http://www.uspto.gov). Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that the submitter does not desire to make public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included in the comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Regarding the examiner memorandum, contact Matthew Sked, by telephone at 571-272-7627, or Carolyn Kosowski, by telephone at 571-272-7688, both at the Office of Patent Legal Administration. Regarding the life science examples, contact June Cohan, by telephone at 571-272-7744, Ali Salimi, by telephone at 571-272-0909, or Raul Tamayo, by telephone at 571-272-7728, all at the Office of Patent Legal Administration.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 30, 2015, the USPTO issued the July 2015 Update to provide further guidance on subject matter eligibility in view of public comments received in response to the 2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility. An announcement was published in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the July 2015 Update. See July 2015 Update on Subject Matter Eligibility, 80 FR 45429 (July 30, 2015).

    In response, the USPTO received a total of thirty-seven submissions from the public, which have been carefully considered by the USPTO. The USPTO has issued a memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps titled “Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant's Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection” to improve examiner correspondence regarding subject matter eligibility rejections. A copy of the memorandum is available on the USPTO's Internet Web site, on the patent examination guidance and training materials Web page (http://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/examination-policy/examination-guidance-and-training-materials). In particular, the memorandum provides guidance to examiners on (1) formulating a subject matter eligibility rejection; and (2) evaluating a response to a subject matter eligibility rejection.

    The USPTO's guidance materials concerning the subject matter eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101, including the above-mentioned memorandum, do not constitute substantive rulemaking and do not have the force and effect of law. These guidance materials set out examination policy on rejections with respect to the Office's interpretation of the subject matter eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit). The guidance materials were developed as a matter of internal Office management and are not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the Office. Rejections will continue to be based upon the substantive law, and it is these rejections that are appealable. Failure of Office personnel to follow the USPTO's guidance materials is not, in itself, a proper basis for either an appeal or a petition.

    Additionally, the USPTO has produced new life science examples. A copy of the examples is available on the USPTO's Internet Web site, again on the patent examination guidance and training materials Web page (http://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/examination-policy/examination-guidance-and-training-materials). The examples provide exemplary subject matter eligibility analysis under 35 U.S.C. 101 of hypothetical claims and claims drawn from case law. The examples are intended as a teaching tool to assist examiners and the public in understanding how the Office would apply the eligibility guidance in certain fact-specific situations.

    The USPTO further solicited topics for study under the Topic Submission for Case Studies Pilot Program. See Request for Submission of Topics for USPTO Case Studies, 80 FR 79277 (Dec. 21, 2015). The case studies will include a review of consistency of the application of subject matter eligibility analyses under 35 U.S.C. 101 across the examining corps to determine the quality of the work product and indicate where improvements can be made to further improve consistency.

    The July 2015 Update included an Appendix 3 containing select eligibility decisions from the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. This chart of decisions assists examiners in identifying the types of subject matter courts have previously found to be ineligible. Appendix 3 will continue to be updated with Federal Circuit decisions having opinions (precedential or non-precedential). While non-precedential decisions are not binding precedent, the opinions provide guidance and persuasive reasoning as outlined in Fed. Cir. R. 32.1(d). Appendix 3 will also continue to be updated with Federal Circuit decisions without opinion (Fed. Cir. R. 36) on appeals originating from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Federal Circuit decisions affirming a district court decision without opinion (Fed. Cir. R. 36) will no longer be added to Appendix 3 because they provide little benefit to examiners or the public.

    As discussed previously, the memorandum and life science examples are available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site. The USPTO is now seeking public comment. The comment period is open-ended, and comments will be accepted on an ongoing basis. When it is determined that the period will close, advance notification will be made on the public comment Web page. The USPTO is particularly interested in public comments addressing the progress the USPTO is making in the quality of correspondence regarding subject matter eligibility rejections.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10724 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0022; FRL-9946-11-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Permitting of Greenhouse Gases AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to partially approve and partially disapprove a revision to the Louisiana State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Louisiana on December 21, 2011. This revision outlines the State's program to regulate and permit emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Louisiana Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. We are proposing to approve those provisions to the extent that they address the GHG permitting requirements for sources already subject to PSD for pollutants other than GHGs. We are proposing to disapprove those provisions to the extent they require PSD permitting for sources that emit only GHGs above the thresholds triggering the requirement to obtain a PSD permit since that is no longer consistent with federal law. The EPA is proposing this action under section 110 and part C of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0022, 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 Ms. Adina Wiley, (214) 665-2115, [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 the 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: Adina Wiley, (214) 665-2115, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Wiley or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA.

    I. Background

    On January 2, 2011, GHGs became subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act and thus regulated under the PSD permitting program. See 75 FR17004, April 2, 2010. To establish a process for phasing in the permitting requirements for stationary sources of GHGs under the CAA PSD and title V programs, on June 3, 2010, the EPA promulgated a final rule “Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule” (referred to as the Tailoring Rule). See 75 FR 31514. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) adopted revisions to the Louisiana Administrative Code on April 20, 2011, to address the PSD permitting requirements for sources with GHG emissions. These revisions, which included content from the Tailoring Rule, were submitted to the EPA on December 21, 2011, for inclusion in the Louisiana SIP. Specifically, the LDEQ submitted new definitions for “carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e),” “greenhouse gases (GHGs)” and revisions to the existing definitions of “major stationary source” and “significant” at LAC 33:III.509(B). The submittal also included revisions to the general permitting program requirements at LAC 33:III.501(C)(14) to limit the regulation of GHGs under Louisiana's SIP to match any future changes in federal law or decisions by the Supreme Court or U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The December 21, 2011 submittal also included revisions to the Louisiana title V program at LAC 33:III.502 which is not a part of the SIP requirements under section 110 of the Act and will be addressed by the EPA in a separate action at a later date.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation

    In Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule, which began on January 2, 2011, the EPA limited application of PSD and title V requirements to sources only if they were subject to PSD or title V “anyway” due to their emissions of pollutants other than GHGs. These sources are referred to as “anyway sources.” Under its understanding of the CAA at the time, the EPA believed the Tailoring Rule was necessary to avoid a sudden and unmanageable increase in the number of sources that would be required to obtain PSD and title V permits under the CAA because the sources emitted GHGs over applicable major source and major modification thresholds.

    In Step 2 of the Tailoring Rule, which began on July 1, 2011, the PSD and title V permitting requirements under the CAA applied to some sources that were classified as major, and, thus, required to obtain a permit, based solely on their GHG emissions or potential to emit GHGs, and to modifications of otherwise major sources that required a PSD permit because they increased only GHG emissions above the level in the EPA regulations. We generally describe the sources covered by PSD during Step 2 of the Tailoring Rule as “Step 2 sources.”

    On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA, 134 S. Ct. 2427, addressing the application of stationary source permitting requirements to GHG emissions. The Supreme Court held that the EPA may not treat GHGs as an air pollutant for the specific purpose of determining whether a source is a major source (or a modification thereof) and thus require the source to obtain a PSD or title V permit. The Court also said that the EPA could continue to require that PSD permits for emissions of pollutants other than GHGs contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT). With respect to PSD, the ruling effectively upheld PSD permitting requirements for GHG emissions under Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule for “anyway sources” and invalidated PSD permitting requirements for Step 2 sources. In accordance with the Supreme Court decision, on April 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C. Circuit) issued an Amended Judgment vacating the regulations that implemented Step 2 of the Tailoring Rule, but not the regulations that implement Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule. The amended judgment preserves, without the need for additional rulemaking by the EPA, the application of the BACT requirement to GHG emissions from Step 1 or “anyway sources.” With respect to Step 2 sources, the D.C. Circuit's judgment ordered that the EPA regulations under review (including 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v) and 40 CFR 52.21(b)(49)(v)) be vacated “to the extent they require a stationary source to obtain a PSD permit if greenhouse gases are the only pollutant (i) that the source emits or has the potential to emit above the applicable major source thresholds, or (ii) for which there is a significant emissions increase from a modification.”

    The EPA promulgated a final rule on August 19, 2015, removing the portions of the PSD permitting provisions for Step 2 sources from the federal regulations that the D.C. Circuit specifically identified as vacated (40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v) and 52.21(b)(49)(v)). See 80 FR 50199. We no longer have the authority to conduct PSD permitting for Step 2 sources, nor can we approve provisions submitted by a state for inclusion in their SIP providing this authority.

    A. Evaluation of the Louisiana Automatic Rescission Provisions

    Louisiana's December 21, 2011 SIP submission submittal adds automatic rescission provisions to the State's PSD regulations at LAC 33:III.501(C)(14). The automatic rescission provisions provide that in the event that there is a change in federal law, or the D.C. Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court issues an order which limits or renders ineffective the regulation of GHGs under title I of the CAA, then the corresponding provisions of the Louisiana PSD program shall be limited or rendered ineffective to the same extent.

    The EPA is proposing to approve the Louisiana automatic rescission provisions. In assessing the approvability of automatic rescission provisions, the EPA considers two key factors: (1) Whether the public will be given reasonable notice of any change to the SIP that occurs as a result of the automatic rescission provisions, and (2) whether any future change to the SIP that occurs as a result of the automatic rescission provisions would be consistent with the EPA's interpretation of the effect of the triggering action on federal GHG permitting requirements. See, e.g., 79 FR 8130 (February 11, 2014) and 77 FR 12484 (March 1, 2012). These criteria are derived from the SIP revision procedures set forth in the CAA and federal regulations.

    Regarding public notice, CAA section 110(l) provides that any revision to a SIP submitted by a State to EPA for approval “shall be adopted by such State after reasonable notice and public hearing.” In accordance with CAA section 110(l), LDEQ followed applicable notice-and-comment procedures prior to adopting the automatic rescission provisions. Thus, the public is on notice that the automatic rescission provisions in the Louisiana PSD program will enable the Louisiana PSD program and the Louisiana SIP to update automatically to reflect any order by a federal court or any change in federal law that limits or renders ineffective the regulation of GHGs under the CAA's PSD permitting program. Additionally, the EPA interprets this provision to require the LDEQ to provide notice to the general public and regulated community of the changes to the Louisiana PSD program in the event that the automatic rescission provision is triggered. The EPA invites comment, particularly from the State, regarding this interpretation.

    The EPA's consideration of whether any SIP change resulting from Louisiana's automatic rescission provisions would be consistent with the EPA's interpretation of the effect of the triggering action on federal GHG permitting requirements is based on 40 CFR 51.105, which states that “[r]evisions of a plan, or any portion thereof, will not be considered part of an applicable plan until such revisions have been approved by the Administrator in accordance with this part.” To be consistent with 40 CFR 51.105, any automatic SIP change resulting from a court order or federal law change must be consistent with the EPA's interpretation of the effect of such order or federal law change on GHG permitting requirements. We interpret this provision to mean that Louisiana will wait for and follow the EPA's interpretation as to the impact of any federal law change or the D.C. Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court issues an order before Louisiana's SIP would be changed. In the event of a court decision or federal law change that triggers (or likely triggers) application of Louisiana's automatic rescission provisions, the EPA intends to promptly describe the impact of the court decision or federal law change on the enforceability of its GHG permitting regulation. The EPA invites comment, particularly from the State, regarding this interpretation.

    B. Evaluation of the Submitted Revisions to the Louisiana PSD Program

    Prior to the court decisions, the State submitted amended PSD provisions to enable permitting Step 1 and Step 2 sources and the GHG emissions from such sources on December 21, 2011. The EPA has an obligation under section 110 of the CAA to act upon a submitted revision to a state's SIP within 18 months of receipt. The December 21, 2011 SIP revisions have not been withdrawn; therefore, the EPA has an obligation to act on the submitted provisions. We have the authority under section 110(k)(3) of the Act to partially approve and partially disapprove portions of a SIP submittal that are not wholly approvable. Accordingly, we find it appropriate to propose partial approval under section 110(k)(3) of the Act of the submitted provisions that enable the State to permit GHG emissions from Step 1 sources consistent with federal requirements. Simultaneously, we are proposing disapproval of the provisions that enable the permitting of Step 2 sources under the PSD program.

    Our evaluation finds that the revised rules in Louisiana's December 21, 2011 SIP submission achieve the same result as the Step 1 permitting provisions in 40 CFR 51.166 that remain applicable at this time. However, the state rules achieve this result in a manner that differs from the way the EPA's regulations are presently written. The state has not enacted limitations on the meaning of the term “subject to regulation” as reflected in 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(iv). Instead, the State has adopted a significance level for GHGs whereby the net emissions increase of GHGs calculated on a mass basis equals or exceeds 0 tpy and the net emission increase of GHGs calculated on a CO2e basis is 75,000 tons per year CO2e for new major stationary sources or major modifications, which applies to determine whether the BACT requirement applies to GHGs in PSD permitting. Although the Louisiana SIP submission is structured differently than the EPA's federal rules, the primary practical effect of both is the same: The PSD BACT requirement does not apply to GHG emissions from an “anyway source” unless the source emits GHGs at or above the 75,000 ton per year threshold. Therefore, we find this aspect of Louisiana's SIP submissions to be approvable because it is consistent with the relevant provisions of 40 CFR 51.166.

    It is important to note, however, that the EPA's proposed approval is not based on determination by either EPA or the state that 75,000 tons per year CO2e is an appropriate de minimis level for GHGs. The EPA's proposed approval of the significant emissions rate for GHGs in LDEQ's rule is based only on the recognition that Louisiana's rule applies the same applicability level for the GHG BACT requirement that is presently reflected in the EPA's regulations.

    In establishing the significance level, the State rulemaking does not establish that 75,000 is a de minimis amount of GHG. Nothing in the state's rulemaking record and nothing in this EPA action provide support to substantiate 75,000 tons per year significance level as a de minimis level. See UARG, 134 S. Ct. 2427, at 2449 (noting that the EPA had not established the 75,000 tons per year level in the Tailoring Rule as a de minis threshold below which BACT is not required for a source's GHG emissions).

    Given the deficiencies in the justification for the GHG BACT applicability level in the existing EPA regulations, the EPA is planning to move forward in a separate, national rulemaking to propose a GHG Significant Emission Rate (SER) that would be justified as a de minis threshold level for applying the BACT requirement to GHG emissions under PSD. In the event that the EPA ultimately promulgates a final GHG SER, Louisiana, like all other SIP-approved states, may be obligated to undertake rulemaking to demonstrate consistency with federal requirements or may be subject to a SIP Call to correct a deficiency in the SIP-approved program.

    III. Proposed Action

    Section 110(k)(3) of the Act states that the EPA may partially approve and partially disapprove a SIP submittal if we find that only a portion of the submittal meets the requirements of the Act. We are proposing to approve the revisions to the Louisiana PSD permitting program submitted on December 21, 2011, that provide the State the authority to regulate and permit emissions of GHGs from Step 1 sources in the Louisiana PSD program. The EPA has made the preliminary determination that the revisions are approvable because the submitted rules are adopted and submitted in accordance with the CAA and are consistent with the laws and regulations for PSD permitting of GHGs. Therefore, under section 110 and part C of the Act, the EPA proposes to approve the following specific revisions to the Louisiana SIP for PSD permitting:

    • New provisions at LAC 33:III.501(C)(14) adopted on April 20, 2011 and submitted December 20, 2011;

    • New definitions of “carbon dioxide equivalent” and “greenhouse gases” at LAC 33:III.509(B) adopted on April 20, 2011 and submitted December 20, 2011; and

    • Revisions to the definitions of “major stationary source” paragraphs (a) and (b) and “significant” at LAC 33:III.509(B) adopted on April 20, 2011 and submitted December 20, 2011.

    Upon promulgation of a final approval of these proposed revisions, the EPA would also remove the provisions at 40 CFR 52.986(c) under which the EPA narrowed the applicability of the Louisiana PSD program to regulate sources consistent with federal requirements. The provisions at 40 CFR 52.986(c) will no longer be necessary when we finalize approval of the state regulations into the Louisiana SIP.

    We are also proposing to disapprove the provisions submitted on December 21, 2011, that would enable the State of Louisiana to regulate and permit Step 2 sources, under the Louisiana PSD program because the submitted provisions are no longer consistent with federal laws. Specifically, the EPA is proposing to disapprove revisions to the definitions at LAC 33:III.509 for “major stationary source” paragraph (c) “significant” as it pertains to Step 2 sources, as adopted on April 20, 2011 and submitted December 20, 2011. Finalization of this proposed disapproval will not require the EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan because the Louisiana PSD program would continue to regulate GHG emissions consistent with federal statutory and regulatory permitting requirements. We are proposing this disapproval under section 110 and part C of the Act; as such, we will also not impose sanctions as a result of a final disapproval.

    The EPA is also taking the opportunity to correct an omission in our proposed approval of revisions to the Louisiana Major New Source Review program on August 19, 2015. In that action we neglected to specifically identify the revisions submitted on December 20, 2005 to the PSD definition of “major stationary source” at LAC 33:III.509(B) as part of our proposed action. In both the TSD associated with docket EPA-R06-OAR-2006-0131 and in the TSD accompanying today's action, we have evaluated this submission and found the revised regulations to be consistent with federal requirements at 40 CFR 51.166(b)(1)(iii). As such, we are also proposing approval of the revisions to the definition of “major stationary source” at LAC 33:III.509(B) submitted on December 20, 2005 as subparagraph (e), but was moved to subparagraph (f) in the December 20, 2011 submittal.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this action, we are proposing to include in a final rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are proposing to incorporate by reference revisions to the Louisiana regulations as described in the Proposed Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action proposes approval of the portions of the submitted revisions to State law for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions consistent with federal requirements and proposes disapproval of the portions of the state laws that do not meet Federal requirements for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions.

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. There is no burden imposed under the PRA because this action proposes to disapprove submitted revisions that are no longer consistent with federal laws for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This action proposes to disapprove submitted revisions that are no longer consistent with federal laws for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions, and therefore will have no impact on small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. This action proposes to disapprove submitted revisions that are no longer consistent with federal laws for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions, and therefore will have no impact on small governments.

    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 proposes to disapprove provisions of state law that are no longer consistent with federal laws for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions; there are no requirements or responsibilities added or removed from Indian Tribal Governments. 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 disapproves state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with federal laws for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. This action is not subject to Executive Order 12898 because it disapproves state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with federal laws for the regulation and permitting of GHG emissions.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: April 29, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10739 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    81 88 Friday, May 6, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document No. AMS-LPS-16-0019] 2016 Rates Charged for AMS Services AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the 2016 rates it will charge for voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities including meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and cotton and tobacco. The 2016 regular, overtime, holiday, and laboratory services rates will be applied at the beginning of the crop year, fiscal year or as required by law (June 1 for cotton programs) depending on the commodity. This action established the rates for user-funded programs based on costs incurred by AMS.

    DATES:

    May 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sonia Jimenez, AMS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 2095-S, 1400 Independence Ave SW., Washington, DC 20250; telephone (202) 720-6766, fax (202) 205-5772; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (AMA) (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), provides for the collection of fees to cover costs of various inspection, grading, certification or auditing services covering many agricultural commodities and products. The AMA also provides for the recovery of costs incurred in providing laboratory services. The Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act (7 U.S.C. 471-476) and the U.S. Cotton Standards Act (7 U.S.C. 51-65) provide for classification of cotton and development of cotton standards materials necessary for cotton classification. The Cotton Futures Act (7 U.S.C. 15b) provides for futures certification services and the Tobacco Inspection Act (7 U.S.C. 511-511s) provides for tobacco inspection and grading. These Acts also provide for the recovery of costs associated with these services.

    On November 13, 2014, the Department of Agriculture (Department) published in the Federal Register a final rule that established standardized formulas for calculating the fees charged by AMS user-funded programs (79 FR 67313). On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Department published in the Federal Register its first notice (80 FR 19059) announcing the 2015 rates for its user-funded programs.

    This notice announces the 2016 fee rates for voluntary grading, inspection, certification, auditing and laboratory services for a variety of agricultural commodities including meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and cotton and tobacco on a per-hour rate and, in some instances, the equivalent per-unit cost. The per-unit cost is provided to facilitate understanding of the costs associated with the service to the industries that historically used unit-cost basis for payment. The fee rates will be effective at the beginning of the fiscal year, crop year, or as required by specific laws (June 1 for cotton programs).

    The rates reflect direct and indirect costs of providing services. Direct costs include the cost of salaries, employee benefits, and if applicable, travel and some operating costs. Indirect or overhead costs include the cost of Program and Agency activities supporting the services provided to the industry. The formula used to calculate these rates also includes operating reserve, which may add to or draw upon the existing operating reserves.

    These services include the grading, inspection or certification of quality factors in accordance with established U.S. Grade Standards; audits or accreditation according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and/or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles; and other marketing claims. The quality grades serve as a basis for market prices and reflect the value of agricultural commodities to both producers and consumers. AMS' grading and quality verification and certification, audit and accreditation, plant process and equipment verification, and laboratory approval services are voluntary tools paid for by the users on a fee-for-service basis. The agriculture industry can use these tools to promote and communicate the quality of agricultural commodities to consumers. Laboratory services are provided for analytic testing, including but not limited to chemical, microbiological, biomolecular, and physical analyses. AMS is required by statute to recover the costs associated with these services.

    As required by the Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act (7 U.S.C. 471-476), consultations regarding the establishment of the fee for cotton classification with U.S. cotton industry representatives were held between January and the present when most industry stakeholder meetings take place. Representatives of all segments of the cotton industry, including producers, ginners, bale storage facility operators, merchants, cooperatives, and textile manufacturers were informed of the fees during various industry-sponsored forums.

    Rates Calculations

    AMS calculated the rate for services, per hour per program employee using the following formulas (a per-unit base is included for programs that charge services based on a per-unit base):

    (1) Regular rate. The total AMS grading, inspection, certification, classification, audit, or laboratory service program personnel direct pay divided by direct hours for the previous year, which is then multiplied by the next year's percentage of cost of living increase, plus the benefits rate, plus the operating rate, plus the allowance for bad debt rate. If applicable, travel expenses may also be added to the cost of providing the service.

    (2) Overtime rate. The total AMS grading, inspection, certification, classification, audit, or laboratory service program personnel direct pay divided by direct hours, which is then multiplied by the next year's percentage of cost of living increase and then multiplied by 1.5, plus the benefits rate, plus the operating rate, plus an allowance for bad debt. If applicable, travel expenses may also be added to the cost of providing the service.

    (3) Holiday rate. The total AMS grading, inspection, certification, classification, audit, or laboratory service program personnel direct pay divided by direct hours, which is then multiplied by the next year's percentage of cost of living increase and then multiplied by 2, plus benefits rate, plus the operating rate, plus an allowance for bad debt. If applicable, travel expenses may also be added to the cost of providing the service.

    When possible, AMS is adjusting the rates to cover all of its expenses and to provide for reasonable operating reserves. Many of these rates have not been adjusted for a number of years. In some cases fees are decreased due to efficiencies and cost cutting measures. Applying the formulas described above without consideration of the operating reserves, in some cases, would have resulted in a substantial increase in fees. To avoid an undue burden on industry operations in these cases, AMS plans to phase in some of the increases over a multi-year period. Each year, AMS will reassess whether the fee rate and phase-in period are appropriate based on the formula and established operating reserve. Drawing upon the existing operating reserves will not affect AMS' ability to maintain the minimally required operating reserves.

    All rates are per-hour except when a per-unit cost is noted. The specific amounts in each rate calculation are available upon request from the specific AMS program.

    2016 Rates Regular Overtime Holiday Includes
  • travel costs
  • in rate
  • Start date
    Cotton Fees 7 CFR Part 27—Cotton Classification Under Cotton Futures Legislation Subpart A—Regulations; §§ 27.80-27.90 Costs of Classifications and Micronaire Cotton Standardization Certification for Futures Contract (Grading services for samples submitted by CCC-licensed samplers) $4.25/bale X June 1, 2016. Transfer of Certification Data to New Owner or Certified Warehouse (Electronic transfer performed) $0.20/bale or $5.00 per page minimum X June 1, 2016. 7 CFR Part 28—Cotton Classing, Testing, and Standards Subpart A—Regulations Under the United States Cotton Standards Act; §§ 28.115-28.126 Fees and Costs Subpart D—Cotton Classification and Market News Service for Producers; § 28.909 Costs; § 28.910 Classification of Samples and Issuance of Classification Data; § 28.911 Review Classification Cotton Grading Form 1: Grading Services for Producers (submitted by licensed sampler) $2.20/bale X June 1, 2016. Form 1 Review (new sample submitted by licensed sampler) $2.20/bale X June 1, 2016. Form A Determinations (sample submitted by licensed warehouse) $2.20/bale X June 1, 2016. Form C Determinations (sample submitted by non-licensed entity; bale sampled under USDA supervision) $2.20/bale June 1, 2016 Form D Determination (sample submitted by owner or agent; classification represents sample only) Instrument and Manual Grade: $2.20/bale; Instrument Grade Only: $2.00/bale X June 1, 2016. Foreign Growth Classification (sample of foreign growth cotton submitted by owner or agent; classification represents sample only) $6.00/sample X June 1, 2016. Arbitration (comparison of a sample to the official standards or a sample type) $6.00/sample X June 1, 2016. Practical Cotton Classing Exam (for non-USDA employees) Exam: $150/applicant; Reexamination: $130/applicant X June 1, 2016. Special Sample Handling (return of samples per request) $0.50/sample X June 1, 2016. Electronic Copy of Classification Record $0.05/bale ($5.00/month minimum with any records received) X June 1, 2016. Form A Rewrite (reissuance of Form 1, Form A, or Futures Certification data or combination) $0.15/bale or $5.00/page minimum X June 1, 2016. Form R (reissuance of Form 1 classification only) $0.15/bale or $5.00/page minimum X June 1, 2016. International Instrument Level Assessment $4.00/sample X June 1, 2016. Dairy Fees 7 CFR Part 58—Grading and Inspection, General Specifications for Approved Plants and Standards for Grades of Dairy Products Subpart A—Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading Services of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products; §§ 58.38-58.46 Fees and Charges Continuous Resident Grading Service $76.00 $90.92 $107.24 X Oct 1, 2016. Non-resident and Intermittent Grading Service; State Graders; Equipment Review 82.00 96.76 116.64 X Oct 1, 2016. Non-resident Services 6 p.m.-6 a.m. (10 percent night differential) 90.20 106.44 128.32 X Oct 1, 2016. Export Certificate Services 82.00 N/A N/A X Oct 1, 2016. Special Handling 41.00 N/A N/A Oct 1, 2016. Fax Charge 4.00 N/A N/A Oct 1, 2016. Derogation Application 123.00 N/A N/A Oct 1, 2016. Fruit and Vegetable Fees 7 CFR Part 51—Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Other Products (Inspection, Certification, and Standards) Subpart A—Regulations; §§ 51.37-51.44 Schedule of Fees and Charges at Destination Markets § 51.45 Schedule of Fees and Charges at Shipping Point Areas Quality and Condition Inspections for Whole Lots $166.00 per lot Oct 1, 2016. Quality and Condition Half Lot or Condition-Only Inspections for Whole Lots $138.00 per lot Oct 1, 2016. Condition—Half Lot $127.00 per lot Oct 1, 2016. Quality and Condition or Condition-Only Inspections for Additional Lots of the Same Product $76.00 per lot Oct 1, 2016. Dockside Inspections—Each package weighing <30 lbs $0.038 per pkg. Oct 1, 2016. Dockside Inspections—Each package weighing >30 lbs $0.059 per pkg. Oct 1, 2016. Charge per Individual Product for Dockside Inspection $151.00 per lot Oct 1, 2016. Charge per Each Additional Lot of the Same Product $69.00 per lot Oct 1, 2016. Inspections for All Hourly Work $74.00 $112.00 $148.00 Oct 1, 2016. Audit Services $92.00 X 1 Oct 1, 2016. 7 CFR Part 52—Processed Fruits and Vegetables, Processed Products Thereof, and Other Processed Food Products Subpart—Regulations Governing Inspection and Certification; §§ 52.41-52.51 Fees and Charges Lot Inspections $65.00 $81.00 $97.00 X Oct 1, 2016. In-plant Inspections Under Annual Contract (year-round) 63.00 80.50 96.00 X Oct 1, 2016. Additional Graders (in-plant) or Less Than Year-Round 72.00 90.50 109.00 X Oct 1, 2016. Audit Services $92.00 X 1 Oct 1, 2016. Meat and Livestock Fees 7 CFR Part 54—Meats, Prepared Meats, and Meat Products (Grading, Certification, and Standards) Subpart A—Regulations; §§ 54.27-54.28 Charges for Service Commitment Grading $66.00 $83.00 $100.00 X Oct 1, 2016. Non-commitment Grading 79.00 94.00 109.00 Oct 1, 2016. Night Differential (6 p.m.-6 a.m.) 73.00 91.00 109.00 Oct 1, 2016. 7 CFR Part 62—Livestock, Meat and Other Agricultural Commodities (Quality Systems Verification Programs) Subpart A—Quality Systems Verification Definitions § 62.300 Fees and Other Costs for Service Auditing Activities $108.00 Oct 1, 2016. 7 CFR Part 75—Regulations for Inspection and Certification of Quality of Agricultural and Vegetable Seeds § 75.41 General Laboratory Testing $52.00 $78.00 $104.00 X Oct 1, 2016. Administrative Fee $13.00 per certificate Oct 1, 2016. Poultry Fees 7 CFR Part 56—Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs Subpart A—Grading of Shell Eggs; §§ 56.45-56.54 Fees and Charges 7 CFR Part 70—Voluntary Grading of Poultry and Rabbit Products Subpart A—Grading of Poultry and Rabbit Products; §§ 70.70-70.78 Fees and Charges Resident Service (in-plant) 2 $47.00 2 $51.00 2 $75.00 X Oct 1, 2016. Resident, Night Differential (6 p.m.-6 a.m.) 2 51.00 2 56.00 2 80.00 X Oct 1, 2016. Resident, Sunday Differential 2 58.00 2 63.00 N/A X Oct 1, 2016. Resident, Sunday and Night Differential 2 63.00 2 66.00 N/A X Oct 1, 2016. Fee Service (non-scheduled) 77.00 93.00 116.00 Oct 1, 2016. Audit Service $108.00 Oct 1, 2016. Science and Technology Fees 7 CFR Part 91—Services and General Information (Science and Technology) Subpart I—Fees and Charges; §§ 91.37-91.45 Laboratory Testing Services $88.00 $106.00 $122.00 Oct 1, 2016. Laboratory Approval Services 3 154.00 183.00 211.00 X Jan 1, 2017. Tobacco Fees 7 CFR Part 29—Tobacco Inspection Subpart A—Policy Statement and Regulations Governing the Extension of Tobacco Inspection and Price Support Services to New Markets and to Additional Sales on Designated Markets Subpart B—Regulations; §§ 29.123-29.129 Fees and Charges; § 29.500 Fees and charges for inspection and acceptance of imported tobacco Subpart F—Policy Statement and Regulations Governing the Identification and Certification of Non-quota Tobacco Produced and Marketed in Quota Area; § 29.9251 Fees and Charges Domestic Permissive Inspection and Certification (re-grading of domestic tobacco for processing plants, retesting of imported tobacco, and grading tobacco for research stations.) $55.00 $64.00 $72.00 June 1, 2016. Export Permissive Inspection and Certification (grading of domestic tobacco for manufacturers and dealers for duty drawback consideration) $0.0025/pound X June 1, 2016. Grading for Risk Management Agency (for Tobacco Crop Insurance Quality Adjustment determinations) $0.015/pound X June 1, 2016. Pesticide Test Sampling (collection of certified tobacco sample and shipment to AMS National Science Laboratory for testing) $0.0065/kg or $0.0029/pound X June 1, 2016. Pesticide Retest Sampling (collection of certified tobacco sample from a previously sampled lot for re-testing at the AMS National Science Laboratory; fee includes shipping) $115.00/sample and $55.00/hour X June 1, 2016. Standards Course (training by USDA-certified instructor on tobacco grading procedures) $1,250.00/person June 1, 2016. Import Inspection and Certification (grading of imported tobacco for manufacturers and dealers) $0.0170/kg or $0.0080/pound X June 1, 2016. 1 Travel costs outside the United States will be added to the fee, if applicable. 2 Administrative charges are applied in addition to hourly rates for resident service as specified in Part 56, Subpart A, § 56.52(a)(4); Part 56, Subpart A, § 56.54(a)(2); Part 70, Subpart A, § 70.76(a)(2); Part 70, Subpart A, § 70.77(a)(4) and Part 70, Subpart A, § 70.77(a)(5). 3 Travel costs outside the United States will be added to the fee, if applicable.
    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 15b; 7 U.S.C. 473a-b; 7 U.S.C. 55 and 61; 7 U.S.C. 51-65; 7 U.S.C. 471-476; 7 U.S.C. 511, 511s; and 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.

    Dated: April 28, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10351 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Increase in Fiscal Year 2016 Specialty Sugar Tariff-Rate Quota, and Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2017 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and Molasses AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (the Secretary) is providing notice of an increase in the fiscal year (FY) 2016 specialty sugar tariff-rate quota (TRQ) of 20,000 metric tons raw value (MTRV). The Secretary also announces the establishment of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (October 1, 2016-September 30, 2017) in-quota aggregate quantity of raw cane sugar at 1,117,195 metric tons raw value (MTRV), and the establishment of the FY 2017 in-quota aggregate quantity of certain sugars, syrups, and molasses (also referred to as refined sugar) at 162,000 MTRV.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Souleymane Diaby, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., AgStop 1021, Washington, DC 20250-1021; by telephone (202) 720-2916; by fax (202) 720-0876; or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 2015, USDA announced the establishment of the in-quota quantity of the FY 2016 refined sugar TRQ at 132,000 MTRV for which the sucrose content, by weight in the dry state, must have a polarimeter reading of 99.5 degrees or more (FR 80, No. 114, June 15, 2015, page 34129). This amount includes the minimum level to which the United States is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreements (22,000 MTRV of which 1,656 MTRV is reserved for specialty sugar) and an additional 110,000 MTRV reserved for specialty sugars.

    Pursuant to Additional U.S. Note 5 to Chapter 17 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and Section 359k of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, the Secretary today increases the overall FY 2016 refined sugar TRQ by 20,000 MTRV to 152,000 MTRV. The increased amount is reserved for specialty sugar. Entry of this sugar will be permitted beginning May 9, 2016. The sugar entered under this tariff-rate quota is reserved for organic sugar and other specialty sugars not currently produced commercially in the United States or reasonably available from domestic sources.

    The provisions of paragraph (a)(i) of the Additional U.S. Note 5, Chapter 17 in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) authorize the Secretary to establish the in-quota tariff-rate quota (TRQ) amounts (expressed in terms of raw value) for imports of raw cane sugar and certain sugars, syrups, and molasses that may be entered under the subheadings of the HTS subject to the lower tier of duties during each fiscal year. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for the allocation of these quantities among supplying countries and areas.

    Section 359(k) of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, requires that at the beginning of the quota year the Secretary of Agriculture establish the TRQs for raw cane sugar and refined sugars at the minimum levels necessary to comply with obligations under international trade agreements, with the exception of specialty sugar.

    Notice is hereby given that the Secretary has determined, in accordance with paragraph (a)(i) of the Additional U.S. Note 5, Chapter 17 in the HTS and section 359(k) of the 1938 Act, that an aggregate quantity of up to 1,117,195 MTRV of raw cane sugar may be entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption during FY 2017. This is the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreements. The Secretary has further determined that an aggregate quantity of 162,000 MTRV of sugars, syrups, and molasses may be entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption during FY 2017. This quantity includes the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreements, 22,000 MTRV, of which 20,344 MTRV is established for any sugars, syrups and molasses, and 1,656 MTRV is reserved for specialty sugar. An additional amount of 140,000 MTRV is added to the specialty sugar TRQ for a total of 141,656 MTRV.

    Because the specialty sugar TRQ is first-come, first-served, tranches are needed to allow for orderly marketing throughout the year. The FY 2017 specialty sugar TRQ will be opened in five tranches. The first tranche, totaling 1,656 MTRV, will open October 3, 2016. All specialty sugars are eligible for entry under this tranche. The second tranche will open on October 26, 2016, and be equal to 40,000 MTRV. The third tranche of 38,344 MTRV will open on January 6, 2017. The fourth and fifth tranches of 30,000 MTRV each will open on April 7, 2017, and July 7, 2017, respectively. The second, third, fourth, and fifth tranches will be reserved for organic sugar and other specialty sugars not currently produced commercially in the United States or reasonably available from domestic sources.

    * Conversion factor: 1 metric ton = 1.10231125 short tons. Dated: April 29, 2016. Alexis M. Taylor, Deputy Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10701 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 2, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by June 6, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Evaluation of Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI).

    OMB Control Number: 0584-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The Agriculture Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) authorized USDA to provide Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) grants to eligible organizations to design and implement projects to increase purchases of fruits and vegetables among low income consumers participating in the SNAP by providing incentives at point of purchase.

    Need and Use of the Information: The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will collect information to measure changes in fruit and vegetable purchases and consumption, food security, and perceived diet quality and health status among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants receiving incentives at point of purchase.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals/Households, State/Local Government, Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 11,286.

    Frequency of Responses: 64,656.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 4,501.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10699 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ravalli Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Ravalli Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Hamilton, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/bitterroot/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held May 24, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Bitteroot National Forest (NF) Supervisor's Office, 1801 North 1st Street, Hamilton, Montana.

    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 Bitteroot NF Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ryan Domsalla, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 406-821-3269 or via email at [email protected]; or Joni Lubke, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 406-363-7182 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is for voting and approving new proposed projects

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by May 20, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Joni Lubke, RAC Coordinator, 1801 N. 1st Street, Hamilton, Montana 59840; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-363-7159.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. Julie K. King, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10720 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ravalli Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Ravalli Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Hamilton, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/bitterroot/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held June 14, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Bitteroot National Forest (NF) Supervisor's Office, 1801 North 1st Street, Hamilton, Montana.

    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 Bitteroot NF Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ryan Domsalla, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 406-821-3269 or via email at [email protected]; or Joni Lubke, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 406-363-7182 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is for voting and approving new projects.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by June 10, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Joni Lubke, RAC Coordinator, 1801 N. 1st Street, Hamilton, Montana 59840; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-363-7159.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. Julie K. King, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10721 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 2, 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 and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by June 6, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commentors 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.

    Forest Service

    Title: Recreation Fee and Wilderness Program Administration.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0106.

    Summary of Collection: The Federal Lands Recreation and Enhancement Act (16 U.S.C. 6801-6814) authorizes the Forest Service (FS) to collect recreation fees for use of government facilities and services. The Organic Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 473), the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131), and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1271) authorize FS to collect information from National Forest System visitors who are asked to describe the location of their visit and estimated duration of stay. Every year millions of people visit National Forest System recreations sites. At some of these sites, the public is required to pay a fee to use the site. Fees are charged to help cover the costs of operating and maintaining fee sites, areas, and facilities such as campgrounds. FS will collect information from the forms to document when visitors pay a required recreation fee and to schedule requests for use and occupancy of government owned facilities.

    Need and use of the Information: Forms used to collection information and fees from visitors: (1) The Recreation Fee Permit Envelope (FS 2300-26 and 26a); (2) Permit for Short-Term, Non-commercial Use of Government-Owned Cabins and Lookouts (FS 2300-43); (3) Visitor Permit (FS-2300-30); (4) Visitor Registration Card (FS-2300-32); (5) National Recreation Application (FS-2300-47) and (6) National Recreation Permit (FS-2300-48). Personal information includes, but not limited to, names, addresses, telephone number, length of stay, amount paid, requested dates of occupancy, party size and vehicle registration are collected. If this information and fees was not collected FS could not monitor visitation rates in special management areas to prevent overuse and site deterioration in environmentally sensitive areas.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 2,228,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (per visit).

    Total Burden Hours: 119,000.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10722 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS-2016-0003] Notice of Availability of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Indiana Field Office Technical Guide for Public Review and Comment AGENCY:

    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NRCS is proposing to revise Section I of the Indiana Field Office Technical Guide to include “Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, to Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size for the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended,” which will replace the existing “Wetland Mapping Conventions for Agricultural Land and Narrow Band and Small Pocket Inclusions of Non-Agricultural Land” (commonly referred as State Wetland Mapping Conventions).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This notice is effective May 6, 2016. “Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, to Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size for the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended” is in final draft, subject to revision and will be utilized immediately in order to better service requests for wetland determinations for compliance with the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended) in a timely manner.

    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number NRCS-2016-0003, using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail or hand-delivery: Submit state specific comments to the Indiana NRCS State Office, located at 6013 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis Indiana 61821.

    NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If your comment includes your address, phone number, email, or other personal identifying information, your comments, including personal information, may be available to the public. You may ask in your comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jane E. Hardisty, State Conservationist, Telephone: (317) 295-5801

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    “Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, To Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size for the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended” will be used as part of the technical documents and procedures to conduct wetland determinations on agricultural land as required by 16 U.S.C. 3822. NRCS is required by 16 U.S.C. 3862 to make available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to standards and procedures used to carry out highly erodible land and wetland provisions of the law. All comments will be considered. If no comments are received, “Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, to Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size for the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended” will be considered final.

    Electronic copies of the proposed “Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, to Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size for the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended” are available through http://regulations.gov by accessing Docket No. NRCS-2016-0003. Alternatively, copies can be downloaded or printed from the Indiana NRCS Web site located at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/in/home/. Requests for paper versions or inquiries may be directed to the Indiana State Conservationist at the contact point shown above.

    Signed this 21 day of April, 2016. Jane E. Hardisty, Indiana State Conservationist. United States Department of Agriculture Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, To Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size For the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 4 1.0 FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 1985, AS AMENDED WETLAND DETERMINATION PROCESS STEP 1: WETLAND IDENTIFICATION 11 1.1 DEVELOPMENT OF SAMPLING UNTS BASED ON NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES 15 1.2 DETERMINE REMOTE INDICATORS FOR HYDRIC SOILS 17 1.3 DETERMINE REMOTE INDICATORS FOR WETLAND HYDROLOGY 19 1.4 DETERMINE REMOTE INDICATORS FOR HYDROPHYTIC VEGETATION 25 1.5 DEVELOPEMENT OF THE BASE MAP 26 2.0 FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 1985, AS AMENDED WETLAND DETERMINATION PROCESS STEP 2: ASSIGNMENT OF WC LABELS 27 2.1 VERIFICATION OF PRE-DECEMBER 23, 1985 CROPPING HISTORY 27 2.2 VERIFICATION OF PRE-DECEMBER 23, 1985 MANIPULATIONS 29 2.3 VERIFICATION OF POST-DECEMBER 23, 1985 MANIPULATION OR CONVERSION 30 2.4 VERIFICATION OF CROPPED GLACIATED POTHOLE LANDFORM 32 2.5 VERIFICATION OF PASTURED DEPRESSIONAL LANDFORMS 34 2.6 VERIFICATION OF CROPPED DEPRESSIONAL LANDFORMS 35 2.7 DETERMINATION OF THE REQUIRED CONDITIONS FOR WC LABELS 37 3.0 FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 1985, AS AMENDED WETLAND DETERMINATION PROCESS STEP 3: CERTIFIED WETLAND DETERMINATION MAP 38 3.1 TRANSFERRING BASE MAP SAMPLING UNITS TO WC COMPLIANCE LABELED POLYGONS 39 3.2 CERTIFIED WETLAND DETERMINATION (CWD) MAP 39 4.0 ATTACHMENTS 40 INTRODUCTION

    The National Food Security Act Manual (NFSAM) provides internal agency policy related to the Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation provisions of the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended (FSA *). Part 514.7 of the NFSAM explains that the FSA wetland determination process requires a technical determination of whether the site (sampling unit) is a wetland, then a separate, independent determination of whether any exemptions to the provisions apply. Based on these two decisions, a certified wetland determination map is prepared with an appropriate Wetland Conservation (WC) label assigned to each sampling unit. The size of each area with a WC label is provided. Thus, the FSA wetland determination decision includes three independent steps: Step 1: Wetland Identification, Step 2: Assignment of WC Labels and Step 3: Sizing.

    * To properly differentiate between the Food Security Act and the Farm Service Agency, “FSA” will refer to the 1985 Food Security Act and “Farm Services Agency” will be spelled out.

    STEP 1: WETLAND IDENTIFICATION

    To accomplish the first step (wetland identification), the Secretary of Agriculture directed the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop and use offsite and onsite wetland identification procedures (7 CFR 12.30(a)(4)). The NRCS responded by providing such procedures in the NFSAM.

    The NFSAM Part 527 FSA Wetland Identification Procedures, as distributed through Circular 6 in December 2010, directs that NRCS will utilize Part IV: Methods, contained in the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (Corps Manual) for onsite and offsite determinations. The NFSAM explains that the on-site procedures contained in the Corps Manual are supplemented by the Corps Regional Supplements and the FSA variances to the Corps Methods, as provided in Part 527 FSA Wetland Identification Procedures.

    STEP 2: ASSIGNMENT OF WETLAND CONSERVATION LABELS

    The second step (Assignment of Wetland Conservation Labels) assigns labels identified in NFSAM Part 514 to each sampling unit. The methodology for this step involves taking the Step 1: Wetland Identification, which is either “Yes, the site meets the FSA definition of a wetland” or “No, the site does not meet the FSA definition of a wetland”, reviewing the data for activities that have affected the wetland nature of the site and assigning a FSA label to the sampling unit in response to the disturbances, if any, done to the area within the sampling unit. This assigning of FSA labels is a straight forward determination that the data reviewed indicates that the site meets the definition of the FSA label.

    STEP 3: SIZING

    The third step is to review the ecological conditions of the site for a change in the overall size from the Step 1: Wetland Identification, to the present day with an analysis of the correctness of a specific Wetland Type Label for a specific size.

    This step is designed to take notice of sample units meet a FSA label of a type of wetland that then may have decreased in size after December 23, 1985, and may require a change in label to document that the sampling unit was manipulated or converted.

    On the other hand, an increase in the size of a sampling unit may also indicate the change in a FSA label from a type of non-wetland to wetland where an exemption still applies to the increased size and can be converted into land suitable for crop production.

    The FSA Wetland Identification Procedures provide that the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) offsite procedures found in Part IV, Section D, Subsection 1—“Onsite Inspection Unnecessary” can be augmented with the development of State Offsite Methods (SOSM). The purpose of this document is to provide procedures that the NRCS in Indiana will use for rendering decisions when onsite inspection (field indicators) is unnecessary. Additionally, this document provides guidance related to the assignment of FSA labels and sizing.

    The SOSM incorporates by reference the current versions and pertinent sections of the following Documents (and their location):

    1. National Food Security Act Manual (NFSAM)

    2. 20101 Food Security Act Wetland Identification Procedures (NFSAM Part 527 Appendix)

    3. 1987 United States Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual, Technical Report Y-87-1 (on-line edition)

    4. USACE Regional Supplements Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, Midwest, and North Central and Northeast Regions to the '87 Manual (on-line editions)

    5. Hydrology Tools for Wetland Determination (Title 210 Engineering, National Engineering Handbook (NEH), Part 650, Engineering Field Handbook (EFH), Chapter 19)

    The Assignment of Wetland Types and The Sizing of Wetlands Procedures (WTSP) can be used either offsite or on-site, and both incorporate by reference the current versions and pertinent sections of NFSAM Parts 514 (Labels) and 515 (Minimal Effect and Mitigation Exemption). These labels were developed to account for all of the various kinds of wetlands defined in 7CFR12.2-Wetland determinations and the different exemptions to be applied to those wetlands as found in 7 CFR 12.5(b)-Exemptions for wetlands and converted wetlands. The sizing of wetlands is a procedure to ensure that the label is correct for the entire area of the sampling unit based on the aforementioned references used for the Assignment of Wetland Types. NRCS has used Part IV of the 1987 USACE Delineation Manual as the base document for the development of SOSM while incorporating the variances from the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures without any alterations, so it is anticipated that there will be few, if any, differences with the existing wetland determination system.

    Paragraph (2-14) of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures defines SOSM as “Methods developed by the NRCS for the sole purpose of supplementing the offsite methodology in the Corp Manual (decisions made using Level 1 or Level 3) for use in identifying wetlands for FSA purposes. The adoption process for State Offsite Methods will include solicitation of State Technical Committee recommendations. These methods may replace or supplement methods provided for in State Mapping Conventions.”

    Indiana NRCS presented the SOSM to the Indiana State Technical Committee on February 24, 2015 and April 9, 2015 to solicit feedback and recommendations as required in paragraph (2-14) of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures. NRCS also presented the WTSP to the committee to demonstrate how the FSA label assignment and sizing procedure carries on the information collected to make the Wetland Identification. All of the methodologies and procedures developed for Indiana take into account unique regional, state, and local wetland characteristics. This document adheres to regulations and policies in effect as of the date of this document but may be subject to change. Specific changes required by CFR will be implemented without concurrence from other agencies while changes in methodology and procedures will be vetted with the committee.

    For FSA purposes, the term “wetland” is defined in 16 U.S.C. 3801(a)(18) as land that—

    A) Has a predominance of hydric soils.

    B) Is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.

    C) Under normal circumstances supports a prevalence of such vegetation.

    According to paragraph (3-2) of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures, “This definition is unique to the statute, and all decisions regarding the identification of FSA wetlands must be based on this definition. The statute adds further clarity to the concept of an FSA wetland by defining “hydric soil” and “hydrophytic vegetation” (as those concepts will be applied to the Wetland Conservation provisions) and by the specific direction given to the Secretary as to the hydric soils and hydrophytic vegetation criteria that must be developed by USDA (16 U.S.C. Section 3801(b)(1)).”

    Wetland identification decisions are based on conditions that are expected to occur under Normal Circumstances. The FSA Wetland Identification Procedures paragraph (2-10) defines Normal Circumstances (NC) as, “The soil and hydrologic conditions that are normally present, without regard to whether the vegetation has been removed (7 CFR 12.31(b)(2)(i)). For FSA wetland identification purposes, this concept is the consideration of normal and abnormal climate-based site changes and natural and artificial disturbance-based site changes that can create wetland identification challenges. “Normally present” is further explained as the vegetative, soil, and hydrologic conditions that occur under both of these conditions:

    a. Without regard to whether the site has been subject to drainage actions (see drainage definition) after December 23, 1985, and without regard to whether the vegetation has been removed or significantly altered.

    b. During the wet portion of the growing season under normal climatic conditions (normal environmental conditions).

    The FSA Wetland Identification Procedures paragraph (2-11) defines Normal Environmental Conditions (NEC) as “The climate-based concept of NC, defined as the physical conditions, characteristics (hydrology, soil, and vegetation), or both that would exist in a typical situation (2-12) on a site during the wet portion of the growing season in a normal climatic year.”

    Normal Circumstances as used in the FSA wetland definition requires that decisions be based not on anomalies, but rather what would normally occur on the sampling unit during NEC (FSA Procedures paragraph 3-3). In the Corps methods, the concept of “normal” is separated into the disturbance-based concept of normal circumstances (typical/atypical situations) and the climate-based concept of normal circumstances called “normal environmental conditions” (NEC). The NRCS adopts this concept that a determination of “normal” is a two-pronged consideration (FSA Procedures paragraph 3-4). For FSA purposes the agency expert will determine the normal circumstances (NC) of the sampling unit as those that would be expected to occur,

    (1) In the absence of post-December 23, 1985 drainage actions that alter the normal soil or hydrologic conditions.

    (2) In the absence of an alteration (removal or change) in the plant community such that a decision cannot be made if the site would support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation if undisturbed.

    (3) During the wet portion of the growing season during a year experiencing normal weather patterns.

    In the absence of direct evidence, the decision if a sampling unit meets a particular diagnostic factor (wetland hydrology, prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation, and a predominance of hydric soils) is assisted by confirmation of the presence of indicators. The use of indicators to predict the conditions that would occur under NC is referred to as the “indicator-based approach to wetland identification.” The presence or lack of indicators can be determined using remotely sensed data sources or onsite observations. USACE, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and NRCS use the indicator-based approach to assist in decision-making. The ultimate decision if a site meets the FSA criteria for any of the three diagnostic factors is made from a preponderance of evidence, best professional judgment, and the FSA definitions and criteria of hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology (FSA Wetland Identification Procedures paragraph 4-3).

    According to Paragraph 4-4 of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures, “The decision if the site is a Food Security Act wetland is ultimately rendered based on the determination of a presence or absence of each of the three factors under NC. Areas determined to support wetland hydrology, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation, and a predominance of hydric soils (all under NC), as each factor is defined by the FSA, are wetlands subject to the WC provisions of the act.”

    SECTION 1 1.0—FSA WETLAND DETERMINATION PROCESS STEP 1: WETLAND IDENTIFICATION

    On-site Visits Required by Regulation:

    7CFR12(a)(6) is cited in NFSAM Part 514.1.A(3)(v) as requiring an on-site investigation of FSA-569 “NRCS Report of HELC and WC Compliance” requests or whistleblower complaints. Other situations that require an on-site investigation include a specific request for an onsite determination; as a condition of withholding program benefits; servicing an appeal; or a request for a pre-conversion minimal effect determination.

    In addition, an on-site visit is required any time an agency expert:

    1) Cannot accumulate enough offsite data to complete the decision-making process, or

    2) Finds that the accumulated data do not give a clear and definitive determination.

    At each significant decision-making point in the offsite procedure, the agency expert will consider whether an on-site inspection procedure is needed. It is not the intent of the SOSM to always provide a determination answer. The intent of the SOSM is to provide a body of data to the agency expert that can be used to make an offsite determination if the data is of sufficient quantity and quality. If not, then the offsite data will be used to assist in making an on-site determination.

    Modifying the procedure—

    The FSA wetland determination process makes use of two parts of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual; Paragraph 23 of the Introduction and Part IV minus the comprehensive method (NFSAM, Part 527(5-3). Paragraph 23, entitled “Flexibility”, addresses the possibility of the need to modify the procedures.

    NRCS has developed modifications to the process as required by the FSA and its amendments. These modifications are incorporated into the “2010 Food Security Act Wetland Identification Procedure” (FSA Wetland Identification Procedure) as variances and are used in the SOSM and other procedures in this document. Paragraph 23 requires all modifications to be explained so that all variances will be cited when used. No further modifications to the SOSM or other procedures are authorized. Any need to modify the SOSM or other offsite procedures themselves is an indication that a Level 2 or Level 3 on-site determination is necessary.

    Locally produced evidence—

    7 CFR 12.5(b)(7) “Responsibility to provide evidence” states it is the person who is seeking an exemption listed in 7 CFR 12.5(b)(1-5) to a converted wetland (any time before or after December 23, 1985) to provide evidence in seeking that exemption. It is not the NRCS' responsibility to search for such evidence outside of this procedure; rather, it is the NRCS' responsibility to see if the participant-provided evidence can be confirmed and to ensure that the person has had such an opportunity.

    Locally produced evidence will be considered as a source of data alongside all other data used to make the offsite determination. NOTE: In this instance the use of the word “converted” is in reference to 7CFR12.2(3), meaning a manipulation creating ground suitable for crop production at any time before or after December 23, 1985. This is not referring to the use of the FSA Labels “Converted Wetland” or “Converted Wetland + Year”.

    INDIVIDUALS QUALIFICATIONS TO USE THESE SOSM

    As stated in the NFSAM in Part 514.1, “Certified wetland determinations must be completed by a qualified NRCS employee, as determined by the State Conservationist. Qualified employees (i.e., agency experts) must meet all of the following criteria:

    1. Have completed all the required training, including updated courses.

    2. Have the appropriate job-approval authority.

    3. Have demonstrated proficiency in making certified wetland determinations.

    Persons using these SOSM must have the appropriate “Wetland Job Approval Authority(s)” delegated and documented in accordance with current NRCS policy.

    IDENTIFYING THE PRESENCE OF WETLANDS

    The first step in the wetland identification process is to subdivide the project into different areas called sampling units (FSA Procedures (2-12)) and identify each sampling unit on a base map. For each sampling unit, an independent consideration of each of the three wetland diagnostic factors is made. For each sampling unit, the agency expert must decide which level of determination outlined in “Section C: Selection of Method” of the USACE 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual is most appropriate as follows—

    • Level 1 is rendering a decision using offsite resources for each of the three factors. The assessment of each factor must be independent of the other factors and a different remote data source must be used for each factor. NOTE: A single resource document (tool) can contain multiple data sources. Each can be used as an indicator for a different factor. For example, a soil survey contains multiple data sources (soils map, hydrology data, vegetative data, and use limitation data). High-accuracy Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data and United States Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps are sources for elevation data, land use data, and hydrology data (i.e. water symbols). The mandate is that a single remote data source (i.e. soil map unit) cannot be applied to more than one factor.

    • Level 2 is rendering a decision using on-site data, along with any useful offsite data. The exception is if Section F (Atypical Situation) or G (Problem Area) of the USACE Manual is needed. Those sections are only applied after a decision is made to use onsite methods (even if remote data sources are eventually used to render a decision).

    • Level 3 is rendering a decision using offsite resources (i.e. soils maps, DEMs derived from LIDAR data, etc.) for 1 or 2 factors and using onsite indicators (i.e. soil pits, drift lines, plant dominance tests) for the other factor(s).

    Wetland determinations are a technical decision resulting from the determination of whether an area is a wetland or non-wetland (wetland ID), including the determination of appropriate wetland type (WC compliance label) and size (FSA Wetland Identification Procedures paragraph (2-18)). Therefore, the NRCS identifies three unique and separate steps to the wetland determination process. Within the first two steps, each of the three wetland diagnostic factors must be assessed independently to determine if a decision can be rendered at the diagnostic factor level using offsite data sources.

    NOTES:

    • All agency decisions during Step 1 are made at the sampling unit level.

    • The term “imagery” refers to all forms of remotely captured imagery or photography, digital or analog, at all resolutions.

    • Unless otherwise stated, the use of “1985” in this document refers to December 23, 1985.

    1.1 DEVELOPEMANT OF SAMPLING UNITS BASED ON NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES (NC) Identification of Sampling Units

    Gather all available sources of data and create a base map using available geospatial data to determine if wetlands exist within each sampling unit.

    Users will graphically subdivide the area of interest into sampling units on a base map image using resources A through F (as available) listed below. The base map needs to be large enough to read and record multiple sampling units in one location. Sampling unit boundaries do not need to correspond exactly to a boundary indicated by any of the resources listed below. The agency expert determines sampling unit validity. Sampling units will be located using the following remote resources:

    A. Based on knowledge of local conditions, review the FSA slides from prior to 1987 (regardless of annual precipitation). Each signature listed below may indicate a unique sampling unit:

    • Trees, saplings, shrubs and other non-agricultural vegetation.

    • Surface water.

    • Saturated conditions.

    • Flooded or drowned-out crops.

    • Stressed crops due to wetness.

    • Differences in vegetation due to different planting dates.

    • Inclusion of wet areas as set-aside or idled.

    • Circular or irregular areas of unharvested crops within a harvested field.

    • Isolated areas that are not farmed with the rest of the field.

    • Areas of greener vegetation (especially during dry years).

    B. Review the US Fish & Wildlife Service (US FWS) National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps. While each NWI polygon not matching the other indicators may be a sampling unit, care should be taken to notice when the NWI is simply displaced from the location where other indicators are showing a unique sampling unit. This “off-center” displacement has been observed when matching up the Indiana NWI sites with certified wetland boundaries.

    C. Review DEMs derived from LIDAR data for differences in elevation indicating significant differences in land forms that may collect and hold water.

    D. Review the soil survey and the county hydric soils list from the NRCS Web Soil Survey. Identify listed hydric soil map units, map units with hydric soils as part of their name, soils with hydric inclusions, and map units with conventional wetland symbols. Each soil survey feature not matching the other resources above may be a sampling unit.

    E. Locally-produced information from individuals involved with the property related to manipulations and conversions prior to December 23, 1985.

    F. Review other inventory tools, if available.

    NOTE: The more indicators that can be assigned to a specific area, the greater the probability that the area qualifies as a unique sampling unit.

    NOTE: All land within the requested area will be assigned a sampling unit designation of “Y” (yes, a wetland) or “N” (no, not a wetland); therefore all land within the requested area will be part of a sampling unit.

    ➢ Proceed to the Section 1.2. For each sampling unit—

    1.2 DETERMINE REMOTE INDICATORS FOR HYDRIC SOILS

    The term hydric soil means soil that, in its undrained condition, is saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during a growing season to develop an anaerobic condition that supports the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation (16 U.S.C. 3801(a)(12)). Refer to Part V, subpart C, paragraphs 5-49 through 5-53, of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures for further information and allowable variances from the Corps methods.

    Title 7 CFR § 12.31(a)(1) states, “NRCS shall identify hydric soils through the use of published soil maps which reflect soil surveys completed by or through the use of onsite reviews.”

    Title 7 CFR § 12.31(a)(2) states, “NRCS shall determine whether an area of a field or other parcel of land has a predominance of hydric soils that are inundated or saturated as follows:”

    i. “If a soil map unit has hydric soil as all or part of its name, that soil map unit or portion of the map unit related to the hydric soil will be determined to have a predominance of hydric soils.”

    ii. “If a soil map unit is named for a miscellaneous area that meets the criteria for hydric soils (i.e., riverwash, playas, beaches, or water) the soil map unit will be determined to have a predominance of hydric soils.”

    iii. “If a soil map unit contains inclusions of hydric soils, that portion of the soil map unit identified as hydric soil will be determined to have a predominance of hydric soils.”

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that the hydric soils definition is met:

    1. Soils Maps (data) and County Hydric Soils Lists.

    Hydric Soils Decision Threshold (the factor is met if:

    1. The sampling unit meets 7 CFR § 12.31(a)(2) as described above. If a soil map unit has hydric soil as part of its name or contains a hydric inclusion, that portion of the hydric component (major or minor) in the soil survey can be verified by either:

    a. Identifying that the landform (such as a depressional area viewed on remote data) of the sampling unit is consistent with the landform (such as closed depression or swale) of the hydric component or inclusion; or,

    b. Using the soil series.

    ➢ Proceed to Section 1.3.

    1.3 DETERMINE REMOTE INDICATORS FOR WETLAND HYDROLOGY

    Wetland Hydrology means inundation or saturation of the site by surface or groundwater during a growing season at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation. Refer to Part V, subpart C, paragraphs (5-56) through (5-60), of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures for further information and allowable variances from the Corps methods.

    The NFSAM defines inundation as meaning “the ground is covered by water due to ponding, flowing, or flooded water.” Depth of the inundation is not part of the identification of the presence of hydrology. Rather, the focus of data collection and interpretation is on the time of year the inundation occurs, the length of time the inundation lasts, and how frequently it occurs over time on an annual basis.

    The NFSAM and the CFR do not define saturation other than being the presence of water within the soil profile that affects the presence of hydrophytic vegetation, and by inference, the absence of non-hydrophytic vegetation as a dominant plant community. Similar to the definition of inundation, the focus on data collection and interpretation is on the season, duration, and frequency of the saturation. However, saturation as a factor in affecting the prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation is dependent on proximity to the rooting depth of the plant.

    The 1987 USACE Wetland delineation Manual defines “saturated soil conditions” in the glossary as “A condition in which all easily drained voids (pore) between soil particles in the root zone are temporarily or permanently filled with water to the soil surface at pressures greater than atmospheric.”

    Wetland hydrology is defined as inundation or saturation by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions NFSAM 514.6(1).

    For the purposes of this method, procedure, and process, saturation is defined as the presence of groundwater or perched water at or near the surface of the soil profile within a depth of 12 inches from the soil surface during any time in the growing season.

    In Indiana, a site under direct observation during the growing season that is dominated by hydrophytic vegetation on a hydric soil that is saturated to a depth within 12 inches of the surface is indicative of the site being either a wetland (W) or a manipulated wetland (WX), indicating partially removed hydrology after 1985, rather than a non-wetland (NW), notwithstanding contradictory indicators.

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that the wetland hydrology definition is met:

    1. Imagery showing surface water inundation by ponding or flooding under NC.

    2. Imagery showing a Color Tone difference due to wetness that is reflective of NC that: (a) Was occurring on the date of the imagery, or (b) that occurred previous to the imagery but the evidence of this wetting event remains evident. Refer to Attachment C. Color tones provide clear distinctions in the condition of the sampling unit compared to the condition in the surrounding area including size and color. Color tones include:

    • Hydrophytic vegetation such as trees, saplings, shrubs, and other non-agricultural plants.

    • Saturated condition.

    • Stressed crops due to wetness.

    • Differences in vegetation due to different planting dates.

    • Inclusion of wet areas as set-aside or idled.

    • Circular or irregular areas of unharvested crops within a harvested field.

    • Isolated areas that are not farmed with the rest of the field.

    • Areas of greener vegetation (especially during dry years).

    ○ Users are advised that sampling units and wetness signatures in areas with perennial vegetation may not be readily visible. In such cases, field verification is required.

    3. The presence of mineral soil flats that have not been manipulated such that the microtopography of the soil surface has been leveled, or that the area has been altered by surface drain patterns or subsurface drainage. Clermont, Cobbsfork, and Peoga soils are currently the soil types that are included in the mineral soil flats reference site in Indiana.

    Wetland Hydrology (including pre-1985 drainage) Decision Threshold is met with the proper combination of the following indicators:

    1. The presence of water as indicated by signatures on imagery or a soil survey with the area labeled as “Water” or “Miscellaneous Water”,

    OR

    2. The presence of mineral soil flats that have not been tilled or leveled, or altered by surface drain patterns or subsurface drainage. Clermont, Cobbsfork, and Peoga soils are currently the soil types that are included in the mineral soil flats reference site in Indiana,

    OR

    3. Wetness signatures found on greater than 50 percent of imagery reviewed with consideration given to the actual environmental conditions at the time of data collection (wet, dry, normal).

    • The imagery review will consist of all available imageries prior to 1988. The 1987 imagery is to be used only to verify subsequent effects of drainage installed prior to 1985. Imagery from 1979 to 1986 will be interpreted with consideration of whether it is reflective of normal, wet, or dry amounts of precipitation.

    NOTE: Imagery from years that are considered wet or dry years are an indicator only if they have contrarian indicators (i.e.—wet signatures in a dry year or no signatures on a wet year). See attachment C “Hydrology Information” for information on the use of normal year data.

    • Publically available high-resolution leaf-off imagery taken in the early spring can be used to determine presence of wetland signatures, taking care not to factor in any post-December 23, 1985 manipulations and conversions.

    • NRCS is invoking Paragraph 23 of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual for agricultural land determinations. For a sample unit that has been identified by the Farm Service Agency as having an agricultural commodity produced at least once prior to 1985 and does not support woody vegetation on 1985, the only FSA labels that are applicable are Prior Converted Cropland (PC), Non-Wetland (NW), and Farmed Wetland (FW). The absence of hydrology indicators on a majority of imagery taken prior to 1987 indicates either a PC or NW determination. Hydrophytic vegetation criteria can be by-passed by documenting that an agricultural commodity was produced prior to 1985. The soils map will indicate either a PC label for hydric soils or a NW label for non-hydric soils. The FW label will be used if a majority of the aforementioned imagery has the hydrology indicators of surface water or long-term inundation (10% consecutive days of inundation during the wet part of the growing season (i.e.—March, April, May) such as non-agricultural herbaceous vegetation or bare soil with slow drawdown signatures. These labels can be applied without applying the remainder of the SOSM.

    NOTE: Care will be taken to identify False Positive and Negative situations.

    ○ An FW label will be changed to W if the site is abandoned for five consecutive years at any time after 1985.

    ○ A NW label due to the conversion of a wetland prior to 1985 will be changed to W if the three criteria return.

    ○ An herbaceous Wetland (W) or a Farmed Wetland Pasture (FWP) can present subtle signatures on the imagery such as simple vegetative color variation but with a consistent footprint.

    ○ FWP's can also be abandoned to the W label,

    OR

    ANY TWO OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATORS:

    1. High-accuracy Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) derived from LIDAR.

    2. Depth Grid modeled from high accuracy digital elevation models.

    3. Short term-inundation modelled from stream gauge data.

    4. National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps produced by the US FWS.

    5. Soil Survey map with wetness spot symbols.

    6. Soil Survey map with linear spot symbols associated with imagery wetness signatures.

    7. USGS Topographical map with wetness spot symbol.

    AND

    Producer-provided records indicate that drainage has been installed or constructed prior to 1985,

    a. And has been maintained and is functioning such that the lack of hydrology indicators can be explained, or that such indicators are potential false positive hydrology indicators.

    b. If no producer-provided records are available, then the agency expert is to presume maintenance has been conducted on any drainage features installed prior to 1985 and any wetness signatures observed are valid (indicating any potential system has not adequately removed hydrology) and are not false positive indicators.

    ➢ Proceed to Section 1.4.

    1.4 DETERMINE REMOTE INDICATORS FOR HYDROPHYTIC VEGETATION

    Hydrophytic vegetation means a plant growing in (A) water; or (B) a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen during a growing season as a result of excessive water content (16 U.S.C. 3801(a)(11)). Refer to Part V, subpart C, paragraphs (5-41) through (5-46), of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedures for further information and allowable variances from the Corps methods in identification of hydrophytic vegetation.

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that the hydrophytic vegetation definition is met. See Attachment A for a detailed description of each resource:

    1. Ecological Site Descriptions (ESD).

    2. Approved Indiana NRCS wetland reference site data as it is developed.

    3. Indiana Hydric Soil and Vegetative Correlation List

    4. Locally developed soil map units and plant association lists.

    5. National Wetland Inventory (NWI) mapping.

    6. Indiana Approved Official Soil Series Descriptions (OSD) plant data.

    7. Prior land-based (on the ground) photography.

    Hydrophytic Vegetation Decision Threshold (the factor is met if):

    One or more of the listed resources will indicate the presence of hydrophytic vegetation.

    NOTE: Attention should be given to the definition being “Plants growing in water or in a substrate that is as least periodically deficient in oxygen during the growing season as a result of saturation or inundation by water”. Variance 5-42 of the FSA Wetland Identification Procedure states “For FSA purposes, the question is not as much the species, but rather how individual plants are behaving within any one sampling unit.” Any individual plant meeting the definition is considered to be hydrophytic vegetation.

    ➢ Proceed to Step 1.5

    1.5 FINALIZATION OF BASE MAP

    The agency expert will analyze each sampling unit as defined in Steps 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 and use a worksheet to complete the following steps:

    • If all three factor answers are “yes” (the factors are met) for a sampling unit then record a “Y” (yes) on the base map for the sampling unit.

    • If any factor answer is “no” (a factor is not met) for a sampling unit then record an “N” (no) on the base map for the sampling unit.

    • Provide a copy of the final base map to the case file.

    • This final base map will be used to complete Section 2 and Section 3.

    NOTE: Part IV of the 1987 USCAE Wetland Delineation Manual instructs the user to label the wetland “W” and the nonwetland “N”. NRCS is using the label “Y” in place of the “W” so as not to cause confusion with the use of “W” as an FSA Wetland Type Label in section 2.

    ➢ Proceed to Section 2

    SECTION 2 2.0—FSA WETLAND DETERMINATION PROCESS STEP 2: ASSIGNMENT OF WETLAND CONSERVATION COMPLIANCE (WC) LABELS

    Sampling units identified as a “Y” (wetland) or “N” (non-wetland) in Section 1 will be assigned the appropriate WC compliance label as determined by any applicable exemptions found in the current version of the NFSAM. The offsite process for this step is identified as the State Offsite Wetland Type and Size Procedure (SOWTP). This is a separate procedure from the SOSM.

    NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, the use of “1985” in this document refers to December 23, 1985.

    2.1 VERIFICATION OF PRE-1985 CROPPING HISTORY

    The following data will be used to indicate that pre-1985 cropping history (“agricultural commodity produced at least once before 1985” (7 CFR 12.2)) is met. This step may have already been carried out in step 1.3. If so then this section need not be used unless there is a possibility of a false positive or negative determination

    1. Any imagery taken prior to 1986.

    2. Farm Service Agency records of any kind.

    3. Any record from a person who was involved in the farming operation before December 23, 1985 that demonstrates that the site was cropped and appears to be valid.

    4. Areas that are in pasture or hay land that have a uniform topography that indicates suitability as a crop field in past years. This condition does not preclude the use of wetland labels.

    Cropping History Decision Threshold (met if):

    The threshold to use crop production as an eligible wetland exemptions has three parts:

    1. The site is determined to be “N” (Non Wetland) on the Base Map.

    a. There may be situations with the Base Map being marked “Y” when the site may be determined to have cropping history with the use of steps #2 and #3 (resulting in a FW label).

    2. The site was cropped at least once prior to December 23, 1985—

    a. Evidence of Pre-1985 cropping appears on at least one piece of remote imagery.

    b. Pre-1985 imagery indicates that the site was cleared of woody vegetation and the mapped soil type is commonly suited for crop production (as indicated on “Use and Vegetation” section of the Official Soil Description).

    c. Farm Service Agency informs NRCS of cropping history.

    d. An individual provides a written statement of when the site was cropped or imagery demonstrating so.

    3. The site was suitable for crop production on December 23, 1985 (can use a and/or b)—

    a. 1985 or 1986 imagery indicates the site—

    i. Is being cropped, or

    ii. Is being used for pasture or hayland production absent of wetland indicators, or

    iii. Is not inundated with surface water, or

    iv. Does not contain woody vegetation such that:

    1. Only isolated individual specimens that would not hinder conventional row planting are observed, and

    2. There are not so many trees that a non-ag determination should be completed.

    b. The Farm Services Agency informs NRCS of 1985 cropping history, “set-aside” history, or other status indicating that the site was suitable for crop production.

    ➢ Proceed to Section 2.2.

    2.2 VERIFICATION OF PRE-DECEMBER 23, 1985 MANIPULATION(S)

    Manipulations are defined by regulation as an activity that drains, dredges, fills, levels, or otherwise manipulates, including the removal of woody vegetation, or any activity that results in impairing or reducing the flow and circulation of water, for the purpose of or to have the effect of making possible the production of an agricultural commodity.

    The analysis related to pre-1985 manipulations has been completed in Step 1-1.1 DEVELOP A BASE MAP AND DETERMINATION OF NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES (NC).

    Evidence of pre-1985 manipulations presented during the following steps in the FSA label determination step should be applied to the steps in Section 1 (Developing the Base Map) to determine if the analysis completed in Section 2 needs reconsidered.

    2.3A VERIFICATION OF POST-1985 POTENTIAL MANIPULATION AND/OR CONVERSION

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that a post-1985 potential conversion occurred.

    • Post-1986 imagery/aerial photography showing a manipulation(s).

    • Post-1985 NRCS or Farm Service Agency records showing a manipulation(s).

    • Post-1985 producer-provided records showing a manipulation(s).

    • Post-1985 land-based photographs showing a manipulation(s).

    • DEMs derived from LIDAR data showing a manipulation.

    Post-1985 Potential Conversion Decision Threshold (the factor is met if):

    1. The manipulation appears on at least one indicator from post-1985 data.

    NOTE: A site visit is required for potential wetland violations and a FSA-569 will be issued. Refer to 7CFR12 and NFSAM 514.1 to determine the circumstances that require a site visit.

    2.3B VERIFICATION OF POTENTIAL MANIPULATION OR CONVERSION BETWEEN DECEMBER 23, 1985 AND NOVEMBER 28, 1990

    The following remote indicators will be used to indicate whether a potential manipulation or conversion occurred before or after November 28, 1990.

    • Imagery/aerial photography showing a manipulation(s) after December 23, 1985 but before November 28, 1990 (NFSAM Part 514).

    • NRCS or Farm Service Agency records showing a manipulation(s) after December 23, 1985 but before November 28, 1990.

    • Producer-provided records showing a manipulation(s) after December 23, 1985 but before November 28, 1990.

    • Land-based photographs showing a manipulation(s) after December 23, 1985 but before November 28, 1990.

    • DEMs derived from LIDAR data indicating a manipulation after December 23, 1985 but before November 28, 1990.

    Pre-1990 Potential Conversion Decision Threshold (the factor is met if):

    1. The manipulation appears on at least one indicator from data representing conditions between December 23, 1985 and November 28, 1990.

    NOTE: A site visit is required for potential wetland violations and a FSA-569 will be issued. Refer to 7CFR12 and NFSAM 514.1 to determine the circumstances that require a site visit.

    2.3C VERIFICATION OF POTENTIAL MANIPULATION OR CONVERSION AFTER NOVEMBER 28, 1990

    The following remote indicators will be used to indicate whether a potential manipulation or conversion occurred after November 28, 1990.

    • Imagery/aerial photography showing a manipulation(s) after November 28, 1990 (NFSAM Part 514).

    • NRCS or Farm Service Agency records showing a manipulation(s) after November 28, 1990.

    • Producer provided records showing a manipulation(s) after November 28, 1990.

    • Land-based photographs showing a manipulation (e.g. tile inlet/outlet) after November 28, 1990.

    • DEMs derived from LIDAR data indicating a manipulation after November 28, 1990.

    Post-1990 Potential Conversion Decision Threshold (the factor is met if):

    1. The manipulation appears on at least one indicator representing conditions after November 28, 1990.

    NOTE: A site visit is required for potential wetland violations and a FSA-569 will be issued. Refer to 7CFR12 and NFSAM 514.1 to determine the circumstances that require a site visit.

    ➢ Proceed to Section 2.4, 2.5, or 2.6 as appropriate. These sections identify land forms that meet the definition of depressional Farmed Wetlands, closed depressional Farmed Wetlands known as potholes, and Farmed Wetland Pastures. Proceed to section 2.7 if none of these are appropriate.

    2.4 VERIFICATION OF CROPPED GLACIATED CLOSED DEPRESSIONAL LANDFORM COMPLETE THIS STEP ONLY IF A Pre-December 23, 1985 MANIPULATION WAS DOCUMENTED

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that the site is a glaciated depression or land form that does not have topography that allows accumulated surface water to flow off-site such that it meets the definition of a Farmed Wetland pothole (FW).

    1. Imagery, land-based photography, or other data show evidence that 7 consecutive days of inundation or 14 consecutive days saturation occurs in a closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland (non-floodplain, non-drainage way) landscape during the growing season. The term upland follows the concept from the national Soil Survey Handbook (NSSH). Imagery evidence includes—

    a. Surface water.

    b. Flooded or drowned out crops.

    c. Vegetative color variation.

    d. Stressed crops.

    e. Un-harvested crops.

    f. Isolated areas not farmed with the rest of the field.

    g. Non-agricultural vegetation.

    2. DEMS derived from LIDAR show a closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland landscape position.

    3. USGS Topographic map or other land survey shows a closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland landscape position.

    4. Soil Survey data show a depression, pothole, or closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland landscape position. Refer to Attachment B for further information.

    5. A combination of US FWS NWI map and one other indicator from step 1.3.

    Glaciated Closed Depression Decision Threshold is met if:

    A. The landform appears on at least one of the five remote indicators. The more indicators that can be assigned to a specific area, the greater the probability that it qualifies as a glaciated closed depressional area that meets the definition of a Farmed Wetland (FW).

    OR

    B. NRCS records show field-verified manipulations with an assessment of duration, such as drainage equations found in the National Engineering Handbook, Chapter 19.

    ➢ Document and proceed to the section 2.5.

    2.5 VERIFICATION OF PASTURED OPEN-ENDED DEPRESSIONAL AREAS WITH CONSECUTIVE LENGTH (DURATION) OF PONDING AND/OR SATURATION DURING THE GROWING SEASON ON DECEMBER 23, 1985 IN MOST YEARS COMPLETE THIS STEP ONLY IF A Pre-December 23, 1985 MANIPULATION WAS DOCUMENTED

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that sites that have been manipulated but still warrant a “Y” on the Base Map exhibit the duration of inundation or saturation required to meet the criteria for pasture and hay land that contains depressions or other topography sufficient to allow water to accumulate such that it meets the definition of a Farmed Wetland Pasture (FWP).

    1. 1980 through 1986 Farm Service Agency aerial imagery (taken during the growing season as defined in Part 514.2 of the NFSAM) showing wetness signatures. Imagery evidence includes the following signatures —

    a. Surface water.

    b. Flooded or drowned out crops.

    c. Vegetative color variation.

    d. Stressed crops.

    e. Un-harvested crops.

    f. Isolated areas not farmed with the rest of the field.

    g. Non-agricultural vegetation.

    2. DEMS derived from LIDAR show a closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland landscape position.

    3. USGS Topographic map or other land survey shows a closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland landscape position.

    4. Soil Survey data show a depression, pothole, or closed topographic depression in a glaciated upland landscape position. Refer to Attachment B for further information.

    5. A combination of FWS NWI map and one other indicator from 1-3.

    Pastured Open-ended Depressional Areas Decision Threshold is met if:

    A. The landform appears on at least one of the four remote indicators. The more indicators that can be assigned to a specific area, the greater the probability that the area qualifies as a glaciated open-ended depression that meets the definition of a Farmed Wetland Pasture (FWP).

    OR

    B. NRCS records show field-verified manipulations with an assessment of duration, such as drainage equations found in the National Engineering Handbook, Chapter 19.

    2.6 VERIFICATION OF CROPPED OPEN-ENDED DEPRESSIONAL AREAS WITH CONSECUTIVE LENGTH (DURATION) OF PONDING AND/OR SATURATION DURING THE GROWING SEASON ON DECEMBER 23, 1985 IN MOST YEARS COMPLETE THIS STEP (2.6) ONLY IF A Pre-December 23, 1985 MANIPULATION WAS DOCUMENTED

    The following remote indicators are suggestive (indicates) that sites that have been manipulated but still warrant a “Y” on the Base Map exhibit the duration of inundation or saturation required to meet the criteria for cropland that contains depressions or other topography sufficient to allow water to accumulate in order to meet the definition of a Farmed Wetland (FW).

    1. 1980 through 1986 Farm Service Agency aerial imagery (taken during the growing season as defined in Part 514.2 of the NFSAM) showing wetness signatures. Any other 1986 or earlier aerial photography may also be used. Imagery evidence is limited to—

    • Surface water.

    • Drowned out crops leaving bare soil indicating long-term inundation (“bulls-eye” pattern).

    • Non-ag vegetation on hydric soils.

    2. NRCS records show field-verified manipulations with an assessment of duration, such as drainage equations found in the National Engineering Handbook, Chapter 19.

    3. A combination of FWS NWI map and one other indicator from 1-3.

    Open-Ended Depressional Decision Threshold is met if:

    A. The landform appears on at least one of the three remote indicators. The more indicators that can be assigned to a specific area, the greater the probability that the area qualifies as a glaciated open-ended depression that meets the definition of a Farmed Wetland Pasture (FWP).

    OR

    B. Results of analytical techniques (such as drainage equation(s)) show that inundation would not be removed within 15 days or consecutive days of 10% of the growing season.

    ➢ Document and proceed to section 2.7.

    2.7 DETERMINATION OF THE REQUIRED CONDITIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING WC LABELS

    Refer to Part 514 of the NFSAM, 7 CFR 12.2 and 7 CFR 12.5 for a full discussion of the requirements for various exemptions. The SOSM has determined whether the sampling unit is considered a Wetland (Y) or a Non-Wetland (N). 7CFR12 lists the possible Wetland Types—

    • Artificial Wetland (AW)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(1)

    • Commenced Conversion Wetland (CC)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(2) & 12.5(b)(2)

    • Converted Wetland (CW or CW+Year)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(3) & 12.4(a)(2)&(3)

    • Converted Wetland not for the production of commodity crops (No label)—7CFR12.5(b)(1)(iv)

    • Farmed Wetland—depressional or pothole (FW)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(4)

    • Farmed-Wetland Pasture (FWP)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(5)

    • Minimal Effect Wetland (MW)—7CFR12.5(b)(1)(v)

    • Not-Inventoried Wetland (No label)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(6)

    • Non-Wetland (NW)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(7)

    • Prior-Converted Cropland (PC)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(8)

    • Wetland (W)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(9)

    All other WC compliance label assignments require the use of the NFSAM and on-site investigations. These include—

    • Converted Wetland by Entity (CW)—7CFR12.5(D)

    • Converted Wetland Planting Violation (CW)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(3) & 12.4(a)(2)

    • Converted Wetland + Year (CW+Yr)—7CFR12.2(a) Wetland(3) & 12.4(a)(3)

    • Manipulated Wetland (WX)—7CFR12.5(b)(1)(iv)

    • Third Party Conversion (TP)—7CFR12.5(D)

    SECTION 3.0 3.0 FSA WETLAND DETERMINATION PROCESS STEP 3: DETERMINATION OF SIZE AND DEVELOPMENT OF CERTIFIED WETLAND DETERMINATION MAP

    The agency expert will analyze the final product to ensure that the size of the labeled area is accurate, particularly in response to post 1985 developments. Sample units and WC labeled areas will be adjusted to ensure that the labeled area accurately reflects the 1985 status and any changes created after that year.

    3.1 TRANSFERRING BASE MAP SAMPLING UNITS TO WC COMPLIANCE LABELED POLYGONS

    The agency expert will, as appropriate, further divide or combine the sampling units identified in Section 2.0 into labeled polygons for the certified wetland determination map. This decision is based on the answers to the steps in Section 2 (e.g. closed depression/open depression, cropping history, manipulation, hydrology duration).

    3.2 CERTIFIED WETLAND DETERMINATION (CWD) MAP

    The Certified Determination Map will be depicted on the latest imagery that appears to be of normal precipitation. The map will contain labels for all areas that have certified determinations and preliminary determinations.

    The map will be of sufficient scale so that the determined areas can be easily seen. Additional maps can be made to better show site location, location of farm, and past activities on the farm to show manipulation and conversion.

    ATTACHMENT A Hydrophytic Vegetation Information

    The following resources are listed in Part IV of the USACE 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual or are resources developed after the issuance of the Manual.

    Ecological Site Description (ESD)

    As of the date of issuance of these SOSM, ESDs are currently being developed in Indiana. Once completed, a matrix correlating soil map unit components to ecological sites will be available in Section 1, State Offsite Methods, of the Indiana Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG).

    Ecological Site Descriptions and Range Site Descriptions are based on relative weight of component species, rather than the percent cover measure cited in the Corps Methods. Both measures are viable for determining the ecological significance of the species comprising the plant community. This use of these data is authorized in Paragraph 55-Step 4(c) and (d) of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual.

    Approved Indiana NRCS wetland reference site data as it is developed.

    Indiana NRCS will develop wetland reference site data through formal long-term water table monitoring and data demonstrating that a specific soil type has both positive hydrology and a plant community dominated by hydrophytic vegetation. These reference site data are currently being developed for Cobbsfork and similar soils in Southern Indiana. The use of these data is authorized in Paragraph 55-Step 4(d) and (h) of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual.

    Indiana NRCS Wetland Soils and Vegetative Correlation Data

    Indiana NRCS will maintain and continually build a list of vegetative species observed, correlated with specific soil series, from past and future on-site determinations. In addition to this “master” correlated list, the certified agency experts may make use of their own accumulation of past determinations to indicate the presence of hydrophytic vegetation, particularly if a reference site is near the site to be determined. The use of these data is authorized in Paragraph 55-Step 4(d) and (h) of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual.

    Locally Developed Soil and Plant association lists

    Certified agency experts can make use of previous determination data that demonstrates a correlation between specific soil types and observed plant communities dominated by hydrophytic vegetation. The use of these data is authorized in Paragraph 55-Step 4(d), (f), and (h) of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual.

    Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetland Inventory (NWI) Mapping

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site “Wetland Mapper” contains a list of vegetative species correlated to their specific wetland classifications. The use of these data is authorized in Paragraph 55-Step 4(b) of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual

    Official Soil Series Descriptions (OSD)

    The official soil series descriptions provide a description of the vegetation adapted to the soil in a section entitled “Use and Vegetation”. The description of the vegetation can range from listing specific species to only providing a general description such as “Native vegetation is water tolerant sedges, reeds, grasses, and shrubs.”

    Indiana NRCS is in the process of developing a state-wide list of all of the listed soil series, indicating which descriptions can be used to indicate hydrophytic vegetation and which soil series descriptions are being updated to provide specific species information. The use of these data is authorized in Paragraph 55-Step 4(d) and (g) of the 1987 USACE Wetland Delineation Manual

    ATTACHMENT B DEFINITION OF POTHOLE

    The NRCS will use the definition of pothole, playa, and pocosin as noted below. This definition is subject to change via the rule-making process. However, any change in definition will not change the soils the state considers pothole, playa, or pocosin soils.

    • Pothole—Pothole means a closed or partially closed depressional wetlands, generally circular or elliptical in shape, that were formed during the Wisconsin Glaciation. Potholes can occur in an outwash plain, a recessional moraine, lacustrine plain, or a till plain and commonly contain an intermittent or seasonal pond or marsh. Many pothole wetlands are seasonally dry, retaining water and saturated soil conditions due to snow-melt and precipitation runoff early in the growing season. Later in the growing season, evapotranspiration generally exceeds normal precipitation resulting in some potholes being dry for a significant portion of the year. The fluctuating hydrology, along with alterations implemented to improve farming, lead to a variety of vegetation characteristics including submergent and floating plants in deeper water, bulrushes and cattails in shallow water and sedges located near adjacent uplands. During dry periods, upland plant species can invade these sites and persist into wet seasons.

    NOTE: This definition is a mutually agreed-to definition by both Indiana and Illinois NRCS to describe the glaciated pothole region present in both states.

    • Specific Indiana identification parameters are:

    ○ Occurs within the Wisconsin glaciated region.

    ○ Symmetrically closed depression.

    ○ Ponds water greater than 1 foot in depth if not drained.

    ○ Side slopes dominantly greater than 2%.

    ○ Has a ≥50% chance of being ponded for at least 7 consecutive days or is saturated for at least 14 consecutive days during the growing season.

    • In Indiana, Potholes are located primarily in the upper half of the Wisconsin Glaciated Region and include, but are not limited to, the following soil series with the modifier “pothole”:

    ○ Harpster sil, pothole

    ○ Milford msic, pothole

    ○ Milford sl, pothole

    ○ Milford sicl, pothole

    ○ Pella sicl, pothole

    ○ Peotone sicl, pothole

    ○ Walkill l, pothole

    ○ Warners sil, pothole

    ATTACHMENT C HYDROLOGY INFORMATION

    1. Hydrology information will be developed using Chapter 19 of the NRCS National Engineering Field Handbook—

    I. Part 650.1901—“Use of stream and lake gauges (pages 19-2 to 19-5)

    i. This part may be used whenever there are data developed for such use.

    II. Part 650.1911—“Remote Sensing Applications” (pages 19-85 to 19-96)

    i. This part is to be used to determine the presence of hydrology.

    III. The use of the other parts of Chapter 19 will only be with the assistance of NRCS engineering specialists.

    IV. NRCS will use Purdue Extension Publication AY-300, June 2001, “Drainage and Wet Soil Management—Drainage Recommendations for Indiana Soils”.

    i. The guide provides a tile spacing distance range for each group of soils with a similar drainage capability.

    ii. The guide will be used to determine how far back to set a tile line from an herbaceous wetland, a farmed wetland, or a farmed wetland pasture.

    1. Each person receiving such a guide will be advised to use the maximum spacing range as a setback distance.

    2. Each person receiving such a guide will be advised that wetland labels such as W-Wetland, FW-Farmed Wetland, or FWP--armed Wetland Pasture will be changed to CW+Year if they are affected by the installation of new tiles, even if laid according to the guide.

    3. A Technical Assistance Note or a copy of the guide will be placed in the casefile of every person receiving the guide.

    2. The use of Farm Service Agency aerial imagery will serve two purposes—

    I. The identification of wetlands and non-wetlands as of December 23, 1985. Consequently, the slides to be used are limited to those taken before 1987 as the intent of the interpretation is for the Wetland Identification prior to 1985. Slides and imagery post-1986, such as the 2005 infrared and other high resolution imagery, may be used to help identify ground and topographical conditions but not in the identification of wetlands under typical conditions.

    II. The occurrence of atypical activities in wetlands after December 23, 1985. Slides taken after 1986 are used for three purposes—

    i. To indicate if a wetland was manipulated.

    ii. To determine if a wetland was converted between December 23, 1985 and November 28, 1990, and if it was converted—what year, if any, was it used for the production of an annual commodity crop after the conversion.

    iii. To determine what year, if any, was a wetland converted after November 28, 1990, to make it suitable for the production of a commodity crop.

    3. Normal Precipitation—

    The terms “normal precipitation imagery”, “normal precipitation”, or “normal years” is referring to a period of time where normal amounts of precipitation were received by the site. The time frame is normally 3 months. The amount of precipitation received by a specific area is arrived by using the procedure outlined in Part 650.1903—“Supplemental data for remote sensing” (pages 19-24 to 19-31). This same procedure is used to determine if a site, during a specific date or time frame, received precipitation amounts within the range of normal rainfall or outside of the normal range with excessive amounts of precipitation, considered “wet”, or low amounts of precipitation, considered “dry”.

    ATTACHMENT D DESCRIPTION OF AVAILABLE REMOTE SENSING TOOLS

    Ten (10) potential sources of information are described within Part IV, Section B of the 1987 Manual. This section describes some of the sources listed in the manual, defines additional sources that NRCS may use to complete the CWD process. A source not being mentioned in this section should not be interpreted as that source being invalidated. The delineator should attempt to utilize all available sources of information when completing the SOSM.

    United States Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5 Minute Series Quadrangle Maps

    NRCS employees are provided with the official USGS topographic maps within agency Geographic Information Systems (GIS). USGS topographic maps and other spatial data may also be accessed at: http://nationalmap.gov/ via “The National Map Viewer.” Topographic maps provide marsh or swamp symbols for wetter areas and the general agricultural status of the land relative to the date of the map (e.g. cleared ground that could be either cropland or pastureland, forested, or urban). Water bodies such as streams and ponds are identified and manipulations to those waters such as channelization or existing levees may be noted. Site relief is one of the most important aspects of the topographic map. Contours enable decisions relative to the site's ability to charge and retain wetness, and to recognize drainage patterns.

    Topographic map limitations

    1. Check the date on the map or in the metadata for the date of revision. This may help determine a time range when changes occurred.

    2. USGS protocol was generally to delineate the wet areas mapped based on the driest season of the year, which may have missed several wetlands.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetland Inventory (NWI)

    The National Wetland Inventory (NWI) is an offsite delineation of potential wetlands. The NWI is an available tool that mapped potential wetlands when wetland losses were accelerating in the 1970's and 80's due to agricultural conversions and other wetland stressors. The NWI is accepted by USFWS, USACOE, EPA and NRCS as a first cut indicator tool for the presence of wetlands. NRCS employees are provided with the most up to date version of NWI data that is compatible with agency Geographic Information Systems and tools. NWI data can also be obtained directly from USFWS at http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/.

    Plant community and hydrologic condition are key components of the NWI interpretation and these interpretations were made at a time critical for making decisions relative to the FSA. Because the first iterations of NWI were commenced in the 1970's, the historical data provides an indication of the status of wetlands around the critical December 23, 1985 date. Hydrologic condition was interpreted using several water regime modifiers. The 1987 Corps Wetland Delineation Manual states in Part IV, Section B chapter 54 that areas mapped as “wetter” than temporarily flooded and intermittently flooded have extremely high probabilities of meeting the wetland criteria (in excess of 90 percent). The historical NWI also indicates possible manipulations to wetlands that were photo-interpreted from the base map utilized in the evaluation.

    NWI limitations

    1. The NWI mapping protocol was developed prior to the accepted federal definition of wetlands contingent on the three parameters of soils, hydrology, and plants. Consequently, some of the early delineations may have only been based on the two parameters of hydrology and plant species. This was somewhat corrected with soils between the draft remote sensing interpretations and the final interpretations.

    2. The inventory was remotely sensed with generally no more than 5% ground-truthing in any given state.

    3. The inventory often fails to capture open land wetlands, such as farmed wetlands, as defined under the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, because of cropping activities and/or disturbance of plant communities.

    NRCS Soil Survey

    Soils information is a primary tool for making offsite wetland determinations. NRCS employees and the general public have access to the most up to date soils data via agency GIS systems as well as Web Soil Survey (WSS) at http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov.

    Field office business software or the WSS have reports available that will produce both spatial and tabular reports/lists for hydric soils. Currently this report for individual parcels should be a subset of the “County Hydric Soils List” which is referenced in many documents. Field office business software rates each map unit. Map units are designated as “all hydric,” “partially hydric,” “not hydric,” or “unknown hydric,” depending on the rating of its respective components. “All hydric” means that all components listed for a given map unit are rated as being hydric, while “not hydric” means that all components are rated as not hydric. “Partially hydric” refers to a soil that has at least one component of the map unit that is rated as hydric and at least one component that is rated as not hydric. “Unknown hydric” indicates that at least one component is not rated so a definitive rating for the map unit cannot be made.

    In Web Soil Survey, there are multiple reports that provide hydric soil information. “Hydric Rating by Map Unit” indicates the cumulative percentage of soil components within each map unit that meet the criteria for hydric soils. A related report, “Hydric Rating by Map Unit (5 categories)” further designates a hydric category for each map unit based on the cumulative percentage of its hydric components. The “Hydric Soils List” provides the hydric/non-hydric status of all map unit components in the survey area. The “Hydric Soils” report lists only those map units that have at least one component that is hydric. The percentages of hydric or non-hydric soil components found in each report for any map unit are only an estimate. These estimates were derived from field observations taken by soil scientists during the soil survey but will vary for any map unit from one location to the next.

    The decision to use SOSM (remote sensing) versus an onsite visit for possible hydric soil inclusions is a primary objective of this methodology.

    Soil Survey limitations

    The published soils data is a tool that provides evidence to the possible presence of a wetland. Some of the limitations to the published soil survey relative to offsite hydric soil determinations are as follows:

    1. All soil surveys rely on data that were gathered during a specific period of time. Land use changes or manipulations from natural or human events may now result in inaccurate soils data. Additionally, some wetlands, such as floodplain wetlands, naturally evolve over time into non-wetlands.

    2. A “hydric soil” component listed in the report may have properties that do meet hydric soil criteria. However, the entire range of characteristics of soil components classified to the series level may not be entirely within the range of properties for a “hydric soil.” Hydric soil criteria were developed separately from Soil Taxonomy. Therefore, any given component (series) may have a range of characteristics that is not entirely within the range for hydric soils even though the series is poorly or very poorly drained.

    3. Almost all of the soil maps in the state were originally drawn at a relatively small scale so some minor displacement of soil lines may be observed. Additionally, much of the digital spatial data available were created by recompiling and digitizing these hard copy maps. Errors such as mislabeled map units and spatial displacement are accidentally introduced as a result of the analog to digital conversion process. If an error is suspected for any reason, an original hard copy of the information should be consulted when available.

    USGS Stream Gauge Data

    Stream gauge data may be a useful tool in some parts of the state for determining the hydrologic criteria of potential riverine wetlands subject to long duration flooding. Sites subject to long duration flooding (or ponding) that occurs during the growing season for 14 or more consecutive days > 50% of years under normal circumstances will meet the criteria of a wetland if the site also supports a prevalence of hydrophytic plants. Long duration periods of surface inundation meet both the hydrologic criteria of a wetland (14 or more days) and the hydric soil criteria of a wetland (7 or more days). Typically this method requires that the flood elevation be extrapolated across the landscape between gauges in order to analyze the potential of individual sites.

    Stream Gauge Data Limitations

    1. Current stream gauge data coverage and subsequent analyses are limited in Indiana.

    Remote Sensing Including Farm Service Agency Aerial Photography

    There are three basic film bands for the imagery available through the NHAP, NAPP, and NAIP: Color infrared (CIR), Natural Color (NC), and Black/White (BW).

    The currently acquired imagery by Farm Service Agency, NAIP, is digital ortho-imagery acquired during the agricultural growing season (leaf on) and the Farm Service Agency uses this imagery as a tool primarily to verify agricultural conditions for USDA programs. The NAIP provides one meter ground sample distance (GSD) ortho-imagery rectified within +/−6 meters to true ground at a 95% confidence level.

    From the 1980s through the 1990s, the Farm Service Agency purchased county-wide high altitude flights for resource assessments and verification of fields planted and types of crops grown. The spring flights make these sources of imagery very valuable for wetland determinations because they occur during the normal hydrologic period of recharge for the majority of the wetlands in the state. The Farm Service Agency Aerial Photography Field Office (http://www.FSA.usda.gov/FSA/apfoapp?area=apfohome&subject=landing&topic=anding) located in Salt Lake City, Utah, also houses and provides copies for a fee of paper aerial photographs (provided as a digital print) from past flights which were typically flown about every five to ten years.

    The NAIP imagery is accessible as a digital data layer in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and is available in all field offices, and certain flight years have the capability of being displayed either in natural color and CIR.

    Because Farm Services Agency imagery may be available on or around the key years of 1985 and 1990, this imagery is one of the most important tools available for making good offsite wetland determinations or decisions for requiring onsite investigations.

    In addition to Farm Service Agency, NRCS personnel have access to imagery from a number of sources. Imagery from the “Indiana Historical Aerial Photo Index” can be acquired from the Indiana Geological Web site. Imagery can also be viewed on many County GIS Web sites that are operated in conjunction with the Assessor's office. These sources tend to offer variability in timing and season of photography which provides greater perspective when making a determination. Many of these sources are not geo-referenced and therefore cannot be added to a base map within a GIS. However, the information that they provide is often extremely valuable to the delineator.

    Aerial Photography Limitations

    Some of the limitations relative to use are:

    1. Low crop producing counties may have fewer available years of imagery.

    2. Many counties in the state have discarded early years of crop compliance slides.

    3. Early year crop compliance slides not digitized may have no mapping index and consequently are hard to organize and use unless an index is developed.

    4. Based on the actual flight date and the type of film, the imagery may be limiting relative to some interpretations. For example, flights in the growing season (e.g. leaf on) may result in misinterpretations of potential wetland features. In natural color images water, wetland understory plants, and drainage patterns may be obscured by the canopy of a mature forested cover.

    5. Normal climatic conditions (i.e. pre-flight rainfall patterns) assessed for the flight may still not accurately reflect the actual onsite condition due to local variability.

    6. Early year crop compliance slides may experience some fading of colors, although this rarely results in the masking of gross landscape features.

    Determining the Flight Date of the Imagery:

    Determining the date of the imagery is critical when making photo-interpretations of imagery for wetland determinations. The actual date of the flight allows the reviewer to evaluate the climatic condition both for growing season decisions and for rainfall amounts and time of storm events. Actual days of the flight may be printed on the hard copy imagery or can be found in the metadata of digital imagery. Records of actual flight days may be available in the Farm Service Agency Aerial Photography Field Office as previously mentioned.

    Evaluation of Imagery for Normal Climatic Condition:

    The pre-flight climatic assessment (antecedent moisture condition) supports the quality of each flight year of imagery as a tool. By documenting that the normal condition relative to rainfall existed just prior to the flight, good wetland hydrology decisions can be made. Flight dates that occur within the growing season support the wetland definition. However, imagery flown outside of growing seasons should still be considered tangible evidence for the hydrologic condition during the growing season if similar rainfall amounts are expected during growing season months. Such leaf off imagery may better display drainage patterns.

    The methodology to complete this climatic assessment can be found in Chapter 19 of the NRCS National Engineering Field Handbook (Hydrology Tools for Making Wetland Determinations). Each month's rainfall amount is determined to be within the range of normal when it is within 30% to 70% of the monthly average. The three-month rainfall period is then assessed as a weighted average for the imagery, with more emphasis placed on the period just preceding the flight date. This assessment is used to determine the climatic condition prior to the flight.

    There are a number of good sources of rainfall data by month. The NRCS CLIMSYS WETS table, available for most counties in the state, will post monthly rainfall amounts for the 30 years of records used to provide county averages (http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/getwetco.pl?state=nc). However, this data is usually at least ten years old for most counties. Current climatic data may be acquired from the following sources:

    • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cooperative site: May provide data to within two months of real time, and this data is recorded daily. The Web site does not have a static url and appears to have limited coverage of the state. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/statistical-weather-and-climate-information

    • Indiana State Climate Office: Offers hourly, daily and monthly reports. The site also offers access to additional data such as drought reports and long term moisture trends.

    -https://climate.agry.purdue.edu/climate/index.asp

    • National Weather Service, Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: Provides a variety of search and report options for gathering climatic data up to a year to date in duration.

    http://water.weather.gov/precip/

    • Weather Underground: May provide real time rainfall amounts. This source may be limited by the lack of available stations providing data. The closest station may be some distance from the site. http://www.wunderground.com/history/

    The weather station closest to the potential wetland site should be the first source of rainfall data. If rainfall data is unavailable for the needed period of assessment, analyze rainfall records from more than one station on each side of the site in order to bracket the site and support that the site received rainfall amounts similar to station data results.

    Wetness signature interpretations:

    Wetness signature is a change in appearance of a site from the surrounding land readily visible on aerial photography due to excessive moisture or wetness. Indicators of wetness signature include:

    a. Surface water

    b. Flooded or drowned out crops

    c. Long-term inundation that leaves a distinctive “bulls-eye” or “bathtub ring” signature indicating very gradual percolation and/or evaporation.

    d. Stressed vegetation (e.g. leaf yellowing, timber kills, etc.);

    e. Differences in vegetation color due to management, such as delayed planting or harvesting;

    f. Isolated, squared, and/or irregularly shaped areas not managed similar to rest of the agricultural field (i.e. not cropped, not harvested);

    g. Patches of lush or greener vegetation, which may be especially pronounced in a drier than normal image or during a drought.

    h. Unharvested crops in an otherwise harvest field

    i. Non-agricultural vegetation in place of crops on hydric soils or inclusions.

    j. A consistent land change or vegetative boundary outline, or footprint, can be indicative of a wetland of some type when the other characteristics, such as color or texture, may be too subtle to call for a different sampling unit or label on their own.

    It is important to confirm the landscape position and relief of the site when making wetness signature interpretations. Recognize that similar irregular patterns on upland sloping agricultural areas may be such things as fertilizer skips, seeding skips, herbicide drift, gully erosion, a dry ridge top or hill crown, or exposed subsoil rather than wetness signature.

    Ground-truthing, or on-site analysis, is not required to make an offsite wetland determination. However, it is an important consideration for making sound remote sensing interpretations and should be a part of the training protocol for any wetland specialist using this method. While the policy is to do as many determinations as possible using offsite methods for both the identification of wetlands (SOSM) and the identification of wetland type (SOWTP), this process encourages the use of ground-truthing when needed for increased accuracy in the determination. Newly trained agency experts especially are encouraged to make an on-site analysis in order to better develop their ability to interpret offsite data.

    Wetness signature is always easier to detect from imagery in open agricultural areas because of the physical responses of plant communities to wetness or dryness after periodic agricultural disturbances. In cropped areas, bare ground will periodically be the condition of the site in some flights. Forested areas are harder to remote sense for wetness signature due to leaf cover, shadows, lack of disturbance and lack of visible response by the forest community to minor changes in wetness. For that reason, the user may be able to interpret wetness signature within forested areas from the open agricultural areas adjacent to those areas when characteristics such as relief and drainage pattern are considered. Wetness signatures at the interface of woods and crops are a signature of wetness in the woods, indicating that the woods should be visited to determine how much of the woods is wet if it cannot be determined with the imagery.

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

    A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a raster dataset that can be used as an elevation surface layer in a Geographic Information System (GIS) to display and analyze topographic and geomorphic characteristics within the extent of data coverage. For the Indiana SOSM process, DEMs refers to Digital Elevation Models that represent the bare earth surface of landscape, without buildings, vegetation, or other above ground features. The most up to date DEMs in Indiana consist of a new generation of high accuracy data derived from LIDAR datasets. This set of Digital Elevation Models is capable of accurately mapping a 2-foot contour interval on the land. The DEM and other landscape based data derivatives are available to NRCS employees for use in offsite assessments for the SOSM process and prior to site visits. Derivative datasets generated from the DEM can include contours, slope, shaded relief or hillshade, fill, flow accumulation, landform curvature, and aspect. These datasets are able to be used as remote sensing tools to aid in determining potential wetland geomorphology and detailed local drainage patterns. They serve as a valuable tool for this methodology. All NRCS employees in Indiana that have approval to perform wetland determinations are provided with access to the data and software tools to utilize and interpret the data within agency based Geographic Information Systems

    Indiana DEM limitations

    1. The current set of Indiana DEMs was developed from LIDAR data collected between 2008 and 2013 across the state. As a result, the DEMs will sometimes, but not always, be useful in interpreting the presence or absence of manmade drainage features such as ditches prior to 1985.

    2. DEMs from any source are similar to aerial imagery in that they store information about the state of the landscape at the time of the source data acquisition, in this case LIDAR collected between 2008 and 2013. This means that subsequent changes to the landscape are not depicted which could include ditch cleaning, diversions, terraces, etc.

    Other Data Sources

    There are a number of other valuable resources available to NRCS delineators. All credible data sources should be considered when making a CWD to ensure accuracy.

    Additional years of orthorectified aerial imagery are available, including 1998 NAPP (1 meter, leaf-off), numerous years of NAIP (1 meter, leaf-on) from 2003 to the present, and multiple high-resolution local data sets (typically 1 foot, leaf-off, 4-band) collected by units of state and county government. More recent versions of the NAIP and high resolution local imagery include a 4th band of color infrared (CIR) data which can be displayed in a manner to further assist photo interpretation of wetness signatures.

    The USGS topographic maps were created prior to the 1980's and provide a good historical indicator of land use. The contour interval on the historical USGS topographic maps is typically 5 or 10 feet which can be insufficient for landform geomorphology interpretations in relatively flat landscapes. The use of high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) derived from new LIDAR products now enables all of Indiana to be covered by 2-foot contour interval data to provide much more detailed views of local topography and landforms.

    [FR Doc. 2016-10218 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comments request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Housing Service's (RHS) intention to request an extension for the currently approved information collection in support of our program for Complaints and Compensation for Construction Defects.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by July 5, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Myron Wooden, Finance and Loan Analyst, Single Family Housing Direct Loan Division, RHS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0783, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0783. Telephone (804) 287-1559.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: RD Instruction 1924-F, “Complaints and Compensation for Construction Defects.”

    OMB Number: 0575-0082.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 09-30-2016.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Complaints and Compensation for Construction Defects program under section 509C of title V of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, provides funding to eligible persons who have structural defects with their Agency financed homes to correct these problems. Structural defects are defects in the dwelling, installation of a manufactured home, or a related facility or a deficiency in the site or site development which directly and significantly reduces the useful life, habitability, or integrity of the dwelling or unit. The defect may be due to faulty material, poor workmanship, or latent causes that existed when the dwelling or unit was constructed. The period in which to place a claim for a defect is within 18 months after the date that financial assistance was granted. If the defect is determined to be structural and is covered by the builder's/dealer's-contractor's warranty, the contractor is expected to correct the defect. If the contractor cannot or will not correct the defect, the borrower may be compensated for having the defect corrected, under the Complaints and Compensation for Construction Defects program. Provisions of this subpart do not apply to dwellings financed with section 502 Guaranteed loans.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average .32 hours per response.

    Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 100.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.25.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 125.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 40 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Jeanne Jacobs, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, at (202) 692-0040.

    Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of RHS, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of RHS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including a variety of methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 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 may be sent to Brigitte Sumter, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0743. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: April 19, 2016. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10640 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee To Discuss Findings and Recommendations Regarding Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    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 that the Indiana Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, from 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. EDT. The Committee will discuss findings and recommendations regarding school discipline policies and practices which may facilitate disparities in juvenile justice involvement and youth incarceration rates on the basis of race, color, disability, or sex, in what has become known as the “School to Prison Pipeline,” in preparation to issue a report to the Commission on the topic. This meeting is open to the public vial the following toll free call in number 888-430-8694 conference ID 4308606. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. 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 telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are invited to make statements during the designated open comment period. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and following the meeting at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=247 and following the links for “Meeting Details” and then “Documents.” Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda
    1. Welcome and Roll Call 2. Findings and Recommendations: “Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana” 3. Open Comment 4. Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday June 15, 2016, from 3:00pm-4:00 p.m. EDT.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: 888-430-8694 Conference ID: 4308606 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected]

    Dated: May 3, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10706 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee To Discuss Approval of a Draft Report Regarding the Civil Rights Impact of School Disciplinary Policies That May Contribute to High Rates of Juvenile Incarceration in Oklahoma AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    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 that the Oklahoma Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Monday, May 16, 2016, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. CDT for the purpose of discussing approval of a draft report regarding the civil rights impact of the school to prison pipeline in Oklahoma.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-504-7963, conference ID: 5407176. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines according to their wireless plan, 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 telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also invited to make statements at the end of the conference call. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Corrine Sanders at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at: https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=269 Clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links to download. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda
    Welcome and Roll Call Discussion of draft Committee Report: “Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Oklahoma” • Committee Comments/amendments • Public Comment • Vote for approval Future Projects Open Comment Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, May 16, 2016, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. CDT.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: 888-504-7963.

    Conference ID: 5407176.

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, the notice for this meeting is given fewer than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstances of upcoming holiday and summer scheduling limitations. Given the exceptional urgency of the events, the agency and advisory committee deem it important for the advisory committee to meet on the date given.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected].

    Dated: May 3, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10707 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the North Carolina Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss Potential Project Topics AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    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 that the North Carolina Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, for the purpose of discussing town hall meeting transcript conducted on April 7, 2016 in Walnut Cove, NC.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-427-9419, conference ID: 4170236. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. 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 telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by May 13, 2016. Written comments may be mailed to the Southern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 61 Forsyth Street, Suite 16T126, Atlanta, GA 30303. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (404) 562-7005, or emailed to Regional Director, Jeffrey Hinton at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Southern Regional Office at (404) 562-7000.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Southern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, North Carolina Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 12:00 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be by teleconference. Toll-free call-in number: 888-437-9419, conference ID: 4170236.

    Agenda —Welcome/Attendance: Jeff Hinton & Matty Lazo-Chadderton, Chair —North Carolina Advisory Committee discussion of the transcript (Coal Ash disposal) of the town hall meeting conducted on April 7, 2016 in Walnut Cove, NC (Coal Ash) Matty Lazo-Chadderton, Chair —Open Comment: Staff/Advisory Committee —Public Participation —Adjournment

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, the notice for this meeting is given less than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstances of providing expedited information to the Commission for use in the agency's 2016 statutory enforcement report. Given the exceptional urgency of the events, the agency and advisory committee deem it important for the advisory committee to meet on the date given.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hinton, DFO, at [email protected] or 404-562-7006.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10710 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of the Census (U.S. Census Bureau) is giving notice of a meeting of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee (FESAC). The Committee will advise the Directors of the Economics and Statistics Administration's (ESA) two statistical agencies, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Census Bureau, and the Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of federal economic statistics. Last minute changes to the agenda are possible, which could prevent giving advance public notice of schedule adjustments.

    DATES:

    June 10, 2016. The meeting will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. and adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau Conference Center, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD 20746.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James R. Spletzer, Designated Federal Official, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Research and Methodology Directorate, Room 5K175, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone 301-763-4069, email: [email protected] For TTY callers, please call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 and give them the above listed number you would like to call. This service is free and confidential.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the FESAC are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Committee advises the Directors of the BEA, the Census Bureau, and the Commissioner of the Department of Labor's BLS, on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of federal economic statistics. The Committee is established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (title 5, United States Code, Appendix 2).

    The meeting is open to the public, and a brief period is set aside for public comments and questions. Persons with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing at least three days before the meeting to the Designated Federal Official named above. If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Wednesday, June 1, 2016. You may access the online registration form with the following link: https://www.regonline.com/fesac_june2016_meeting. Seating is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should also be directed to the Designated Federal Official as soon as known, and preferably two weeks prior to the meeting.

    Due to increased security and for access to the meeting, please call 301-763-9906 upon arrival at the Census Bureau on the day of the meeting. A photo ID must be presented in order to receive your visitor's badge. Visitors are not allowed beyond the first floor.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10757 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration First Responder Network Authority [Docket Number: 160429380-6380-01] RIN 0660-XC025 Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the East Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and Notice of Public Meetings AGENCY:

    First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of availability of a draft programmatic environmental impact statement and of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) announces the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the East Region (“Draft PEIS”). FirstNet also announces a series of public meetings to be held throughout the East Region to receive comments on the Draft PEIS. The Draft PEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the proposed nationwide public safety broadband network in the East Region, composed of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on the Draft PEIS for the East Region on or before July 6, 2016. FirstNet will also hold public meetings in each of the 13 states and the District of Columbia. See SUPPLMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates.

    ADDRESSES:

    At any time during the public comment period, members of the public, public agencies, and other interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments, questions, and concerns about the project for FirstNet's consideration or to attend any of the public meetings. Written comments may be submitted electronically via www.regulations.gov, FIRSTNET-2016-0002, or by mail to Amanda Goebel Pereira, NEPA Coordinator, First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192. Comments received will be made a part of the public record and may be posted to FirstNet's Web site (www.firstnet.gov) without change. Comments should be machine readable and should not be copy-protected. All personally identifiable information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. The Draft PEIS is available for download from www.regulations.gov, FIRSTNET-2016-0002. A CD containing the electronic files of this document is also available at public libraries (see Chapter 22 of the Draft PEIS for the complete distribution list). See SUPPLMENTARY INFORMATION section for public meeting addresses.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For more information on the Draft PEIS, contact Amanda Goebel Pereira, NEPA Coordinator, First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Meetings

    Attendees can obtain information regarding the project and/or submit a comment in person during public meetings. The meeting details are as follows:

    • Washington, DC, May 16, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., 200 I St. SE., 1st Floor, Washington, DC 20003 • Annapolis, MD, May 19, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Children's Theater of Annapolis, 1661 Bay Head Rd., Annapolis, MD 21409 • Bangor, ME, May 24, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401 • New York City, NY, May 24, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., New York Marriott Marquis, 160 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019 • Boston, MA, May 25, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Boston Offices, Exchange Place Boston, 53 State St., Boston, MA 02109 • New Haven, CT, May 25, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., New Haven Public Library, Ives Main Branch, 133 Elm St., New Haven, CT 06510 • Providence, RI, May 26, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., Providence, RI 02903 • Albany, NY, May 26, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Albany Public Library, Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch, 148 Henry Johnson Blvd., Albany, NY 12210 • Richmond, VA, May 31, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., T. Edward Temple Building, 901 W. Main St., Richmond, VA 23219 • Burlington, VT, May 31, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington, VT 05401 • Manchester, NH, June 1, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Manchester Historic Association, Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford St., Manchester, NH 03101 • Charleston, WV, June 2, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Charleston Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Dr., Charleston, WV 25301 • Harrisburg, PA, June 14, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Madeline L. Olewine Memorial Library, 2410 N. Third St., Harrisburg, PA 17110 • Trenton, NJ, June 15, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., New Jersey State Museum, 205 W. State St., Trenton, NJ, 08608 • Dover, DE, June 16, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman St., Dover, DE 19901 Background

    The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96, Title VI, 126 Stat. 156 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.)) (the “Act”) created and authorized FirstNet to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of an interoperable, nationwide public safety broadband network (“NPSBN”) based on a single, national network architecture. The Act meets a longstanding and critical national infrastructure need, to create a single, nationwide network that will, for the first time, allow police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other public safety entities to effectively communicate with each other across agencies and jurisdictions. The NPSBN is intended to enhance the ability of the public safety community to perform more reliably, effectively, and safely; increase situational awareness during an emergency; and improve the ability of the public safety community to effectively engage in those critical activities.

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) (“NEPA”) requires federal agencies to undertake an assessment of environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making a final decision and implementing the action. NEPA requirements apply to any federal project, decision, or action that may have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. NEPA also establishes the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”), which issued regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (see 40 CFR parts 1500-1508). Among other considerations, CEQ regulations at 40 CFR 1508.28 recommend the use of tiering from a “broader environmental impact statement (such as a national program or policy statements) with subsequent narrower statements or environmental analysis (such as regional or basin wide statements or ultimately site-specific statements) incorporating by reference the general discussions and concentrating solely on the issues specific to the statement subsequently prepared.”

    Due to the geographic scope of FirstNet (all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories) and the diversity of ecosystems potentially traversed by the project, FirstNet has elected to prepare five regional PEISs. The five PEISs will be divided into the East, Central, West, South, and Non-Contiguous Regions. The East Region consists of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Draft PEIS analyzes potential impacts of the deployment and operation of the NPSBN on the natural and human environment in the East Region, in accordance with FirstNet's responsibilities under NEPA.

    Next Steps

    All comments received by the public and any interested stakeholders will be evaluated and considered by FirstNet during the preparation of the Final PEIS. Once a PEIS is completed and a Record of Decision (ROD) is signed, FirstNet will evaluate site-specific documentation, as network design is developed, to determine if the proposed project has been adequately evaluated in the PEIS or warrants a Categorical Exclusion, an Environmental Assessment, or an Environmental Impact Statement.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Amanda Goebel Pereira, NEPA Coordinator, First Responder Network Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10698 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-27-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 103—Grand Forks, North Dakota; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority, grantee of FTZ 103, requesting authority to reorganize the zone under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on May 2, 2016.

    FTZ 103 was approved by the FTZ Board on April 27, 1984 (Board Order 253, 49 FR 19541, May 8, 1984). The grant of authority was reissued to the Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority on July 5, 1995 (Board Order 752, 60 FR 36104-36105, July 13, 1995).

    The current zone includes the following sites in Grand Forks: Site 1 (6 acres)—Grand Forks International Airport, 2301 Airport Drive; Site 2 (2 acres)—Grand Forks Industrial Park, 830 South 48th Street; and, Site 3 (24 acres)—Ag Depot, 1168 12th Street NE.

    The grantee's proposed service area under the ASF would include all of Grand Forks County, North Dakota, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed service area is within and adjacent to the Grand Forks, North Dakota U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

    The applicant is requesting authority to reorganize its existing zone under the ASF without including any of the existing sites in the reorganized zone. No new magnet sites or subzones/usage-driven sites are being requested at this time. The application would have no impact on FTZ 103's previously authorized subzone.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Christopher Kemp of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 5, 2016. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to July 20, 2016.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Christopher Kemp at [email protected] or (202) 482-0862.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10760 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 03-2A007] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of issuance of an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to The Great Lakes Fruit Exporters Association, LLC, Application No. 03-2A007.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (“OTEA”), issued an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to The Great Lakes Fruit Exporters Association, LLC (“GLFEA”) of Michigan on April 27, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, by telephone at (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. The regulations implementing Title III are found at 15 CFR part 325 (2016).

    OTEA is issuing this notice pursuant to 15 CFR 325.6(b), which requires the Secretary of Commerce to publish a summary of the certification in the Federal Register. Under Section 305(a) of the Act and 15 CFR 325.11(a), any person aggrieved by the Secretary's determination may, within 30 days of the date of this notice, bring an action in any appropriate district court of the United States to set aside the determination on the ground that the determination is erroneous.

    Description of Amended Certificate

    GLFEA's Export Trade Certificate of Review has been amended to make the following changes to the list of Members covered by the Certificate:

    1. Adding as new Member: a. All Fresh GPS, LLC. 2. Deleting the following members: a. Greg Orchards and Produce, Inc.; Applewood Orchards, Inc.; Heeren Brothers Inc.; AJ's Produce Inc.; Appletree Marketing LLC; and Michigan Fresh Marketing LLC.

    The Great Lakes Fruit Exporters Association, LLC's proposed amendment of its Export Trade Certificate of Review would result in the following entities as Members under the Certificate:

    1. Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc. 2. North Bay Produce, Inc. 3. Greenridge Fruit, Inc. 4. Jack Brown Produce, Inc. 5. BelleHarvest Sales, Inc. 6. All Fresh GPS, LLC

    No change has been made regarding the Export Trade, Export Trade Activities or Methods of Operation covered by the Certificate.

    The amended Certificate of Review is effective from January 28, 2016, the date on which the application for an amendment was deemed submitted.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10713 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 97-13A03] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of issuance of an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to the Association for the Administration of Rice Quotas, Inc. (“AARQ”), Application No. (97-13A03).

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (“OTEA”), issued an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review to AARQ of Delaware on April 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, by telephone at (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. The regulations implementing Title III are found at 15 CFR part 325 (2016).

    OTEA is issuing this notice pursuant to 15 CFR 325.6(b), which requires the Secretary of Commerce to publish a summary of the certification in the Federal Register. Under Section 305(a) of the Act and 15 CFR 325.11(a), any person aggrieved by the Secretary's determination may, within 30 days of the date of this notice, bring an action in any appropriate district court of the United States to set aside the determination on the ground that the determination is erroneous.

    Description of Amended Certificate

    AARQ's Export Trade Certificate of Review has been amended to make the following changes to the list of Members covered by the Certificate:

    1. Deleting the following Members from its Certificate:

    a. Family & Sons, Inc., Miami, Florida b. Noble Logistics USA, Inc., Portland, Oregon c. Rickmers Rice USA, Inc., Knoxville, Tennessee d. Texana Rice, Inc., Louise, Texas

    2. Changing Nishimoto Trading Co., Ltd., Santa Fe Springs, California (a subsidiary of Nishimoto Trading Company, Ltd. (Japan) to Nishimoto Trading Co., Ltd. dba Wismettac Asian Foods, Santa Fe Springs, California (a subsidiary of Nishimoto Trading Company, Ltd. (Japan).

    3. Changing PS International, LLC dba PS International Ltd., Chapel Hill, North Carolina (jointly owned by Seaboard Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri and PS Trading Inc., Chapel Hill, North Carolina) to Interra International, LLC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    4. Changing TRC Trading Corporation, Roseville, California (a subsidiary of TRC Group Inc., Roseville, California) and its subsidiary Gulf Rice Arkansas II, LLC, Houston, Texas to TRC Trading Corporation, Roseville, California (a subsidiary of TRC Group Inc., Roseville, California) and its subsidiary Gulf Rice Arkansas II, LLC, Crawfordsville, Arkansas.

    5. Changing Veetee Rice, Inc., Great Neck, New York (a subsidiary of Veetee Investments Corporation (Bahamas)) to Veetee Foods Inc., Islandia, New York (a subsidiary of Veetee Investments Corporation (Bahamas)).

    AARQ's amendment of its Export Trade Certificate of Review results in the following entities as Members under the Certificate:

    1. ADM Latin, Inc., Decatur, Illinois, ADM Grain Company, Decatur, Illinois, and ADM Rice, Inc., Tarrytown, New York (subsidiaries of Archer Daniels Midland Company).

    2. American Commodity Company, LLC, Williams, California.

    3. Associated Rice Marketing Cooperative (ARMCO), Richvale, California.

    4. Bunge Milling, Saint Louis, Missouri (a subsidiary of Bunge North America, White Plains, New York), dba PIRMI (Pacific International Rice Mills), Woodland, California.

    5. Cargill Americas, Inc., and its subsidiary CAI Trading, LLC, Coral Gables, Florida.

    6. Farmers' Rice Cooperative, Sacramento, California.

    7. Farmers Rice Milling Company, Inc., Lake Charles, Louisiana.

    8. Far West Rice, Inc., Durham, California.

    9. Gulf Pacific Rice Co., Inc., Houston, Texas; Gulf Rice Milling, Inc., Houston, Texas; and Harvest Rice, Inc., McGehee, Arkansas (each a subsidiary of Gulf Pacific, Inc., Houston, Texas).

    10. Gulf Pacific Disc, Inc., Houston, Texas.

    11. Itochu International Inc., Portland, Oregon (a subsidiary of Itochu Corporation (Japan)).

    12. Interra International, LLC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    13. JFC International Inc., Los Angeles, California (a subsidiary of Kikkoman Corp.).

    14. JIT Products, Inc., Davis, California.

    15. Kennedy Rice Dryers, L.L.C., Mer Rouge, Louisiana.

    16. Kitoku America, Inc., Burlingame, California (a subsidiary of Kitoku Shinryo Co., Ltd. (Japan)).

    17. LD Commodities Rice Merchandising LLC, Wilton, Connecticut, and LD Commodities Interior Rice Merchandising LLC, Kansas City, Missouri (subsidiaries of Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC, Wilton, Connecticut).

    18. Louisiana Rice Mill, LLC, Mermentau, Louisiana.

    19. Nidera US LLC, Wilton, Connecticut (a subsidiary of Nidera BV (Netherlands)).

    20. Nishimoto Trading Co., Ltd. dba Wismettac Asian Foods, Santa Fe Springs, California (a subsidiary of Nishimoto Trading Company, Ltd. (Japan).

    21. Producers Rice Mill, Inc., Stuttgart, Arkansas.

    22. Riceland Foods, Inc., Stuttgart, Arkansas.

    23. Riviana Foods Inc., Houston, Texas (a subsidiary of Ebro Foods, S.A. (Spain)), for the activities of itself and its subsidiary, American Rice, Inc., Houston, Texas.

    24. Sinamco Trading Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    25. SunFoods LLC, Woodland, California.

    26. SunWest Foods, Inc., Davis, California.

    27. The Sun Valley Rice Co., LLC, Arbuckle, California.

    28. TRC Trading Corporation, Roseville, California (a subsidiary of TRC Group Inc., Roseville, California) and its subsidiary Gulf Rice Arkansas II, LLC, Crawfordsville, Arkansas.

    29. Trujillo & Sons, Inc., Miami, Florida.

    30. Veetee Foods Inc., Islandia, New York (a subsidiary of Veetee Investments Corporation (Bahamas)).

    31. Wehah Farm, Inc., dba Lundberg Family Farms, Richvale, California.

    No change is has been made regarding the Export Trade, Export Trade Activities or Methods of Operation covered by the Certificate.

    The amended Certificate of Review is effective from January 11, 2016, the date on which the application for an amendment was deemed submitted.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10711 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-821] Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India: Implementation of Determinations Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On April 18, 2016, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) instructed the Department of Commerce (the Department) to implement its determinations under section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), regarding several countervailing duty (CVD) administrative reviews, which render them not inconsistent with the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement findings in United States—Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India—(DS436). 1 The Department issued its final determinations in these section 129 proceedings on April 18, 2015. The Department is now implementing these final determinations.

    1See Memorandum to the File, “Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India, Section 129 Determination (DS436) Placement of Letter from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to the Secretary of Commerce (dated April 18, 2016),” (April 25, 2016).

    DATES:

    Effective April 18, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric B. Greynolds, Patricia Tran, or Samuel Brummitt, 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) 482-6071, (202) 482-1503, or (202) 482-7851, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 23, 2015, the Department informed interested parties that it was initiating proceedings under section 129 of the URAA to implement the findings of the WTO dispute settlement panel in DS436.2 Specifically, the Department issued preliminary determinations regarding: (1) Facts Available; 3 and (2) Other Issues.4

    2See Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India: Notice of Commencement of Compliance Proceedings Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, 80 FR 57336 (September 23, 2015).

    3See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Section 129(b) Proceeding: United States—Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India (WTO/DS436): Preliminary Determinations of Facts Available,” (March 17, 2016).

    4See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Section 129 Proceeding: United States—Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India (WTO/DS436): Preliminary Determination on Other Issues,” (March 18, 2016).

    The Department invited interested parties to comment on the section 129 preliminary determinations.5 After receiving comments, rebuttal comments, and a hearing on April 8, 2016, the Department issued the final determination on April 14, 2016.6

    5See Department Memorandum to the File, “Section 129 Proceedings: United States—Countervailing Duty (CVD) Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Products from India (WTO/DS436): Schedule for written argument and a hearing,” (March 21, 2016).

    6See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Section 129 Proceeding: United States—Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India (WTO/DS436): Final Determination,” (April 14, 2016).

    On April 18, 2016, USTR notified the Department that, consistent with section 129(b)(3) of the URAA, consultations with the Department and the appropriate congressional committees with respect to the April 14, 2016, determination have been completed. Also on April 18, 2016, in accordance with section 129(b)(4) of the URAA, USTR directed the Department to implement these determinations.

    Nature of the Proceedings

    Section 129 of the URAA governs the nature and effect of determinations issued by the Department to implement findings by WTO dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body. Specifically, section 129(b)(2) of the URAA provides that “notwithstanding any provision of the Tariff Act of 1930,” upon a written request from USTR, the Department shall issue a determination that would render its actions not inconsistent with an adverse finding of a WTO panel or the Appellate Body.7 The Statement of Administrative Action, U.R.A.A., H. Doc. 316, Vol. 1, 103d Cong. (1994) (SAA), variously refers to such a determination by the Department as a “new,” “second,” and “different” determination.8 After consulting with the Department and the appropriate congressional committees, USTR may direct the Department to implement, in whole or in part, the new determination made under section 129 of the URAA.9 Pursuant to section 129(c) of the URAA, the new determination shall apply with respect to unliquidated entries of the subject merchandise that are entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after the date on which USTR directs the Department to implement the new determination.10 The new determination is subject to judicial review, separate and apart from judicial review of the Department's original determination.11

    7See 19 U.S.C. 3538(b)(2).

    8See SAA at 1025, 1027.

    9See 19 U.S.C. 3538(b)(4).

    10See 19 U.S.C. 3538(c).

    11See 19 U.S.C. 1516(a)(2)(B)(vii).

    Final Determinations: Analysis of Comments Received

    The issues raised in the comments and rebuttal comments submitted by interested parties to these proceedings are addressed in the final determination. The issues included in the respective final determinations are as follows: (1) Ocean Freight; (2) Whether the CVD Rate Determined for JSW in the Department's 129 Proceeding Supersedes the Amended Final Results for JSW for the 2006 Administrative Review; (3) JSW's Cash Deposit Rate for Future Entries of Hot-rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India; (4A) Iron Ore Benchmarks: Tier I Benchmarks; (4B) Iron Ore Benchmarks: NMDC's export price to Japan; (5) NMDC as a Public Body; (6) Mining Rights of Iron Ore; (7) Mining of Coal; (8) Administration of Section 129 Proceeding; and (9) Specificity of Sale of High-Grade Iron Ore by NMDC. The final determination 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, complete versions of the final determinations can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed version of the final determination and the electronic version of the final determinations are identical in content.

    Final Determinations: Recalculated Countervailing Duty Rates

    The recalculated CVD rates are listed below. As indicated, we made changes to the net subsidy rates in certain segments.12 The net subsidy rates for the remaining CVD segments in DS436 are unchanged.

    12See Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India, 73 FR 40295 (July 14, 2008) (2006 Final Results); Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India, 74 FR 20923 (May 6, 2009); (2007 Final Results); and Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India, 75 FR 43488 (July 26, 2010) (2008 Final Results).

    Amended Countervailable Subsidy Rates Ad Valorem (Percent)—2006 Final Results Exporter/producer CVD rate
  • (administrative
  • review)
  • Revised
  • CVD rate
  • JSW Steel Ltd 13 484.41 215.54 Tata Steel Ltd 27.22 18.81 Essar Steel India Limited 14 17.50 15.40 Ispat Industries Ltd 15.27 14.82
    Amended Countervailable Subsidy Rates Ad Valorem (Percent)—2007 Final Results Exporter/producer CVD rate
  • (administrative
  • review)
  • Revised
  • CVD rate
  • Essar Steel India Limited 15 76.88 68.77
    Amended Countervailable Subsidy Rates Ad Valorem (Percent)—2008 Final Results Exporter/producer CVD rate
  • (administrative
  • review)
  • Revised
  • CVD rate
  • Tata Steel Ltd 16 17 577.28 140.18
    Implementation of the Revised Cash Deposit Requirements

    13 Pursuant to a litigation settlement, the Department published an amended final results; instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requiring the liquidation of entries during the 2006 POR at 76.88 percent; and issued instructions to CBP establishing the future cash deposit rate for JSW Steel Ltd. at the rate of 76.88 percent. See Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India: Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review Pursuant to Court Decision, 75 FR 80455 (December 22, 2010).

    14 In the 2006 Final Results, Essar Steel India Limited was referred to as Essar Steel Ltd.

    15 In the 2007 Final Results, Essar Steel India Limited was referred to as Essar Steel Ltd.

    16 In the 2008 Final Results, Tata Steel Ltd. was referred to as Tata Steel Limited.

    17 Pursuant to a litigation settlement, the Department published an amended final; calculated the total amount of duties due on the three entries covered by the litigation based on 102.74 percent and issue instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requiring the total amount of duties due to be assessed on the remaining two entries; and issue instructions to CBP establishing the future cash deposit rate for Tata Steel Ltd. at the rate of 102.74 percent. See Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India: Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review Pursuant to Court Decision, 76 FR 77775 (December 14, 2011).

    On April 18, 2016, in accordance with sections 129(b)(4) and 129(c)(1)(B) of the URAA and after consulting with the Department and Congress, USTR directed the Department to implement these final determinations. With respect to each of these segments, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require a cash deposit for estimated countervailing duties at the appropriate rate for each exporter/producer specified above, for entries of subject merchandise, entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after April 18, 2016. This notice of implementation of these section 129 final determination is published in accordance with section 129(c)(2)(A) of the URAA.

    Dated: April 29, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10765 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Open Meeting of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity (the “Commission”) will meet Monday, May 16, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time in Vanderbilt Hall at the New York University (NYU) School of Law, Center on Law and Security located at 40 Washington Square South, New York, New York. The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the finance and insurance sectors as the Commission develops detailed recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, ensuring public safety and economic and national security, fostering discovery and development of new technical solutions, and bolstering partnerships between Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments and the private sector in the development, promotion, and use of cybersecurity technologies, policies, and best practices. All sessions will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, May 16, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the NYU School of Law, Center on Law and Security, in Vanderbilt Hall, located at 40 Washington Square South, New York, New York. The meeting is open to the public and interested parties are requested to contact Melanie Cook in advance of the meeting for building entrance requirements.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melanie Cook, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930, telephone: (301) 975-5259, or by email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity will meet Monday, May 16, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. All sessions will be open to the public. The Commission is authorized by Executive Order 13718, Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.1 The Commission was established by the President and will make detailed recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, ensuring public safety and economic and national security, fostering discovery and development of new technical solutions, and bolstering partnerships between Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments and the private sector in the development, promotion, and use of cybersecurity technologies, policies, and best practices.

    1https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/02/12/2016-03038/commission-on-enhancing-national-cybersecurity.

    The agenda is expected to include the following items:

    —Introductions —Panel discussion on the cybersecurity challenges and opportunities in the finance sector —Panel discussion on the cybersecurity challenges and opportunities in the insurance sector —Panel discussion on cybersecurity research and development in the finance sector —Closure

    Note that agenda items may change without notice. The final agenda will be posted on http://www.nist.gov/cybercommission. Seating will be available for the public and media. No registration is required to attend this meeting.

    Public Participation: The Commission agenda will include a period of time, not to exceed fifteen minutes, for oral comments from the public on Monday, May 16, 2016, from 3:45 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Speakers will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Each speaker will be limited to five minutes. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Members of the public who are interested in speaking are requested to contact Melanie Cook at the contact information indicated in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements. In addition, written statements are invited and may be submitted to the Commission at any time. All written statements should be directed to the Commission Executive Director, Information Technology Laboratory, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930.

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150(b), this Federal Register notice for this meeting is being published fewer than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting as exceptional circumstances exist. It is imperative that the meeting be held on May 16, 2016 to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants, who must maintain a strict schedule of meetings in order to complete the Commission's report by December 1, 2016, as required by Executive Order 13718 § 3(e) (February 9, 2016). Notice of the meeting is also posted on the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Web site at http://www.nist.gov/cybercommission.

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10652 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE608 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public hearings and webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold seven public hearings and one webinar to solicit public comments on Amendment 45—Sector Separation Sunset.

    DATES:

    The public hearings will be held May 23-31, 2016. The meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and will conclude no later than 9 p.m. For specific dates and times, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Written public comments must be received on or before 5 p.m. EST on Friday, May 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public documents can be obtained by contacting the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; (813) 348-1630 or on their Web site at www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Meeting addresses: The public hearings will be held in St. Petersburg, Panama City, FL; Corpus Christi and League City, TX; Biloxi, MS; Mobile, AL; Gretna, LA; and one webinar. For specific locations, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Public comments: Comments may be submitted online through the Council's public portal by visiting www.gulfcouncil.org and clicking on “CONTACT US”.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Gregory, Executive Director, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The agenda for the following seven hearings and webinar are as follows: Council staff will brief the public on Draft Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Amendment 45 considers management alternatives to extend or eliminate the red snapper sector separation sunset provision. Following the presentation, Council staff will open the meeting for questions and public comments. The schedule is as follows:

    Locations, Schedules, and Agendas

    Monday, May 23, 2016; Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33716; telephone: (727) 540-0050; IP Casino Resort, 850 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530; telephone: (228) 436-3000.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016; Courtyard Marriott, 905 East 23rd Place, Panama City, FL 32405; telephone: (850) 763-6525.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2016; Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602; telephone: (251) 438-4000; Hampton Inn and Suites, 2320 Gulf Freeway South, League City, TX 77573; telephone: (281) 614-5437.

    Thursday, May 26, 2016; Holiday Inn New Orleans Westbank, 275 Whitney Avenue, Gretna, LA 70053; telephone: (504) 366-8535; Hilton Garden Inn, 6717 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412; telephone: (361) 991-8200.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2016—Webinar—6 p.m. EST. To participate in the webinar, please register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5872853717338664961.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10692 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE595 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, May 25-26, 2016, beginning at 1 p.m. on May 25 and conclude by 1 p.m. on May 26. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, 550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (410) 234-0550.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda items to be discussed at the SSC meeting include: Review fishery performance report and multi-year ABC specifications for long-finned and short finned squid, Atlantic mackerel and butterfish; discuss MAFMC risk policy and assignment of CVs for Mid-Atlantic assessments; review fishery performance report and recommend surfclam and ocean quahog ABC specifications for 2017-18.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10691 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE605 Regional Fishery Management Councils: Council Coordination Committee; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of Regional Fishery Management Councils Coordination Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC) consisting of eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (RFMC) chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors and its subcommittees in May 2016. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils, contained in the following proposed agenda. All sessions are open to the public:

    DATES:

    The meeting dates are May 25-26, 2016. Registration for the meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 24, 2016, and from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on May 25, 2016. The meetings will begin at 9 a.m., on May 25, 2016, and recess at 5 p.m., or when business is completed, and will reconvene for its final day on May 26, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. or when business is completed.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place at the Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, 5 Estate Bakkeroe, St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918-1903, telephone (787) 766-5926.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Time Discussion item Presenter May 25, 2016 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Welcome Carlos Farchette/Eileen Sobeck. NMFS Update
  • —NMFS Science Update on Coral Work in the Caribbean.
  • Eileen Sobeck.
    —NMFS Science Update on Coral Work in the Caribbean 10 a.m.-10:20 a.m. Recreational Fisheries Update Russell Dunn. 10:20 a.m.-10:35 a.m. Coffee Break 10:35 a.m.-11:30 a.m. FY 16/17 Budget Updates Brian Pawlak. 11:30 a.m.-12 noon Legislative Update Dave Whaley. 12 noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m.-2 p.m. EBFM Road Map (Plan for Implementation) Sam Rauch/Heather Sagar. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Council Definition of OY and Update on NS1 CCC
  • Sam Rauch.
  • 3 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Coffee break 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Catch Share Update Review Alan Risenhoover/Kelly Denit. 4:15 p.m.-5 p.m. Bycatch Discussion —SBRM Rule Status Update Sam Rauch. —Council Discussion & Comments on Bycatch Strategy CCC. May 26, 2016 8:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m. New Operational Guidelines and the Regional Operation Agreements Chuck Tracy/Alan Risenhoover. 9:15 a.m.-10 a.m. EM & ER Regional Implementation Update Jane DiCosimo/Kelly Denit/CCC. 10 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Coffee Break 10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. EFH Summit Update Bill Tweit/Terra Lederhouse. 11a.m.-11:30 a.m. Update on Conflict of Interest Regulations Project Adam Issenberg. 11:30 a.m.-12 noon Communications Group Report Kitty Simonds. 12 noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Compliance with NS2: BSIA used by Council/NMFS for stock status determination, specifications (OFL/ABC/ACL), and model selection Tom Nies/Gregg Waugh/Jane DiCosimo. —Issues and examples —Agency process to determine BSIA for Stock Status 3 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Coffee Break 3:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m. SSC Subcommittee —Agenda items for 2017 Meeting 3:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Other Business 4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m. Next CCC Meeting (2017) Tom Nies.

    The order in which the agenda items are addressed may change. The CCC will meet as late as necessary to complete scheduled business.

    Copy of the tentative agenda can be found at the CFMC Web page: www.caribbeanfmc.com.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. For more information or request for sign language interpretation and other auxiliary aids, please contact Mr. Miguel A. Rolón, Executive Director, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Muñoz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00918-1903, telephone (787) 766-5926, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10650 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2015-0064] Use of WIPO's ePCT System for Preparing the PCT Request for Filing as Part of an International Application With the USPTO as Receiving Office AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO), in its capacity as a PCT Receiving Office (RO/US), will begin to accept international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) that are filed electronically with a PCT Request prepared in the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) ePCT system. ePCT allows users to generate a zip file containing a validated PCT Request; the zip file can then be submitted electronically to the RO/US as part of an international application filed using the USPTO's electronic filing system (EFS-Web). Because WIPO's ePCT system is web-based and the servers that support the system are located outside the United States, users of ePCT are reminded that the export of subject matter abroad pursuant to a foreign filing license from the USPTO is limited to purposes related to the filing of foreign applications, which include international applications filed in a Receiving Office other than the RO/US. A foreign filing license does not authorize the export of subject matter into ePCT for generating a PCT Request for filing with the RO/US. Persons who are considering the use of WIPO's ePCT system for preparation of the PCT Request for filing as part of an international application with the RO/US should consider contacting the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the Department of Commerce, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) at the Department of State, or the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at the Department of Energy for the appropriate clearances where the international application may include technology subject to export controls.

    DATES:

    The change in this notice takes effect on June 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Neas, Deputy Director (telephone (571) 272-3289; electronic mail message ([email protected])), International Patent Legal Administration, Office of International Patent Cooperation.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The USPTO's electronic filing system (EFS-Web) enables users to electronically file international applications under the PCT with the RO/US. EFS-Web currently permits users to submit the PCT Request by uploading a zip file created using PCT Secure Applications Filed Electronically (PCT-SAFE) software which is made available and maintained by WIPO. The zip file from PCT-SAFE contains a validated PCT Request and fee calculation sheet in PDF format, which are subsequently loaded in the USPTO's Image File Wrapper (IFW). The zip file contains additional files that, among other things, allow the USPTO and WIPO to auto-load application bibliographic data. All other documents and application parts must be prepared and loaded separately in EFS-Web for filing of the international application. Submission of the zip file from PCT-SAFE at the time of filing the international application entitles the applicant to a reduction of the international filing fee. Starting on June 1, 2016, in addition to accepting the zip files generated by PCT-SAFE, the RO/US will also begin to accept international applications filed electronically with zip files created by WIPO's ePCT system. ePCT is a web-based service that provides for electronic filing of international applications with certain PCT Receiving Offices. ePCT also provides for secure electronic access, file management, and document submissions for international applications held by the International Bureau (IB). The use of ePCT in this manner requires the use of a WIPO user account authenticated with a WIPO digital certificate. ePCT is accessed via an internet browser on the user's system, and all information input into ePCT is stored securely on WIPO's servers. Detailed information on ePCT-Filing can be found at http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/pct/en/epct/pdf/epct_filing_guidelines.pdf.

    Both PCT-SAFE and ePCT include validation features to help users properly complete the PCT Request. Since the PCT-SAFE validation can only be made against the version of the software installed on the user's system, the most up-to-date version of PCT-SAFE is required in order to ensure accurate validation. In contrast to PCT-SAFE, validation in the ePCT system is made in real time and does not require software updates. Furthermore, like PCT-SAFE, the zip file generated by ePCT, which contains a PCT Request in character coded format, also entitles the applicant to the same reduction in international filing fees as indicated in item 4(b) of the PCT Schedule of Fees (http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/texts/rules/rtax.htm#_S). The use of the ePCT zip file would still require all other documents and application parts to be prepared and loaded separately in EFS-Web for filing of the international application.

    By using ePCT, an international application will be associated with the user's ePCT account, even before the application is filed, thereby allowing users to share access rights with others prior to filing, if needed. In addition, after the record copy is received by the IB, the application file may be viewed online via ePCT without the need to separately request access rights.

    Applicants who are residents and/or nationals of the United States and its territories can file international applications directly with the Receiving Office of the IB via ePCT or other means, provided that any national security provisions have been met prior to filing, including obtaining any required foreign filing license. See 37 CFR 5.11 and MPEP § 140. A foreign filing license does not, however, authorize the use of ePCT to prepare the PCT Request and resultant zip file for filing, as part of an international application, with the RO/US. See 37 CFR 5.15 regarding the scope of a foreign filing license. Also see Scope of Foreign Filing Licenses, 73 FR 42781 (July 23, 2008) (“A foreign filing license from the USPTO does not authorize the exporting of subject matter abroad for the preparation of patent applications to be filed in the United States.”). Using ePCT to create a PCT Request and resulting zip file for later submission to the RO/US does not constitute the “filing of an application in a foreign country or to any foreign patent agency or international patent agency” as provided in 37 CFR 5.15(a). Furthermore, an international application filed in the RO/US is not a “foreign application” within the meaning of 37 CFR 5.15(a) or 5.11(b), which authorize the export of subject matter abroad. See 37 CFR 5.1(b)(2). See also 35 U.S.C. 368(b) (“In accordance with article 27(8) of the treaty, the filing of an international application in a country other than the United States on the invention made in this country shall be considered to constitute the filing of an application in a foreign country within the meaning of chapter 17, whether or not the United States is designated in that international application.”).

    As set forth above, a foreign filing license does not authorize the export of technical data into ePCT for generating a PCT Request and resulting zip file for filing as part of an international application with the RO/US. More specifically, to complete the PCT Request and generate the zip file, ePCT requires a title of the invention, which may contain technical data. Moreover, although an abstract is not required for creation of the zip file, ePCT allows users to optionally provide the contents of the application abstract, which may also contain technical data relating to the invention. Since this technical data is stored on servers located outside of the United States, users of ePCT are reminded that the export of this subject matter abroad for the purpose of filing an international application with the RO/US may require the appropriate clearances from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the Department of Commerce (See Scope of Foreign Filing Licenses, supra), the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) at the Department of State, or the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at the Department of Energy.

    An ePCT demo system has been set up to enable filers to familiarize themselves with the system. For further information and to get started, go to the ePCT Portal at: https://pct.wipo.int/ePCT. To begin use of ePCT, a user is first required to obtain a WIPO account (https://pct.wipo.int/wipoaccounts/en/ePCT/public/register.jsf) and subsequently associate a WIPO digital certificate with the account (https://pct.wipo.int/wipoaccounts/en/ePCT/private/certificates.jsf—requires login). Users without a WIPO digital certificate can obtain one from https://pct.wipo.int/CertRequest/Verisign/services/WorldIntellectualPropertyOrganizationWIPOCustomerCAV2/client/userEnrollMS.htm.

    Dated: May 2, 2016. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10733 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    COMMISSION OF FINE ARTS Commission of Fine Arts; Notice of Meeting

    The next meeting of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts is scheduled for 19 May 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in the Commission offices at the National Building Museum, Suite 312, Judiciary Square, 401 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-2728. Items of discussion may include buildings, parks and memorials.

    Draft agendas and additional information regarding the Commission are available on our Web site: www.cfa.gov. Inquiries regarding the agenda and requests to submit written or oral statements should be addressed to Thomas Luebke, Secretary, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, at the above address; by emailing [email protected]; or by calling 202-504-2200. Individuals requiring sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired should contact the Secretary at least 10 days before the meeting date.

    Dated: 26 April 2016, in Washington, DC. Thomas Luebke, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10402 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6330-01-M
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Additions to and Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by the nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes services from the Procurement List previously provided by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Effective on June 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions

    On 12/11/2015 (80 FR 76948), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are added to the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8415-01-492-0176—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, Small 8415-01-492-0178—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, Large 8415-01-492-0179—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, Medium 8415-01-492-0180—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, XLarge Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Central Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Utica, NY Mandatory For: Total Government Requirement Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX Distribution: A-List

    The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (Committee) received comments from one firm objecting to the addition. The firm stated it is the incumbent contractor for the General Services Administration, and loss of the ability to compete for the future contract will negatively impact the firm's business. In the normal competitive procurement process, there are no guarantees of continuous contracts. Further, the Committee reviewed and applied its standard impact analysis methodology to the information submitted by the firm. The Committee determined, in accordance with its longstanding business practices, that addition of Gloves, Blue Nitrile (Industrial) to the Procurement List would not result in a severe adverse impact.

    The Committee operates pursuant to statutory and regulatory requirements. The Committee's mission is to create employment opportunities for people who are blind or severely disabled. Committee regulation 41 CFR 51-2.4 states that for a commodity or service to be suitable for addition to the Procurement List, each of the following criteria must be satisfied: (1) the addition to the Procurement List must demonstrate a potential to generate employment of people who are blind or have other severe disabilities; (2) the nonprofit agency proposing to provide the product or service to the Federal Government must be qualified to participate in the AbilityOne program as defined in separate Committee regulations; (3) the nonprofit agency must prove itself capable to deliver the product or service at the quality standard and delivery schedule required by the Government; and (4) the Committee reviews the level of impact on the current contractor for the commodity or service.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning employment potential, the qualifications of the nonprofit agency, the capability of the recommended nonprofit agency to provide the products, and the impact of the addition on the current or most recent contractor, the Committee has determined that the products listed above are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4 at a Fair Market Price and has approved the products for addition to the Procurement List.

    Deletions

    On 4/1/2016 (81 FR 18839-18840), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the services listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to provide the services to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Services Service Type(s): Recycling Service, Pest Control Service, Furnishings Management Service. Service Mandatory For: Offutt Air Force Base, Offutt AFB, NE. Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Goodwill Specialty Services, Inc., Omaha, NE. Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK, Andrews AFB, MD. Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service. Service Mandatory For: Fairchild Air Force Base: Base and Survival School, Buildings 2249C, 1224, 1302, 1306, 1336, 1344, 1348, 2248D, 2301, 2451A, 1212, 1228, 1324, 1334, 1342 and 1207, OSI Building 5025 and the Social Actions Building 3509 Fairchild AFB, WA. Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Skils'kin, Spokane, WA. Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK, Andrews AFB, MD. Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10709 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503 (a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products listed below from nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agency listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s) 6135-00-985-7845—Battery, Non-Rechargeable, AA, Alkaline 6135-00-826-4798—Battery, Non-Rechargeable, AAA, Alkaline Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Eastern Carolina Vocational Center, Inc., Greenville, NC Mandatory for: Total Government Requirement Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Distribution: A List Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 3990-00-NSH-0065—Skid, Wood Contracting Activity: Government Printing Office NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8470-01-442-2990—Suspension Assembly for PASGT Helmet 8470-01-442-2995 8470-01-442-3001 8470-01-442-3021 Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Georgia Industries for the Blind Travis Association for the Blind Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc. Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support NSN(s)—Product Name(s) 8415-01-580-0038—Cover, Helmet, Advanced Combat, Multi Camouflage, Large/X-Large 8415-01-580-0064—Cover, Helmet, Advanced Combat, Multi Camouflage, Small/Medium 8415-01-580-0074—Cover, Helmet, Advanced Combat, Multi Camouflage, XX-Large Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Wytheville, VA Contracting Activities: Lions Volunteer Blind Industries, Inc., Morristown, TN Army Contracting Command, Natick, MA Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support NSN(s)—Product Name(s) 7510-01-463-1985—Jumbo Refill, Ballpoint Pen “Aristocrat” 7510-01-463-1987—Jumbo Refill, Ballpoint Pen “Aristocrat” 7510-01-463-1988—Jumbo Refill, Ballpoint Pen “Aristocrat” 7510-01-463-1989—Jumbo Refill, Ballpoint Pen “Aristocrat” 7520-01-446-4500—Pen, Retractable, Cushion Grip, Exec. “Aristocrat” 7520-01-446-4503—Pen, Retractable, Cushion Grip, Exec. “Aristocrat” 7520-01-446-4504—Pen, Retractable, Cushion Grip, Exec. “Aristocrat” 7520-01-446-4505—Pen, Retractable, Cushion Grip, Exec. “Aristocrat” Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Industries of the Blind, Inc., Greensboro, NC Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7530-01-555-2906—Paper, Tabulating Machine Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Tarrant County Association for the Blind, Fort Worth, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7530-00-800-0996—Paper, Tabulating Machine Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, MO Tarrant County Association for the Blind, Fort Worth, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10708 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-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 National Intelligence University Board of Visitors (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board's charter is being renewed 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 Board's charter and contact information for the Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be found at http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The Board provides the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, through the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the President of the National Intelligence University, independent advice and recommendations on matters related to mission, policy, accreditation, faculty, students, facilities, curricula, educational methods, research, and administration of the National Intelligence University.

    The Board shall be composed of no more than 12 individuals, who have extensive professional experience in the fields of national intelligence, national defense, and academia. All members of the Board 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 Board-related travel and per diem, Board members serve without compensation.

    The DoD, as necessary and consistent with the Board's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Board, and all subcommittees must operate under the provisions of FACA and the Government in the Sunshine Act. Subcommittees will not work independently of the Board and must report all recommendations and advice solely to the Board 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 Board. 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 Board'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 Board/subcommittee meeting. The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Such statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned Board. All written statements must be submitted to the Board's DFO who will ensure the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10671 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Proposed Amoruso Ranch Project in Placer County, CA, Corps Permit Application Number SPK-2004-00888 AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 17, 2014, Brookfield Sunset LLC (applicant) submitted a Department of the Army (DA) permit application for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States (WOUS) associated with the construction of the proposed Amoruso Ranch project. On December 22, 2014, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District (Corps) determined that the proposed discharge of fill material into WOUS may result in significant impacts to the environment, and that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is necessary. A revised DA permit application was submitted by the applicant on October 30, 2014.

    The applicant proposes to implement a large-scale, mixed-use, mixed density, master planned community. The proposed project consists of approximately 347 acres designated for residential use that would contain 2,827 dwelling units (in a mix of low, medium and high density), 51 acres for a village center and community commercial uses, 12 acres for public/quasi-public space containing a fire station and school, 161 acres of parks and natural avoided areas of open space reserve and/or preserve, and 82 acres of associated infrastructure containing roads and other public transportation corridors. Approximately 17 acres of the adjacent Al Johnson Wildlife Area property would be used to construct a 325-foot long drainage ditch. No other off-site improvements are included in the proposed project. A segment of the future Placer Parkway would be constructed by others on 49 acres of the site and is not part of this permit application.

    The proposed project site is approximately 674 acres and contains approximately 38.86 acres of WOUS, including: Vernal pools; seasonal wetlands; University Creek; and, grasslands. The proposed project would involve the discharge of fill material into approximately 18.64 acres of WOUS, including vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, and open water pond. The proposed project may also result in indirect impacts to WOUS, including wetlands.

    DATES:

    The Corps will conduct a public scoping meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2016, from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public scoping meeting will be held in Rooms 1 & 2 of the Martha Riley Community Library, 1501 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville, CA, 95747.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Leah M. Fisher, (916) 557-6639, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments on or before July 5, 2016. Scoping comments should be submitted within the next 60 days, but may be submitted at any time prior to publication of the DEIS. To submit comments on this notice or for questions about proposed activities in WOUS and the DEIS please contact Ms. Leah M. Fisher at (916) 557-6639 or by email at [email protected], 1325 J Street, Room 1350, Sacramento, CA 95814. Parties interested in being added to the Corps' electronic mail notification list for the proposed project can register at: http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/Media/RegulatoryPublicNotices.aspx. Please refer to Identification Number SPK-2004-00888 in any correspondence.

    The Amoruso Ranch project site is located in unincorporated western Placer County, south of West Sunset Boulevard, approximately 1.5 miles west of Fiddyment Road, east of Pettigrew Road, and north of Pleasant Grove Creek in Sections 10, 11, and 14, Township 11 North and Range 5 east of the Pleasant Grove California 7.5-minute USGS quadrangle. The approximate center of the 674-acre site is Latitude 38.816667°, Longitude −121.384722°.

    A wetland delineation of the project site, which has been verified by the Corps, indicates there are approximately 38.86 acres of WOUS present within the proposed project area, including: 9.81 acres of vernal pools; 19.74 acres of seasonal wetland swales; 4.83 acres of seasonal wetlands; 1.82 acre of freshwater marsh; 1.92 acre of intermittent stream; 0.01 acre of ephemeral stream; and, 0.36 acre of open water pond. A wetland delineation of the off-site improvement area was conducted in June 2015. There are approximately 0.364 acre of WOUS present within the off-site improvement area, including: 0.34 acre of farmed wetland; 0.001 acre of vernal pool; and, 0.023 acre of seasonal stream.

    The EIS will include alternatives to the Proposed Action that will meet National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for a reasonable range of alternatives, and will also meet the requirements of CWA section 404(b)(1) Guidelines. The alternatives to be evaluated within the EIS have not yet been developed, but will, at a minimum, include the No Action Alternative, the Proposed Action Alternative, and additional on-site and off-site alternatives.

    The Corps' public involvement program includes several opportunities to provide verbal and written comments on the proposed Amoruso Ranch Project through the EIS process. Affected federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other interested private organizations and parties are invited to participate. Potentially significant issues to be analyzed in depth in the EIS include the loss of WOUS (including wetlands) and impacts related to: Cultural resources; biological resources; air quality; hydrology and water quality; noise; traffic; aesthetics; utilities and service systems; and, socioeconomic effects.

    The Corps will initiate formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for proposed impacts to listed species. The Corps will also consult with the State Historic Preservation Office under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for proposed impacts to properties listed or potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, as appropriate.

    The Draft EIS is expected to be made available to the public by September 2017.

    Dated: April 26, 2016. Jeffrey S. Palazzini, Deputy District Commander.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10644 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0026] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Financial Report for the Endowment Challenge Grant Program & Institutional Service Endowment Activities AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0026. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note tha