Federal Register Vol. 81, No.92,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 92 (May 12, 2016)

Page Range29471-29759
FR Document

81_FR_92
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 29563 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 29551 - Sunshine Act Meetings NoticePDF
81 FR 29611 - Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of DirectorsPDF
81 FR 29574 - Accreditation and Approval of AmSpec Services, LLC, as a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
81 FR 29573 - Accreditation and Approval of Saybolt LP as a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
81 FR 29607 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Otay Mesa Conveyance and Disinfection System Project, San Diego County, California, Presidential Permit Application ReviewPDF
81 FR 29608 - Delegation of Authority Under 5 U.S.C. 5376 to the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of StatePDF
81 FR 29572 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC) MeetingPDF
81 FR 29608 - Re-Delegation by the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Evaluation of Authority Under Section 102 of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as AmendedPDF
81 FR 29608 - Designation of the Department of State Representative to the Administrative Conference of the United StatesPDF
81 FR 29576 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0089PDF
81 FR 29574 - Proposed Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation PolicyPDF
81 FR 29496 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CAPDF
81 FR 29496 - Security Zone; Port of New York, Moving Security Zone; Canadian Naval VesselsPDF
81 FR 29528 - Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 29487 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Brivaracetam Into Schedule VPDF
81 FR 29531 - Large Residential Washers From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of Antidumping Duty InvestigationPDF
81 FR 29568 - Meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 29530 - Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
81 FR 29527 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 125-South Bend, Indiana; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; LionsHead Specialty Tire & Wheel, LLC (Wheel Assemblies for Specialty Applications); Goshen, IndianaPDF
81 FR 29569 - Announcement of Re-Establishment of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention ObjectivesPDF
81 FR 29498 - Security Zone; Portland Rose Festival on Willamette RiverPDF
81 FR 29501 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna FisheriesPDF
81 FR 29557 - Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 29561 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725J); Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 29563 - Black Mountain Hydro, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 29559 - Utah Board of Water Resources; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 29560 - Indiana Michigan Power Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 29559 - Staff Notice of Alleged ViolationsPDF
81 FR 29557 - Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Atlantic Sunrise ProjectPDF
81 FR 29553 - Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
81 FR 29553 - Turlock Irrigation District; Modesto Irrigation District; Notice of Authorization for Continued Project OperationPDF
81 FR 29554 - Green Canyon Energy, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 29492 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Butyryl Fentanyl and Beta-Hydroxythiofentanyl Into Schedule IPDF
81 FR 29572 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Delivery TicketPDF
81 FR 29612 - Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal SystemPDF
81 FR 29611 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
81 FR 29612 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
81 FR 29575 - 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 Statement; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 29621 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Municipal Securities Dealers and Government Securities Brokers and Dealers-Registration and WithdrawalPDF
81 FR 29522 - Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 29620 - Advisory Board; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 29532 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 29581 - GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Vallecitos Nuclear Center, Partial Site ReleasePDF
81 FR 29565 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 29533 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 29552 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)PDF
81 FR 29551 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Study of Digital Learning Resources for Instructing English Learner StudentsPDF
81 FR 29552 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Evaluation of the ESSA Title I, Part D, Neglected or Delinquent ProgramsPDF
81 FR 29554 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned B-System Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
81 FR 29556 - San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange; Notice of Compliance FilingPDF
81 FR 29560 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 29609 - Norfolk Southern Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Hamilton County, OhioPDF
81 FR 29564 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 29565 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 29579 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Occupational Code AssignmentPDF
81 FR 29578 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Department of Labor Generic Solution for Site Visits for Research PurposesPDF
81 FR 29570 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 29580 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
81 FR 29566 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 29600 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE Arca, Inc.; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Amending and Restating the Fifth Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Exchanges' Ultimate Parent Company, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., To Implement Proxy AccessPDF
81 FR 29514 - Federal Acquisition Regulation: Administrative Cost To Issue and Administer a ContractPDF
81 FR 29551 - U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 29606 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of the Treasury, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service)-Match Number 1038PDF
81 FR 29576 - Exclusive LicensesPDF
81 FR 29508 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 29505 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 29581 - Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 29525 - Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory CommitteesPDF
81 FR 29614 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel OFF CAY; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 29615 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ORION; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 29613 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel HAPPY TIME; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 29613 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SEAS THE MOMENT; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 29614 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel TIGRESS; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 29615 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel PALADIN; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 29590 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the First Trust Strategic Mortgage REIT ETF of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIIIPDF
81 FR 29598 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
81 FR 29588 - Order Granting Limited Exemptions From Exchange Act Rule 10b-17 and Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M to IndexIQ ETF Trust, IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. ETF, IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. ETF, IQ Leaders Bond Allocation Tracker ETF, and IQ Leaders GTAA Tracker ETF, Pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 10b-17(b)(2) and Rules 101(d) and 102(e) of Regulation MPDF
81 FR 29584 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee Schedule on the BOX Market LLC (“BOX”) Options FacilityPDF
81 FR 29603 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
81 FR 29577 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested; Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of HearingPDF
81 FR 29524 - Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Fever Tick Status of the State of Chihuahua, Excluding the Municipalities of Guadalupe y Calvo and MorelosPDF
81 FR 29523 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Issuance of a Permit for Distribution and Sale for Emergency Use of a Classical Swine Fever Virus Vaccine, Live Pestivirus VectorPDF
81 FR 29522 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Field Testing of a Vaccine for Use Against Infectious Laryngotracheitis, Marek's Disease, and Newcastle DiseasePDF
81 FR 29616 - Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2012 Jeep Wrangler Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles Manufactured for the Mexican Market Are Eligible for ImportationPDF
81 FR 29564 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 29565 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
81 FR 29567 - World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (WTCHP STAC or Advisory Committee), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Docket Number CDC-2016-0036; NIOSH 248-EPDF
81 FR 29577 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference; Committee on Rules of Practice and ProcedurePDF
81 FR 29527 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 29533 - Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, April 2016PDF
81 FR 29577 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on CHEDE-VIIPDF
81 FR 29498 - Withdrawal of Approval and Disapproval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; California; San Joaquin Valley; Contingency Measures for the 1997 PM2.5PDF
81 FR 29695 - Proposed Exemptions From Certain Prohibited Transaction RestrictionsPDF
81 FR 29609 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee-New TaskPDF
81 FR 29511 - Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional AirplanesPDF
81 FR 29483 - Removal of Short Supply License Requirements on Exports of Crude OilPDF
81 FR 29515 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species ActPDF
81 FR 29618 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Application for Special PermitsPDF
81 FR 29617 - Hazardous Materials: Delayed ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 29619 - Hazardous Materials: Actions on Special Permit ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 29623 - Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and IllnessesPDF
81 FR 29719 - Regulatory Relief: Aviation Training Devices; Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other ProvisionsPDF
81 FR 29471 - Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)PDF

Issue

81 92 Thursday, May 12, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Meetings: National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, 29522 2016-11211
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: Scientific Advisory Board, 29551 2016-11176 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Field Testing of a Vaccine for use Against Infectious Laryngotracheitis, Marek's Disease, and Newcastle Disease, 29522-29523 2016-11148 Permit for Distribution and Sale for Emergency Use of a Classical Swine Fever Virus Vaccine, Live Pestivirus Vector, 29523-29524 2016-11149 Evaluation of the Fever Tick Status of the State of Chihuahua, Excluding the Municipalities of Guadalupe y Calvo and Morelos, 29524-29525 2016-11150 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes Under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Cooperative Research Group on CHEDE-VII, 29577 2016-11137 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Fair Lending Report, April 2016, 29533-29550 2016-11138 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29566-29567 2016-11179 Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel; Teleconference, 29565-29566 2016-11142 World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, 29567-29568 2016-11141 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA, 29496 2016-11266 Security Zones: Port of New York, Moving Security Zone; Canadian Naval Vessels, 29496-29498 2016-11251 Portland Rose Festival on Willamette River, 29498 2016-11231 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation RULES Environmental Quality Incentives Program, 29471-29483 2016-10161 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Municipal Securities Dealers and Government Securities Brokers and Dealers—Registration and Withdrawal, 29621 2016-11213 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 29551 2016-11341 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Administrative Cost to Issue and Administer a Contract, 29514-29515 2016-11177
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Brivaracetam into Schedule V, 29487-29492 2016-11245 Temporary Placement of Butyryl Fentanyl and Beta-Hydroxythiofentanyl into Schedule I, 29492-29496 2016-11219 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the ESSA Title I, Part D, Neglected or Delinquent Programs, 29552-29553 2016-11193 National Student Loan Data System, 29552 2016-11195 Study of Digital Learning Resources for Instructing English Learner Students, 29551-29552 2016-11194 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Proposed Exemptions: Certain Prohibited Transaction Restrictions, 29696-29718 2016-11115 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; San Joaquin Valley; Contingency Measures for the 1997 PM2.5 Standards; Withdrawal of Approval and Disapproval, 29498-29501 2016-11125 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 29563 2016-11344 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Regional Airplanes, 29511-29514 2016-11096 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 29505-29511 2016-11167 2016-11168 Regulatory Relief; Aviation Training Devices: Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other Provisions, 29720-29759 2016-10168 NOTICES Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee—New Task, 29609-29611 2016-11104 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29564 2016-11143 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29561-29563 2016-11228 Alleged Violations: Saracen Energy Midwest, LP, 29559 2016-11224 Applications: Indiana Michigan Power Co., 29560 2016-11225 Authorizations for Continued Project Operations: Turlock Irrigation District; Modesto Irrigation District, 29553 2016-11221 Combined Filings, 29560-29561 2016-11190 Compliance Filings: San Diego Gas & Electric Co. v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corp. and the California Power Exchange, 29556-29557 2016-11191 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 29554-29556 2016-11192 Erie Boulevard Hydropower, LP and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, 29557 2016-11229 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC; Atlantic Sunrise Project, 29557-29558 2016-11223 Hydroelectric Applications: Utah Board of Water Resources, 29559 2016-11226 Meetings: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Technical Conference, 29553-29554 2016-11222 Preliminary Permit Applications: Black Mountain Hydro, LLC, 29563 2016-11227 Green Canyon Energy, LLC, 29554 2016-11220 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 29611 2016-11312 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 2016-11215 29611-29612 2016-11216 Railroad Signal Systems: Applications for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification, 29612-29613 2016-11217 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals; Correction, 29565 2016-11203 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 29564-29565 2016-11188 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 29565 2016-11187 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service 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: Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan; Correction, 29575-29576 2016-11214 Proposed Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy, 29574-29575 2016-11267 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: Foreign-Trade Zone 125—LionsHead Specialty Tire and Wheel, LLC, South Bend, IN, 29527-29528 2016-11236 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committees, 29525-29527 2016-11165 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Administrative Cost to Issue and Administer a Contract, 29514-29515 2016-11177 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Exclusive Licenses, 29576 2016-11174 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Meetings: National Vaccine Advisory Committee, 29568-29569 2016-11243 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives; Re-Establishment, 29569-29570 2016-11235
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Removal of Short Supply License Requirements on Exports of Crude Oil, 29483-29487 2016-11047 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the People's Republic of China, 29530-29531 2016-11239 Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China, 29528-29530 2016-11249 Large Residential Washers from the People's Republic of China, 29531-29532 2016-11244 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, 29577 2016-11140 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, 29577-29578 2016-11151
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Department of Labor Generic Solution for Site Visits for Research Purposes, 29578-29579 2016-11185 Occupational Code Assignment, 29579-29580 2016-11186
Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel HAPPY TIME, 29613 2016-11162 Vessel OFF CAY, 29614 2016-11164 Vessel ORION, 29615-29616 2016-11163 Vessel PALADIN, 29615 2016-11159 Vessel SEAS THE MOMENT, 29613-29614 2016-11161 Vessel TIGRESS, 29614-29615 2016-11160 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Administrative Cost to Issue and Administer a Contract, 29514-29515 2016-11177 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 29580-29581 2016-11180 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decision: Nonconforming Model Year 2012 Jeep Wrangler Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles Manufactured for the Mexican Market Are Eligible for Importation, 29616-29617 2016-11144 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 29501-29504 2016-11230 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife: 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin, 29515-29521 2016-11014 NOTICES Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 29532-29533 2016-11207 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 29533 2016-11198 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, 29581 2016-11166 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Vallecitos Nuclear Center, 29581-29584 2016-11206 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration RULES Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 29624-29694 2016-10443 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Hazardous Materials: Actions on Special Permit Applications, 29619-29620 2016-10935 Applications for Special Permits, 29618-29619 2016-10940 Delayed Applications, 29617-29618 2016-10937 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29527 2016-11139 Saint Lawrence Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Board, 29620-29621 2016-11210 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Exemptions: IndexIQ ETF Trust; IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. ETF; IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. ETF; et al., 29588-29590 2016-11154 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 29598-29600 2016-11155 BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 29584-29587 2016-11153 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 29603-29606 2016-11152 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 29590-29598 2016-11156 New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE Arca, Inc.; NYSE MKT LLC, 29600-29603 2016-11178 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 29606-29607 2016-11175 State Department State Department NOTICES Delegations of Authority: Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Evaluation, 29608 2016-11279 Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State, 29608-29609 2016-11281 Designation of the Department of State Representative to the Administrative Conference of the United States, 29608 2016-11274 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Presidential Permit Application Review, Otay Mesa Conveyance and Disinfection System Project, San Diego County, CA, 29607-29608 2016-11282 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29570-29571 2016-11184 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29576-29577 2016-11273 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: Norfolk Southern Railway Co., Hamilton County, OH, 29609 2016-11189 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Delivery Ticket, 29572 2016-11218 Commercial Gaugers and Laboratories; Accreditations and Approvals: AmSpec Services, LLC, 29574 2016-11291 Saybolt LP, 29573-29574 2016-11289 Meetings: U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee, 29572-29573 2016-11280 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Labor Department, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 29624-29694 2016-10443 Part III Labor Department, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 29696-29718 2016-11115 Part IV Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, 29720-29759 2016-10168 Reader Aids

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

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81 92 Thursday, May 12, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation 7 CFR Part 1466 [Docket No. NRCS-2014-0007] RIN 0578-AA62 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) AGENCIES:

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION:

Interim rule adopted as final with changes.

SUMMARY:

An interim rule, with request for comments, was published on December 12, 2014, to implement changes to EQIP that were either required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) or required to implement administrative streamlining improvements and clarifications. This document provides background on the final rule, issues the final rule to make permanent these changes, responds to comments, and makes further adjustments in response to some of the comments received.

DATES:

Effective Date: This rule is effective May 12, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mark Rose, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Post Office Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013-2890; telephone: (202) 720-1845; fax: (202) 720-4265. Persons with disabilities who require alternate means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at: (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The 2014 Act reauthorized and amended EQIP. EQIP is implemented under the general supervision and direction of the Chief of NRCS, who is a Vice President of CCC.

Through EQIP, NRCS incentivizes agricultural producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, plants, animals (including wildlife), energy, and related natural resources on their land. In particular NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to implement conservation practices in a manner that promotes agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible goals; optimize conservation benefits; and help agricultural producers meet Federal, State, and local environmental requirements. Conservation benefits are reflected in the differences between anticipated effects of treatment in comparison to existing or benchmark conditions. Differences may be expressed by narrative, quantitative, visual, or other means. Estimated or projected impacts are used as a basis for making informed conservation decisions by applicants and NRCS to help determine which projects to approve for EQIP assistance.

Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, rangeland, pasture, wetlands, nonindustrial private forest land, and other land on which agricultural or forest-related products or livestock are produced and natural resource concerns may be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.

On December 12, 2014, the EQIP interim final rule with request for comments was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 73953) that amended the EQIP regulations at 7 CFR part 1466 to implement changes made by the 2014 Act. The changes made to the EQIP regulation by the interim rule include:

• Eliminating the requirement that the program contract remain in place for a minimum of 1 year after the last practice is implemented, but keeping the requirement that the contract term not exceed 10 years;

• Consolidating elements of the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) in light of the 2014 Act repealing the WHIP authority and incorporating its purposes into EQIP;

• Targeting at least five percent of available EQIP funds for wildlife-related conservation practices for each fiscal year (FY) from 2014 to 2018;

• Replacing the rolling 6-year payment limitation with an established payment limitation for FY 2014 to FY 2018;

• Requiring Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to report no later than Dec 31, 2014, and every 2 years thereafter;

• Establishing a $450,000 payment limitation and eliminating payment limit waiver authority.

• Modifying the special rule for foregone income payments for certain associated management practices and resource concern priorities;

• Revising availability of advance payments to up to 50 percent for eligible historically underserved participants to purchase material or contract services instead of the previous 30 percent;

• Providing flexibility for repayment of advance payment if payments are not expended within 90 days;

• Identifying EQIP as a contributing program authorized to accomplish the purposes of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) (Subtitle I of Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended) (Seven percent of EQIP's funding is transferred to facilitate implementation of RCPP); and

• Adding provisions to target assistance to veteran farmers and ranchers.

In addition to updating the EQIP regulation to reflect changes made by the 2014 Act, the following administrative changes in the EQIP interim rule were made:

• Incorporating nonindustrial private forest owners and Indian Tribes where appropriate;

• Making reference to Tribal Conservation Advisory Councils when appropriate;

• Clarifying the issues where State Technical Committees and Tribal Conservation Advisory Councils provide input;

• Adjusting definitions to conform to definitions in other NRCS and USDA regulations;

• Clarifying definitions and requirements for development of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP) associated with Animal Feeding Operations (AFO);

• Clarifying outreach activities and adding language that NRCS will ensure outreach is provided so as to not limit producer participation because of size or type of operation, or production system, including specialty crop and organic production;

• For irrigation and water management practices, allowing an exception to the requirement that land has to have been irrigated 2 of the previous 5 years. The Chief may grant a waiver where there was a loss of access to water due to circumstances beyond the producer's control;

• Changing the contract limitation to correspond with the new payment limitation and clarify that such limitations do not apply to Indian Tribes;

• Revising the rule to clarify when payment rates may be reduced as a result of NRCS entering into a formal agreement with a partner who provides payments to producers participating under general EQIP implementation, i.e. outside of RCPP;

• Revising and adding definitions to reflect EQIP authority to encourage development of wildlife habitat;

• Clarifying terminology and procedures associated with the development of payment schedules documenting practice payment rates;

• Simplifying language throughout to improve the regulation's readability; and

• Removing provisions in the rule that relate solely to internal agency administrative procedures that do not impact any rights or responsibilities of participants in the program;

Summary of EQIP Comments

The interim final rule had a 60-day comment period ending February 10, 2015. There were received 65 timely submitted responses to the rule, constituting 331 comments. This final rule responds to comments received during the public comment period and incorporates changes as appropriate. In this preamble, the comments have been organized alphabetically by topic. The topics include: Acreage cap, administration, advanced payments, allocations, comprehensive nutrient management plan, conservation activity plans, conservation innovation grants, conservation plan, conservation practices, contract length, contract violation and terminations, definitions, EQIP plan of operations, forestry funding, fund management, grouping and selecting applications, irrigation history, national priorities, payment limitations, program requirements, regional conservation partnership program, regional conservationist approval, regulatory certifications, Transparency Act requirements, technical service providers, veteran farmer or ranchers, and wildlife funding. Additionally, NRCS received 34 comments that were general in nature, most of which expressed support for the program or how the program has benefitted particular operations. The topics that generated the greatest response include the irrigation history requirement waiver, wildlife funding, and funding for animal feeding operations.

1. Acreage Cap

Comment: NRCS received one comment recommending that NRCS establish a maximum acreage cap for EQIP contracts.

NRCS Response: NRCS implements EQIP in a size-neutral way. The EQIP statute provides a payment limitation and the regulation further provides for a contract limitation. NRCS does not believe any further limitations are necessary to ensure broad participation on farms and ranches of all sizes. No changes were made in response to this comment.

2. Administration

Comment: NRCS received nine comments related to Administration, § 1466.2, most of which were from Conservation Districts. The commenters requested that there be waiver authority for EQIP regulatory provisions for all EQIP implementation, and not limited to RCPP implementation. Several of the comments recommended that NRCS provide greater emphasis to local working groups, identifying that local work groups were removed from the State Technical Committee final rule in 2009. One of the comments also requested that coordination with Indian Tribes be incorporated into the Administration section.

NRCS Response: Local working groups remain an integral component of the operations of the State Technical Committee. They were fully incorporated into the State Technical Committee final rule and operating procedures. The comments about local working groups do not relate to EQIP implementation directly, or to the EQIP final rule, and therefore no changes were made.

NRCS limits the ability to waive EQIP regulatory provisions to the authority provided by statute under RCPP, and believes that it is not appropriate to extend such waiver authority further. With its review of project-wide considerations, RCPP provides a structured format for consideration of waiver requests that helps ensure waivers are not granted in an arbitrary fashion. This safeguard is not available for consideration of waiver requests during a general EQIP sign-up. No changes were made to the regulation in response to the recommendation that the regulatory waiver authority be extended to all EQIP contracts.

NRCS coordinates with Indian Tribes to ensure that program opportunities are available on Tribal lands to Tribal members. NRCS currently identifies this coordination with Indian Tribes, including with the Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (TCAC), the State Technical Committee, and local working groups, in § 1466.2 and throughout the regulation.

NRCS policy related to coordination with Indian Tribes and Tribal members is found at Part 405 of Title 410 of the NRCS General Manual. In its policy, NRCS identifies that an Indian Tribe may designate a TCAC to provide input on NRCS programs and the conservation needs of the Tribe and Tribal producers. The TCAC may:

• Be an existing Tribal committee or department, including a Tribal conservation district;

• Consist of an association of member Tribes that provide direct consultation to NRCS at the State, regional, and national levels; or

• Include a Tribal designee (or designees) from a State Association of Tribal Conservation Districts that represents them and participates as part of the TCAC.

Since coordination with Indian Tribes is established as part of the regulation and NRCS policy, no change was made to the EQIP regulation in response to this comment.

3. Advanced Payments

Comment: NRCS received seven comments expressing approval for the additional flexibility available for advanced payments.

NRCS Response: NRCS appreciates the positive feedback. The additional flexibility for advanced payments is provided to assist historically underserved producers meet their responsibilities under the EQIP contract. No changes were necessitated by the comments expressed by the respondents.

4. Allocations

Comment: NRCS received five comments requesting more transparency in the method used to allocate EQIP resources between States. These comments recommended against the use of the 2011 State Resource Assessment (SRA).

NRCS Response: The SRA process has been improved significantly since 2011 and now allows States to leverage national, State, and local data to present funding needs and demand in a flexible and transparent manner. At the national level, this process enables NRCS to focus funding on the highest priority resource needs across all States. The resulting annual allocation reflects State-demonstrated need and available funding. In addition, NRCS maintains the flexibility to adjust annual allocations in order to address emerging issues. For example, in FY 2014, NRCS was able to send several States severely impacted by drought an additional $20 million above their annual allocation in order to provide critical assistance to the impacted producers.

5. Animal Feeding Operations

Comment: NRCS received nine comments expressing concern about using EQIP funds for new or expanding Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Some comments recommended that NRCS require a CAFO applicant to complete a CNMP as a prerequisite to receiving any EQIP funds to build a waste storage or treatment facility. Other comments recommended that NRCS undertake a full environmental review of the impact of EQIP CAFO funding.

NRCS Response: Section 1240E(a)(3) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (1985 Act), as amended, authorizes payments for AFOs provided the producer submits a plan of operations that provides for development and implementation of a CNMP. In the interim rule, NRCS revised the definition for AFO and CNMP, and revised § 1466.7, EQIP Plan of Operations, to clarify that if an EQIP plan of operations includes an animal waste storage or treatment facility to be implemented on an AFO, the participant must agree to develop and implement a CNMP by the end of the contract period. This requirement is further mirrored at § 1466.21, Contract Requirements, to state that a CNMP should be implemented when an EQIP contract includes an animal waste facility on an AFO. NRCS currently provides EQIP assistance for existing and expanding CAFO's in accordance with statutory regulations that require EQIP to provide assistance in situations where resource concerns currently exists.

As provided by statute and rule, NRCS already requires development of a CNMP as a condition to implement waste facility practices. Since some practices must be implemented prior to others, it is infeasible to require full implementation of a CNMP as a precondition for EQIP assistance for applicable practices.

As identified above and in the regulatory certifications, two respondents recommended that NRCS undertake an environmental analysis of the effects of providing EQIP assistance to CAFOs. NRCS has and will continue to conduct an environmental evaluation before providing EQIP financial assistance to any producer to ensure EQIP financial assistance does not result in significant adverse impacts to the quality of the human environment. The environmental evaluation is used to aid NRCS in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and helps NRCS determine the need for an environmental analysis (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) when the impacts of the proposed action do not fall within a categorical exclusion or have not already been addressed in the EQIP programmatic EA.

6. Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP)

Comment: NRCS received three comments recommending that participants develop a CNMP prior to funding waste storage practices.

NRCS Response: The EQIP regulation at § 1466.7, EQIP Plan of Operations, requires a CNMP to be implemented if an EQIP plan of operations includes an animal waste storage on an AFO. This requirement is further mirrored in § 1466.21, Contract Requirements, to state that a CNMP will be implemented when an EQIP contracts includes an animal waste facility on an AFO. No changes were made to the EQIP regulations in response to these comments.

7. Conservation Activity Plans

Comment: NRCS received one comment, disagreeing with the NRCS technical policy determination that Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 142 on forest land must be approved by a Technical Service Provider (TSP) certified for forestry planning.

NRCS Response: Section 1240E of the EQIP statute requires that EQIP payments for a practice related to forest land must be consistent with the provisions of a “forest management plan that is approved by the Secretary.” This requirement was incorporated into the EQIP interim rule at 7 CFR 1466.7(e).

CAP 142 is a wildlife habitat management plan. Under the TSP provisions at 7 CFR part 652, a TSP hired by a program participant may utilize the services of another TSP to provide specific technical services or expertise needed by the participant. However, it remains the responsibility of the TSP hired by the participant to ensure that any technical services provided to them meets NRCS standards and specifications, and are consistent with the Certification Agreement the TSP entered into with NRCS at the time of Certification. Therefore, on a project-by-project basis, when CAP 142 on forested lands identifies the use of complex forestry conservation practice standards, such as Forest Stand Improvement (FSI), the plan must be approved by a TSP that also has been certified as having the requisite forestry technical skills. Other CAP 142 wildlife habitat management plans may not include forestry practices as complicated as FSI. Depending on the geographic location and the particular practices being planned and implemented, NRCS maintains the flexibility to determine when CAP 142 projects on forested lands need to be approved by TSPs who also have been certified for particular forestry conservation practices. As a result, no changes were made in response to this comment.

8. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Comment: NRCS received six comments concerning CIG, three of which were recommendations. In particular, one commenter recommended that the NRCS State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee, should be able to identify other resource concerns for State CIG projects and not be limited to either the national resource concerns or a subset of those concerns. Another commenter recommended that NRCS aggressively promote the on-farm research and development option, including a special focus on and significant funding for projects of this nature in each year's CIG announcement of program funding (APF). A third commenter recommended that NRCS continue to publish the APF in the Federal Register.

NRCS Response: The EQIP regulation currently allows flexibility for NRCS to implement State-level CIGs, with resource priorities identified by the State Conservationist in consultation with the State Technical Committee. In particular, funding availability, application, and submission information for State competition are announced through public notice (Grants.gov) separately from the national notice. The State Conservationist determines the State component categories to be offered annually. The regulation already addresses the comment regarding State identification of CIG priorities and no changes are needed.

For the first time the 2014 Act included language to allow CIG to fund on-farm research and development of technologies and approaches, and this authority was incorporated into the EQIP regulation. NRCS now provides support through CIG to on-farm conservation research, pilot projects, and field demonstrations of promising approaches or technologies. CIG applications should demonstrate the use of innovative approaches and technologies to leverage the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. NRCS appreciates the comment recommending vigorous support for these efforts, but no further change is needed to the regulation in order for NRCS to provide such support.

NRCS supports the broad dissemination of the public announcement of national CIG competition. The CIG APF contains guidance on how to apply for the grants competition. NRCS, at one time, used the Federal Register for CIG announcements, but removed the requirement in the interim rule in order to speed up and simplify the process of making funding announcements. CIG opportunities are now advertised through the NRCS Web site and Grants.gov. No changes were made in response to this recommendation given the wide availability of notice about the CIG APF through other avenues.

9. Conservation Plan

Comment: NRCS received one comment recommending that a comprehensive conservation plan should be required prior to obtaining assistance.

NRCS Response: NRCS supports and believes that comprehensive conservation planning is a valuable conservation tool for producers, but does not agree it should make EQIP assistance contingent upon an applicant having obtained a comprehensive conservation plan. Section 1240F of the EQIP statute requires NRCS to assist producers by “providing payments for developing and implementing 1 or more practices, as appropriate” and “providing the producer with information and training to aid in implementation of the plan.” Given that the statute provides the flexibility for NRCS to provide EQIP assistance to implement only one practice, NRCS believes that the intent is for the planning to be similarly flexible to meet the current conservation needs of its participants. No changes were made in response to this comment.

10. Conservation Practices

Comment: NRCS received seven comments regarding conservation practices, six of which were recommendations. A couple of the commenters recommended that NRCS allow treatment to be done on the highest priority soils or ecological sites within a Conservation Management Unit, without making the rest of the land unit ineligible for future treatments. One commenter recommended a review and expansion of available conservation practices to better serve historically underserved, veteran, organic, small farmer, and other diverse producers. One commenter recommended adding to the regulation the requirement that financial assistance only be made for conservation practices that address the Priority Natural Resource Concerns identified in the EQIP Plan of Operations. One commenter recommended that NRCS annually consult with the State fish and wildlife agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

NRCS Response: NRCS policy authorizes repeated implementation of conservation practices on land where the subsequent implementation of the practice will significantly improve the level of treatment addressing a resource concern. EQIP assistance is provided to the highest priority applications based upon the ranking criteria developed in consultation with the State Technical Committees. FWS and State fish and wildlife agencies are members of the NRCS State Technical Committee and therefore do not need to be identified separately in the EQIP regulation. NRCS continually reviews its conservation practices and whether NRCS assistance is able to address the resource concerns that the diversity of producers may have. No changes were needed in response to these comments.

11. Contract Length

Comment: NRCS received one comment recommending that the maximum contract length be reduced from 10 years to 5 years.

NRCS Response: Section 1240B of the EQIP statute allows an EQIP contract to have a 10-year duration. Congress has consistently retained this contract term in statute, recognizing the need for variation in contract duration. NRCS believes it must provide the flexibility authorized under the statute and that there are situations where implementation of conservation practices over a longer contract period is needed to address the resource concern. Therefore, no changes were made to the regulation in response to this comment.

In addition, a ranking criterion was added at 7 CFR 1466.20(b) to provide priority to applicants who indicate a willingness to complete all conservation practices in an expedited manner. NRCS identified that the purpose of this ranking criterion was to further statutory intent and to ensure timely and effective conservation improvements. NRCS continues to support the policy behind this regulation. NRCS implements this regulatory provision during the ranking process for applicants that indicate a willingness to implement all conservation practices within 3 years. While the statute authorizes contracts can be for up to 10 years in duration, NRCS implements this criterion for those funding pools where the nature and type of the resource concern to be addressed and practices applied do not require longer term conservation treatment, such as with applications for exclusion fences or other applications with comparatively low application costs. Additionally, NRCS recognizes that this criterion may not be appropriate to implement in funding pools set aside for historically underserved or limited resource producers, or in cases where infrastructure construction is necessary, as financially these producers or projects may need a longer implementation schedule.

12. Contract Violation and Terminations

Comment: NRCS received seven comments opposed to the removal of the specific reference to conservation districts in EQIP contract termination decisions.

NRCS Response: The EQIP interim rule removed the provision at 7 CFR 1466.26 which identified that NRCS may consult with conservation districts in EQIP contract termination decisions. NRCS removed this section due to the limitations on the disclosure of certain types of information provided by an agricultural producer under Section 1619 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act). NRCS will continue to work closely with its conservation district partners in the implementation of EQIP and its other conservation programs. No changes were made in response to these comments.

The EQIP contract violation provisions (7 CFR 1466.25) address circumstances in which a participant violates their EQIP contract by losing control of the land under contract. NRCS may allow a participant to transfer the EQIP contract rights to an eligible producer provided the participant notifies NRCS of the loss of control within the time specified in the contract, NRCS determines that the new producer is eligible to participate in the program, and the transfer of the contract rights does not interfere with meeting program objectives.

Given that the new producer is not a party to the EQIP contract until NRCS approves the contract transfer and adds the new producer to the contract, a new producer may not be aware they are not eligible for payment until the contract transfer has been approved by NRCS. In particular, any practices that a new producer implements prior to NRCS approval of the contract transfer is not eligible for payment because they are not a program participant at the time of implementation. Changes to 7 CFR 1466.25 clarify a participant's responsibility to notify NRCS about any loss of control of land, the timing of when a new producer must be identified, the timing of when a new producer becomes eligible for payment, and the circumstances when partial or full termination of the contract may be appropriate. These changes do not affect the substance of the EQIP regulatory and policy framework regarding land transfers.

13. Definitions

Comment: NRCS received 27 comments related to the definitions found at 7 CFR 1466.3 of the EQIP interim rule. Amongst these comments, there were a few comments regarding how historic use areas by Indian Tribes should be considered as areas of an agricultural operation.

NRCS Response: Most of the comments were from the same respondent, and related to suggested edits to the wildlife definitions. NRCS recognizes the unique status that Tribal lands and treaties have and will work with Tribal entities to ensure that agricultural operations are properly delineated. These comments did not require any changes to the regulation.

14. EQIP Plan of Operations

Comment: NRCS received 11 comments related to 7 CFR 1466.7, EQIP Plan of Operations. The comments related to CNMPs have been discussed above. Other comments recommended that the regulation specify that all conservation practices in the EQIP plan of operations must be approved by NRCS or an NRCS-approved TSP with appropriate job approval authority in accordance with the applicable NRCS Conservation Practice Standards in the Field Office Technical Guide. Some comments also recommended that the EQIP plan of operations identify the specific resource concerns to be addressed, which currently is not included.

NRCS Response: NRCS currently requires that the EQIP plan of operations be approved by NRCS or a certified TSP, and these comments do not require any changes be made to the EQIP regulation. The EQIP plan of operations is intended to inform producers what practices are included in the contract, the payment rate for the practice, and when the practice must be installed. Information related to the resource concerns being addressed are included in the conservation plan folder, the environmental evaluation documentation (NRCS-CPA-52), and are the basis for many of the program ranking criteria. As such, it is not necessary to duplicate this information in the EQIP Plan of Operations. No changes were made in response to these comments.

15. Forestry Funding

Comment: NRCS received one comment to the EQIP interim rule, recommending that at least 5 percent of EQIP funds be dedicated to forestry practices.

NRCS Response: Greater than 5 percent of EQIP funds have been dedicated to forestry practices following the increased emphasis upon providing assistance to non-industrial private forestlands since the 2008 Act. No changes are needed in order to meet the respondent's recommendations. However, NRCS notes that two of its regulatory provisions may inadvertently hinder participation by forest landowners. Namely, §§ 1466.7(e) and 1466.21(b)(3)(v) require that if an EQIP plan of operations includes conservation practices that address forest-land-related resource concerns, the participant must develop and implement a forest management plan by the end of the contract period. Often, a forestry management plan extends beyond 10 years and thus beyond the maximum duration of an EQIP contract. As such, it may not be feasible for a forestry landowner to implement fully the forestry management plan during the EQIP contract term. Unlike a CNMP that covers a specific type of operation with practices that can be more immediately implemented, a forestry management plan deals with managing a landscape which may require several years for the forest to respond to a treatment before another can be applied. Therefore, the provisions at §§ 1466.7(e) and 1466.21(b)(3)(v) are modified to require a participant to implement conservation practices consistent with an approved forest management plan if the EQIP plan of operations addresses forest-land-related resource concerns.

16. Fund Management

Comment: NRCS received one recommendation that it dedicate a specific amount of EQIP funding for specific categories (cover crops, CAFOs, etc.) to avoid situations where NRCS and producers are unsure of the level of funding available. The commenter expressed that this creates situations where producers scramble to get their paperwork submitted to meet deadlines only to learn later that they will not be funded.

NRCS Response: NRCS identifies the resource concerns that will receive priority through the posting of its ranking criteria and associated application deadlines, including special announcements of initiative funding. NRCS believes that this provides producers with information necessary to know what activities will receive funding priority. EQIP is only able to fund about 37 percent of the eligible applications it receives. No changes were made in response to these comments.

17. Grouping and Ranking Applications

Comment: NRCS received 15 comments about ranking and 5 comments about grouping applications. The ranking recommendations included that NRCS should:

• Have no ranking;

• Streamline the application process and ranking;

• Not prioritize applications based upon a producer's ability to expedite practice implementation;

• Prioritize grass-based systems over AFOs;

• Encourage transition to more sustainable practices;

• Prioritize greenhouse gas reduction and carbon sequestration; and

• Include consistency with Tribal law as well as State law related to irrigation practice provisions.

As to the grouping of applications, one commenter felt that beginning farmers and ranchers received too much emphasis. One commenter felt that there were too many funding pools, while another recommended that States with at-risk species have more funding pools. One commenter recommended that operations compete against operations of similar sizes, while another commenter recommended prohibiting separate funding pools for CAFOs and instead encourage grazing plans for livestock.

NRCS Response: NRCS accepts EQIP applications on a continuous basis, but establishes application “cut-off” or submission deadline dates for evaluation and ranking of eligible applications. Depending upon annual funding levels, NRCS will allocate specific amounts of EQIP funding to meet legislative requirements, address certain national priorities, and also make funds available for NRCS State Conservationists to help address resource priorities identified by State Technical Committees. These priorities are then incorporated into ranking criteria, based upon the factors identified in statute and in § 1466.20 of the EQIP rule. In response to the request to streamline the application and ranking process, for many years NRCS has utilized screening factors as part of its evaluation and ranking of priority projects. To clarify that these screening factors are part of the ranking process, slight adjustments have been made in § 1466.20(b) to identify how these screening factors are used as part of the evaluation and selection of projects.

In evaluating EQIP applications, NRCS strives to obtain input from Tribes, States, and other affected constituents through seeking advice from the State Technical Committees, TCACs, and local working groups. For water conservation or irrigation-related practices, TCACs routinely have the opportunity to identify issues, including those that raise concerns related to Tribal laws, in order to advise NRCS on more effective ways to deliver programs and on the application process. While not explicitly stated in the regulation, NRCS believes that this advisory process with State Technical Committees and TCACs is considerate of and consistent with applicable State and Tribal laws.

Additionally, in its ranking, NRCS groups applications to the greatest extent possible by similar crop, forestry, or livestock operations for evaluation purposes or otherwise evaluating each application relative to other applications of similar agricultural operations. NRCS establishes a funding pool for beginning farmer and ranchers in accordance with statutory set-aside requirements. Subaccounts may also be developed to address a specific resource concern, geographic area, or type of agricultural operation, such as addressing habitat needs of at-risk species. However, to promote efficient and timely delivery of program assistance, NRCS policy encourages States to limit creating subaccounts in ProTracts to the minimum number needed to effectively rank and approve applications. EQIP policy currently addresses the respondents concerns regarding grouping applications and no changes were made to the regulation.

18. Irrigation History

Comment: NRCS received 73 comments related to the irrigation history requirement and the criteria that NRCS should consider for waiving it. The following summarizes the general content of these comments, recommending:

• Support for the new waiver provision;

• The requirements for the waiver be less restrictive;

• That Indian Tribes be exempt from the irrigation history requirement altogether, or at least not subject to the agricultural history waiver criterion, provided the Tribe has a secured legal water right;

• The irrigation history requirement be completely removed;

• All producers, not just limited resource or socially disadvantaged producers, be eligible for a waiver; and

• Specific recommendations related to the waiver criteria, such as:

○ Removing the proposed acreage limit;

○ Removing the exclusion of land that has been subject to a water shortage;

○ Prohibiting waivers on native prairie and grasslands with no prior cropping history;

○ Clarifying the types of practices that are considered irrigation practices;

○ Clarifying whether the acreage limitation is per operation or per year; and

○ Considering impacts to wildlife when implementing irrigation practices.

NRCS Response: NRCS proposed several criteria and requested public comments on the criteria that will be used to determine whether to waive the irrigation history requirement, including whether:

• The waiver provision should be limited to applicants who are limited resource or socially disadvantaged producers (including Indian Tribal producers). Beginning farmers and ranchers were excluded from this consideration;

• The irrigation practices are necessary for the adoption of a sustainable agricultural production method, such as the adoption of cover crops to improve the soil condition;

• The land has been in active agriculture (cropped, hayed, or grazed) for 4 of the last 6 years;

• The waiver would adversely impact limited surface or groundwater supplies; and

• An acreage limitation should be applied, such as 50 acres per producer or 200 acres per Tribe.

In order to implement the waiver provision, NRCS developed and issued program policy at Title 440 Conservation Programs Manual, Part 515, Section 515.52, reflecting all criteria in the preamble of the EQIP rule except for the acreage limitation. NRCS believes that the criteria incorporated into policy ensure that program participants will be able to obtain access to EQIP to address resource concerns in a manner that does not adversely affect available water supplies. NRCS will continue to evaluate the utility of these criteria as it reviews actual waiver requests and may make adjustments based upon the experience obtained from actual implementation of the waiver provision.

19. National Priorities

Comment: NRCS received one comment on national priorities, recommending broadening national priority related to threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

NRCS Response: As identified in the EQIP regulation, the national priority is not limited to Federally-listed threatened and endangered species, but identifies the promotion of habitat conservation for “at-risk” species habitat conservation. “At-risk” species include any plant or animal listed as threatened or endangered; proposed or a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act; a species listed as threatened or endangered under State law or Tribal law on Tribal land; State or Tribal land species of conservation concern; or other plant or animal species or community, as determined by the State Conservationist, with advice from the State Technical Committee or TCAC, that has undergone, or is likely to undergo, population decline and may become imperiled without direct intervention. No changes were made in response to this recommendation.

20. Outreach Activities

Comment: NRCS received six comments on outreach, five of which expressed approval for NRCS' current efforts with respect to historically underserved producers and recommending that NRCS maintain and expand outreach to these producers. One commenter recommended increasing participation among forestry landowners.

NRCS Response: NRCS will continue to expand its outreach to historically underserved producers.

NRCS is working in coordination with other USDA and Federal agencies to ensure that we are consistent with our outreach approach to serve historically underserved producers in rural and urban areas. NRCS is collaborating and working cooperatively with a variety of community-based organizations to ensure all customers receive high quality service and the information necessary to fully participate in all of its programs and services. For example, most recently, NRCS initiated a major partnership project in Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina to assist African American forest landowners in adopting and applying sustainable forest management practices to improve the value of their forestlands. Due to the success of this partnership, NRCS is looking to expand this project into Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and Indian Country.

21. Payment Limitations

Comment: NRCS received eight comments concerning payment limitations, five of which recommending a separate payment limitation lower than the current statutory levels.

NRCS Response: Section 1240G of the EQIP statute specifies a $450,000 payment limitation for persons and legal entities. The EQIP statute does not provide authority to mandate a lower payment limitation. No changes were made to the regulation in response to this comment.

22. Program Requirements

Comment: NRCS received 13 comments regarding various program requirements, 11 of which made specific recommendations including:

• Higher payment rates for historically underserved producers with one commenter expressing disagreement for higher payment rates, while another commenter expressed support for veteran farmers or ranchers receiving a higher payment rate;

• Payment schedule scenarios, with two commenters recommending that payment scenarios be published on NRCS State Web sites, one commenter recommending that NRCS address disparities between small or large operations of payments for management practices that are based on number of acres, while another commenter recommending that NRCS have additional organic production scenarios; and

• Initiatives, with the commenter requesting clarification about when NRCS may reduce the level of EQIP assistance provided due to a contribution by a partnering entity.

NRCS Response: NRCS will continue to encourage enrollment by historically underserved producers through statutory tools such as higher payment rates and funding pool set asides, and programmatic policy emphasis and outreach efforts. NRCS will consider the recommendations regarding its payment schedules in its fiscal year 2016 and future payment schedule development efforts. Section 1466.23(b)(4) of the EQIP regulation requires NRCS to adjust program payment percentages to a participant when NRCS enters into a formal agreement with partners who also provide financial support to the participant to help implement program initiatives. This adjustment ensures coordination of conservation investment under formal partnership agreements to encourage the voluntary adoption of practices and not as a windfall to producers. This adjustment does not apply to situations where NRCS and other conservation organizations are independently providing assistance to a producer.

23. Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

Comment: NRCS received three comments on RCPP. The commenters recommended that RCPP requirements be subject to public comment, that NRCS explain the contribution requirement under RCPP, and identify in the EQIP regulation that EQIP is a covered program under RCPP.

NRCS Response: NRCS has held numerous stakeholder meetings across the country to obtain input concerning RCPP procedures and requirements, and incorporates this feedback into the APF. The RCPP statute requires partners to contribute a significant portion of the overall costs of the project. This contribution of resources is reflected in the partnership agreement entered into between NRCS and a partner. The overall cost includes all direct and indirect costs associated with implementation, from NRCS and partner(s). Partners may include funds they have received from other Federal sources as part of their contribution to the project, provided they submit a written commitment from the Federal agency confirming such funds can be used in conjunction with NRCS funds. NRCS provides greater priority to applicants that are able to contribute at least 50 percent of the resources needed to implement a project. A minor change has been made to the EQIP final rule to clarify that EQIP is a covered program under RCPP.

24. Regional Conservationist Approval

Comment: NRCS received seven comments on the removal of the requirement that the Regional Conservationist approve contracts obligating funds over $150,000. Three respondents expressed support for the removal, while four recommended that NRCS re-institute the requirement.

NRCS Response: The requirement concerning the approval of contracts by the Regional Conservationist has been removed from the regulation as it is an internal administrative matter. NRCS bases its internal review requirements in a manner that balances ensuring financial integrity with administrative efficiency. NRCS adjusts these requirements based upon findings from its quality assurance reviews. No changes were made to the regulation in response to these recommendations.

25. Regulatory Certifications

Comment: NRCS received 13 comments related to various regulatory certifications that appeared in the preamble of the interim rule. Namely, five commenters stated that consultation was required under Executive Order 13175 since they believe that EQIP imposes substantial costs on Tribal governments associated with environmental and cultural resource compliance; three comments stated that Executive Order 13132 required NRCS to coordinate with Conservation Districts, as well as other State and local governments, prior to publishing the EQIP interim rule; and five commenters stated NRCS failed to meet the requirements of Executive Order 13563 to improve coordination across agencies to reduce costs and simplify rules.

NRCS Response: NRCS met its responsibilities under Executive Orders 13175, 13132, and 13563. Section 5 of Executive Order 13175 provides that an agency should not promulgate any regulation that imposes substantial direct compliance costs on Tribal governments that is not required by statute unless funds necessary to pay the direct costs incurred by the Tribal government or the Tribe in complying with the regulation are provided by the Federal government; or alternatively, the agency, prior to the formal promulgation of the regulation, consulted with Tribal officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation.

While Indian Tribes and their members are eligible to participate in EQIP, such participation is voluntary and does not mandate compliance costs on the part of the Tribe. Additionally, in response to the 2014 Act enactment, NRCS developed and implemented an outreach plan to obtain meaningful input from Indian Tribes regarding all NRCS conservation programs, including EQIP. NRCS consultation policies related to Executive Order 13175 are currently contained in the NRCS General Manual (GM) at 410 GM Part 405, 180 GM Parts 401 and 404, and 420 GM Part 401. For ongoing NRCS program activities, NRCS State Conservationists have primary responsibility for engaging with Indian Tribes and ensuring that NRCS' Tribal consultation responsibilities have been met.

Executive Order 13132 governs how agencies should develop policies that have federalism implications. Under Executive Order 13132, “policies that have federalism implications” refers to regulations that 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. EQIP is a voluntary program to provide assistance to producers of eligible lands. As stated in the EQIP interim rule preamble, EQIP does not have a substantial direct effect on States, the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities.

Section 2 of Executive Order 13563 requires that regulations be adopted through a process that involves public participation, and to the extent feasible and consistent with law, the open exchange of information and perspectives among State, local, and Tribal officials, experts in relevant disciplines, affected stakeholders in the private sector, and the public as a whole. Section 1246 of the 1985 Act requires publication of the EQIP regulation as an interim rule with an opportunity for public comment. The EQIP interim rule published on December 12, 2014, included a 60-day public comment period, during which the comments regarding Executive Order 13563 were received by NRCS.

26. Transparency Act Requirements

Comment: NRCS received five comments expressing concern about the applicability of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (Transparency Act) requirements to EQIP contracts and the impact failure to comply with these requirements have upon agricultural producers.

NRCS Response: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 2 CFR parts 25 and 170 implement the Transparency Act and are government-wide requirements. The Transparency Act regulations apply to awards of financial assistance to non-Federal entities. EQIP assistance is financial assistance, thus the Transparency Act requirements apply to its implementation of awards to non-Federal entities. No changes were made in response to these comments.

27. Technical Service Providers (TSPs)

Comment: NRCS received one comment expressing approval for the utilization of TSPs.

NRCS Response: NRCS appreciates the comment and will continue to encourage the utilization of TSPs in the implementation of EQIP. No changes were necessitated by this comment.

28. Veteran Farmer or Ranchers

Comment: NRCS received five comments expressing support for the priority provided to veteran farmers and ranchers.

NRCS Response: NRCS appreciates the comment and will continue to encourage participation in EQIP by veteran farmers or ranchers. No changes were necessitated by this comment.

29. Wildlife Funding

Comment: NRCS received 16 comments expressing concern that 5 percent was the minimum funding available for wildlife-focused activities and that wildlife is not being partitioned clearly to demonstrate an additive effect. Some commenters recommended that wildlife funding be tracked based on ranking of resource concerns and not by targeting specific practices. Others recommended that only those 16 conservation practice standards that have fish and wildlife as a primary purpose should be used to track the wildlife fund requirement.

NRCS Response: The 2014 Act repealed WHIP and incorporated its purposes into EQIP. Under the 2014 Act, at least 5 percent of EQIP assistance must be targeted towards conservation practices with a specific purpose related to wildlife habitat. Since this is an administrative requirement, NRCS did not include it in the EQIP regulation, but discussed in the preamble of the interim rule how it will meet the requirement. In particular, NRCS identified that it will track its compliance with this requirement by identifying those conservation practices where wildlife habitat is the primary purpose. Out of more than 160 existing conservation practice standards, 16 have wildlife habitat as a primary purpose, in addition to approximately 45 standards that are often used to benefit wildlife. The preamble also identified that in certain situations, such as wildlife-focused initiatives, other practices may also be tracked where the practices are designed to achieve specific wildlife objectives.

Given the statutory language, it is appropriate to track both the 16 wildlife-specific practices and, in wildlife-focused initiatives, the 45 standards that are utilized to benefit wildlife. No changes were made to the regulation in response to these comments.

Regulatory Certifications Executive Order 12866 and 13563

Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. OMB designated this final rule a significant regulatory action. The administrative record is available for public inspection at NRCS National Headquarters located at 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest, South Building, Room 5831, Washington, DC 20250-2890. Pursuant to Executive Order 12866, NRCS conducted an economic analysis of the potential impacts associated with this program. A summary of the economic analysis can be found at the end of the regulatory certifications section of this preamble, and a copy of the analysis is available upon request from the Director of NRCS' Financial Assistance Programs Division or electronically at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/ under the EQIP Rules and Notices with Supporting Documents title.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) (RFA) generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute. NRCS did not prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for this rule because NRCS is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other provision of law, to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of this rule. Regardless, NRCS has determined that this action, while mostly affecting small entities, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of these small entities. NRCS made this determination based on the fact that this regulation is incentive-based, and therefore only impacts those who participate voluntarily in the program. Small entity applicants will not be affected to a greater extent than large entity applicants.

Congressional Review Act

Section 1246(c) of the 1985 Act, as amended by section 2608 of the 2014 Act, enables the Secretary of Agriculture to use the authority granted in section 808(2) of Title 5 of the United States Code to forego the Congressional Review Act's 60-day Congressional review, which delays the effective date of major regulations, if the agency finds that there is a good cause to do so. NRCS hereby determines that it has good cause to do so in order to meet the Congressional intent to have the conservation programs, authorized or amended under Title 7 of the 1985 Act, in effect as soon as possible. NRCS also determined it has good cause to forgo delaying the effective date given the critical need to let agricultural producers know what programmatic changes are being made so that they can make financial plans accordingly prior to planting season. For these reasons, this rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Environmental Analysis

NRCS prepared a programmatic EA in association with the EQIP rulemaking to aid in its compliance with NEPA when expending EQIP funds in implementing site-specific actions (40 CFR 1501.3(b)). As a result of the analysis, the Chief of NRCS determined that there will not be a significant impact to the human environment as a result of the changes implemented by this rule; therefore, an EIS was not required (40 CFR 1508.13). Only one comment was received on the EA. The commenter expressed that EQIP has not allowed for seed producers to adequately respond to programs that are announced after the seed production season and requested communication improvements. This comment did not provide new information that is relevant to environmental concerns or that bears on the proposed action or its impacts that warrants supplementing or revising the EQIP EA and Finding of No Significant Impact.

Two additional letters were received providing comments on the interim final rule recommending that NRCS undertake an EA of the effects of providing EQIP assistance to CAFOs. NRCS considered this input and determined it lacks discretion on whether to provide assistance to existing or expanding CAFOs. NRCS made this determination based on its review of the EQIP legislative history, the purposes of EQIP—which include assisting producers to meet regulatory requirements related to soil and water quality—and the fact that in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Congress removed the restriction on providing financial assistance to large confined livestock operations to construct animal waste management facilities and required NRCS to direct 60 percent of its EQIP assistance to livestock producers. NRCS has, and will continue to conduct an environmental evaluation before providing EQIP financial assistance to any producer to determine the need for an EA or EIS. NRCS regulations in 7 CFR part 652 define the environmental evaluation as the part of the NRCS planning process that inventories and estimates the potential effects on the human environment of alternative solutions to resource problems. The environmental evaluation is used to determine the need for an EA or EIS, and aids in the consideration of alternatives and in the identification of available resources when an EA or EIS is not required (7 CFR 650.4(c)).

NRCS will also use the environmental evaluation to evaluate the environmental effects of specific requests to grant irrigation waivers. It is not possible to meaningfully analyze the effects of these waivers at a national level because of site-specific factors. NRCS would have to speculate as to the types of requests that might be received and granted, and NEPA does not require analysis of speculative actions. As a result, the programmatic EA prepared to identify the effects of the EQIP rule does not analyze the effects of waiver requests.

A copy of the EA and FONSI may be obtained from the following Web site: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ea. A hard copy may also be obtained in any of the following ways: (1) Send an email to [email protected] with “Request for EA” in the subject line, or (2) mail a written request to: National Environmental Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ecological Sciences Division, Post Office Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013-2890.

Civil Rights Impact Analysis

NRCS conservation programs apply to all persons equally regardless of their race, color, national origin, gender, sex, or disability status. Through its Civil Rights Impact Analysis, NRCS determined that the final rule discloses no disproportionately adverse impacts for minorities, women, or persons with disabilities. The national target of setting aside 5 percent of EQIP funds for socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and an additional 5 percent of EQIP funds for beginning farmers or ranchers, as well as prioritizing veterans that are socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and beginning farmer or ranchers is expected to increase participation among these groups.

The Civil Rights Impact Analysis indicates that producers who are members of the protected groups have participated in NRCS conservation programs at the same rates as other producers. Extrapolating from historical participation data, it is reasonable to conclude that EQIP will continue to be administered in a nondiscriminatory manner. Outreach and communication strategies are in place to ensure all producers are provided the same information, enabling them to make informed compliance decisions regarding the use of their lands that will affect their participation in USDA programs. Therefore, this final rule portends no adverse civil rights implications for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Section 1246 of the 1985 Act, as amended by the 2014 Act, requires that implementation of programs authorized by Title 7 of the 1985 Act be made without regard to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Therefore, NRCS is not reporting recordkeeping or estimated paperwork burden associated with this final rule.

Government Paperwork Elimination Act

NRCS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and the Freedom to E-File Act, which require government agencies, in general, to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. To better accommodate public access, NRCS has developed an online application and information system for public use.

Executive Order 13175

This final rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with Tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have Tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that may have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian Tribes, the relationship between the Federal government and Indian Tribes, or the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian Tribes. NRCS has assessed the impact of this final rule on Indian Tribes and determined that Tribal consultation under Executive Order 13175 does not apply. However, NRCS believes that consultation with Tribes is critical to ensuring that the program is administered in a fair and equitable manner. Therefore, NRCS has reviewed letters and comments submitted by and on behalf of Tribes during the public comment period leading to an additional public presentation and information gathering on the final rule with Tribes, Tribal representatives, and Tribal members on December 7th in Las Vegas, Nevada. NRCS made several changes to the final rule to address concerns raised by Tribes and Tribal representatives throughout the NRCS outreach and collaboration process. NRCS developed and implemented an outreach and collaboration plan to use while developing its policy regarding the 2014 Act. If a Tribe requests consultation, NRCS will work at the appropriate local, State, or national level, including with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations, to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions, and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Title 2 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any 1 year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, section 205 of UMRA requires agencies to prepare a written statement, including a cost benefit assessment, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in such expenditures for State, local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. UMRA generally requires agencies to consider alternatives and adopt the more cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.

This rule contains no Federal mandates, as defined under Title 2 of UMRA, for State, local, and Tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 202 of UMRA is not required.

Executive Order 13132

NRCS has considered this final rule in accordance with Executive Order 13132, issued August 4, 1999, and has determined that the final rule conforms with the Federalism principles set out in this Executive Order, would not impose any compliance costs on the States, and would not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, NRCS concludes that this final rule does not have Federalism implications.

Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994

Pursuant to section 304 of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-354), USDA has estimated that this regulation will not have an annual impact on the economy of $100,000,000 in 1994 dollars, and therefore, is not a major regulation. As such, a risk analysis was not conducted.

Executive Order 13211

This rule is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211, Energy Effects.

Registration and Reporting Requirements of the Federal Funding and Transparency Act of 2006

OMB published two regulations, codified at 2 CFR part 25 and 2 CFR part 170, to assist agencies and recipients of Federal financial assistance in complying with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA) (Pub. L. 109-282, as amended). Both regulations have implementation requirements effective as of October 1, 2010.

The regulations at 2 CFR part 25 require, with some exceptions, recipients of Federal financial assistance to apply for and receive a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering Systems (DUNS) number and register in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). The regulations at 2 CFR part 170 establish new requirements for Federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients. The regulation provides standard wording that each agency must include in its awarding of financial assistance that requires recipients to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation under those awards.

The regulations at 2 CFR part 25 and 2 CFR part 170 apply to EQIP financial assistance provided to entities and, therefore, these registration and reporting requirements will continue to include in the requisite provisions as part of EQIP financial assistance contracts.

Regulatory Impact Analysis—Executive Summary

Pursuant to Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, NRCS has conducted a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) of EQIP as pursuant to the changes of the 2014 Act. On December 12, 2014, an interim rule and an accompanying RIA, with request for comments, was published which implemented changes to EQIP necessitated by the enactment of the 2014 Act or required to implement administrative clarifications and streamlining improvements. NRCS received 331 comments from 65 respondents to the interim rule. NRCS received no comments on the RIA. The final rule makes permanent the changes proposed in the interim rule along with some minor adjustments based on public comments. NRCS determined that these minor adjustments would not significantly alter the RIA.

In considering alternatives for implementing EQIP, USDA followed the legislative intent to maximize beneficial conservation impacts, address natural resource concerns, establish an open participatory process, and provide flexible assistance to producers who apply appropriate conservation measures to comply with Federal, State, and Tribal environmental requirements. Because EQIP is a voluntary program, the program will not impose any obligation or burden upon agricultural producers who choose not to participate.

EQIP has been authorized by the Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill at $8 billion over the 5-year period beginning in FY 2014 and proceeding through 2018, with annual amounts of $1.35 billion in FY 2014, $1.60 billion in FY 2015, $1.65 billion in FY 2016, $1.65 billion in FY 2017, and $1.75 billion in FY 2018. EQIP and WHIP had been previously authorized under the 2008 Act with annual amounts of $1.32 billion for FY 2008, $1.37 billion in FY 2009, $1.55 billion in FY 2010, $1.66 billion in FY 2011, and $1.75 billion in FY 2012 to FY 2013. Despite this authorization, EQIP and WHIP received only $7.75 billion in funding from FY 2008 through FY 2013. Funds received annually over this period were $1.09 billion in FY 2008, $1.15 billion in FY 2009, $1.27 billion in FY 2010, $1.32 billion in FY 2011, $1.45 billion in FY 2012, and $1.47 billion in FY 2013. Since the enactment of the 2014 Act EQIP received $1.35 billion, the full amount authorized in FY 2014, but only $1.347 billion in FY 2015 rather the $1.60 billion authorized by the 2014 Act.

The 1985 Act, as amended by the 2014 Act, makes several changes to EQIP. The changes include consolidating elements of the former WHIP into EQIP, expanding participation among military veteran farmers or ranchers, requiring that funds provided in advance that are not expended during the 90-day period beginning on the date of receipt of funds be returned, establishing an overall payment limitation over FY 2014 through FY 2018 of $450,000, providing that EQIP funding authorized by the 2014 Act remains available until expended, and requiring that at least 5 percent of available EQIP funds to be targeted for wildlife conservation practices for each fiscal year from 2014 to 2018. This 5 percent for wildlife habitat practices is based upon the total EQIP funding allocated as financial assistance available nationally for producer contracts. Based upon historical expenditures of wildlife-related practices in both WHIP and EQIP, and with emphasis to prioritize funding applications that address wildlife resource concerns, the agency anticipates that the actual funding associated with developing wildlife practices through EQIP will exceed the 5 percent national target. In FY 2014, about 6.5 percent of EQIP funds ($60.8 million) were devoted to wildlife conservation practices. Seven percent of EQIP funds are available for eligible RCPP contracts. Additional explanation regarding funding pools and EQIP program priorities is provided in the Background section of the preamble.

EQIP technical assistance and financial assistance facilitates the adoption of conservation practices that address natural resource concerns. Those practices improve on-site resource conditions and produce offsite environmental benefits for the public. Water erosion conservation practices reduce the flow of pollutants off of fields, thus improving freshwater and marine water quality, including protecting fish habitat, enhancing aquatic recreation opportunities, and reducing sedimentation of reservoirs, streams, and drainage channels. More efficient irrigation practices conserve scarce water, making it available for other uses. Wind erosion control practices improve air quality and some practices increase carbon in the soil profile. Wildlife habitat conservation practices increase wildlife habitat, enhance scenic value, and provide opportunities for recreation. A definition of “habitat development” was added and adopted to encompass the conservation practices that support the wildlife habitat activities authorized by section 1240B(g) of the 2014 Act. The term, as originally defined in the WHIP regulation, is added to EQIP at section 1466.3, “Definitions.” The definition, consistent with EQIP authority to assist with implementation of conservation practices that include the specific technical purpose of habitat development, provides for the conservation of wildlife species.

Other impacts of conservation practices may accrue to the producer. Examples of these impacts include the maintenance of the long-term productivity of the land, improved irrigation efficiency, improved grazing productivity, more efficient crop use of animal waste and fertilizer, and increased profits from energy conservation.

Most of this rule's impacts consist of transfer payments from the Federal government to producers. While those transfers create incentives that very likely cause changes in the way society uses its resources, we lack data with which to quantify the resulting social costs or benefits. Given the existing limitation and lack of data, NRCS will investigate ways to quantify the incremental benefits obtained from this program. Despite the limitations on our ability to quantify and estimate the value of social costs or benefits from the implementation of conservation practices, EQIP, as amended under the 2014 Act, is expected to positively affect natural resources and mitigate environmental degradation. Results from the national Conservation Effects Assessment Project conducted by NRCS demonstrate that implementation of the types of conservation practices funded under EQIP reduce sediment and nutrient loss from agricultural fields and improve water quality nationwide.

The 2014 Act increases EQIP funding over the amount provided by Congress for both EQIP and WHIP from FY 2008 through FY 2013 by 24 percent on an annualized basis to $1.6 billion per year. From FY 2008 through FY 2013, the authorized level for EQIP and WHIP was a total of $9.585 billion, but annual restrictions on EQIP and WHIP obligations enacted in the annual appropriations bills resulted in the actual authority being $7.748 billion, for an annualized amount of $1.291 billion. In contrast, the authorized level for EQIP under the 2014 Act for FY 2014 through FY 2018 is $8 billion, for an annualized amount of $1.6 billion (this assumes future funding caps are set at the authorized amounts). Actual authority for EQIP funding in FY 2014 of $1.350 billion matched the amount authorized in the 2014 Act while restrictions limited actual EQIP funding in FY 2015 to $1.347 million. These changes reduce the authorized level of spending for EQIP for FY 2014 through FY 2018 to $7.747 million. Additionally, the 2014 Act changed the period of availability for EQIP funding from 1-year to no-year funding, which means the funds remain available until expended. Thus, any unobligated balance at the end of a fiscal year could be available for obligation in the subsequent year. It is estimated that the conservation practices implemented with this funding will continue to contribute to reductions of water and wind erosion on cropland, pasture, and rangeland; reduce nutrient losses to streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries; increase wildlife habitat; and provide other private and public environmental benefits. It is also expected that continued implementation of practices which treat and manage animal waste through EQIP will directly contribute to improvements in water quality and associated improvements in air quality from, for example, reduction in emissions such as methane. NRCS estimates that the cost,1 from both public and private sources, of implementing the conservation practices with EQIP funding will be $11,519 million dollars (FY 2014 through FY 2018). Cost estimates are presented in Table 1 below.

1 Public costs include total TA and FA funds outlined in the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) scoring of the 2014 Act. Private costs are out-of-pocket costs paid voluntarily by participants.

Table 1—Projected Technical Assistance and Transfer Payments, as Authorized, FY 2014-FY 2018 a NRCS
  • technical
  • assistance
  • Transfer
  • payment
  • Public costs Private costs Total costs
    million $ million $ million $ million $ million $ FY 2014 b $368.0 $982.0 $1,350.0 $654.6 $2,004.6 FY 2015 b 360.0 987.0 1,347.0 657.9 2,004.9 FY 2016 445.5 1,204.5 1,650.0 803.6 2,453.6 FY 2017 445.5 1,204.5 1,650.0 803.6 2,453.6 FY 2018 472.5 1,277.5 1,750.0 852.2 2,602.2 Total 2,090.5 5,655.5 7,747.0 3,779.2 11,518.9 a Based on a historical average participant cost of 40 percent and a historical average technical assistance share of 27 percent. b FY 2014 and FY 2015 represent actual funds received.
    Conclusions

    Program features of EQIP, except for the increase in wildlife focus, remains essentially unchanged from the 2008 Act. The increased funding over the period of FY 2014 through FY 2018 will increase the amount of conservation applied by agricultural producers, support continued improvement in the natural resource base (i.e. soil, water, air, and wildlife), and mitigate agriculture's potentially adverse effects on the environment. The statutory requirement that at least 5 percent of available EQIP funding be targeted to practices that address wildlife habitat will be met by focusing a portion of the funding on applications that address wildlife resource concerns.

    Overall, the conservation effects resulting from transferring $5.7 billion to producers and providing $2.1 billion in technical assistance from FY 2014 through FY 2018 will be reflected in nine primary resource categories and lead to improvements in cropland and grazing land productivity, water quality, air quality, water use efficiency, energy use efficiency, carbon sequestration and wildlife habitat.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1466

    Agricultural operations, Animal feeding operations, Conservation payments, Conservation practices, Contract, Forestry management, Natural resources, Payment rates, Soil and water conservation, Soil quality, Water quality and water conservation, Wildlife.

    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 1466, which was published at 79 FR 73953 on December 12, 2014, is adopted as a final rule with the following changes:

    PART 1466—ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for part 1466 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 714b and 714c; 16 U.S.C. 3839aa-3839-8.

    2. Amend § 1466.2 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 1466.2 Administration.

    (c) No delegation in the administration of this part to lower organizational levels will preclude the Chief from making any determinations under this part, re-delegating to other organizational levels, or from reversing or modifying any determination made under this part. Since EQIP is a covered program under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), the Chief may modify or waive a discretionary provision of this part with respect to contracts entered into under RCPP if the Chief determines that such an adjustment is necessary to achieve the purposes of EQIP. Consistent with section 1271C(c)(3) of the Food Security Act of 1985, the Chief may also waive the applicability of the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limitation in section 1001D(b)(2) of the Food Security Act of 1985 for program participants if the Chief determines that the waiver is necessary to fulfill RCPP objectives.

    3. Amend § 1466.7 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 1466.7 EQIP plan of operations.

    (e) If an EQIP plan of operations addresses forest land related resource concerns, the participant must implement conservation practices consistent with an approved forest management plan.

    4. Amend § 1466.20 by revising paragraphs (b) introductory text, (b)(1) introductory text, and (b)(5) to read as follows:
    § 1466.20 Application for contracts and selecting applications.

    (b) In selecting EQIP applications, NRCS, with advice from the State Technical Committee, Tribal Conservation Advisory Council, or local working group, may establish ranking pools to address a specific resource concern, geographic area, or agricultural operation type or develop an evaluation process to prioritize and rank applications for funding that address national, State, and local priority resource concerns, taking into account the following guidelines:

    (1) NRCS will select applications for funding based on applicant eligibility, fund availability, and the NRCS evaluation process. NRCS will rank applications according to the following factors related to conservation benefits to address identified resource concerns through implementation of conservation practices:

    (5) The evaluation process will determine the order in which applications will be selected for funding. To improve administrative efficiency, NRCS may use screening factors as part of its evaluation process that may include sorting applications into high, medium, or low priority. If screening factors are used to designate a higher priority for ranking, all eligible applications with a higher priority and that address an eligible resource concern are ranked and considered for funding before ranking or considering for funding applications that are a lower priority. The approving authority for EQIP contracts will be NRCS.

    5. Amend § 1466.21 by revising paragraph (b)(3)(v) to read as follows:
    § 1466.21 Contract requirements.

    (b) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (v) Implement conservation practices consistent with an approved forest management plan when the EQIP plan of operations includes forest-related practices that address resource concerns on NIPF,

    6. Amend § 1466.25 by revising paragraphs (b) through (d), redesignating paragraph (e) as paragraph (f), and adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 1466.25 Contract modifications and transfers of land.

    (b) Within the time specified in the contract, the participant must provide NRCS with written notice regarding any voluntary or involuntary loss of control of any acreage under the EQIP contract, which includes changes in a participant's ownership structure or corporate form. Failure to provide timely notice will result in termination of the entire contract.

    (c) Unless NRCS approves a transfer of contract rights under this paragraph (c), a participant losing control of any acreage will constitute a violation of the EQIP contract and NRCS will terminate the contract and require a participant to refund all or a portion of any financial assistance provided. NRCS may approve a transfer of the contract if:

    (1) NRCS receives written notice that identifies the new producer who will take control of the acreage, as required in paragraph (d) of this section;

    (2) The new producer meets program eligibility requirements within a reasonable time frame, as specified in the EQIP contract;

    (3) The new producer agrees to assume the rights and responsibilities for the acreage under the contract; and

    (4) NRCS determines that the purposes of the program will continue to be met despite the original participant's losing control of all or a portion of the land under contract.

    (d) Until NRCS approves the transfer of contract rights, the new producer is not a participant in the program and may not receive payment for conservation activities commenced prior to approval of the contract transfer.

    (e) NRCS may not approve a contract transfer and may terminate the contract in its entirety if NRCS determines that the loss of control is voluntary, the new producer is not eligible or willing to assume responsibilities under the contract, or the purposes of the program cannot be met.

    Signed this 26th day of April, 2016, in Washington, DC. Jason A. Weller, Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, and Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-10161 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Parts 730, 740, 742, 744, 746, 754, 762, 772, and 774 [Docket No. 160302175- 6175- 01] RIN 0694-AG83 Removal of Short Supply License Requirements on Exports of Crude Oil AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) publishes this final rule to amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove the short supply license requirements that, prior to the entry into force of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” on December 18, 2015, applied to exports of crude oil from the United States. Specifically, this rule removes the Commerce Control List (CCL) entry and the corresponding short supply provisions in the EAR that required a license from BIS to export crude oil from the United States. This rule also amends certain other EAR provisions to reflect the removal of these short supply license requirements. The changes made by this rule are intended to bring the provisions of the EAR into full compliance with the act, which mandates that, apart from certain exemptions specified therein, “no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restriction on the export of crude oil.” Consistent with the exceptions in the act, exports of crude oil continue to require authorization from BIS to embargoed or sanctioned countries or persons and to persons subject to a denial of export privileges.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective May 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments regarding this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285; and to the Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, 14th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2705, Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eileen Albanese, Director, Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls, Bureau of Industry and Security, Telephone: (202) 482-0092, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to comply with the requirements of Division O, Title 1, Section 101 of Public Law 114-113 (the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016) concerning exports of crude oil from the United States. These provisions repeal Section 103 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (formerly, 42 U.S.C. 6212), which required that the President promulgate a rule prohibiting the export of crude oil, and mandate, instead, that “notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) . . . no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restriction on the export of crude oil.” Consistent with this requirement, this final rule amends part 754 of the EAR by removing and reserving § 754.2, which described the short supply license requirements and licensing policies that applied to exports of crude oil from the United States to all destinations. This rule also amends the Commerce Control List (CCL) in Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of the EAR by removing Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 1C981, which controlled crude petroleum, including reconstituted crude petroleum, tar sands and crude shale oil listed in Supplement No. 1 to part 754 of the EAR (Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products). In addition, this rule moves the definition of “crude oil,” which previously appeared in § 754.2(a) of the EAR, to § 772.1 (Definitions of terms as used in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)), because it continues to have relevance with respect to the end-user/end-use requirements in part 744 of the EAR and the embargoes and other special controls in part 746 of the EAR. The scope of this definition remains unchanged.

    The effect of the changes described above is to remove the short supply license requirements previously applicable to crude oil, as controlled under ECCN 1C981, thereby making crude oil an EAR99 item (i.e., subject to the EAR, as described in § 734.3(a), but no longer listed on the CCL). As such, crude oil exports will now be treated similarly to exports of petroleum products listed in Supplement No. 1 to part 754 that have not been produced or derived from the Naval Petroleum Reserves (NPR) or become available for export as a result of an exchange of any NPR produced or derived commodities (such petroleum products are not controlled under ECCN 1C980, 1C982, 1C983, or 1C984 on the CCL, but are designated as EAR99 items, instead). As an EAR99 item, crude oil remains subject to the EAR, as described in § 734.3(a) of the EAR, and exports of crude oil continue to require authorization from BIS to embargoed or sanctioned countries or persons and to persons subject to a denial of export privileges, as described in parts 744, 746, and 764 of the EAR. The continuance of these EAR controls is consistent with the exemptions stated in Division O, Title 1, Section 101, subsections (c) and (d) of Public Law 114-113.

    This final rule also amends certain other provisions in the EAR to reflect the removal of the short supply license requirements on crude oil. Specifically, this rule makes additional amendments to part 754 by removing and reserving paragraph (b)(1)(i) in § 754.1 and by removing and reserving Supplement No. 3 to part 754 (Statutory Provisions Dealing with Exports of Crude Oil). This rule also removes references to § 754.2 from Supplement No. 1 to part 730 and § 762.2(b)(39). In addition, this rule amends § 740.15 (License Exception AVS) by removing the parenthetical reference to § 754.2 from § 740.15(b)(3) and by removing the Note to paragraph (c)(3), which also referenced § 754.2. This rule also removes references to ECCN 1C981 from § 742.1(b)(1) and § 746.7(a)(1) of the EAR. In § 744.7 (Restrictions on Certain Exports to and for the use of Certain Foreign Vessels or Aircraft), paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (ii) are revised to remove the exclusions that previously applied to crude oil and blends of crude oil with other petroleum products, because such items were subject to the short supply controls described in § 754.2 of the EAR.

    Finally, this rule removes authority citations for statutory provisions dealing with restrictions on the exports of crude oil, which no longer provide BIS with enforcement authority, based on Division O, Title 1, Section 101, subsection (b) of Public Law 114-113, which prohibits officials of the Federal Government from imposing or enforcing any restriction on the export of crude oil “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” Specifically, this rule removes the authority citations to 30 U.S.C. 185(s), 30 U.S.C. 185(u), and 43 U.S.C. 1354 from parts 730, 754, and 774 of the EAR.

    Although the Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 7, 2015 (80 FR 48233 (Aug. 11, 2015)), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.). BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

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

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This rule contains a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA. This collection has been approved by OMB under Control Number 0694-0088 (Multi-Purpose Application), which carries a burden hour estimate of 58 minutes to prepare and submit form BIS-748. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of Management and Budget, and to the Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this rule.

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

    4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking and the opportunity for public participation are waived for good cause, because they are “unnecessary” and “contrary to the public interest.” (See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)). This rule brings the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) into conformity with the Congressional mandate in Division O, Title 1, Section 101 of Public Law 114-113, which states that “notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) . . . no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restrictions on the export of crude oil.” A delay of this rulemaking to allow for notice and public comment would be “unnecessary,” within the context of the APA, because continuance of the controls in § 754.2 of the EAR would be contrary to the explicit mandate in Public Law 114-113 against the imposition or enforcement of any restriction on the export of crude oil by an official of the Federal Government. Under such circumstances, the public interest would not be served by soliciting comments on the removal of these controls. A delay of this rulemaking to allow for notice and public comment also would be “contrary to the public interest,” within the context of the APA, because continuance of the controls in § 754.2 of the EAR would result in unnecessary confusion due to the obvious contradiction between the short supply license requirements for crude oil, as described in § 754.2 of the EAR prior to the publication of this rule, and the Congressional mandate in Public Law 114-113, which prohibits such license requirements. Furthermore, the confusion resulting from any delay to allow for notice and comment would be contrary to the public interest, as stated in Public Law 114-113, which is “to promote the efficient exploration, production, storage, supply, marketing, pricing, and regulation of energy resources, including fossil fuels.” Specifically, the obvious contradiction between the requirements previously described in § 754.2 of the EAR and the mandate in Public Law 114-113 might discourage some persons from pursuing crude oil export opportunities, thereby resulting in significant economic losses due to lost sales. At best, the confusion caused by this contradiction likely would result in unnecessary delays, which also can involve significant economic costs.

    The provision of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring a 30-day delay in effectiveness is also waived for good cause. (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). The amendments to the EAR contained in this final rule are required to make the EAR conform to the Congressional mandate in Public Law 114-113, which states that “except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) . . . no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restrictions on the export of crude oil.” A delay of this rulemaking to allow for a 30-day delay in effectiveness would be “unnecessary,” within the context of the APA, because continuance of the controls in § 754.2 of the EAR would be contrary to the explicit mandate in Public Law 114-113 and, as such, would not serve the public interest. A delay of this rulemaking to allow for a 30-day delay in effectiveness, also would be “contrary to the public interest,” within the context of the APA, because such a delay would result in unnecessary confusion caused by the contradiction between the EAR's short supply license requirements for crude oil and the Congressional mandate in Public Law 114-113, as described above. In addition, any delay to allow for notice and comment would be contrary to the public interest, as stated in Public Law 114-113 and reiterated above.

    Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this final rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under the Administrative Procedure Act or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. Therefore, this regulation is issued in final form.

    List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 730

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advisory committees, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Strategic and critical materials.

    15 CFR Part 740

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 742

    Administrative practice and procedure, Chemicals, Exports, Foreign trade, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 744

    Exports, Foreign trade, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 746

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 754

    Agricultural commodities, Exports, Forests and forest products, Horses, Petroleum, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 762

    Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, Confidential business information, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 772

    Exports.

    15 CFR Part 774

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, parts 730, 740, 742, 744, 746, 754, 762, 772, and 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) are amended as follows:

    PART 730—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 730 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c; 22 U.S.C. 2151 note; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. 4305; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 11912, 41 FR 15825, 3 CFR, 1976 Comp., p. 114; E.O. 12002, 42 FR 35623, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 133; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12214, 45 FR 29783, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 256; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12854, 58 FR 36587, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12918, 59 FR 28205, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 899; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 12947, 60 FR 5079, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 356; E.O. 12981, 60 FR 62981, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 419; E.O. 13020, 61 FR 54079, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 219; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13099, 63 FR 45167, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 208; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13224, 66 FR 49079, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 786; E.O. 13338, 69 FR 26751, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p 168; E.O. 13637, 78 FR 16129, 3 CFR, 2014 Comp., p. 223; Notice of May 6, 2015, 80 FR 26815 (May 8, 2015); Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015); Notice of September 18, 2015, 80 FR 57281 (September 22, 2015); Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of January 20, 2016, 81 FR 3937 (January 22, 2016).

    Supplement No. 1 to Part 730—[Amended]
    2. Supplement No. 1 to part 730 is amended by revising the entries for Collection number “0694-0137” and Collection number “0607-0152” to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 730—Information Collection Requirements Under the Paperwork Reduction Act: OMB Control Numbers Collection No. Title Reference in the EAR *         *         *         *         *         *         * 0694-0137 License Exceptions and Exclusions § 734.4, Supplement No. 2 to part 734, §§ 740.3(d), 740.4(c), 740.9(a)(2)(viii)(B), 740.9(c), 740.13(e), 740.12(b)(7), 740.17, 740.18, Supp. No. 2 to part 740, §§ 742.15, 743.1, 743.3, 754.4, 762.2(b) and Supplement No. 1 to part 774. 0607-0152 Automated Export System (AES) Program §§ 740.1(d), 740.3(a)(3), 754.4(c), 758.1, 758.2, and 758.3 of the EAR. PART 740—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    4. Section 740.15 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(3) introductory text and by removing the note to paragraph (c)(3).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 740.15 Aircraft, vessels, and spacecraft (AVS).

    (b) * * *

    (3) Ship and plane stores. Usual and reasonable kinds and quantities of the following commodities may be exported for use or consumption on board an aircraft or vessel of any registry during the outgoing and immediate return flight or voyage.

    PART 742—[AMENDED] 5. The authority citation for part 742 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Presidential Determination 2003-23, 68 FR 26459, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 320; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015); Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015).

    § 742.1 [Amended]
    6. In § 742.1, remove the phrase “1C981 (Crude petroleum, including reconstituted crude petroleum, tar sands, and crude shale oil);” where it appears in the second sentence of paragraph (b)(1). PART 744—[AMENDED] 7. The authority citation for part 744 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    8. In § 744.7, revise paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (ii) to read as follows:
    § 744.7 Restrictions on certain exports to and for the use of certain foreign vessels or aircraft.

    (b) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) Fuel, including crude oil, petroleum products other than crude oil that are of non-Naval Petroleum Reserves origin or derivation (see § 754.3 of the EAR), and blends of crude oil with such petroleum products;

    (ii) Deck, engine, and steward department stores, provisions, and supplies for both port and voyage requirements, provided that any petroleum products other than crude oil which are listed in Supplement No. 1 to part 754 of the EAR are of non-Naval Petroleum Reserves origin or derivation (see § 754.3 of the EAR);

    PART 746—[AMENDED] 9. The authority citation for part 746 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 287c; Sec 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12854, 58 FR 36587, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 614; E.O. 12918, 59 FR 28205, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 899; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13338, 69 FR 26751, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p 168; Presidential Determination 2003-23, 68 FR 26459, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 320; Presidential Determination 2007-7, 72 FR 1899, 3 CFR, 2006 Comp., p. 325; Notice of May 6, 2015, 80 FR 26815 (May 8, 2015); Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    § 746.7 [Amended]
    10. In § 746.7, remove “1C981,” where it appears in paragraph (a)(1). PART 754—[AMENDED] 11. The authority citation for part 754 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 15 U.S.C. 1824a; E.O. 11912, 41 FR 15825, 3 CFR, 1976 Comp., p. 114; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    § 754.1 [Amended]
    12. Section 754.1 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (b)(1)(i).
    § 754.2 [Removed]
    13. Section 754.2 is removed and reserved. 14. In Supplement No. 1 to part 754, revise the first sentence in the introductory text to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 754—Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    This Supplement provides relevant Schedule B numbers and commodity descriptions for crude oil (EAR99) and for petroleum products other than crude oil that are controlled by ECCN 1C980, 1C982, 1C983, or 1C984. * * *

    Supplement No. 3 to Part 754—[Removed and Reserved]
    15. Supplement No. 3 to part 754 is removed and reserved. PART 762—[AMENDED] 16. The authority citation for part 762 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    § 762.2 [Amended]
    17. Section 762.2 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (b)(39). PART 772—[AMENDED] 18. The authority citation for part 772 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    19. Section 772.1 is amended by adding in alphabetical order a definition for crude oil to read as follows:
    § 772.1 Definitions of terms as used in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

    Crude oil. A mixture of hydrocarbons that existed in liquid phase in underground reservoirs, remains liquid at atmospheric pressure (after passing through surface separating facilities), and has not been processed through a crude oil distillation tower. Crude oil includes reconstituted crude petroleum, lease condensate, and liquid hydrocarbons produced from tar sands, gilsonite, and oil shale. Drip gases are also included, but topped crude oil, residual oil, and other finished and unfinished oils are excluded.

    PART 774—[AMENDED] 20. The authority citation for part 774 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c, 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. 4305; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—[Amended]
    21. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), ECCN 1C981 is removed. Dated: May 5, 2016. Eric L. Hirschhorn, Under Secretary for Industry and Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11047 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-435] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Brivaracetam Into Schedule V AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Interim final rule, with request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Drug Enforcement Administration is placing the substance brivaracetam ((2S)-2-[(4R)-2-oxo-4-propylpyrrolidin-1-yl] butanamide) (also referred to as BRV; UCB-34714; Briviact) (including its salts) into schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act. This scheduling action is pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act, as revised by the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act which was signed into law on November 25, 2015.

    DATES:

    The effective date of this rulemaking is May 12, 2016. Interested persons may file written comments on this rulemaking in accordance with 21 CFR 1308.43(g). Electronic comments must be submitted, and written comments must be postmarked, on or before June 13, 2016. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period.

    Interested persons, defined at 21 CFR 1300.01 as those “adversely affected or aggrieved by any rule or proposed rule issuable pursuant to section 201 of the Act (21 U.S.C. 811),” may file a request for hearing or waiver of hearing pursuant to 21 CFR 1308.44. Requests for hearing and waivers of an opportunity for a hearing or to participate in a hearing must be received on or before June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference “Docket No. DEA-435” on all correspondence, including any attachments.

    Electronic comments: The Drug Enforcement Administration encourages that all comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, which provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Please go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. Upon completion of your submission, you will receive a Comment Tracking Number for your comment. Please be aware that submitted comments are not instantaneously available for public view on Regulations.gov. If you have received a Comment Tracking Number, your comment has been successfully submitted and there is no need to resubmit the same comment.

    Paper comments: Paper comments that duplicate the electronic submission are not necessary and are discouraged. Should you wish to mail a paper comment in lieu of an electronic comment, it should be sent via regular or express mail to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, VA 22152.

    Hearing requests: All requests for hearing and waivers of participation must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing and waivers of participation should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara J. Boockholdt, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record. They will, unless reasonable cause is given, be made available by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to all comments received. If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also place all of the personal identifying information you do not want made publicly available in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify the confidential business information to be redacted within the comment.

    Comments containing personal identifying information and confidential business information identified as directed above will generally be made publicly available in redacted form. If a comment has so much confidential business information or personal identifying information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be made publicly available. Comments posted to http://www.regulations.gov may include any personal identifying information (such as name, address, and phone number) included in the text of your electronic submission that is not identified as directed above as confidential.

    An electronic copy of this document and supplemental information, including the complete Department of Health and Human Services and Drug Enforcement Administration eight-factor analyses, to this interim final rule are available at http://www.regulations.gov for easy reference.

    Request for Hearing, Notice of Appearance at Hearing, or Waiver of Participation in Hearing

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(a), this action is a formal rulemaking “on the record after opportunity for a hearing.” Such proceedings are conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551-559. 21 CFR 1308.41-1308.45; 21 CFR part 1316, subpart D. In accordance with 21 CFR 1308.44(a)-(c), requests for a hearing, notices of appearance, and waivers of an opportunity for a hearing or to participate in a hearing may be submitted only by interested persons, defined as those “adversely affected or aggrieved by any rule or proposed rule issuable pursuant to section 201 of the Act (21 U.S.C. 811).” 21 CFR 1300.01. Requests for a hearing and notices of participation must conform to the requirements of 21 CFR 1308.44(a) or (b), as applicable, and include a statement of the interest of the person in the proceeding and the objections or issues, if any, concerning which the person desires to be heard. Any waiver of an opportunity for a hearing must conform to the requirements of 21 CFR 1308.44(c) including a written statement regarding the interested person's position on the matters of fact and law involved in any hearing.

    Please note that pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(a), the purpose and subject matter of the hearing are restricted to “(A) find[ing] that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and (B) mak[ing] with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed. * * *” Requests for a hearing and waivers of participation in the hearing should be submitted to DEA using the address information provided above.

    Legal Authority

    The DEA implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II. The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while providing for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

    Under the CSA, controlled substances are classified into one of five schedules based upon their potential for abuse, their currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c), and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308.

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1), the Attorney General may, by rule, “add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he * * * finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and * * * makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed * * *” The Attorney General has delegated this scheduling authority under 21 U.S.C. 811 to the Administrator of the DEA. 28 CFR 0.100.

    The CSA provides that scheduling of any drug or other substance may be initiated by the Attorney General (1) on her own motion; (2) at the request of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS); or (3) on the petition of any interested party. 21 U.S.C. 811(a). This action imposes the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions of schedule V controlled substances for any person who handles or proposes to handle BRV.

    The Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act (Pub. L. 114-89) was signed into law on November 25, 2015. This law amended 21 U.S.C. 811 and states that in cases where a new drug is (1) approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and (2) HHS recommends control in CSA schedule II-V, DEA shall issue an interim final rule scheduling the drug, within 90 days.

    The law further states that the 90-day timeframe starts the later of (1) the date DEA receives the HHS scientific and medical evaluation/scheduling recommendation or (2) the date DEA receives notice of drug approval by HHS. In addition, the law specifies that the rulemaking shall become immediately effective as an interim final rule without requiring the DEA to demonstrate good cause therefor.

    Specifically, Public Law 114-89 revised section 201 of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811) by inserting after subsection (i) a new paragraph (j), which requires that with respect to a drug referred to in subsection (f), if the Secretary recommends that the Attorney General control the drug in schedule II, III, IV, or V pursuant to subsections (a) and (b), the Attorney General is required to, within 90 days, issue an interim final rule controlling the drug in accordance with such subsections and 21 U.S.C. 812(b) using the specified procedures. For purposes of calculating the 90 days, Public Law 114-89 states that such date shall be the later of the date on which the Attorney General receives the scientific and medical evaluation and the scheduling recommendation from the Secretary in accordance with subsection (b), or the date on which the Attorney General receives notification from the Secretary that the Secretary has approved an application under section 505(c), 512, or 571 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or section 351(a) of the Public Health Service Act, or indexed a drug under section 572 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, with respect to the drug described in paragraph (1). Public Law 114-89 further stipulates that a rule issued by the Attorney General under paragraph (1) becomes immediately effective as an interim final rule without requiring the Attorney General to demonstrate good cause and requires that the interim final rule give interested persons the opportunity to comment and to request a hearing. After the conclusion of such proceedings, the Attorney General must issue a final rule in accordance with the scheduling criteria of subsections 21 U.S.C. 811(b), (c), and (d) of this section and 21 U.S.C. 812(b).

    Background

    Brivaracetam ((2S)-2-[(4R)-2-oxo-4-propylpyrrolidin-1-yl] butanamide) (also referred to as BRV; UCB-34714; Briviact) is a new molecular entity with central nervous system (CNS) depressant properties. BRV is known to be a high affinity ligand for the synaptic vesicle protein, SV2A, which is found on excitatory synapses in the brain. On November 22, 2014, UCB Inc. (Sponsor) submitted three New Drug Applications (NDAs) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the tablet, oral, and intravenous formulations of BRV. The FDA accepted the NDA filings for BRV on January 21, 2015.

    On March 28, 2016 the DEA received notification that HHS/FDA approved BRV as an add-on treatment to other medications to treat partial onset seizures in patients age 16 years and older with epilepsy.

    Determination to Schedule BRV

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1), proceedings to add a drug or substance to those controlled under the CSA may be initiated by request of the Secretary of the HHS.1 On September 8, 2015, the HHS provided the DEA with a scientific and medical evaluation document prepared by the FDA entitled “Basis for the Recommendation to Place Brivaracetam in Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act.” Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(b), this document contained an eight-factor analysis of the abuse potential of BRV as a new drug, along with the HHS' recommendation to control BRV under schedule V of the CSA.

    1 As set forth in a memorandum of understanding entered into by the HHS, the FDA, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA acts as the lead agency within the HHS in carrying out the Secretary's scheduling responsibilities under the CSA, with the concurrence of the NIDA. 50 FR 9518, Mar. 8, 1985. The Secretary of the HHS has delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS the authority to make domestic drug scheduling recommendations. 58 FR 35460, July 1, 1993.

    In response, in December 2015, the DEA reviewed the scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation provided by the HHS, along with all other relevant data, and completed its own eight-factor review document pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(c). The DEA concluded that BRV met the 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(5) criteria for placement in schedule V of the CSA. Subsequently, on March 28, 2016, the DEA received notification that HHS/FDA approved three NDAs for BRV (see Background section).

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act (Pub. L. 114-89), and based on the HHS recommendation, NDA approvals by HHS/FDA, and DEA's determination, DEA is issuing this interim final rule to schedule brivaracetam ((2S)-2-[(4R)-2-oxo-4-propylpyrrolidin-1-yl] butanamide) (including its salts) as a controlled substance under the CSA.

    Included below is a brief summary of each factor as analyzed by the HHS and the DEA, and as considered by the DEA in its scheduling action. Please note that both the DEA and HHS analyses are available in their entirety under “Supporting Documents” in the public docket for this interim final rule at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket Number “DEA-435.” Full analysis of, and citations to, the information referenced in the summary may also be found in the supporting and related material.

    1. The Drug's Actual or Relative Potential for Abuse: BRV is a new chemical entity and has not been marketed in the United States or in any other country; information on actual abuse of BRV is not available. The HHS characterized BRV as related in its action to lacasamide and ezogabine, which are both schedule V CNS depressant anti-epileptics (AEDs). Based on data submitted by the Sponsor in their NDAs, the HHS indicated that administration of BRV in mice, rats, and dogs resulted in CNS depressant effects, including decreased locomotor activity and reactivity, motor incoordination, and ataxia.

    BRV is not self-administered in animals and, unlike schedule IV benzodiazepines and the schedule III AED perampanel, lacks pentobarbital-like (schedule II) discriminative stimulus and reinforcing effects (HHS review, 2015). In humans, BRV is most similar to the schedule V AEDs lacosamide, ezogabine, and pregabalin in producing positive subjective effects without producing sedation and withdrawal following drug discontinuation that is observed with schedule IV benzodiazepines. Based on this collective evidence, the HHS concluded that BRV has an abuse potential that is most similar to AEDs in schedule V.

    2. Scientific Evidence of the Drug's Pharmacological Effects, if Known: BRV selectively binds with high affinity to synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A). It produces reverse inhibition caused by negative modulators of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine and inhibits sodium (Na+) channels. These sites appear to underlie pharmacological activity of BRV.

    In rats, BRV at high doses partially generalizes to the schedule IV benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide. BRV, across a wide range of doses, neither initiates nor maintains self-administration in rats trained to self-administer cocaine. Human studies have reported that healthy individuals may experience euphoria, sedation, and a drunken-like feeling following BRV administration. When treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) 2 were pooled across several clinical BRV studies, the most common TEAEs were dizziness and sedative-related events such as fatigue, extreme drowsiness, and extreme weakness. In a human abuse potential study, the oral abuse potential, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of BRV (50 mg, 200 mg, and 1000 mg) were compared to 1.5 and 3.0 mg of the schedule IV CNS depressant alprazolam (ALP) and placebo. When surveyed, for all doses of BRV, there was an increase of drug likability, feeling of a high, and taking the drug again in comparison to placebo. The HHS mentioned that individuals who took BRV had fewer sedative, euphoric, stimulant, dizziness, and overall negative subjective effects compared to ALP.

    2 Treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE): An event or unexpected medical occurrence (e.g. adverse event) which first appears during treatment with a drug or substance. TEAEs are typically absent prior to the onset of treatment or would have been exacerbated relative to pre-treatment conditions.

    3. The State of Current Scientific Knowledge Regarding Brivaracetam: The chemical name for brivaracetam is (2S)-2-[(4R)-2-oxo-4-propylpyrrolidin-1-yl] butanamide. Other names include BRV and UCB-34714. The Chemical Abstract Services number (CAS #) of BRV is: 357336-20-0. BRV is a racetam derivative.3 As the HHS noted, BRV does not have structural similarities to any other scheduled AED or to any major classes of abused sedative drugs with noted euphoric effects. Chemical synthesis of BRV is considered highly complex and includes several steps, reagents and specialized equipment.

    3 Racetams are a class of drugs that have a pyrrolidoline center.

    BRV is readily soluble in water at up to 700 mg/mL. In an in vitro oral tablet dissolution evaluation, BRV oral tablets were placed in a buffer (pH 6.4) for 16 hours. Approximately 86-96% of BRV was released after 16 hours in the buffer; 14-30% of BRV was released following 1 hour and 40-66% BRV was released after 4 hours.

    Following oral ingestion, BRV is rapidly and completely absorbed. In healthy young males, the half-life of BRV was determined to be approximately 9 hours. According to the HHS, the half-life of BRV is decreased to 6 hours when a repeated oral dose of 800 mg/day BRV is administered. The HHS noted that BRV binds weakly to plasma proteins and is extensively metabolized through several pathways. Clearance through the kidneys represents 5-10% of the total clearance and only 3-7% of the parent compound (BRV) was detected in the urine. The three main metabolites of BRV were detected in urine and according to the HHS, these metabolites are relatively inactive. One BRV metabolite was characterized as having a potency that was 20 times less than BRV, and this metabolite was not detected in human plasma and represented less than 3% of the dose in urine.

    4. Its History and Current Pattern of Abuse: As noted by the HHS, information on the history and current pattern of abuse of BRV is not available since this drug is currently not marketed in any country. A review of the animal and human data indicates that BRV has an abuse potential similar to other schedule V AEDs. If BRV were to be approved for medical use, the HHS indicated that BRV would be abused for its euphoric properties and other abuse-related TEAEs that were reported in human clinical studies. Based on the available information, the HHS concluded that the history and pattern of abuse of BRV will be similar to other schedule V CNS depressants.

    5. The Scope, Duration, and Significance of Abuse: As noted by the HHS, information on the scope, duration, and significance of abuse of BRV is not available since this drug is currently not marketed in any country. Results from animal and human studies suggest that there is abuse potential associated with BRV and if marketed in the United States, it is likely that BRV will be abused similar to other AEDs that are CNS depressants. The HHS stated that it is unlikely that epileptic individuals (the population expected to take this drug) will abuse BRV. The HHS concluded that based on abuse potential similarities between BRV and other schedule V AEDs, it is likely that the scope, duration, and significance of abuse of BRV will be similar to these compounds.

    6. What, if any, Risk There is to the Public Health: The HHS characterized BRV's drug abuse potential to be similar to schedule V AEDs. As such, the public health risk with BRV will also be similar to other schedule V AEDs. The HHS noted that if BRV were approved for medical use, it would be abused for its rewarding properties. In healthy volunteers administered 600 mg or higher of BRV, cognitive and motor impairment and sedation were observed. It is unknown how BRV would interact in combination with other CNS depressants and if the sedative effects would be additive or even a lethal combination. In an interaction study with BRV and intravenous ethanol in healthy individuals, it was determined that BRV enhanced the effects of ethanol.

    7. Its Psychic or Physiological Dependence Liability: BRV has limited psychological dependence and does not appear to have physical dependence. When rats were administered BRV for 30 days, no signs of physical dependence were noted in comparison to the schedule IV comparator, chlordiazepoxide. Similarly, in human clinical studies with healthy volunteers, there were no reports or adverse events that noted physical dependence or a withdrawal syndrome associated with BRV use. The low potential for physical dependence observed with BRV is consistent with other schedule V AEDs. There is limited evidence for psychological dependence with BRV. Clinical studies have reported individuals experiencing increasing euphoria with increasing doses of BRV. Tolerance does not appear to develop with respect to BRV treatment on epileptic seizure reduction.

    8. Whether the Substance is an Immediate Precursor of a Substance Already Controlled under the CSA: BRV is not an immediate precursor of any controlled substance.

    Conclusion: After considering the scientific and medical evaluation conducted by the HHS, the HHS' recommendation, and its own eight-factor analysis, the DEA has determined that these facts and all relevant data constitute substantial evidence of a potential for abuse of BRV. As such, the DEA hereby schedules BRV as a controlled substance under the CSA.

    Determination of Appropriate Schedule

    The CSA outlines the findings required to place a drug or other substance in any particular schedule (I, II, III, IV, or V). 21 U.S.C. 812(b). After consideration of the analysis and recommendation of the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS and review of all available data, the Acting Administrator of the DEA, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(5), finds that:

    1. BRV has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV. The overall abuse potential of BRV is comparable to schedule V controlled substances such as ezogabalin, pregabalin, and lacosamide;

    2. With FDA's approval of the new drug applications, BRV has a currently accepted medical use in the United States as adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures in epileptic individuals ages 16 and older; and

    3. Human and animal studies demonstrate that BRV has limited psychological dependence and does not appear to have physical dependence. There was no evidence of physical dependence associated with BRV in human and animal studies since there have been no reports of withdrawal syndromes or other physical dependence effects. Based on these data, abuse of BRV may lead to limited psychological dependence similar to schedule V AEDs but less than that of drugs in schedule IV.

    Based on these findings, the Acting Administrator of the DEA concludes that brivaracetam ((2S)-2-[(4R)-2-oxo-4-propylpyrrolidin-1-yl] butanamide) (also referred to as BRV; UCB-34714; Briviact), including its salts, warrants control in schedule V of the CSA. 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(5).

    Requirements for Handling Brivaracetam

    BRV is subject to the CSA's schedule V regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to the manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, dispensing, importing, exporting, research, and conduct of instructional activities and chemical analysis with, and possession involving schedule V substances, including the following:

    1. Registration. Any person who handles (manufactures, distributes, reverse distributes, dispenses, imports, exports, engages in research, or conducts instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possesses) BRV, or who desires to handle BRV, must be registered with the DEA to conduct such activities pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, and 958 and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312. Any person who currently handles BRV, and is not registered with the DEA, must submit an application for registration and may not continue to handle BRV, unless the DEA has approved that application for registration, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312.

    2. Disposal of stocks. Any person who does not desire or is not able to obtain a schedule V registration must surrender all quantities of currently held BRV, or may transfer all quantities of currently held BRV to a person registered with the DEA in accordance with 21 CFR part 1317, in additional to all other applicable federal, state, local, and tribal laws.

    3. Security. BRV is subject to schedule III-V security requirements and must be handled and stored pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821, 823, and 871(b), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.71-1301.93.

    4. Labeling and Packaging. All labels, labeling, and packaging for commercial containers of BRV must comply with 21 U.S.C. 825 and 958(e), and be in accordance with 21 CFR part 1302.

    5. Inventory. Every DEA registrant who possesses any quantity of BRV must take an inventory of BRV on hand, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11.

    Any person who becomes registered with the DEA must take an initial inventory of all stocks of controlled substances (including BRV) on hand on the date the registrant first engages in the handling of controlled substances, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11.

    After the initial inventory, every DEA registrant must take a new inventory of all stocks of controlled substances (including BRV) on hand every two years, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11.

    6. Records and Reports. Every DEA registrant must maintain records and submit reports for BRV, or products containing BRV, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958(e), and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1304, 1312, and 1317.

    7. Prescriptions. All prescriptions for BRV or products containing BRV must comply with 21 U.S.C. 829, and be issued in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1306 and 1311, subpart C.

    8. Importation and Exportation. All importation and exportation of BRV must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 952, 953, 957, and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1312.

    9. Liability. Any activity involving BRV not authorized by, or in violation of, the CSA or its implementing regulations, is unlawful, and may subject the person to administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions.

    Regulatory Analyses Administrative Procedure Act

    Public Law 114-89 was signed into law, amending 21 U.S.C. 811. This amendment provides that in cases where a new drug is (1) approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and (2) HHS recommends control in CSA schedule II-V, the DEA shall issue an interim final rule scheduling the drug within 90 days. Additionally, the law specifies that the rulemaking shall become immediately effective as an interim final rule without requiring the DEA to demonstrate good cause. Therefore, the DEA has determined that the notice and comment requirements of section 553 of the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553, do not apply to this scheduling action.

    Executive Orders 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    In accordance with Public Law 114-89, this scheduling action is subject to formal rulemaking procedures performed “on the record after opportunity for a hearing,” which are conducted pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. The CSA sets forth the procedures and criteria for scheduling a drug or other substance. Such actions are exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to section 3(d)(1) of Executive Order 12866 and the principles reaffirmed in Executive Order 13563.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. 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.

    Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. It does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603(a), “[w]henever an agency is required by [5 U.S.C. 553], or any other law, to publish general notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed rule, or publishes a notice of proposed rulemaking for an interpretive rule involving the internal revenue laws of the United States, the agency shall prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis.” As noted in the above discussion regarding applicability of the Administrative Procedure Act, the DEA has determined that the notice and comment requirements of section 553 of the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553, do not apply to this scheduling action. Consequently, the RFA does not apply to this interim final rule.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., the DEA has determined and certifies that this action would not result in any Federal mandate that may result “in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year.” Therefore, neither a Small Government Agency Plan nor any other action is required under UMRA of 1995.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This action does not impose a new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. This action would not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Congressional Review Act

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act (CRA)). This rule will not result in: An annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to compete with foreign based companies in domestic and export markets. However, pursuant to the CRA, the DEA has submitted a copy of this interim final rule to both Houses of Congress and to the Comptroller General.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out above, the DEA amends 21 CFR part 1308:

    PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 1308.15 by redesignating paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(3) as paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(4) and adding new paragraph (e)(1) to read as follows:
    § 1308.15 Schedule V.

    (e) * * *

    (1) Brivaracetam ((2S)-2-[(4R)-2-oxo-4-propylpyrrolidin-1-yl] butanamide) (also referred to as BRV; UCB-34714; Briviact) (including its salts) 2710
    Dated: May 6, 2016. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11245 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-434F] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Butyryl Fentanyl and Beta-Hydroxythiofentanyl Into Schedule I AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing this final order to temporarily schedule the synthetic opioids, N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylbutyramide, also known as N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylbutanamide, (butyryl fentanyl) and N-[1-[2-hydroxy-2-(thiophen-2-yl)ethyl]piperidin-4-yl]-N-phenylpropionamide, also known as N-[1-[2-hydroxy-2-(2-thienyl)ethyl]-4-piperidinyl]-N-phenylpropanamide, (beta-hydroxythiofentanyl), and their isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers, into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances will be imposed on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis, or possess), or propose to handle, butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl.

    DATES:

    This final order is effective on May 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara J. Boockholdt, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Legal Authority

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II. The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

    Under the CSA, every controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the drug or other substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c), and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308.

    Section 201 of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811, provides the Attorney General with the authority to temporarily place a substance into schedule I of the CSA for two years without regard to the requirements of 21 U.S.C. 811(b) if she finds that such action is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). In addition, if proceedings to control a substance are initiated under 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1), the Attorney General may extend the temporary scheduling for up to one year. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(2).

    Where the necessary findings are made, a substance may be temporarily scheduled if it is not listed in any other schedule under section 202 of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 812, or if there is no exemption or approval in effect for the substance under section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. 355. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). The Attorney General has delegated her scheduling authority under 21 U.S.C. 811 to the Administrator of the DEA. 28 CFR 0.100.

    Background

    Section 201(h)(4) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), requires the Administrator to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of his intention to temporarily place a substance into schedule I of the CSA.1 The Administrator transmitted the notice of intent to place butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl into schedule I on a temporary basis to the Assistant Secretary by letter dated December 21, 2015. The Assistant Secretary responded to this notice by letter dated January 13, 2016, and advised that based on review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are currently no investigational new drug applications or approved new drug applications for butryl fentanyl or beta-hydroxythiofentanyl. The Assistant Secretary also stated that the HHS has no objection to the temporary placement of butryl fentanyl or beta-hydroxythiofentanyl into schedule I of the CSA. The DEA has taken into consideration the Assistant Secretary's comments as required by 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4). Neither butryl fentanyl nor beta-hydroxythiofentanyl is currently listed in any schedule under the CSA, and no exemptions or approvals are in effect for butryl fentanyl or beta-hydroxythiofentanyl under section 505 of the FDCA, 21 U.S.C. 355. The DEA has found that the control of butryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl in schedule I on a temporary basis is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety, and as required by 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1)(A), a notice of intent to temporarily schedule butryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl was published in the Federal Register on March 23, 2016. 81 FR 15485.

    1 As discussed in a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA acts as the lead agency within the HHS in carrying out the Secretary's scheduling responsibilities under the CSA, with the concurrence of NIDA. 50 FR 9518, Mar. 8, 1985. The Secretary of the HHS has delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS the authority to make domestic drug scheduling recommendations. 58 FR 35460, July 1, 1993.

    To find that placing a substance temporarily into schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, the Administrator is required to consider three of the eight factors set forth in section 201(c) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(c): The substance's history and current pattern of abuse; the scope, duration and significance of abuse; and what, if any, risk there is to the public health. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3). Consideration of these factors includes actual abuse, diversion from legitimate channels, and clandestine importation, manufacture, or distribution. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3).

    A substance meeting the statutory requirements for temporary scheduling may only be placed into schedule I. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). Substances in schedule I are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1). Available data and information for butryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl, summarized below, indicate that these synthetic opioids have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. The DEA's three-factor analysis, and the Assistant Secretary's January 13, 2016, letter, are available in their entirety under the tab “Supporting Documents” of the public docket of this action at www.regulations.gov under FDMS Docket ID: DEA-2016-0005 (Docket Number DEA-434).

    Factor 4. History and Current Pattern of Abuse

    Clandestinely produced substances structurally related to the schedule II opioid analgesic fentanyl were trafficked and abused on the West Coast in the late 1970s and 1980s. These clandestinely produced fentanyl-like substances were commonly known as designer drugs, and recently there has been a reemergence in the trafficking and abuse of designer drug substances, including fentanyl-like substances. Alpha-methylfentanyl, the first fentanyl analogue identified in California, was placed into schedule I of the CSA in September 1981. 46 FR 46799. Following the control of alpha-methylfentanyl, the DEA identified several other fentanyl analogues (3-methylthiofentanyl, acetyl-alpha-methylfentanyl, beta-hydroxy-3-methylfentanyl, alpha-methylthiofentanyl, thiofentanyl, beta-hydroxyfentanyl, para-fluorofentanyl, and 3-methylfentanyl) in submissions to forensic laboratories. These substances were temporarily controlled 2 in 1985-1987 under schedule I of the CSA after finding that they posed an imminent hazard to public safety and were subsequently permanently placed in schedule I of the CSA. On July 17, 2015, acetyl fentanyl was temporarily controlled under schedule I of the CSA after a finding by the Administrator that it posed an imminent hazard to public safety. 80 FR 42381.

    2 50 FR 43698, 51 FR 42834, 50 FR 11690, 51 FR 15474, and 51 FR 4722. [The temporary scheduling of para-fluorofentanyl was extended in 1987, at 52 FR 7270.

    Prior to October 1, 2014, the System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) collected the results of drug evidence analyzed at DEA laboratories and reflected evidence submitted by the DEA, other federal law enforcement agencies, and some local law enforcement agencies. STRIDE data were queried through September 30, 2014, by date submitted to federal forensic laboratories. Since October 1, 2014, STARLiMS (a web-based, commercial laboratory information management system) has replaced STRIDE as the DEA laboratory drug evidence data system of record. DEA laboratory data submitted after September 30, 2014, are reposited in STARLiMS. Data from STRIDE and STARLiMS were queried on December 21, 2015. The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a program of the DEA that collects drug identification results from drug cases analyzed by other federal, state, and local forensic laboratories. NFLIS reports from other federal, state, and local forensic laboratories were queried on December 22, 2015.3

    3 Data are still being reported for September-November 2015 due to normal lag time for laboratories to report to NFLIS.

    The first laboratory submission of butyryl fentanyl was recorded in Kansas in March 2014 according to NFLIS. STRIDE, STARLiMS, and NFLIS registered seven reports containing butyryl fentanyl in 2014 in Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania; 81 reports of butyryl fentanyl were recorded in 2015 in California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. A total of three reports of beta-hydroxythiofentanyl were recorded by STARLiMS, all of which were reported in 2015 from Florida. As of December 22, 2015, beta-hydroxythiofentanyl had not been reported in NFLIS; however, this substance was identified in June 2015 by a forensic laboratory in Oregon.

    Evidence also suggests that the pattern of abuse of fentanyl analogues, including butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl, parallels that of heroin and prescription opioid analgesics. Seizures of butyryl fentanyl have been encountered in tablet and powder form. Butyryl fentanyl was identified on bottle caps and spoons and residue was detected within glassine bags, on digital scales, and on sifters which demonstrates the abuse of this substance as a replacement for heroin or other opioids, either knowingly or unknowingly. Butyryl fentanyl has been encountered as a single substance as well as in combination with other illicit substances, such as acetyl fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Like butyryl fentanyl, beta-hydroxythiofentanyl has been encountered in both tablet and powder form. Both butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl have caused fatal overdoses, in which intravenous routes of administration are documented.

    Factor 5. Scope, Duration and Significance of Abuse

    The DEA is currently aware of at least 40 confirmed fatalities associated with butyryl fentanyl and 7 confirmed fatalities associated with beta-hydroxythiofentanyl. The information on these deaths occurring in 2015 was collected from toxicology and medical examiner reports and was reported from four states—Florida (7, beta-hydroxythiofentanyl), Maryland (1, butyryl fentanyl), New York (38, butyryl fentanyl), and Oregon (1, butyryl fentanyl). STRIDE, STARLiMS, and NFLIS have a total of 88 drug reports in which butyryl fentanyl was identified in drug exhibits submitted in 2014 and 2015 from California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. STARLiMS has a total of three drug reports in which beta-hydroxythiofentanyl was identified in drug exhibits submitted in 2015 from Florida. It is likely that the prevalence of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl in opioid analgesic-related emergency room admissions and deaths is underreported as standard immunoassays cannot differentiate these substances from fentanyl.

    The population likely to abuse butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl overlaps with the populations abusing prescription opioid analgesics and heroin. This is evidenced by the routes of administration and drug use history documented in butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl fatal overdose cases. Because abusers of these fentanyl analogues are likely to obtain these substances through illicit sources, the identity, purity, and quantity is uncertain and inconsistent, thus posing significant adverse health risks to abusers of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl. Individuals who initiate (i.e., use an illicit drug for the first time) butyryl fentanyl or beta-hydroxythiofentanyl abuse are likely to be at risk of developing substance use disorder, overdose, and death similar to that of other opioid analgesics (e.g., fentanyl, morphine, etc.).

    Factor 6. What, if Any, Risk There Is to the Public Health

    Butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl exhibit pharmacological profiles similar to that of fentanyl and other mu-opioid receptor agonists. Due to limited scientific data, their potency and toxicity are not known; however, the toxic effects of both butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl in humans are demonstrated by overdose fatalities involving these substances. Abusers of these fentanyl analogues may not know the origin, identity, or purity of these substances, thus posing significant adverse health risks when compared to abuse of pharmaceutical preparations of opioid analgesics, such as morphine and oxycodone.

    Based on the documented case reports of overdose fatalities, the abuse of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl leads to the same qualitative public health risks as heroin, fentanyl and other opioid analgesic substances. The public health risks attendant to the abuse of heroin and opioid analgesics are well established and have resulted in large numbers of drug treatment admissions, emergency department visits, and fatal overdoses.

    Butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl have been associated with numerous fatalities. At least 40 confirmed overdose deaths involving butyryl fentanyl abuse have been reported in Maryland (1), New York (38), and Oregon (1) in 2015. At least seven confirmed overdose fatalities involving beta-hydroxythiofentanyl have been reported in Florida in 2015. This indicates that both butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl pose an imminent hazard to the public safety.

    Finding of Necessity of Schedule I Placement To Avoid Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

    In accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3), based on the data and information summarized above, the continued uncontrolled manufacture, distribution, importation, exportation, and abuse of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl pose an imminent hazard to the public safety. The DEA is not aware of any currently accepted medical uses for these substances in the United States. A substance meeting the statutory requirements for temporary scheduling, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1), may only be placed into schedule I. Substances in schedule I are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Available data and information for butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl indicate that these substances have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. As required by section 201(h)(4) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), the Administrator, through a letter dated December 21, 2015, notified the Assistant Secretary of the DEA's intention to temporarily place these substances into schedule I.

    Conclusion

    In accordance with the provisions of section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h), the Administrator considered available data and information, herein sets forth the grounds for his determination that it is necessary to temporarily schedule butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl into schedule I of the CSA, and finds that placement of these synthetic opioids into schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. Because the Administrator hereby finds it necessary to temporarily place these synthetic opioids into schedule I to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, this final order temporarily scheduling butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl will be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register, and will be in effect for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one additional year, pending completion of the regular (permanent) scheduling process. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1) and (2).

    The CSA sets forth specific criteria for scheduling a drug or other substance. Permanent scheduling actions in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(a) are subject to formal rulemaking procedures done “on the record after opportunity for a hearing” conducted pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. 21 U.S.C. 811. The permanent scheduling process of formal rulemaking affords interested parties with appropriate process and the government with any additional relevant information needed to make a determination. Final decisions that conclude the permanent scheduling process of formal rulemaking are subject to judicial review. 21 U.S.C. 877. Temporary scheduling orders are not subject to judicial review. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(6).

    Requirements for Handling

    Upon the effective date of this final order, butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl will become subject to the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to the manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, importation, exportation, engagement in research, and conduct of instructional activities or chemical analysis with, and possession of schedule I controlled substances including the following:

    1. Registration. Any person who handles (manufactures, distributes, reverse distributes, imports, exports, engages in research, or conducts instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possesses), or who desires to handle, butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl must be registered with the DEA to conduct such activities pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, and 958 and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312, as of May 12, 2016. Any person who currently handles butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl, and is not registered with the DEA, must submit an application for registration and may not continue to handle butyryl fentanyl or beta-hydroxythiofentanyl as of May 12, 2016, unless the DEA has approved that application for registration pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312. Retail sales of schedule I controlled substances to the general public are not allowed under the CSA. Possession of any quantity of this substance in a manner not authorized by the CSA on or after May 12, 2016 is unlawful and those in possession of any quantity of this substance may be subject to prosecution pursuant to the CSA.

    2. Disposal of stocks. Any person who does not desire or is not able to obtain a schedule I registration to handle butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl, must surrender all quantities of currently held butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl.

    3. Security. Butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl are subject to schedule I security requirements and must be handled and stored pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821, 823, 871(b), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.71-1301.93, as of May 12, 2016.

    4. Labeling and packaging. All labels, labeling, and packaging for commercial containers of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 825, 958(e), and be in accordance with 21 CFR part 1302. Current DEA registrants shall have 30 calendar days from May 12, 2016, to comply with all labeling and packaging requirements.

    5. Inventory. Every DEA registrant who possesses any quantity of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl on the effective date of this order must take an inventory of all stocks of this substance on hand, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11. Current DEA registrants shall have 30 calendar days from the effective date of this order to be in compliance with all inventory requirements. After the initial inventory, every DEA registrant must take an inventory of all controlled substances (including butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl) on hand on a biennial basis, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11.

    6. Records. All DEA registrants must maintain records with respect to butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1304, and 1312, 1317 and § 1307.11. Current DEA registrants authorized to handle butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl shall have 30 calendar days from the effective date of this order to be in compliance with all recordkeeping requirements.

    7. Reports. All DEA registrants who manufacture or distribute butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl must submit reports pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1304, and 1312 as of May 12, 2016.

    8. Order Forms. All DEA registrants who distribute butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl must comply with order form requirements pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 828 and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1305 as of May 12, 2016.

    9. Importation and Exportation. All importation and exportation of butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 952, 953, 957, 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1312 as of May 12, 2016.

    10. Quota. Only DEA registered manufacturers may manufacture butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl in accordance with a quota assigned pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 826 and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1303 as of May 12, 2016.

    11. Liability. Any activity involving butyryl fentanyl and beta-hydroxythiofentanyl not authorized by, or in violation of the CSA, occurring as of May 12, 2016, is unlawful, and may subject the person to administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions.

    Regulatory Matters

    Section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h), provides for an expedited temporary scheduling action where such action is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As provided in this subsection, the Attorney General may, by order, schedule a substance in schedule I on a temporary basis. Such an order may not be issued before the expiration of 30 days from (1) the publication of a notice in the Federal Register of the intention to issue such order and the grounds upon which such order is to be issued, and (2) the date that notice of the proposed temporary scheduling order is transmitted to the Assistant Secretary. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1).

    Inasmuch as section 201(h) of the CSA directs that temporary scheduling actions be issued by order and sets forth the procedures by which such orders are to be issued, the DEA believes that the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) at 5 U.S.C. 553, do not apply to this temporary scheduling action. In the alternative, even assuming that this action might be subject to 5 U.S.C. 553, the Administrator finds that there is good cause to forgo the notice and comment requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553, as any further delays in the process for issuance of temporary scheduling orders would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest in view of the manifest urgency to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.

    Further, the DEA believes that this temporary scheduling action is not a “rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 601(2), and, accordingly, is not subject to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The requirements for the preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis in 5 U.S.C. 603(a) are not applicable where, as here, the DEA is not required by the APA or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Additionally, this action is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), section 3(f), and, accordingly, this action has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    This action 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. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) it is determined that this action does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    As noted above, this action is an order, not a rule. Accordingly, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) is inapplicable, as it applies only to rules. However, if this were a rule, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, “any rule for which an agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, shall take effect at such time as the federal agency promulgating the rule determines.” 5 U.S.C. 808(2). It is in the public interest to schedule these substances immediately because they pose a public health risk. This temporary scheduling action is taken pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(h), which is specifically designed to enable the DEA to act in an expeditious manner to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. 21 U.S.C. 811(h) exempts the temporary scheduling order from standard notice and comment rulemaking procedures to ensure that the process moves swiftly. For the same reasons that underlie 21 U.S.C. 811(h), that is, the DEA's need to move quickly to place these substances into schedule I because they pose an imminent hazard to public safety, it would be contrary to the public interest to delay implementation of the temporary scheduling order. Therefore, this order shall take effect immediately upon its publication. The DEA has submitted a copy of this final order to both Houses of Congress and to the Comptroller General, although such filing is not required under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act), 5 U.S.C. 801-808 because, as noted above, this action is an order, not a rule.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out above, the DEA amends 21 CFR part 1308 as follows:

    PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 1308.11 by adding paragraphs (h)(26) and (27) to read as follows:
    § 1308.11 Schedule I.

    (h) * * *

    (26) N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylbutyramide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other names: Butyryl fentanyl) (9822) (27) N-[1-[2-hydroxy-2-(thiophen-2-yl)ethyl]piperidin-4-yl]-N-phenylpropionamide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other names: beta-hydroxythiofentanyl) (9836)
    Dated: May 6, 2016. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11219 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0348] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Tower Drawbridge across the Sacramento River, mile 59.0, at Sacramento, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow the community to participate in the Capital City Classic Run. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the deviation period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0348] is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email David H. Sulouff, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    California Department of Transportation has requested a temporary change to the operation of the Tower Drawbridge, mile 59.0, over Sacramento River, at Sacramento, CA. The vertical lift bridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 30 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draw operates as required by 33 CFR 117.189(a). Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational.

    The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 15, 2016, to allow the community to participate in the Capital City Classic Run. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: May 3, 2016. D.H. Sulouff, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11266 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0215] RIN 1625-AA87 Security Zone; Port of New York, Moving Security Zone; Canadian Naval Vessels AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary moving security zone around all Canadian Naval Ships in the New York Harbor, New York, NY. The moving security zone will extend 100 yards on all sides of the ships. The security zone is needed to protect the vessels and their respective crews from potential security threats. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New York.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from May 25, 2016 through May 31, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0215 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email MST1 R. J. Sampert, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4197, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because the specifics associated with the entry and transit of the foreign naval vessels in the harbor were not received in time to publish an NPRM. Publishing an NPRM and delaying the effective date of this rule to await public comments would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest since it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to fulfill its statutory missions to protect and secure the ports and waterways of the United States.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential security threats associated with having a foreign nation's Naval Vessels in U.S. Waters.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under the authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port of New York (COTP) has determined that potential security risks associated with Canadian Naval Vessels in the Port of New York will be a security concern for vessels within a 100-yard radius of all Canadian Naval Vessels. This rule is needed to protect the vessels and their respective crew in the navigable waters within the security zone while the vessels are within New York Harbor.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a security zone from May 25, 2016 through May 31, 2016. The security zone will cover all navigable waters within 100 yards of all Canadian Naval Vessels. The duration of the zone is intended to protect the vessels and their respective crews in the navigable waters while in port and while transiting New York Harbor. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the security zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this security zone which will impact a small designated area of the Port of New York South side of Pier 92 for 7 days. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a security zone lasting less than seven days that will prohibit entry within 100 yards of the Canadian Naval Vessels. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T01-0215 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-0215 Security Zone; Port of New York, moving Security Zone; Canadian Naval Vessels.

    (a) Location. The following area is a security zone: All waters within a 100 yard radius of Canadian Naval Vessels, from surface to bottom while transiting from Ambrose Channel to Pier 92 within the Port of New York, while moored at Pier 92 and upon departure transiting back to Ambrose Channel.

    (b) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port New York (COTP) in the enforcement of the security zone.

    (c) Regulations. (1) Under the general security zone regulations in subpart D of this part, you may not enter the security zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

    (2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's representative via VHF channel 16 or by phone at (718) 354-4353 (Sector New York Command Center). Those in the security zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from May 25, 2016 through May 31, 2016, unless terminated sooner by the COTP.

    Dated: April 12, 2016. M.H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, New York.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11251 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0304] Security Zone; Portland Rose Festival on Willamette River AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the security zone for the Portland Rose Festival on the Willamette River in Portland, OR from 11 a.m. on June 9, 2016, through noon on June 13, 2016. This action is necessary to ensure the security of vessels participating in the 2016 Portland Rose Festival on the Willamette River during the event. Our regulation for the Security Zone Portland Rose Festival on Willamette River identifies the regulated area. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the security zone without permission from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1312 will be enforced from 11 a.m. on June 9, 2016, through noon on June 13, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Mr. Kenneth Lawrenson, Waterways Management Division, MSU Portland, Oregon, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 503-240-9319, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the security zone for the Portland Rose Festival detailed in 33 CFR 165.1312 from 11 a.m. on June 9, 2016, through noon on June 13, 2016. This action is necessary to ensure the security of vessels participating in the 2016 Portland Rose Festival on the Willamette River during the event. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1312 and 33 CFR 165 subpart D, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the security zone, consisting of all waters of the Willamette River, from surface to bottom, encompassed by the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges, without permission from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port. Persons or vessels wishing to enter the security zone may request permission to do so from the on scene Captain of the Port representative via VHF Channel 16 or 13. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority 33 CFR 165.1312 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts.

    Dated: April 12, 2016. D. F. Berliner, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11231 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0534; FRL-9946-29-Region 9] Withdrawal of Approval and Disapproval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; California; San Joaquin Valley; Contingency Measures for the 1997 PM2.5 Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing a May 22, 2014 final action approving a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of California under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to address contingency measure requirements for the 1997 annual and 24-hour national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the San Joaquin Valley. Simultaneously, EPA is disapproving this SIP submission. These final actions are in response to a decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Committee for a Better Arvin v. EPA, 786 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2015)) remanding EPA's approval of a related SIP submission and rejecting EPA's rationale for approving plan submissions that rely on California mobile source control measures to meet SIP requirements such as contingency measures, which was a necessary basis for the May 22, 2014 final rule. Finally, EPA is issuing a protective finding for transportation conformity determinations for the disapproval.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0534 for this action. Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 94015-3901. While all documents in the docket are listed at http://www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Doris Lo, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3959, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On August 17, 2015, EPA proposed to withdraw its May 22, 2014 final action approving California's July 3, 2013 submission to address contingency measure requirements for the 1997 annual and 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in the San Joaquin Valley (2013 Contingency Measure Submittal).1 Simultaneously, EPA proposed to disapprove this SIP submission. These proposed actions were in response to a decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit remanding EPA's approval of a related SIP submission and rejecting EPA's rationale for approving SIP submissions that rely on California mobile source control measures not actually part of the EPA-approved SIP in order to meet SIP requirements (Committee for a Better Arvin v. EPA, 786 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2015)), which was a necessary basis for the May 22, 2014 final rule. EPA's May 22, 2014, approval of the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal likewise relied on the same California mobile source control measures.

    1 80 FR 49190 (August 17, 2015).

    EPA proposed to determine that the disapproval of the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal would not start a mandatory sanctions clock or Federal implementation plan (FIP) clock because the specific type of contingency measure at issue in that submittal was no longer a required attainment plan element for the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) area. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) had submitted the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal to address the contingency measure requirement in CAA section 172(c)(9) as applied to the 2008 PM2.5 Plan, which provided for attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the SJV by April 5, 2015, the latest permissible attainment date for this area under subpart 1 of part D, title I of the Act. EPA stated in the proposed rule that, as a consequence of EPA's March 27, 2015 reclassification of the SJV area from “Moderate” to “Serious” nonattainment for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS, the specific requirement for contingency measures for failure to attain as a Moderate area plan requirement had been eliminated and superseded by different planning obligations under subpart 4 of part D, title I of the Act.2 Because the State had submitted the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal to address a contingency measure requirement for failure to attain by a statutory attainment date that no longer applied to the area (April 5, 2015), EPA proposed to find that this SIP submittal no longer addressed an applicable requirement of part D, title I of the Act, and that the disapproval of it therefore would not trigger sanctions. For the same reason, EPA proposed to find that disapproval of the submission would not create any deficiency in a mandatory component of the SIP for the area and, therefore, would not trigger the obligation on EPA to promulgate a FIP under section 110(c) of the Act.3

    2Id. at 49192.

    3Id.

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    EPA received one comment on the proposed action, submitted by Earthjustice. EPA summarizes and responds to the comment below.

    Comment: Earthjustice argues that EPA has no legal basis for proposing to determine that the disapproval of the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal would not start a mandatory sanctions clock or FIP clock. According to Earthjustice, section 179(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act provides that sanctions “shall apply” if EPA disapproves a submission based on its failure to meet one or more CAA requirements applicable to nonattainment areas, and section 110(c) provides that EPA “shall promulgate a Federal implementation plan at any time within 2 years after [EPA] . . . disapproves a State implementation plan in whole or in part . . . .” Earthjustice asserts that contingency measures under CAA section 172(c)(9) are required elements for all attainment plans for nonattainment areas and must provide for the implementation of specific measures that will be undertaken if the area fails to attain, regardless of the applicable attainment date. Although EPA has some flexibility to establish a schedule for submitting a plan meeting the requirements of section 172(c), according to Earthjustice, that schedule may not be extended beyond three years from the date of the nonattainment designation, a date that has passed for the San Joaquin Valley. Earthjustice argues that the contingency measure requirement was not a “Moderate area” requirement and is not reset or eliminated with reclassification under subpart 4, and that although reclassification as a “Serious area” may affect the tonnage of reductions that must be achieved, it does not eliminate the section 172(c)(9) requirement that the District was required to meet years ago. For all of these reasons, Earthjustice argues that the disapproval of this submittal triggers a sanctions clock under CAA section 179 and a FIP clock under section 110(c).

    Response: Upon further consideration of these issues, EPA agrees with the commenter that the disapproval of the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal triggers a mandatory sanctions clock under CAA section 179 and a FIP clock under section 110(c).

    Section 179(a) of the Act provides that, for any SIP revision required under part D of title I of the Act or required in response to a finding of substantial inadequacy as described in section 110(k), if EPA disapproves a submission for a nonattainment area based on the state's failure to meet one or more of the CAA requirements applicable to the area, mandatory sanctions under section 179(b) shall apply. The 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal was a plan revision required under part D of title I of the Act for the purposes of implementing the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the SJV PM2.5 nonattainment area. As explained in the proposed action, EPA is disapproving the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal based on the failure to meet the contingency measure requirement in CAA section 172(c)(9) for the area—i.e., because of the reliance on California waiver measures that EPA has not approved into the California SIP. This disapproval triggers a mandatory sanctions clock under section 179.

    Section 110(c) of the Act states that EPA “shall promulgate a Federal implementation plan at any time within 2 years after the Administrator—. . . (B) disapproves a State implementation plan submission in whole or in part,” unless the State corrects the deficiency and EPA approves the plan or plan revision before promulgating such FIP. As a consequence of our disapproval of the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal, the California SIP does not contain any contingency measures to be triggered if the SJV area fails to attain the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS by the Serious area attainment date, which is currently December 31, 2015. Because this disapproval creates a deficiency in the SIP, the disapproval triggers the obligation on EPA to promulgate a FIP under section 110(c), unless the State submits and EPA approves a SIP revision correcting the deficiency within two years of the disapproval.

    As explained in the proposed action, contingency measures for failure to attain by the Moderate area attainment date are no longer required in the SJV as the requirement for such measures has been superseded by the requirement for contingency measures as part of a Serious area plan for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in this area.4 Thus, the State is no longer required to adopt contingency measures for failure to attain by April 5, 2015. Because the SJV area is currently classified as a Serious nonattainment area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS, however, the State must satisfy the contingency measure requirement in section 172(c)(9) as applied to a Serious area attainment plan to provide for attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the SJV no later than the applicable attainment date, which is currently December 31, 2015.

    4Id. at 49192 (August 17, 2015).

    California submitted a Serious area plan for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the SJV on June 25, 2015, together with requests for extension of the Serious area attainment date under CAA section 188(e) to December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2020 for the 1997 24-hour and annual standards, respectively, and EPA has proposed to grant these requests for extension of the attainment date.5 If EPA takes final action to extend the Serious area attainment date for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the SJV, the State will be obligated to adopt and submit contingency measures to be implemented if the SJV area fails to make reasonable further progress or to attain the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS by the extended attainment date(s) approved by EPA in that action. We encourage the State and District to consult with EPA during their development of a corrective SIP submission to ensure that it fully satisfies the section 172(c)(9) contingency measure requirement for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the SJV area and thereby corrects the current deficiency in the SIP.

    5 81 FR 6936 at 6938 (February 9, 2016).

    III. Final Action

    EPA is withdrawing its May 22, 2014 final action approving the 2013 Contingency Measure Submittal. Simultaneously, under section 110(k)(3) of the Act, EPA is disapproving this SIP submission for failure to satisfy the requirements of CAA section 172(c)(9).

    Under section 179(a) of the CAA, a final disapproval of a submittal that addresses a requirement of part D of title I of the CAA or is required in response to a finding of substantial inadequacy as described in CAA section 110(k)(5) (SIP Call), triggers a sanction clock under CAA section 179(b) that runs from the effective date of the final action. The first sanction, the offset sanction in CAA section 179(b)(2), will apply in the SJV PM2.5 nonattainment area 18 months after June 13, 2016. The second sanction, highway funding sanctions in CAA section 179(b)(1), will apply in the area six months after the offset sanction is imposed. Neither sanction will be imposed under the CAA if California submits and we approve, prior to the implementation of the sanctions, a SIP submission that corrects the deficiencies identified in this final action.

    In addition to the sanctions, CAA section 110(c)(1) provides that EPA must promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) addressing the deficiency at any time within two years after June 13, 2016, the effective date of this rule, unless the state makes a SIP submission to correct the deficiency and EPA approves such submission before promulgating a FIP.

    Because we previously approved the RFP and attainment demonstrations and the motor vehicle emissions budgets,6 we are issuing a protective finding under 40 CFR 93.120(a)(3) to the disapproval of the contingency measures. Without a protective finding, the final disapproval would result in a conformity freeze, under which only projects in the first four years of the most recent conforming Regional Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Programs can proceed. During a freeze, no new RTPs, TIPs or RTP/TIP amendments can be found to conform.7 Under this protective finding, the final disapproval of the contingency measures does not result in a transportation conformity freeze in the San Joaquin Valley PM2.5 nonattainment area.

    6 76 FR 69896 (November 9, 2011).

    7 40 CFR 93.120(a)(2).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA, because this SIP disapproval does not in-and-of itself create any new information collection burdens, but simply disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion in the SIP.

    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 SIP disapproval does not in-and-of itself create any new requirements but simply disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion in the SIP.

    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. This action disapproves pre-existing requirements under State or local law, and imposes no new requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.

    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: Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175, because the SIP revision that the EPA is disapproving would not apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction, and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. 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 this SIP disapproval does not in-and-of itself create any new regulations, but simply disapproves certain State requirements for inclusion in the SIP.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    Section 12(d) of the NTTAA directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. The EPA believes that this action is not subject to the requirements of section 12(d) of the NTTAA because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Population

    The EPA lacks the discretionary authority to address environmental justice in this rulemaking.

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

    L. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 11, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule 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, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: April 29, 2016. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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.

    Subpart F—California
    2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(438)(ii)(C) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (438) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (C) Previously approved in paragraphs (c)(438)(ii)(A)(1), (c)(438)(ii)(A)(2), (c)(438)(ii)(A)(3), and (c)(438)(ii)(B)(1) of this section and now deleted without replacement: “Quantifying Contingency Reductions for the 2008 PM2.5 Plan” (dated June 20, 2013), SJVUAPCD Governing Board Resolution No. 13-6-18 (dated June 20, 2013), Electronic mail (dated July 24, 2013) from Samir Sheikh to Kerry Drake, and California Air Resources Board Executive Order 13-30 (dated June 27, 2013).

    3. Section 52.237 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(8) to read as follows:
    § 52.237 Part D disapproval.

    (a) * * *

    (8) The contingency measure portion of the 2008 PM2.5 Plan for attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 standards in the San Joaquin Valley (June 2013).

    [FR Doc. 2016-11125 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 150121066-5717-02] RIN 0648-XE579 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason General category retention limit adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit from the default limit of one large medium or giant BFT to five large medium or giant BFT for June 1 through August 31, 2016. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, and applies to Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.

    DATES:

    Effective June 1, 2016, through August 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978-281-9260.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Atlantic Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006), as amended by Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014), and in accordance with implementing regulations. NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota.

    The currently codified baseline U.S. quota is 1,058.9 mt (not including the 25 mt ICCAT allocated to the United States to account for bycatch of BFT in pelagic longline fisheries in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area). Among other things, Amendment 7 revised the allocations to all quota categories, effective January 1, 2015. See § 635.27(a). The currently codified General category quota is 466.7 mt. Each of the General category time periods (“January,” June through August, September, October through November, and December) is allocated a portion of the annual General category quota. The codified June through August subquota is 233.3 mt.

    Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limit

    Unless changed, the General category daily retention limit starting on June 1 would be the default retention limit of one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73 inches (185 cm) curved fork length (CFL) or greater) per vessel per day/trip (§ 635.23(a)(2)). This default retention limit would apply to General category permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT. For the 2015 fishing year, NMFS adjusted the daily retention limit from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT to three large medium or giant BFT for the January subquota period (79 FR 77943, December 29, 2014), which closed March 31, 2015 (the regulations allow the General category fishery under the “January” subquota to continue until the subquota is reached, or March 31, whichever comes first); four large medium or giant BFT for the June through August subquota period (80 FR 27863, May 15, 2015) as well as for September 1 through November 27, 2015 (80 FR 51959, August 27, 2015); and three large medium or giant BFT for November 28 through December 31, 2015 (80 FR 74997, December 1, 2015). NMFS adjusted the daily retention limit for the 2016 January subquota period (which closed March 31) from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT to three large medium or giant BFT in the same action as the 24.3-mt transfer from the December 2016 subquota period to the January 2016 subquota period (80 FR 77264, December 14, 2015).

    Under § 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a maximum of five per vessel based on consideration of the relevant criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8), which are: The usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the catches of the particular category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made; the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year; the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded; effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the FMP; variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the category's quota; review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds; optimizing fishing opportunity; accounting for dead discards, facilitating quota monitoring, supporting other fishing monitoring programs through quota allocations and/or generation of revenue; and support of research through quota allocations and/or generation of revenue.

    NMFS has considered these criteria and their applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for June through August 2016. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock, biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by BFT dealers continue to provide NMFS with valuable data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land BFT would support the collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.

    Regarding the effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing and the effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the FMP, as this action would be taken consistent with the previously implemented and analyzed quotas, it is not expected to negatively impact stock health or otherwise affect the stock in ways not previously analyzed, including on rebuilding, overfishing, or the objectives of the FMP. It is also supported by the Environmental Analysis for the 2011 final rule regarding General and Harpoon category management measures, which increased the General category maximum daily retention limit from three to five fish (76 FR 74003, November 30, 2011).

    Another principal consideration in setting the retention limit is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full General category quota without exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and Amendment 7, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations. This retention limit would be consistent with the quotas established and analyzed in the BFT quota final rule (80 FR 52198, August 28, 2015), and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, and is not expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in ways not already analyzed in those documents. It is also important that NMFS limit landings to BFT subquotas both to adhere to the FMP quota allocations and to ensure that landings are as consistent as possible with the pattern of fishing mortality (e.g., fish caught at each age) that was assumed in the projections of stock rebuilding.

    Commercial-size BFT are anticipated to migrate to the fishing grounds off the northeast U.S. coast by early June. Based on General category landings rates during the June through August time period over the last several years, it is highly unlikely that the June through August subquota will be filled with the default daily retention limit of one BFT per vessel, and it may not be filled at a four-BFT limit if recent patterns of BFT availability and landings rates continue. During the June-August 2014 period, under a four-fish limit, BFT landings were approximately 107 mt (49 percent of the subquota). In the June-August 2015 period, under a four-fish limit, BFT landings were approximately 205 mt (44 percent of the subquota). For the entire 2015 fishing year, 131.7 percent and 95.1 percent of the baseline and adjusted General category quota was filled, respectively. See below for description of 2015 quota transfers to the General category.

    Despite elevated General category limits, the vast majority of successful trips (i.e., General or Charter/Headboat trips on which at least one BFT is landed under General category quota) land only one or two BFT. For instance, the landings data for 2015 show that, under the four-fish limit that applied June 1 through November 27, the proportion of trips that landed one, two, three, or four BFT was as follows: 76 percent landed one BFT; 14 percent landed two BFT; 5 percent landed three BFT; and 5 percent landed four BFT. In the last few years, NMFS has received some comment that a high daily retention limit (specifically five fish) is needed to optimize General category fishing opportunities and account for seasonal distributions by enabling vessels to make overnight trips to distant fishing grounds.

    NMFS anticipates that some underharvest of the 2015 adjusted U.S. BFT quota will be carried forward to 2016 to the Reserve category, in accordance with the regulations implementing Amendment 7, this summer (i.e., when complete BFT catch information for 2015 is available and finalized). This, in addition to the fact that any unused General category quota will roll forward to the next subperiod within the calendar year, makes it possible that General category quota will remain available through the end of 2016 for December fishery participants, even if NMFS sets higher daily retention limits for the earlier periods. NMFS also may choose to transfer unused quota from the Reserve or other categories, inseason, based on consideration of the determination criteria, as NMFS did for late 2015 (80 FR 68265, November 4, 2015; 80 FR 74997, December 1, 2015). Therefore, NMFS anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category quota.

    A limit lower than five fish could result in unused quota being added to the later portion of the General category season (i.e., rolling forward to the subsequent subquota time period). Increasing the daily retention limit from the default may mitigate rolling an excessive amount of unused quota from one subquota time period to the next. Increasing the daily retention limit to five fish will increase the likelihood that the General category BFT landings will approach, but not exceed, the annual quota, as well as increase the opportunity for catching BFT during the June through August subquota period. Increasing opportunity within each subquota period is also important because of the migratory nature and seasonal distribution of BFT. In a particular geographic region, or waters accessible from a particular port, the amount of fishing opportunity for BFT may be constrained by the short amount of time the BFT are present.

    Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that a five-fish General category retention limit is warranted for the June-August 2016 subquota period. It would provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full U.S. BFT quota (including the expected increases in available 2016 quota later in the year), without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities; help optimize the ability of the General category to harvest its full quota; allow the collection of a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes; and be consistent with the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended. Therefore, NMFS increases the General category retention limit from the default limit (one) to five large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip, effective June 1, 2016, through August 31, 2016.

    Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, no more than a single day's retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed. For example (and specific to the June through August 2016 limit), whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of five fish may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeting fishing for BFT, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. General, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional adjustment or closure is necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

    Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons:

    Prior notice is impracticable because the regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended, intended that inseason retention limit adjustments would allow the agency to respond quickly to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Based on available BFT quotas, fishery performance in recent years, and the availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, responsive adjustment to the General category BFT daily retention limit from the default level is warranted to allow fishermen to take advantage of the availability of fish and of quota. For such adjustment to be practicable, it must occur in a timeframe that allows fishermen to take advantage of it.

    Fisheries under the General category daily retention limit will commence on June 1 and thus prior notice would be contrary to the public interest. Delays in increasing these retention limits would adversely affect those General and Charter/Headboat category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest more than the default retention limit of one BFT per day/trip and may result in low catch rates and quota rollovers. Analysis of available data shows that adjustment to the BFT daily retention limit from the default level would result in minimal risks of exceeding the ICCAT-allocated quota. With quota available and fish available on the grounds, and with no measurable impacts to the stock, it would be contrary to the public interest to require vessels to wait to harvest the fish allowed through this action. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment.

    Adjustment of the General category retention limit needs to be effective June 1, 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter, to minimize any unnecessary disruption in fishing patterns, to allow the impacted sectors to benefit from the adjustment, and to not preclude fishing opportunities for fishermen in geographic areas with access to the fishery only during this time period. Foregoing opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the time periods designated in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, as amended. Therefore, the AA finds there is also good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.

    This action is being taken under §§ 635.23(a)(4) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11230 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 92 Thursday, May 12, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6670; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-006-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-19-04, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes. AD 2013-19-04 currently requires repetitive detailed and high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of the skin around the eight fasteners common to the ends of the station (STA) 540 bulkhead chords between stringers S-22 and S-23, left and right sides; related investigative actions and corrective actions, if necessary; and provides an optional terminating modification. Since we issued AD 2013-19-04, we have received reports of additional cracks that are larger and initiated sooner than previously predicted. This proposed AD would reduce the inspection threshold and repetitive inspection intervals. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the fuselage skin around the eight fasteners securing the STA 540 bulkhead chords. Such cracking can result in rapid decompression of the cabin.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6670.

    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-2016-6670; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6450; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-6670; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-006-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On September 9, 2013, we issued AD 2013-19-04, Amendment 39-17586 (78 FR 59801, September 30, 2013) (“AD 2013-19-04”), for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes. AD 2013-19-04 requires repetitive detailed and HFEC inspections for cracking of the skin around the eight fasteners common to the ends of the STA 540 bulkhead chords between stringers S-22 and S-23, left and right sides; related investigative actions and corrective actions, if necessary; and provides an optional terminating modification. AD 2013-19-04 resulted from a report of cracks found in the skin at body STA 540 just below the left side of stringer S-22 on a Model 737-700 series airplane. We issued AD 2013-19-04 to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the fuselage skin around the eight fasteners securing the STA 540 bulkhead chords, which can result in rapid decompression of the cabin.

    Actions Since AD 2013-19-04 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2013-19-04, we have received reports of cracks that initiated sooner and are larger than previously predicted.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, which specifies procedures for doing inspections for cracking of the skin around the eight fasteners common to the ends of the STA 540 bulkhead chords between stringers S-22 and S-23, left and right sides, repairing cracks, and installing a chord splice as a preventive modification on crack-free skin. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 2013-19-04, this proposed AD would retain all of the requirements of AD 2013-19-04. Those requirements are referenced in the service information identified previously, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraphs (g) through (k) of this proposed AD. This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6670.

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

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require accomplishment of repair methods, modification deviations, and alteration deviations in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 903 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection (left and right side skins) 12 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,020 per inspection cycle $0 $1,020 per inspection cycle $921,060 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs and inspections that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these repairs:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Preventive modification (each side) 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 $894 $1,489. Skin repair (each side) 39 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,315 Up to $5,635 Up to $8,950.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-19-04, Amendment 39-17586 (78 FR 59801, September 30, 2013), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-6670; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-006-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by June 27, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-19-04, Amendment 39-17586 (78 FR 59801, September 30, 2013) (“AD 2013-19-04”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes; certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of cracks found in the skin at body station (STA) 540 just below the left side of stringer S-22. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the fuselage skin around the eight fasteners securing the STA 540 bulkhead chords, which can result in rapid decompression of the cabin.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Action

    Except as required by paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E. “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015: Do detailed and high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of the skin in the area around the eight fasteners securing the STA 540 bulkhead chords between stringers S-22 and S-23; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, except as required by paragraphs (i)(3) and (i)(4) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the detailed and HFEC inspections thereafter at the intervals specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, until the optional preventive modification specified in paragraph (h) of this AD is done.

    (h) Optional Preventive Modification

    Accomplishing the preventive modification or repair, including an HFEC inspection for cracking of the skin and STA 540 bulkhead chords, and all applicable repairs, in accordance with paragraph 3.B, Part 2 or Part 4 (left side), and Part 3 or Part 5 (right side), of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, terminates the inspection requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD for the side on which the modification is done.

    (i) Exceptions to Service Bulletin Specifications

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes on which Boeing Business Jet Lower Cabin Altitude Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01697SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/0812969a86af879b8625766400600105/$FILE/ST01697SE.pdf) (6,500 feet maximum cabin altitude in lieu of 8,000 feet) has been incorporated, the flight-cycle related compliance times for the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD are different from those specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015. All initial compliance times specified in total flight cycles or flight cycles must be reduced to half of those specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015. All repetitive interval compliance times specified in flight cycles must be reduced to one-quarter of those specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015.

    (3) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (4) The access and restoration instructions identified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, are not required by this AD. Operators may perform those actions in accordance with approved maintenance procedures.

    (j) Part 26 Supplemental Inspections Not Required by This AD

    Table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 2, dated December 9, 2015, specifies post-modification airworthiness limitation inspections in compliance with 14 CFR 25.571(a)(3) at the modified locations, which support compliance with 14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2). As airworthiness limitations, these inspections are required by maintenance and operational rules. It is therefore unnecessary to mandate them in this AD. Deviations from these inspections require FAA approval, but do not require an alternative method of compliance.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, dated March 31, 2011, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD; or Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, Revision 1, dated June 14, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2013-19-04.

    (l) 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 (m) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

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

    (4) AMOCs approved previously for the optional preventive modification installed in accordance with paragraph (h) of AD 2013-19-04, and AMOCs approved previously for repairs for AD 2013-19-04, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD, provided that such modification or repair included installation of the splice plate as specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1294, except as provided by paragraph (l)(5) of this AD.

    (5) The time-limited repair approved as specified in FAA Letter 120S-15-140, dated June 3, 2015, is approved as an AMOC to the corresponding requirements of this AD.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6450; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 5, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11167 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6669; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-191-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2006-20-11, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200CB, and -200PF series airplanes. AD 2006-20-11 currently requires initial and repetitive detailed or high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracks around the rivets at the upper fastener row of the skin lap splice of the fuselage, and repairing any crack found. Since we issued AD 2006-20-11, an evaluation done by the design approval holder (DAH) indicated that the fuselage skin lap splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would no longer allow the detailed inspections and would instead require repetitive external HFEC inspections for cracking of the skin lap splices of the fuselage, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking at certain skin lap splice locations of the fuselage, which could result in reduced structural integrity and rapid decompression of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax: 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6669.

    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-2016-6669; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Schrieber, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5348; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-6669; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-191-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On September 22, 2006, we issued AD 2006-20-11, Amendment 39-14781 (71 FR 58485, October 4, 2006) (“AD 2006-20-11”), for certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200CB, and -200PF series airplanes. AD 2006-20-11 requires initial and repetitive detailed or HFEC inspections for cracks around the rivets at the upper fastener row of the skin lap splice of the fuselage, and repairing any crack found. AD 2006-20-11 resulted from reports of cracking in the fuselage skin of the crown skin panel. We issued AD 2006-20-11 to detect and correct premature fatigue cracking at certain skin lap splice locations of the fuselage, and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

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

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

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

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

    We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking at certain skin lap splice locations of the fuselage, which could result in reduced structural integrity and rapid decompression of the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2006-20-11 Was Issued

    Since issuance of AD 2006-20-11, an evaluation done by the DAH indicated that the fuselage skin lap splice is subject to WFD.

    We have determined that the detailed inspection that is allowed as an option in AD 2006-20-11, does not adequately address the identified unsafe condition. Only HFEC inspections are adequate to address the identified unsafe condition.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015. The service information describes procedures for repetitive external HFEC inspections for cracking of the skin lap splices of the fuselage. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6669.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 572 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections [retained actions from AD 2006-20-11] Up to 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = up to $1,700 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $1,700 per inspection cycle Up to $972,400 per inspection cycle. New proposed inspections Up to 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = up to $1,700 per inspection cycle 0 Up to $1,700 per inspection cycle Up to $972,400 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2006-20-11, Amendment 39-14781 (71 FR 58485, October 4, 2006), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-6669; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-191-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by June 27, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2006-20-11, Amendment 39-14781 (71 FR 58485, October 4, 2006) (“AD 2006-20-11”). This AD affects AD 2006-11-11, Amendment 39-14615 (71 FR 30278, May 26, 2006) (“AD 2006-11-11”).

    (c) Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200CB, and -200PF series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation done by the design approval holder which indicated that the fuselage skin lap splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking at certain skin lap splice locations of the fuselage, which could result in reduced structural integrity and rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Initial and Repetitive Inspections With Terminating Action

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2006-20-11, with terminating action. Do initial and repetitive detailed or high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking around the rivets at the upper fastener row of the skin lap splice of the fuselage by doing all the actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, dated June 2, 2005, except as provided by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD. Do the inspections at the applicable times specified in Paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, dated June 2, 2005; except where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, dated June 2, 2005, specifies a compliance time “after the original release date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance after November 8, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-20-11). Accomplishing an inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD terminates the inspections required by this paragraph.

    (h) Retained Repair With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2006-20-11, with no changes. If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (i) Retained No Reporting Required With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the provision specified in paragraph (h) of AD 2006-20-11, with no changes. Although Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, dated June 2, 2005, recommends that inspection results be reported to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (j) New Repetitive Inspections

    At the applicable time specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015, except as provided by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD: Do an external high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the skin lap splices of the fuselage, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable times specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015. Doing an inspection required by this paragraph terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (k) Repair for Cracking Found During Inspections Required by Paragraph (j) of This AD

    If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (l) Exceptions to Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Although Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), paragraph (k) of this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2006-20-11, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (g) and (j) of this AD.

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

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

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

    (6) The inspections specified in paragraph (g) of this AD are approved as an AMOC to paragraph (h) of AD 2006-11-11 for the inspections of Significant Structural Items (SSI) 53-30-07 and 53-60-07 (fuselage lap splices, left and right upper fastener row) listed in the May 2003 or June 2005 revision of the Boeing 757 Maintenance Planning Data (MPD) Document D622N001-9. This AMOC applies only to the common areas identified in paragraphs (m)(6)(i) and (m)(6)(ii) of this AD. All provisions of AD 2006-11-11 that are not specifically referenced in the above statements remain fully applicable and must be complied with as specified in AD 2006-11-11. Operators may revise their FAA-approved maintenance or inspection program with these alternative inspections for common areas.

    (i) Common areas inspected before the effective date of this AD in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, dated June 2, 2005.

    (ii) Common areas inspected in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 757-53-0090, Revision 1, dated November 19, 2015.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Eric Schrieber, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5348; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax: 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 5, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11168 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0077; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-254-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and Model ATR72-212A airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and certain overhead stowage compartment fittings; removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments and measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, if necessary; and re-installing or repairing, as applicable, the Type III Emergency Exit doors. The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that interference occurred between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the surrounding passenger cabin furnishing during a production check. This action revises the NPRM by adding new proposed requirements for modifying the overhead stowage compartments. We are proposing this supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to prevent interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail; which could result in obstructed opening of a Type III Emergency Exit door during an emergency evacuation. Since these actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.aerochain.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0077; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-0077; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-254-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and Model ATR72-212A airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3531) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that interference occurred between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the surrounding passenger cabin furnishing during a production check. The NPRM proposed to require measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and certain overhead stowage compartment fittings; removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments and measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, if necessary; and re-installing or repairing, as applicable, the Type III Emergency Exit doors.

    Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, we have determined that, in order to address the identified unsafe condition, additional requirements are needed for modifying the overhead stowage compartments (including removing the hooks and fittings from the lateral rails) and re-identifying the overhead stowage compartments with new part numbers. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0018, dated February 5, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and Model ATR72-212A airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door opening and surrounding passenger cabin furnishing was detected during a production check.

    Subsequent investigation identified an insufficient gap between the emergency exit door internal skin structure and the overhead stowage compartment fitting, installed on the rail, as a cause of the interference.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could prevent an unobstructed opening of both Type III Emergency Exit doors in case of emergency evacuation.

    Prompted by this finding, EASA issued AD 2013-0280 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2013-0280] to require a one-time check of the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit door internal skin and a relevant fitting and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). That [EASA] AD was considered to be a temporary measure.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, ATR developed a design solution to ensure that no interference with surrounding structure occurs during opening of an emergency exit. ATR Service Bulletins (SB) ATR42-25-0185, SB ATR42-25-0186, SB ATR72-25-1148 and SB ATR72-25-1149 were issued to provide the necessary modification instructions for in-service aeroplanes.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0280, which is superseded, and requires modification of the overhead bin attachment adjacent to the Type III emergency exit doors [The modification includes removing the hooks and fittings from the lateral rails and re-identifying the overhead stowage compartments].

    Required actions include an additional measurement of the gap between the internal skin and overhead stowage compartment hooks of both Type III Emergency Exits, if necessary. Corrective actions include re-installing the Type III Emergency Exit doors and doing a repair. 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-2015-0077. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Avions de Transport Régional Service has issued the following service information:

    • ATR Service Bulletin ATR42 25-0180, dated August 19, 2013, which describes procedures for, among other things, removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments, measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, re-installing the Type III Emergency Exit doors, and repair.

    • ATR Service Bulletin ATR72 25-1141, dated August 19, 2013, which describes procedures for, among other things, removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments, measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, and re-installing the Type III Emergency Exit doors.

    • ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.

    • ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.

    • ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.

    • ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.

    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.

    Comments

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

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

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

    Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this SNPRM affects 4 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this SNPRM. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $1,360, or $340, or per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 1 work-hour for a cost of $85 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-0077; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-254-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by June 27, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

    (1) ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) on which ATR Modification 6518 has been embodied in production, except those airplanes on which ATR Modification 7294 has been embodied in production.

    (2) ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-212A airplanes on which ATR Modification 6517 has been embodied in production, except those airplanes on which ATR Modification 7294 has been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that interference occurred between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the surrounding passenger cabin furnishing during a production check. We are issuing this AD to prevent interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail; which could result in obstructed opening of a Type III Emergency Exit door during an emergency evacuation.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Measurement of Gap Between Type III Emergency Exit Doors and Certain Overhead Stowage Compartment Fittings

    For all airplanes, except those airplanes on which ATR Modification 7152 has been embodied in production and except airplanes having MSN 1002, 1005, 1089, 1094, 1095, 1097, 1098, 1099, 1100, 1101, or 1102: Within 2 months after the effective date of this AD, measure the gap between each Type III Emergency Exit door, left hand (LH) and right hand (RH), and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail, by unlocking and slightly rotating the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit doors with the doors remaining on the lower fittings. Use a shim gauge 6 millimeters (mm) (0.236 inch) thick, to measure the gap between the internal skin of the doors and the relevant fittings, part number (P/N) S2522924620000 (LH fitting) and P/N S2522924620100 (RH fitting).

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD: Illustrations may be found in the applicable ATR Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC) 25-23-02, figure 87, item 90/100.

    Note 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD: It might be necessary to pull on the door blanket to correctly see the door internal skin.

    (h) Re-Installation of Type III Emergency Exit Doors

    During the measurement required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if it is determined that there is a gap equal to or greater than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, re-install the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit Doors, in accordance with paragraph 3.C.(1)(d) of the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013; or ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013; as applicable.

    (i) Removal of Fitting and Measurement of Gap Between Door Internal Skin and Overhead Stowage Compartment Hooks

    During the measurement required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if it is determined that there is a gap less than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, remove the fitting P/N S2522924620000 (LH fitting) or P/N S2522924620100 (RH fitting), and measure the gap between the internal skin of the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit Doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013; or ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013; as applicable.

    (1) If, during the measurement required by paragraph (i) of this AD, it is determined that there is a gap equal to or greater than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, re-install the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit Doors, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013; or ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013; as applicable.

    (2) If, during the measurement required by paragraph (i) of this AD, it is determined that there is a gap less than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (j) Modification of Overhead Stowage Compartments and Re-Identification of Part Number

    Within 4 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the overhead stowage compartments, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(4) of this AD.

    (1) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014.

    (2) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014.

    (3) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014.

    (4) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014.

    (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: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0018, dated February 5, 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-2015-0077.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.aerochain.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 4, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11096 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 14 and 52 [FAR Case 2016-003; Docket No. 2016-0003, Sequence No. 1] RIN 9000-AN21 Federal Acquisition Regulation: Administrative Cost To Issue and Administer a Contract AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to revise the estimated administrative cost to award and administer a contract, for the purpose of evaluating bids for multiple awards.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division at one of the addresses shown below on or before July 11, 2016 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to FAR case 2016-003 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “FAR Case 2016-003”. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “FAR Case 2016-003.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2016-003” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR Case 2016-003, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, at 202-208-4949 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAR Case 2016-003.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to revise the provision of the FAR that addresses the Government's cost to award and administer a contract, for the purpose of evaluating bids for multiple awards. The FAR provision at 52.214-22, Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards, which was issued in March 1990, reflects that $500 is the administrative cost to the Government for issuing and administering contracts. Based on inflation factors and escalating annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) data available, an upward adjustment of $500 in the provision to $1,000 is a realistic reflection of the actual cost to the Government. We used the CPI calculator at the following web address, http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl, to calculate the upward adjustment. We plugged in the base line year 1990 and $500 and it came up with $907.00, and we rounded up to $1,000. This cost will be reviewed periodically and updated as deemed appropriate.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    Amendments to FAR subparts 14.2 and 52.2 are proposed by this rulemaking. A monetary adjustment is proposed for FAR 14.201-8, Price Related Factors, and clause 52.214-22, Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards. The adjustment from $500 to $1,000 is to reflect a realistic estimate of the cost to the Government to issue and administer a contract.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    DoD, GSA, and NASA do not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. However, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) has been performed. The IRFA is summarized as follows:

    FAR 14.201-8 and 52.214-22, Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards, reflect that $500 is the administrative cost to the Government for issuing and administering contracts. The rule is necessary to reestablish a more realistic estimate of the cost to award and administer a contract, for the purpose of evaluating bids for multiple awards. The current cost to award and administer a contract has not changed since 1990.

    The objective of this rule is to revise FAR 14.201-8 and 52.214-22, Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards, to include an inflation adjustment based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pldata, since 1990. The adjustment will change the estimated cost to award and administer a contract from $500 to $1,000.

    According to the Federal Procurement Data System, in Fiscal Year 2015, the Federal Government made approximately 2,019 definitive contract awards to small businesses using sealed bidding procedures and 103 indefinite-delivery contract awards to small businesses using sealed bidding procedures, 12 of which were multiple awards.

    DoD, GSA, and NASA do not expect this rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the proposed rule pertains to Government administrative expenses only.

    There will be no burden on small businesses because this rule change does not place any new requirement on small entities.

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat Division. DoD, GSA, and NASA invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by the rule consistent with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (FAR Case 2016-003), in correspondence.

    VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 14 and 52

    Government procurement.

    William Clark Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend 48 CFR parts 14 and 52, as set forth below:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 14 and 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113.

    PART 14—SEALED BIDDING 2. Amend section 14.201-8 by revising the introductory text and removing from paragraph (c) the term “$500” and adding “$1,000” in its place.

    The revision reads as follows.

    14.201-8 Price related factors.

    The factors set forth in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section may be applicable in evaluation of bids for award and shall be included in the solicitation when applicable (see 14.201-5(c)):

    PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 3. Amend section 52.214-22 by revising the date of the provision and removing from the paragraph the term “$500” and adding “$1,000” in its place.

    The revision reads as follows:

    52.214-22 Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards. Evaluation of Bids for Multiple Awards (Date)
    [FR Doc. 2016-11177 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 [Docket No. 160413329-6329-01] RIN 0648-XE571 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    90-day petition finding, request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis) range-wide as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition and information in our files present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Taiwanese humpback dolphin. We will conduct a status review of the species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to the species from any interested party.

    DATES:

    Information and comments on the subject action must be received by July 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, information, or data on this document, identified by the code NOAA-NMFS-2016-0041, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0041. Click the “Comment Now” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Chelsey Young, NMFS Office of Protected Resources (F/PR3), 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.

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

    Copies of the petition and related materials are available on our Web site at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/dolphins/indo-pacific-humpback-dolphin.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chelsey Young, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8403.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 9, 2016, we received a petition from the Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians to list the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (S. chinensis taiwanensis) as threatened or endangered under the ESA throughout its range. This population of humpback dolphin was previously considered for ESA listing as the Eastern Taiwan Strait distinct population segment (DPS) of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis); however, we determined that the population was not eligible for listing as a DPS in our 12-month finding (79 FR 74954; December 16, 2014) because it did not meet all the necessary criteria under the DPS Policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996). Specifically, we determined that while the Eastern Taiwan Strait population was “discrete,” the population did not qualify as “significant.” The petition asserts that new scientific and taxonomic information demonstrates that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is actually a subspecies, and states that NMFS must reconsider the subspecies for ESA listing. Copies of the petition are available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    ESA Statutory, Regulatory, and Policy Provisions and Evaluation Framework

    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the ESA of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires, to the maximum extent practicable, that within 90 days of receipt of a petition to list a species as threatened or endangered, the Secretary of Commerce make a finding on whether that petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, and to promptly publish such finding in the Federal Register (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)(A)). When it is found that substantial scientific or commercial information in a petition indicates the petitioned action may be warranted (a “positive 90-day finding”), we are required to promptly commence a review of the status of the species concerned, during which we will conduct a comprehensive review of the best available scientific and commercial information. In such cases, we conclude the review with a finding as to whether, in fact, the petitioned action is warranted within 12 months of receipt of the petition. Because the finding at the 12-month stage is based on a more thorough review of the available information, as compared to the narrow scope of review at the 90-day stage, a “may be warranted” finding does not prejudge the outcome of the status review.

    Under the ESA, a listing determination may address a species, which is defined to also include subspecies and, for any vertebrate species, any DPS that interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). A joint NMFS-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (jointly, “the Services”) policy clarifies the agencies' interpretation of the phrase “distinct population segment” for the purposes of listing, delisting, and reclassifying a species under the ESA (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996). A species, subspecies, or DPS is “endangered” if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and “threatened” if it is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range (ESA sections 3(6) and 3(20), respectively, 16 U.S.C. 1532(6) and (20)). Pursuant to the ESA and our implementing regulations, we determine whether a species is threatened or endangered based on any of the following five section 4(a)(1) factors: The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; disease or predation; the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and any other natural or manmade factors affecting the species' continued existence (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1), 50 CFR 424.11(c)).

    ESA implementing regulations issued jointly by NMFS and USFWS (50 CFR 424.14(b)) define “substantial information” in the context of reviewing a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species as the amount of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be warranted. In evaluating whether substantial information is contained in a petition, the Secretary must consider whether the petition: (1) Clearly indicates the administrative measure recommended and gives the scientific and any common name of the species involved; (2) contains detailed narrative justification for the recommended measure, describing, based on available information, past and present numbers and distribution of the species involved and any threats faced by the species; (3) provides information regarding the status of the species over all or a significant portion of its range; and (4) is accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation in the form of bibliographic references, reprints of pertinent publications, copies of reports or letters from authorities, and maps (50 CFR 424.14(b)(2)).

    At the 90-day finding stage, we evaluate the petitioners' request based upon the information in the petition including its references and the information readily available in our files. We do not conduct additional research, and we do not solicit information from parties outside the agency to help us in evaluating the petition. We will accept the petitioners' sources and characterizations of the information presented if they appear to be based on accepted scientific principles, unless we have specific information in our files that indicates the petition's information is incorrect, unreliable, obsolete, or otherwise irrelevant to the requested action. Information that is susceptible to more than one interpretation or that is contradicted by other available information will not be dismissed at the 90-day finding stage, so long as it is reliable and a reasonable person would conclude it supports the petitioners' assertions. In other words, conclusive information indicating the species may meet the ESA's requirements for listing is not required to make a positive 90-day finding. We will not conclude that a lack of specific information alone negates a positive 90-day finding if a reasonable person would conclude that the unknown information itself suggests an extinction risk of concern for the species at issue.

    To make a 90-day finding on a petition to list a species, we evaluate whether the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the subject species may be either threatened or endangered, as defined by the ESA. First, we evaluate whether the information presented in the petition, along with the information readily available in our files, indicates that the petitioned entity constitutes a “species” eligible for listing under the ESA. Next, we evaluate whether the information indicates that the species faces an extinction risk that is cause for concern; this may be indicated in information expressly discussing the species' status and trends, or in information describing impacts and threats to the species. We evaluate any information on specific demographic factors pertinent to evaluating extinction risk for the species (e.g., population abundance and trends, productivity, spatial structure, age structure, sex ratio, diversity, current and historical range, habitat integrity or fragmentation), and the potential contribution of identified demographic risks to extinction risk for the species. We then evaluate the potential links between these demographic risks and the causative impacts and threats identified in section 4(a)(1).

    Information presented on impacts or threats should be specific to the species and should reasonably suggest that one or more of these factors may be operative threats that act or have acted on the species to the point that it may warrant protection under the ESA. Broad statements about generalized threats to the species, or identification of factors that could negatively impact a species, do not constitute substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted. We look for information indicating that not only is the particular species exposed to a factor, but that the species may be responding in a negative fashion; then we assess the potential significance of that negative response.

    Many petitions identify risk classifications made by nongovernmental organizations, such as the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the American Fisheries Society, or NatureServe, as evidence of extinction risk for a species. Risk classifications by other organizations or made under other Federal or state statutes may be informative, but such classification alone may not provide the rationale for a positive 90-day finding under the ESA. For example, as explained by NatureServe, their assessments of a species' conservation status do “not constitute a recommendation by NatureServe for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act” because NatureServe assessments “have different criteria, evidence requirements, purposes and taxonomic coverage than government lists of endangered and threatened species, and therefore these two types of lists should not be expected to coincide” (http://www.natureserve.org/prodServices/pdf/NatureServeStatusAssessmentsListing-Dec%202008.pdf). Additionally, species classifications under IUCN and the ESA are not equivalent; data standards, criteria used to evaluate species, and treatment of uncertainty are also not necessarily the same. Thus, when a petition cites such classifications, we will evaluate the source of information that the classification is based upon in light of the standards on extinction risk and impacts or threats discussed above.

    Species Description and Taxonomy

    The petitioned population of dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis) is thought to be a subspecies of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, Sousa chinensis. The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a broadly distributed species within the genus Sousa, family Delphinidae, and order Cetacea. It is easy to distinguish from other dolphin species in its range, as it is characterized by a robust body, long distinct beak, short dorsal fin atop a wide dorsal hump, and round-tipped broad flippers and flukes (Jefferson and Karczmarski, 2001). The Taiwanese population also has a short dorsal fin with a wide base. However, the base of the fin measures 5-10 percent of the body length, and slopes gradually into the surface of the body; this differs from individuals in the western portion of the range, which have a larger hump that comprises ca. 30 percent of body width and forms the base of an even smaller dorsal fin.

    In general, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is medium-sized, with lengths up to 2.8 m, and weighs approximately 250-280 kg (Ross et al., 1994). They form social groups of about 10 animals, but groups of up to 30 animals have been documented (Jefferson et al., 1993).

    The petition identifies the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis) as eligible for listing under the ESA as a “subspecies” of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis). The taxonomy of the genus Sousa is unresolved and has historically been based on morphology, but genetic analyses have recently been used. Current taxonomic hypotheses identify Sousa chinensis as one of two (Jefferson et al., 2001), three (Rice, 1998), or four (Mendez et al., 2013) species within the genus. Each species is associated with a unique geographic range, though the species' defined ranges vary depending on how many species are recognized. Rice (1998) recognizes Sousa teuzii in the eastern Atlantic, Sousa plumbea in the western Indo-Pacific, and Sousa chinensis in the eastern Indo-Pacific. Mendez et al. (2013) recently identified an as-yet unnamed potential new species in waters off of northern Australia. Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee recognize only two species, Sousa chinensis in the Indo-Pacific, and Sousa teuzii in the eastern Atlantic. Most recently, Wang et al. (2015) revised the taxonomy of Sousa chinensis and concluded that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (S. chinensis taiwanensis) is a valid subspecies. Specifically, Wang et al. (2015) expanded upon a previous study (Wang et al., 2008) regarding the pigmentation differences between the Taiwanese humpback dolphin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin populations inhabiting the Jiulong River and Pearl River estuaries from Hong Kong and Fujian in China. In the 2008 study, Wang et al. showed that the pigmentation of the Taiwanese population is significantly different from that of other populations within the taxon (Wang et al., 2008); however, the study did not examine the degree of differentiation for purposes of determining whether subspecies recognition was warranted. Thus, to remedy this oversight, Wang et al. (2015) examined the taxonomy of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin by comparing spotting densities on the bodies and dorsal fins of these adjacent populations and performing a discriminant analysis. The study determined that the differentiation in pigmentation patterns revealed nearly non-overlapping distributions between the dolphins from Taiwanese waters and those from the Jiulong River and Pearl River estuaries of mainland China (i.e., the nearest known populations). The study stated that the Taiwanese dolphins were clearly diagnosable from those of mainland China under the most commonly accepted 75 percent rule for subspecies delimitation, with 94 percent of one group being separable from 99 percent of the other. Based on this information, as well as additional evidence of geographical isolation and behavioral differences, the authors concluded that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin qualifies as a subspecies, and revised the taxonomy of Sousa chinensis to include two subspecies: The Taiwanese humpback dolphin (S. chinensis taiwanensis) and the Chinese humpback dolphin (S. chinensis chinensis). As a result of this new information, the Taxonomy Committee of the Society for Marine Mammalogy officially revised its list of marine mammal taxonomy to include the Taiwanese humpback dolphin as a subspecies.

    While pigmentation of the Taiwanese population is significantly different from other populations within the taxon (Wang et al., 2008; Wang et al., 2015), whether the pattern is adaptive or has genetic underpinnings is still uncertain. In other cetacean species, differences in pigmentation have been hypothesized to relate to several adaptive responses, allowing individuals to hide from predators, communicate with conspecifics (promoting group cohesion), and disorient and corral prey (Caro et al., 2011). However, the differences in Taiwanese humpback dolphin pigmentation may be a result of a genetic bottleneck from the small size of this population (less than 100 individuals) and it's possible that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin represents a single social and/or family group. Such small populations are more heavily influenced by genetic drift than large populations (Frankham, 1996). However, Wang et al. (2015) concluded that the differences between the Taiwanese dolphins and their nearest neighbors are not clinal, but are diagnosably different; the characters examined are not those that may be environmentally induced, but instead are likely a reflection of genetic and developmental differences. Thus, based on the information presented in the petition, which provides evidence that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is indeed a subspecies (i.e., a listable entity under the ESA), we will proceed with our evaluation of the information in the petition to determine whether S. chinensis taiwanensis (referred henceforth as the Taiwanese humpback dolphin) may be warranted for listing throughout all or a significant portion of its range under the ESA.

    Range, Distribution and Movement

    The Taiwanese humpback dolphin has an extremely small, restricted range, and is distributed throughout only 512 square km of coastal waters off western Taiwan, from estuarine waters of the Houlong and Jhonggang rivers in the north, to waters of Waishanding Jhou to the South (about 170 km linear distance), with the main concentration of the population between the Tongsaio River estuary and Taisi, which encompasses the estuaries of the Dadu and Jhushuei rivers, the two largest river systems in western Taiwan (Wang et al., 2007b). Overall, confirmed present habitat constitutes a narrow region along the coast, which is affected by high human population density and extensive industrial development (Ross et al., 2010). Rarely, individuals have been sighted and strandings have occurred in near-shore habitat to the north and south of its current confirmed habitat; some of these incidents are viewed as evidence that the historical range of the population extended farther than its current range (Dungan et al., 2011).

    The Taiwanese humpback dolphin is thought to be geographically isolated from mainland Chinese populations, with water depth being the primary factor dictating their separation. The Taiwan Strait is 140-200 km wide, and consists of large expanses of water 50-70 m deep (the Wuchi and Kuanyin depressions). Despite extensive surveys, Taiwanese humpback dolphins have never been observed in water deeper than 25-30 meters, and thus deep water is thought to be the specific barrier limiting exchange with Chinese mainland populations (Jefferson and Karczmarski, 2001). The species as a whole experiences limited mobility and its restriction to shallow, near-shore estuarine habitats is a significant barrier to movement (Karczmarski et al., 1997; Hung and Jefferson, 2004).

    Life History

    Little is known about the life history and reproduction of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin as a species, let alone the Taiwanese humpback dolphin as a subspecies. In some cases, comparison of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin with other populations may be appropriate, but one needs to be cautious about making these comparisons, as environmental factors such as food availability and habitat status may affect important rates of reproduction and generation time in different populations. A recent analysis of life history patterns for individuals in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) population of mainland China may offer an appropriate proxy for understanding life history of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin population. Life history traits of the PRE population are similar to those of the South African population, suggesting that some general assumptions of productivity can be gathered, even on the genus-level (Jefferson and Karczmarski, 2001; Jefferson et al., 2012). Maximum longevity for the PRE and South African populations are 38 and 40 years, respectively; thus, it can be assumed that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin experiences a similar life expectancy. In general, it is assumed that the population experiences long calving intervals, between 3 and 5 years (Jefferson et al., 2012), with gestation lasting approximately 10-12 months. It has been suggested that weaning may take up to 2 years, and strong female-calf association may last 3-4 years (Karczmarski et al., 1997; Karczmarski, 1999). Peak calving activity most likely occurs in the warmer months, but exact peak calving time may vary geographically (Jefferson et al., 2012). Age at sexual maturity is late, estimated between 12 and 14 years.

    Analysis of Petition and Information Readily Available in NMFS Files

    The petition contains information on the Taiwanese humpback dolphin, including its taxonomy, description, geographic distribution, habitat, population status and trends, and factors contributing to the species' decline. According to the petition, all five causal factors in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA are adversely affecting the continued existence of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and (E) other natural or manmade factors.

    In the following sections, we summarize and evaluate the information presented in the petition and in our files on the status of S. chinensis taiwanensis and the ESA section 4(a)(1) factors that may be affecting this species' risk of global extinction. Based on this evaluation, we determine whether a reasonable person would conclude that an endangered or threatened listing may be warranted for the species.

    Status and Population Trends

    There have been two formal estimates of abundance for the Taiwanese humpback dolphin. The first is based on surveys conducted between 2002 and 2004 using line transects to track and count animals, which resulted in an estimated population size of 99 individuals (coefficient of variation (CV) = 52 percent, 95 percent confidence interval = 37-266) (Wang et al., 2007a). However, the 2007 international workshop on the conservation and research needs of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin population suggested that the true number of individuals may actually be lower than this estimate (Wang et al., 2007b). A re-analysis of population abundance conducted on data collected between 2007 and 2010 used mark-recapture methods of photo identification, permitting higher-precision measurements. Yearly population estimates from this study ranged from 54 to 74 individuals (CV varied from 4 percent to 13 percent); these estimates were 25 percent to 45 percent lower than those from 2002-2004 (Wang et al., 2012). Jefferson (2000) estimated that mature individuals comprise 60 percent of the population. Based on this proportion, and the largest estimate of population size from the most recent study (74 individuals), the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is most likely comprised of less than 45 mature individuals.

    Given the extremely small and isolated nature of the population, even a small number of mortalities could potentially have significant negative population-level effects. For the Taiwanese humpback dolphin, Wang et al. (2012) measured survivorship for the population, which was used to determine a mortality rate of 1.5 percent (±0.022) (Wang et al., 2012; Araújo et al., 2014). Carrying capacity for the Taiwanese humpback dolphin has been estimated at 250 individuals (a conservative estimate, higher than the highest point estimate of abundance from Wang (Wang et al., 2012)), as extrapolated from the mean density estimate for the population (Araújo et al., 2014); this estimate suggests that the population abundance has been reduced from historical levels. Additionally, a recent population viability analysis (PVA) suggests that the population is declining due to the synergistic effects of habitat degradation and detrimental fishing interactions (Araújo et al., 2014). Araújo et al., (2014) modeled population trajectory over 100 years using demographic factors combined with different levels of mortality attributed to bycatch, and loss of carrying capacity due to habitat loss/degradation. The model predicted a high probability of ongoing population decline under all scenarios. Ultimately, strong evidence suggests that the population is small, and rates of decline are high, unsustainable, and potentially even underestimated. Further, it is clear that loss of only a single individual within the population per year would substantially reduce population growth rate (Dungan et al., 2011).

    Analysis of ESA Section 4(a)(1) Factors

    While the petition presents information on each of the ESA section 4(a)(1) factors, we find that the information presented, including information within our files, regarding habitat destruction and overutilization of the species as a result of fisheries interactions is substantial enough to make a determination that a reasonable person would conclude that this species may warrant listing as endangered or threatened based on these two factors alone. As such, we focus our discussion below on the evidence of habitat destruction and overutilization of the species, and present our evaluation of the information regarding these factors and their impact on the extinction risk of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin. The remaining factors discussed in the petition will be thoroughly evaluated in a comprehensive status review of the species.

    Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of the Species' Habitat or Range

    The Taiwanese humpback dolphin habitat best compares with that of populations located off the coast of mainland China. Taiwanese humpback dolphins are thought to be restricted to water <30 m deep, and most observed sightings have occurred in estuarine habitat with significant freshwater input (Wang et al., 2007a). The input of freshwater to S. chinensis taiwanensis habitat is thought to be important in sustaining estuarine productivity, and thus supporting the availability of prey for the dolphin (Jefferson, 2000). Across the Taiwanese humpback dolphin habitat, bottom substrate consists of soft sloping muddy sediment with elevated nutrient inputs primarily influenced by river deposition (Sheehy, 2010). These nutrient inputs support high primary production, which fuels upper trophic levels contributing to the dolphin's source of food.

    The petition states that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is threatened by habitat destruction and modification and lists multiple causes, including reduction of freshwater outflows to estuaries, seabed reclamation, coastal development, and pollution (including chemical, biological, and noise pollution). Information in our files indicates that much of the preferred habitat of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin has been altered or may become altered. The near-shore marine and estuarine environment in Taiwan is intensively used by humans for fishing, sand extraction, land reclamation, transportation, and recreation, and is a recipient of massive quantities of effluent and runoff (Wang et al., 2007b). However, we do not have sufficient information to evaluate what effects many of the activities discussed in the petition (e.g., reduced freshwater flows, seabed reclamation) are having on the species' status. For example, while several of the rivers in western Taiwan have already been dammed or diverted for agricultural, municipal, or other purposes (Ross et al., 2010), there are no data or information in the petition or our files to indicate how reduced water flows to the estuaries are specifically impacting the Taiwanese humpback dolphins or their prey.

    In terms of pollution, we do have some information in our files indicating that these dolphins are exposed to toxic PCBs and are likely negatively affected through ingestion of contaminated prey. The Taiwanese humpback dolphin's exposure to land-based pollution and other threats is relatively high all along the central western coast of Taiwan, because these dolphins are thought to inhabit only a narrow strip of coastal habitat. Further, these dolphins have not been observed in waters deeper than 25-30 m and are typically sighted in waters 15 m deep and within 3 km from shore (Reeves et al., 2008). Given the restricted coastal range of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin and the extensive industrial and agricultural development in the region, food web contamination is likely, with sub-lethal and/or cumulative toxic effects having the potential to adversely impact small populations (Sheehy, 2010). By measuring PCB concentrations of known prey species, Riehl et al. (2011) constructed a bioaccumulation model to assess the risk PCBs may be posing to the Taiwanese humpback dolphins. Their results indicated that the Taiwanese humpback dolphins are at risk of immunotoxic effects of PCBs over their lifetime (Riehl et al., 2011). In addition, surveys of 97 Taiwanese humpback dolphins conducted from 2006 to 2010 showed that 73 percent had at least one type of skin lesion and that 49 percent of the surveyed dolphins were diseased (Yang et al., 2011). In another recent study documenting skin conditions of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin, 37 percent of individuals showed evidence of fungal disease, various lesions, ulcers, and nodules. The authors suggest that the high prevalence of compromised skin condition may be linked to high levels of environmental contamination (Yang et al., 2013). These data suggest the dolphins may have weakened immune systems and are consequently more susceptible to disease. Overall, evidence suggests that widespread habitat contamination may be leading to the bioaccumulation of toxins within Taiwanese humpback dolphin individuals; these toxins are known to compromise marine mammal reproduction and immune response, and may be negatively impacting the health and viability of the population.

    Overall, while we have insufficient information to evaluate some of the claims in the petition, we do have sufficient information to indicate that pollution is likely having a negative impact on the status of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin. Thus, we conclude that the information in the petition and in our files presents substantial information that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin may warrant listing as threatened or endangered because of threats to its habitat.

    Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    Information from the petition and in our files suggests that the primary threat to the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is overutilization as a result of commercial fisheries interactions and bycatch-related mortality. Bycatch poses a significant threat to small cetaceans in general, where entanglement in fishing gear results in widespread injury and mortality (Read et al., 2006). The two fishing gear types most hazardous to small cetaceans are gillnets and trammel nets, thousands of which are set in coastal waters off western Taiwan (Dungan et al., 2011). Injury due to entanglement is evident in the Taiwanese humpback dolphin population, identified by characteristic markings on the body, including constrictive line wraps, and direct observation of gear wrapped around the dolphin (Ross et al., 2010; Slooten et al., 2013). In a study exploring the impact of fisheries on the Taiwanese humpback dolphin, 59.2 percent of injuries (lethal and non-lethal) observed were confirmed to have originated from fisheries interactions (Slooten et al., 2013). Even in non-lethal interactions, injuries sustained due to encounters with fishing gear may lead to mortality via immunosuppression, stress, and malnutrition, although these effects are not easily measured (Dungan et al., 2011). In total, one third of 32 photo-identified Taiwanese humpback dolphins had scars thought to have been caused by either collisions with ships or interactions with fishing gear (Wang et al., 2004). Further, while over 30 percent of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin population exhibits evidence of fisheries interactions, including wounds, scars, and entanglement (Wang et al., 2007b; Slooten et al., 2013), this measurement likely underestimates the full extent of the threat, and the prevalence of internal damage from ingestion of fishing gear cannot be determined using current survey methods (Slooten et al., 2013). There are also two unpublished reports of dead, stranded Taiwanese humpback dolphins suspected to have died as a result of a fisheries interaction (Ross et al., 2010). Thousands of vessels fish with gillnets and trammel nets in waters used by humpback dolphins along the west coast of Taiwan. In fact, as of 2009, a total of 6,318 motorized fishing vessels were operating inside the dolphins' habitat, corresponding to 32 vessels per km of coastline (Slooten et al., 2013). A recent progress report by Wang (2013) reports survey data from 2012 that documents individuals observed to have new injuries since last surveyed. Further, in an analysis of stranded individuals in the waters off Hong Kong, where coastal fishing activity is comparable to that off the west coast of Taiwan, the most commonly diagnosed causes of death were entanglement in fishing nets and vessel collision (Jefferson et al., 2006).

    In addition to direct mortality as a result of entanglement in fisheries gear, indirect effects of fishing activities may also be negatively impacting the Taiwanese humpback dolphin. Indirect effects of fishing include: Depletion of prey resources, pollution, noise disturbance, altered behavioral responses to prey aggregation in fishing gear, and potential changes to social structure arising from the deaths of individuals caused by fisheries activity. In fact, individual Taiwanese humpback dolphins have shown evidence of disturbance from all of these effects (Slooten et al., 2013), and injuries from fishing gear and boat collisions can compromise the health of individuals and their capacity to adjust to other stressors, or cause death (Dungan et al., 2011).

    While the petition provides insufficient evidence to quantify the impact of fishing activities on the population of Taiwanese humpback dolphin, the annual removal of even a few individuals from such a small population due to fisheries interactions can disproportionally reduce population viability and could eventually lead to the extinction of the subspecies (Ross et al., 2010; Dungan et al., 2011; Slooten et al., 2013). In fact, studies show that to ensure viability of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin population, mortality caused by fishing gear must be reduced to less than one individual every 7 years (Slooten et al., 2013). Therefore, based on the information presented in the petition and in our files, we conclude that overutilization may be a threat negatively impacting the Taiwanese humpback dolphin, such that it is cause for concern and warrants further investigation to see if the species warrants listing as threatened or endangered under the ESA.

    While the petition identifies numerous other threats to the species, including diseases, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, and other natural or manmade factors (e.g., climate change and ocean acidification), we find that the petition and information in our files suggests that impacts from habitat destruction and overutilization, in and of themselves, may be threats impacting the Taiwanese humpback dolphin to such a degree that raises concern that this species may be in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. Thus, when we consider the Taiwanese humpback dolphin across its restricted range, based on the available information in the petition and in our files, its status is likely in decline, it continues to face numerous impacts to its habitat as well as pressure from fisheries interactions, and it has significant biological vulnerabilities and demographic risks (i.e., extremely low productivity; declining abundance; small, isolated population). Therefore, we find that the information in the petition and in our files would lead a reasonable person to conclude that S. chinensis taiwanensis may warrant listing as a threatened or endangered species throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

    Petition Finding

    After reviewing the information contained in the petition, as well as information readily available in our files, and based on the above analysis, we conclude the petition presents substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned action of listing the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (S. chinensis taiwanensis) as a threatened or endangered species may be warranted. Therefore, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the ESA and NMFS' implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.14(b)(3)), we will commence a status review of the species. During the status review, we will determine whether the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is in danger of extinction (endangered) or likely to become so (threatened) throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We now initiate this review, and thus, S. chinensis taiwanensis is considered to be a candidate species (69 FR 19975; April 15, 2004). Within 12 months of the receipt of the petition (March 9, 2017), we will make a finding as to whether listing the Taiwanese humpback dolphin as an endangered or threatened species is warranted as required by section 4(b)(3)(B) of the ESA. If listing is found to be warranted, we will publish a proposed rule and solicit public comments before developing and publishing a final rule.

    Information Solicited

    To ensure that the status review is based on the best available scientific and commercial data, we are soliciting information on whether the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is endangered or threatened. Specifically, we are soliciting information in the following areas: (1) Historical and current distribution and abundance of the species throughout its range; (2) historical and current population trends; (3) life history and habitat requirements; (4) population structure information, such as genetics analyses of the species; (5) past, current and future threats, including any current or planned activities that may adversely impact the species; (6) ongoing or planned efforts to protect and restore the species and its habitat; and (7) management, regulatory, and enforcement information. We request that all information be accompanied by: (1) Supporting documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of pertinent publications; and (2) the submitter's name, address, and any association, institution, or business that the person represents.

    References Cited

    A complete list of references is available upon request to the Office of Protected Resources (see ADDRESSES).

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 4, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11014 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 92 Thursday, May 12, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Research, Education, and Economics, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, Section 1408 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123), and the Agricultural Act of 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces an open meeting of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

    DATES:

    The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board will meet from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 23, 2016, and May 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street NW., Washington, DC. Written comments from the public may be sent to: The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office, Room 332A, Whitten Building, United States Department of Agriculture, STOP 0321, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0321.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Esch, Executive Director, or Shirley Morgan-Jordan, Program Support Coordinator, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board; telephone: (202) 720-3684; fax: (202) 720-6199; or email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Meeting: To provide advice and recommendations on the top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension and economics.

    Tentative Agenda: The agenda can be found at https://nareeeab.ree.usda.gov/meetings/general-meetings will include the following items:

    • Discussion and deliberation on the draft report of recommendations on the mandatory annual relevance and adequacy review of the food safety and human nutrition programs and activities of the Research, Education, and Economics mission area and to establish the relevance and adequacy committee for the 2017 review on responding to climate and energy needs.

    • Discussion on establishing national priorities and on reviewing the mechanism for technology assessment in USDA.

    • Updates on the activities of the Research, Education, and Economics mission area.

    • Updates from the permanent subcommittees and working groups of the NAREEE Advisory Board, including the presentation and deliberation of the letter of Recommendations of the Citrus Disease Subcommittee on the annual consultation with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

    Public Participation: This meeting is open to the public and any interested individuals wishing to attend. Opportunity for public comment will be offered each day of the meeting. To attend the meeting and/or make oral statements regarding any items on the agenda, you must contact Shirley Morgan-Jordan at 202-720-3684; email: [email protected] at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. Members of the public will be heard in the order in which they sign up at the beginning of the meeting. The Chair will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Written comments by attendees or other interested stakeholders will be welcomed for the public record before and up to two weeks following the Board meeting (by close of business Friday, June 10, 2016). All written statements must be sent to Michele Esch, Designated Federal Officer and Executive Director, at the address listed above or via email [email protected] All statements will become a part of the official record of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board and will be kept on file for public review in the Research, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office.

    Done at Washington, DC, this 4th day of May 2016. Ann M. Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education and Economics.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11211 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0028] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Field Testing of a Vaccine for Use Against Infectious Laryngotracheitis, Marek's Disease, and Newcastle Disease AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment concerning authorization to ship for the purpose of field testing, and then to field test, an unlicensed Infectious Laryngotracheitis-Marek's Disease-Newcastle Disease Vaccine, Serotype 3, Live Marek's Disease Vector. Based on the environmental assessment, risk analysis and other relevant data, we have reached a preliminary determination that field testing this veterinary vaccine will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. We are making the documents available to the public for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0028.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0028, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0028 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 7997039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Donna Malloy, Operational Support Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; phone (301) 851-3426, fax (301) 734-4314.

    For information regarding the environmental assessment or the risk analysis, or to request a copy of the environmental assessment (as well as the risk analysis with confidential business information removed), contact Dr. Patricia L. Foley, Risk Manager, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 1920 Dayton Avenue, P.O. Box 844, Ames, IA 50010; phone (515) 337-6100, fax (515) 337-6120.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorized to promulgate regulations designed to ensure that veterinary biological products are pure, safe, potent, and efficacious before a veterinary biological product license may be issued. Veterinary biological products include viruses, serums, toxins, and analogous products of natural or synthetic origin, such as vaccines, antitoxins, or the immunizing components of microorganisms intended for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases in domestic animals.

    APHIS issues licenses to qualified establishments that produce veterinary biological products and issues permits to importers of such products. APHIS also enforces requirements concerning production, packaging, labeling, and shipping of these products and sets standards for the testing of these products. Regulations concerning veterinary biological products are contained in 9 CFR parts 101 to 124.

    A field test is generally necessary to satisfy prelicensing requirements for veterinary biological products. Prior to conducting a field test on an unlicensed product, an applicant must obtain approval from APHIS, as well as obtain APHIS' authorization to ship the product for field testing.

    To determine whether to authorize shipment and grant approval for the field testing of the unlicensed product referenced in this notice, APHIS considers the potential effects of this product on the safety of animals, public health, and the environment. Based upon a risk analysis provided by the requester and other relevant data, APHIS has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) concerning the field testing of the following unlicensed veterinary biological product:

    Requester: Merck Animal Health, Intervet Inc.

    Product: Infectious Laryngotracheitis-Marek's Disease-Newcastle Disease Vaccine, Serotype 3, Live Marek's Disease Vector.

    Possible Field Test Locations: Arkansas, South Carolina, and Georgia.

    The above-mentioned product is a live Marek's Disease serotype 3 vaccine virus containing a gene from the Newcastle disease virus and two genes from the infectious laryngotracheitis virus. The attenuated vaccine is intended for use in healthy 18-day-old or older embryonated eggs or day-old chickens, as an aid in the prevention of infectious laryngotracheitis, Marek's disease, and Newcastle disease.

    The EA has been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    We are publishing this notice to inform the public that we will accept written comments regarding the EA from interested or affected persons for a period of 30 days from the date of this notice. Unless substantial issues with adverse environmental impacts are raised in response to this notice, APHIS intends to issue a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) based on the EA and authorize shipment of the above product for the initiation of field tests following the close of the comment period for this notice.

    Because the issues raised by field testing and by issuance of a license are identical, APHIS has concluded that the EA that is generated for field testing would also be applicable to the proposed licensing action. Provided that the field test data support the conclusions of the original EA and the issuance of a FONSI, APHIS does not intend to issue a separate EA and FONSI to support the issuance of the product license, and would determine that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared. APHIS intends to issue a veterinary biological product license for this vaccine following completion of the field test provided no adverse impacts on the human environment are identified and provided the product meets all other requirements for licensing.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 151-159.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of May 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11148 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0020] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Issuance of a Permit for Distribution and Sale for Emergency Use of a Classical Swine Fever Virus Vaccine, Live Pestivirus Vector AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment concerning authorization to import under permit, for distribution and sale for emergency use, a Classical Swine Fever Virus Vaccine, Live Pestivirus Vector. The environmental assessment, which is based on a risk analysis prepared to assess the risks associated with the use of this vaccine, examines the potential effects that this veterinary vaccine could have on the quality of the human environment. Based on the risk analysis and other relevant data, we have reached a preliminary determination that use of this veterinary vaccine will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment, and that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared. We intend to authorize shipment of this vaccine under permit for distribution and sale for emergency use in the United States following the close of the comment period for this notice unless new substantial issues bearing on the effects of this action are brought to our attention and provided the product meets all requirements for approval.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0020.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0020, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0020 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Donna Malloy, Operational Support Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; phone (301) 851-3426, fax (301) 734-4314.

    For information regarding the environmental assessment or the risk analysis, or to request a copy of the environmental assessment (as well as the risk analysis with confidential business information removed), contact Dr. Patricia L. Foley, Risk Manager, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 1920 Dayton Avenue, P.O. Box 844, Ames, IA 50010; phone (515) 337-6100, fax (515) 337-6120.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorized to promulgate regulations designed to ensure that veterinary biological products are pure, safe, potent, and efficacious. Veterinary biological products include viruses, serums, toxins, and analogous products of natural or synthetic origin, such as vaccines, antitoxins, or the immunizing components of microorganisms intended for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases in domestic animals.

    APHIS issues licenses to qualified establishments that produce veterinary biological products and issues permits to importers of such products. APHIS also enforces requirements concerning production, packaging, labeling, and shipping of these products and sets standards for the testing of these products. Regulations concerning veterinary biological products are contained in 9 CFR parts 101 to 124.

    Veterinary biological products meeting the requirements of the regulations may be considered for addition to the U.S. National Veterinary Stockpile (NVS). The NVS is the nation's repository of vaccines and other critical veterinary supplies and equipment. It exists to augment State and local resources in responding to high-consequence livestock diseases that could potentially devastate U.S. agriculture, seriously affect the economy, and threaten public health. The NVS vaccines would be used in APHIS programs or under U.S. Department of Agriculture control or supervision. The manufacturer of Classical Swine Fever Virus Vaccine, Live Pestivirus Vector, has been awarded a contract to supply the vaccine to the NVS for emergency use in the United States. The addition of this vaccine to the stockpile would not preclude private development and use of other vaccines meeting the requirements of the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act.

    To determine whether to authorize shipment and grant approval for the use of the imported product referenced in this notice, APHIS has considered the potential effects of this product on the safety of animals, public health, and the environment. Using a risk analysis and other relevant data, APHIS has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) concerning the safety testing of the following unlicensed veterinary biological product:

    Requester: Zoetis, Inc.

    Product: Classical Swine Fever Virus Vaccine, Live Pestivirus Vector.

    The above-mentioned product is a single-dose 1-mL modified live product for emergency vaccination in an outbreak situation. The proposed indication is intramuscular administration to healthy swine 6 weeks of age or older as an aid in preventing mortality and viremia caused by classical swine fever virus.

    Possible Field Use Locations: Where Federal and State authorities agree on use.

    The EA has been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Unless substantial issues with adverse environmental impacts are raised in response to this notice, APHIS intends to issue a finding of no significant impact based on the EA and authorize the importation under permit of the above product for distribution and sale for emergency use following the close of the comment period for this notice, provided the product meets all other requirements for approval.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 151-159.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of May 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11149 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0042] Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Fever Tick Status of the State of Chihuahua, Excluding the Municipalities of Guadalupe y Calvo and Morelos AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We are notifying the public that we have prepared an evaluation of the State of Chihuahua, excluding the municipalities of Guadalupe y Calvo and Morelos, for fever ticks. The evaluation concludes that this region is free from fever ticks, and that ruminants imported from the area pose a low risk of exposing ruminants within the United States to fever ticks. We are making the evaluation available for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0042.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0042, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0042 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Betzaida Lopez, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3300.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 93 prohibit or restrict the importation of certain animals, birds, and poultry into the United States to prevent the introduction of communicable diseases of livestock and poultry. Subpart D of part 93 (§§ 93.400 through 93.436, referred to below as the regulations) governs the importation of ruminants; within the regulations, §§ 93.424 through 93.429 specifically address the importation of various ruminants from Mexico into the United States.

    The regulations in paragraph (b)(1) of § 93.427 contain conditions for the importation of ruminants from regions of Mexico that we consider free from fever ticks (Boophilus annulatus). Regions of Mexico that we consider free from fever ticks are listed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/importexport. Currently, the State of Sonora is the only region on this list.

    Mexico has asked the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to recognize the State of Chihuahua, except the municipalties of Guadalupe y Calvo and Morelos, as a region free from fever ticks. In response to this request, we have prepared an evaluation of the fever tick status of this region. The evaluation concludes that the State of Chihuahua, excluding the municipalities of Guadalupe y Calvo and Morelos, is free from fever ticks, and that ruminants imported from the region pose a low risk of exposing ruminants within the United States to fever ticks.

    We are making the evaluation available for public review and comment. The assessment is available on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above) or by contacting the person listed in this document under the heading FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. After the close of the comment period, we will notify the public of our final determination regarding the status of the State of Chihuahua, excluding the municipalities of Guadalupe y Calvo and Morelos, for fever ticks.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of May 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11150 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Call for Nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations for the Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committees (SRS RACs) pursuant the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (the Act) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C., App. 2). Additional information on the SRS RACs can be found by visiting SRS RACs Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/pts/.

    DATES:

    Written nominations must be received by June 27, 2016. Nominations must contain a completed application packet that includes the nominee's name, resume, and completed Form AD-755 (Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information). The package must be sent to the address below.

    ADDRESSES:

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION under Nomination and Application Information for the address of the SRS RAC Regional Coordinators accepting nominations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Bergendorf, Senior Program Specialist, Forest Service Secure Rural Schools Program, by telephone at (202) 205-1468, or by 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 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    In accordance with the provisions of FACA, the Secretary of Agriculture is seeking nominations for the purpose of improving collaborative relationships among people who use and care for National Forests and provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. The duties of SRS RACs include monitoring projects, advising the Secretary on the progress and results of monitoring efforts, and making recommendations to the Forest Service for any appropriate changes or adjustments to the projects being monitored by the SRS RACs.

    SRS RACs Membership

    The SRS RACs will be comprised of 15 members approved by the Secretary of Agriculture. SRS RACs membership will be fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and functions to be performed. The SRS RACs members will serve 4-year terms. The SRS RACs shall include representation from the following interest areas:

    (1) Five persons that—

    (a) represent organized labor or non-timber forest product harvester groups;

    (b) represent developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users, or commercial recreation activities;

    (c) represent energy and mineral development, or commercial or recreational fishing interests;

    (d) represent the commercial timber industry; or

    (e) hold Federal grazing or other land use permits, or represent nonindustrial private forest land owners, within the area for which the committee is organized.

    (2) Five persons that represent—

    (a) nationally recognized environmental organizations;

    (b) regionally or locally recognized environmental organizations;

    (c) dispersed recreational activities;

    (d) archaeological and historical interests; or

    (e) nationally or regionally recognized wild horse and burro interest groups, wildlife or hunting organizations, or watershed associations.

    (3) Five persons that—

    (a) hold State elected Office (or designee);

    (b) hold county or local elected office;

    (c) represent American Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the committee is organized;

    (d) are school officials or teachers; or

    (e) represent the affected public at large.

    In the event that a vacancy arises, the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) may fill the vacancy with a replacement member appointed by the Secretary, if an appropriate replacement member is available. In accordance with the Act, members of the SRS RAC shall serve without compensation. SRS RAC members and replacements may be allowed travel expenses and per diem for attendance at committee meetings, subject to approval of the DFO responsible for administrative support to the SRS RAC.

    Nomination and Application Information

    The appointment of members to the SRS RACs will be made by the Secretary of Agriculture. The public is invited to submit nominations for membership on the SRS RACs, either as a self-nomination or a nomination of any qualified and interested person. Any individual or organization may nominate one or more qualified persons to represent the interest areas listed above. To be considered for membership, nominees must:

    1. Be a resident of the State in which the SRS RAC has jurisdiction;

    2. Identify what interest group they would represent and how they are qualified to represent that interest group;

    3. Provide a cover letter stating why they want to serve on the SRS RAC and what they can contribute;

    4. Provide a resume showing their past experience in working successfully as part of a group working on forest management activities; and

    5. Complete Form AD-755, Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information. The Form AD-755 may be obtained from the Regional Coordinators listed below or from the following SRS RACs Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racs. All nominations will be vetted by the Agency.

    Nominations and completed applications for SRS RACs should be sent to the appropriate Forest Service Regional Offices listed below:

    Northern Regional Office—Region I Central Montana RAC, Flathead RAC, Gallatin RAC, Idaho Panhandle RAC, Lincoln RAC, Mineral County RAC, Missoula RAC, Missouri River RAC, North Central Idaho RAC, Ravalli RAC, Sanders RAC, Southern Montana RAC, Southwest Montana RAC, Tri-County RAC

    Jerry Drury, Northern Regional Coordinator (Montana), Forest Service, Federal Building, 200 East Broadway, Missoula, Montana 59807-7669, (406) 329-3149.

    Carol McKenzie, Northern Regional Coordinator (Idaho), Forest Service, 3815 Schreiber Way, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83815-8363, (208) 765-7380.

    Rocky Mountain Regional Office—Region II Bighorn RAC, Black Hills RAC, Grand Mesa Uncompahgre Gunnison (GMUG) RAC, Medicine Bow-Routt RAC, Pike-San Isabel RAC, Saguache RAC, San Juan RAC, Shoshone RAC, Upper Rio Grande RAC

    Jace Ratzlaff, Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator, Forest Service, 740 Simms Street, Golden, Colorado 80401, (719) 469-1254.

    Southwestern Regional Office—Region III Coconino County RAC, Eastern Arizona RAC, Northern New Mexico RAC, Southern Arizona RAC, Southern New Mexico RAC, Yavapai RAC

    Mark Chavez, Southwestern Regional Coordinator, Forest Service, 333 Broadway SE., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, (505) 842-3393.

    Intermountain Regional Office—Region IV Ashley RAC, Bridger-Teton RAC, Central Idaho RAC, Dixie RAC, Eastern Idaho RAC, Elko RAC, Fishlake RAC, Humboldt (NV) RAC, Lyon-Mineral RAC, Manti-La Sal RAC, South Central Idaho RAC, Southwest Idaho RAC, Uinta-Wasatch Cache RAC, White Pine-Nye RAC

    Andy Brunelle, Intermountain Regional Coordinator (Idaho/Utah), Forest Service, Federal Building, 324 25th Street, Ogden, Utah 84401, (208) 344-1770.

    Cheva Gabor, Intermountain Regional Coordinator (Nevada), Forest Service, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150, (530) 543-2600.

    Pacific Southwest Regional Office—Region V Alpine County RAC, Amador County RAC, Butte County RAC, Del Norte County RAC, El Dorado County RAC, Fresno County RAC, Glenn and Colusa Counties RAC, Humboldt County RAC, Kern and Tulare Counties RAC, Lake County RAC, Lassen County RAC, Madera County RAC, Mendocino County RAC, Modoc County RAC, Nevada and Placer Counties RAC, Plumas County RAC, Shasta County RAC, Sierra County RAC, Siskiyou County RAC, Tehama RAC, Trinity County RAC, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties RAC

    Marty Dumpis, Pacific Southwest Regional Coordinator, Forest Service, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, California 94592, (909) 599-1267.

    Pacific Northwest Regional Office—VI Columbia County RAC, Colville RAC, Deschutes and Ochoco RAC, Fremont and Winema RAC, Hood and Willamette RAC, North Gifford Pinchot RAC, North Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie RAC, Northeast Oregon Forests RAC, Olympic Peninsula RAC, Rogue and Umpqua RAC, Siskiyou (OR) RAC, Siuslaw RAC, Snohomish County RAC, South Gifford Pinchot RAC, South Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie RAC, Southeast Washington Forest RAC, Wenatchee-Okanogan RAC

    Amber Sprinkle, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, Forest Service, 595 Northwest Industrial Way, Estacada, Oregon 97023, (503) 808-2242.

    Glen Sachet, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, Forest Service, 1220 Southwest 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, (503) 545-6083.

    Kathy Anderson, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, Forest Service, 1220 Southwest 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, (503) 545-6083.

    Southern Regional Office—Region VIII Alabama RAC, Cherokee RAC, Daniel Boone RAC, Davy Crockett RAC, Delta-Bienville RAC, DeSoto RAC, Florida National Forests RAC, Francis Marion-Sumter RAC, Holly Springs-Tombigbee RAC, Kisatchie RAC, Ozark-Ouachita RAC, Sabine-Angelina RAC, Southwest Mississippi RAC, Virginia RAC

    Steve Bekkerus, Southern Regional Coordinator, Forest Service, 1720 Peachtree Road, Northwest, Atlanta, Georgia 30309, (404) 347-7240.

    Eastern Regional Office—Region IX Allegheny RAC, Chequamegon RAC, Chippewa National Forest RAC, Eleven Point RAC, Gogebic RAC, Hiawatha East RAC, Hiawatha West RAC, Huron-Manistee RAC, Nicolet RAC, Ontonagon RAC, Superior RAC, West Virginia RAC

    David Scozzafave, Eastern Regional Coordinator, Forest Service, 626 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, (414) 297-3602.

    Alaska Regional Office—Region X Juneau RAC, Kenai Peninsula-Anchorage Borough RAC, Ketchikan RAC, Lynn Canal-Icy Strait RAC, Prince of Wales Island RAC, Prince William Sound RAC, Sitka RAC, Wrangell-Petersburg RAC, Yakutat RAC

    Dawn Heutte, Alaska Regional Coordinator, Forest Service, 709 West 9th Street, Room 559A, Juneau, Alaska 99801-1807, (907) 586-7836.

    Equal opportunity practices in accordance with USDA policies shall be followed in all appointments to the Panel. To ensure that the recommendations of the Panel have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by USDA, membership will, to the extent practicable, include individuals with demonstrated ability to represent all racial and ethnic groups, women and men, and persons with disabilities.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Gregory L. Parham, Assistant Secretary for Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11165 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utility Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 6, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by June 13, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1730, Review Rating Summary.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0025.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) manages loan programs in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended. An important part of safeguarding loan security is to see that RUS financed facilities are being responsible used, adequately operated, and adequately maintained. Future needs have to be anticipated to ensure that facilities will continue to produce revenue and loans will be repaid as required by the RUS mortgage. Regular periodic operations and maintenance (O&M) review can identify and correct inadequate O&M practices before they cause extensive harm to the system. Inadequate O&M practices can result in public safety hazards, increased power outages for consumers, added expense for emergency maintenance, and premature aging of the borrower's systems, which could increase the loan security risk to RUS.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will collect information using form 300 Review Rate Summary to identity items that may be in need of additional attention; to plan corrective actions when needed; to budget funds and manpower for needed work; and to initiate ongoing programs as necessary to avoid or minimize the need for “catch-up” programs.

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

    Number of Respondents: 208.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 832.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11139 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-30-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 125—South Bend, Indiana; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; LionsHead Specialty Tire & Wheel, LLC (Wheel Assemblies for Specialty Applications); Goshen, Indiana

    LionsHead Specialty Tire & Wheel, LLC (LionsHead) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Goshen, Indiana. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on May 3, 2016.

    A separate application for usage-driven site designation at the LionsHead facility will be submitted and will be processed under Section 400.38 of the FTZ Board's regulations. The facility is used to produce wheel assemblies for specialty applications, including trailers and golf carts. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt LionsHead from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, LionsHead would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to wheel assemblies for non-agricultural trailers, golf carts, farm feed tenders, grain wagons, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), recreational vehicles (RVs), handling equipment, forklifts and other types of industrial lifting equipment (duty rates-free to 3.1%) for the foreign-status inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components sourced from abroad include: Radial and bias-ply tires for agricultural machinery, forklifts, ATVs, golf carts, lawn and garden equipment, and passenger cars; specialty tire (ST)-rated radial and bias-ply tires for trailers; steel and aluminum wheels for agricultural machinery, trailers, golf carts, ATVs, forklifts, and lawn and garden equipment; and, steel and aluminum wheel parts (duty rates range from free to 4%).

    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 June 21, 2016.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11236 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-983] Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on drawn stainless steel sinks (drawn sinks) from the People's Republic of China (PRC), for the period of review (POR), April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015. We preliminarily find that respondent Guangdong Dongyuan Kitchenware Industrial Co., Ltd. (Dongyuan) made sales of the subject merchandise in the United States at prices below normal value (NV). In addition, we preliminarily find that the other mandatory respondents, B&R Industries Limited (B&R Industries), Zhongshan Newecan Enterprise Development Corporation (Newecan), and Zhongshan Superte Kitchenware Co., Ltd./Superte invoiced as Foshan Zhaoshun Trade Co., Ltd. (Superte), are part of the PRC-wide entity and will receive the rate of that entity, which is not under review. We are also preliminarily granting separate rates to Feidong Import and Export Co., Ltd. (Feidong) and Ningbo Afa Kitchen and Bath Co., Ltd. (Ningbo Afa),1 which demonstrated eligibility for separate rate status, but were not selected for individual examination. Additionally, we are preliminarily including nine companies 2 that failed to demonstrate their entitlement to a separate rate as part of the PRC-wide entity. Finally, we preliminarily find that Shenzhen Kehuaxing Industrial Ltd. (Kehuaxing) made no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1 On March 21, 2016, the Department determined that Ningbo Afa is the successor-in-interest to Yuyao Afa Kitchenware Co., Ltd. (Yuyao Afa), and stated that Ningbo Afa will be assigned an updated cash deposit rate based on the final results of this administrative review. See Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China, 81 FR 16138, 16139 (March 25, 2016).

    2 These nine companies are: (1) J&C Industries Enterprise Limited (J&C Industries); (2) Foshan Shunde MingHao Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd. (MingHao); (3) Franke Asia Sourcing Ltd. (Franke); (4) Grand Hill Work Company (Grand Hill); (5) Hangzhou Heng's Industries Co., Ltd. (Heng's Industries); (6) Jiangmen Hongmao Trading Co., Ltd. (Hongmao); (7) Jiangxi Zoje Kitchen & Bath Industry Co., Ltd. (Zoje); (8) Ningbo Oulin Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd. (Ningbo Oulin); (9) Shunde Foodstuffs Import & Export Company Limited of Guangdong (Shunde Foodstuffs).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian C. Smith or Brandon Custard, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1766 and (202) 482-1823, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order include drawn stainless steel sinks. Imports of subject merchandise are currently classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7324.10.0000 and 7324.10.0010. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.3

    3 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China,” issued concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Tolling of Deadline of Preliminary Results of Review

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days.4

    4See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement & Compliance, “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas” (January 27, 2016).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For the mandatory respondent Dongyuan, export prices were calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy (NME) within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov; the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is also available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on Enforcement and Compliance's Web site at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as the Appendix to this notice.

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    On June 24, 2015, Kehuaxing submitted a timely-filed certification that it had no exports, sales, or entries of subject merchandise during the POR.5 Additionally, our inquiry to CBP did not identify any POR entries of Kehuaxing's subject merchandise. Based on the foregoing, the Department preliminarily determines that Kehuaxing did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR. For additional information regarding this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    5See Letter from Kehuaxing, “Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from People's Republic of China; A-570-983; Certification of No Sales by Shenzhen Kehuaxing Industrial Ltd.” (June 24, 2015).

    Consistent with our practice in NME cases, the Department is not rescinding this administrative review for Kehuaxing, but intends to complete the review and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.6

    6See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011) (NME AD Assessment) and the “Assessment Rates” section, below.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    Because B&R Industries, Newecan, and Superte withdrew from participation in the review and did not respond to the Department's requests for information, the Department preliminarily finds these companies to be part of the PRC-wide entity.7 Additionally, because Shunde Foodstuffs, Franke, Grand Hill, Heng's Industries, Hongmao, J&C Industries, MingHao, Ningbo Oulin, and Zoje did not submit a separate rate application or certification by the deadline established in the Initiation Notice, or make a claim that they had no exports, sales, or entries of subject merchandise during the POR, we preliminarily find that these companies failed to establish their entitlement to a separate rate, and therefore, remain a part of the PRC-wide entity. The rate previously established for the PRC-wide entity is 76.45 percent.8 This rate is not under review.

    7See Preliminary Decision Memorandum. Pursuant to the Department's change in practice, the Department no longer considers the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65970 (November 4, 2013). Under this practice, the NME entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the entity, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change.

    8 The PRC-wide rate determined in the investigation was 76.53 percent. See Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 78 FR 21592 (April 11, 2013). This rate was adjusted for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass through to determine the cash deposit rate (76.45 percent) collected for companies in the PRC-wide entity. See explanation in Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People's Republic of China: Investigation, Final Determination, 78 FR 13019 (February 26, 2013).

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015:

    Exporters Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (%)
  • Guangdong Dongyuan Kitchenware Industrial Co., Ltd 1.65 Ningbo Afa Kitchen and Bath Co., Ltd * 1.65 Feidong Import and Export Co., Ltd * 1.65 * This company demonstrated that it qualified for a separate rate in this administrative review. Consistent with the Department's practice, we preliminarily assigned this company a rate of 1.65 percent—the rate calculated for the mandatory respondent in this review.9
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to the parties the calculations performed for these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.10 Rebuttals to case briefs may be filed no later than five days after the written comments are filed, and all rebuttal comments must be limited to comments raised in the case briefs.11

    9See Stainless Steel Bar From India: Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 77 FR 39467 (July 3, 2012) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at 12.

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice.12 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.13

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    Unless otherwise extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in the case briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.14 The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication of the final results of this review.

    14See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    For Dongyuan, if we continue to calculate a weighted-average dumping margin that is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent) in the final results, we will calculate importer- (or customer-) specific per-unit duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's (or customer's) examined sales to the total sales quantity associated with those sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).15 The Department will also calculate (estimated) ad valorem importer-specific assessment rates with which to assess whether the per-unit assessment rate is de minimis. We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is not zero or de minimis. Where either Dongyuan's ad valorem weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-(or customer-) specific ad valorem assessment rate is zero or de minimis, 16 we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    15 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    16See 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For Feidong and Ningbo Afa, the respondents which were not selected for individual examination in this administrative review and which qualified for a separate rate, the assessment rate will be equal to the rate calculated for the mandatory respondent in this review (i.e., 1.65 percent).17

    17See Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 80 FR 26227, 26228 (May 7, 2015); unchanged in Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2014, 80 FR 69644 (November 10, 2015).

    For the final results, if we continue to treat the non-responding mandatory respondents B&R Industries, Newecan, and Superte, as part of the PRC-wide entity, we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 76.45 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by those companies.

    The Department announced a refinement to its assessment practice in NME cases. Pursuant to this refinement in practice, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales database submitted by the company individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the PRC-wide rate. In addition, if we continue to find that Kehuaxing had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries of subject merchandise from Kehuaxing will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.18

    18 For a full discussion of this practice, see NME AD Assessment.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the companies listed above that have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then a cash deposit rate of zero will be established for that company); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity, which is 76.45 percent; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter(s) that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results of review in accordance with sections 751(a)(l) and 777(i)(l) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of the Methodology A. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments B. Non-Market Economy Country Status C. Separate Rates Determination 1. Absence of De Jure Control 2. Absence of De Facto Control 3. Separate Rate for Non-Selected Companies D. Companies Preliminarily Considered Part of the PRC-Wide Entity 1. B&R Industries, Newecan, and Superte 2. Shunde Foodstuffs, Franke, Grand Hill, Heng's Industries, Hongmao, J&C Industries, MingHao, Ningbo Oulin, and Zoje E. Surrogate Country 1. Economic Comparability 2. Significant Producer of Comparable Merchandise 3. Data Availability F. Date of Sale G. Comparisons to Normal Value 1. Determination of Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis 3. Export Price 4. VAT 5. Normal Value H. Factor Valuation Methodology I. Adjustment Under Section 777A(f) of the Act J. Currency Conversion V. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-11249 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-893] Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is rescinding the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp (“shrimp”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) for the period February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kabir Archuletta, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2593.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On April 7, 2016, based on a timely request for review on behalf of the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (“Petitioner”) 1 and the American Shrimp Processors Association (“Domestic Processors”),2 the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on shrimp from the PRC covering the period February 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.3 The review covers 74 companies. On April 18, 2016, and April 25, 2016, Petitioner and Domestic Processors withdrew their requests for an administrative review on all companies listed in the Initiation Notice. 4 No other party requested a review of these companies or any other exporters of subject merchandise.

    1See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee (“AHSTAC”) “Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the People's Republic of China: Request for Administrative Reviews” (February 24, 2016).

    2See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from the American Shrimp Processors Association (“ASPA”) “Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order Covering Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the People's Republic of China (POR 11: 02/01/15-01/31/16): American Shrimp Processors Association's Request for an Administrative Review” (February 29, 2016).

    3See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 20324 (April 7, 2016) (“Initiation Notice”).

    4See Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Petitioner “Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the People's Republic of China: Domestic Producers' Withdrawal of Review Requests” (April 18, 2016); Letter to the Secretary of Commerce from Domestic Processors “Administrative Review of Antidumping Duty Order Covering Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the People's Republic of China: Withdrawal of Review Request on Behalf of the American Shrimp Processors Association” (April 25, 2016).

    Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party that requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. In this case, Petitioner and Domestic Processors timely withdrew their request by the 90-day deadline, and no other party requested an administrative review of the antidumping duty order. As a result, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding the administrative review of the antidumping order on shrimp from the PRC for the period February 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016, in its entirety.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Because the Department is rescinding this administrative review in its entirety, the entries to which this administrative review pertained shall be assessed antidumping duties at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, if appropriate.

    Notifications

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: May 4, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11239 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-033] Large Residential Washers From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of Antidumping Duty Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Goldberger at (202) 482-4136 or Brian Smith at (202) 482-1766, Office II, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 5, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated the antidumping duty investigation of large residential washers (washing machines) from the People's Republic of China (PRC).1 The notice of initiation stated that the Department, in accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), would issue its preliminary determination for this investigation, unless postponed, no later than 140 days after the date of the initiation. As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department has exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to the recent closure of the Federal Government.2 All deadlines in this investigation have been extended by four business days.3 The revised deadline for the preliminary determination of this antidumping duty investigation is currently May 31, 2016.4

    1See Large Residential Washers From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 81 FR 1398 (January 12, 2016).

    2See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting A/S for Enforcement and Compliance, “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas” (January 27, 2016).

    3Id.

    4 Where the deadline falls on a weekend/holiday, the appropriate date is the next business day. Because the deadline for the preliminary determination of this antidumping duty investigation is Monday, May 30, 2016, a federal holiday, the appropriate date is the next business day, Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

    Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation is April 1, 2015, through September 30, 2015.

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    Section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act permits the Department to postpone the time limit for the preliminary determination if it receives a timely request from the petitioner for postponement. The Department may postpone the preliminary determination under section 733(c)(1) of the Act no later than 190 days after the date on which the administering authority initiates an investigation.

    On May 2, 2016, Whirlpool Corporation (the petitioner), made a timely request pursuant to section 733(c)(1) of the Act, 19 U.S.C. 1673(c)(1) and 19 CFR 351.205(e) for a 50-day postponement of the preliminary determination in this investigation.5 The petitioner stated that a postponement is necessary given the unprecedented number of factors of production that need to be accurately classified and valued, and the amount of time that will be needed for the Department to conduct a complete and thorough analysis. The petitioner further stated that a postponement is needed to allow time to address the various deficiencies in the questionnaire responses submitted in this case. The petitioner submitted its request more than 25 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination.6

    5See Letter from the petitioner, “Large Residential Washers from the People's Republic of China: Petitioner's Request for Extension of the Preliminary Determination” (May 2, 2016).

    6See 19 CFR 351.205(e).

    For the reasons stated above, and because there are no compelling reasons to deny the petitioner's request, the Department is postponing the preliminary determination in this investigation in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(2) and (e) by 50 days until July 19, 2016.7

    7 Where the deadline falls on a weekend/holiday, the appropriate date is the next business day. Because 190 days after the date on which the administering authority initiated this investigation is Wednesday, July 13, 2016, and all deadlines in this investigation were extended by four business days, the appropriate date is Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

    The deadline for the final determination will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless extended.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11244 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE617 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a two and a half day meeting of its Standing, Socioeconomic, Shrimp, Spiny Lobster, and Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, and end at 12 noon on Friday, June 3, 2016. To view the agenda, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Westshore Tampa Airport Hotel, 2225 N. Lois Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 877-6688.

    Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Atran, Senior Fishery Biologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; [email protected], telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda Day 1—Wednesday, June 1, 2016; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. I. Introductions and Adoption of Agenda II. Selection of SSC representative at June, 2016 Council meeting Standing and Socioeconomic SSC Session III. Socioeconomic considerations for sector management a. Reef Fish Amendment 41 (Red Snapper Charter for Hire) b. Reef Fish Amendment 42 (Reef Fish Headboat Management) IV. Grouper/Tilefish IFQ 5-year Review (Market Power Analysis) Standing, Socioeconomic, and Shrimp SSC Session V. Approval of March 8, 2016 Standing and Special Shrimp SSC minutes VI. Shrimp Amendment 17B (OY, MSY, number of permits, permit pool, transit provisions) a. Review of amendment b. Aggregate MSY/OY Working Group summary Standing, Socioeconomic, and Spiny Lobster SSC Session VII. Approval of spiny lobster portion of March 10, 2015 Standing, Special Shrimp, and Special Spiny Lobster SSC minutes VIII. Review of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 (preliminary) Spiny Lobster Landings a. Spiny Lobster Review Panel summary b. Spiny Lobster AP summary IX. Other Non-Reef Fish Business Standing and Reef Fish SSC Session X. Approval of January 5-6, 2016 Standing and Special Reef Fish SSC minutes XI. SSC members serving as Council state designees XII. Discussion of Methods to Address Recreational Red Snapper ACL Underharvests Day 2—Thursday, June 2, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Standing and Reef Fish SSC Session (continued) XIII. Review and Approval of Terms of Reference a. Gag update assessment b. Greater amberjack update assessment XIV. Review of Research and Operational Cycles for SEDAR Stock Assessments XV. Review of SEDAR Assessment Schedule a. Review of SEDAR schedule as of April 2016 b. Council recommendations for 2019 stock assessments XVI. Decision Tool for Gray Triggerfish Bag Limits, Size Limits, and Closed Season Analyses XVII. SEDAR 45 Vermilion Snapper standard assessment XVIII. Reevaluation of SSC Recommendation for Hogfish Equilibrium ABC XIX. OY Exceeding MSY in Some Scenarios Day 3—Friday, June 2, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-12 noon Standing and Reef Fish Session (continued) XX. Review of Draft Amendment 44-MSST and MSY Proxies for Reef Fish Stocks XXI. Reef Fish Other Business — Meeting Adjourns —

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version along with other meeting materials will be posted on the Council's file server. To access the file server, the URL is https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi, or go to the Council's Web site and click on the FTP link in the lower left of the Council Web site (http://www.gulfcouncil.org). The username and password are both “gulfguest.” Click on the “Library Folder”, then scroll down to “SSC meeting-2016-06.”

    The meeting will be webcast over the internet. A link to the webcast will be available on the Council's Web site, http://www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Scientific and Statistical Committee for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the Scientific and Statistical Committee will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Gulf Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11207 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE618 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Mackerel-Squid-Butterfish (MSB) Monitoring Committee will meet via webinar to develop recommendations for future MSB specifications.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Tuesday, May 31, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. and end by 4 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar with a telephone-only connection option: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/msb2016moncom/.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D. Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org will also have details on webinar access and any background materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council's MSB Monitoring Committee will meet to develop recommendations for future MSB specifications. There will be time for public questions and comments. The Council utilizes the Monitoring Committee recommendations at each June Council meeting when setting the subsequent years' MSB specifications.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11198 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, April 2016 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB or Bureau) is issuing its fourth Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Fair Lending Report) to Congress. We are committed to ensuring fair access to credit and eliminating discriminatory lending practices. This report describes our fair lending activities in prioritization, supervision, enforcement, rulemaking, research, interagency coordination, and outreach for calendar year 2015.

    DATES:

    The Bureau released the April 2016 Fair Lending Report on its Web site on April 29, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anita Visser, Policy Advisor to the Director of Fair Lending, Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1-855-411-2372.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [1]. Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, April 2016 Message From Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB

    When Congress established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the goal was to shine a light on unfair and discriminatory practices in the financial system. The legislation specifically tasked the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity with this critical obligation, but our commitment to finding and eliminating these practices extends throughout the Bureau. Indeed, ensuring fair and nondiscriminatory access to credit goes to the core of the Bureau's mission: Protecting consumers and promoting openness in America's financial markets.

    The past year has been especially productive for the Office of Fair Lending. In the mortgage market, they teamed up with the Department of Justice to resolve the largest redlining case in history against Hudson City Savings Bank (since acquired by M&T Bank), which will pay nearly $33 million in direct loan subsidies, funding for community programs and outreach, and a civil penalty. In that case, which arose out of a fair lending supervisory review at Hudson City, the Bureau found that Hudson City provided unequal access to credit by structuring its business to avoid and thus discourage access to mortgages for residents in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods 1 in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The Office of Fair Lending also resolved a significant discrimination case involving Provident Funding Associates based on our finding that over 14,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers paid more in mortgage brokers' fees than did similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers. The Office also helped revise the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act's Regulation C such that mortgage lenders will begin collecting a more comprehensive set of mortgage loan data starting in 2018, which will allow regulators, lenders, researchers, and the public to better pinpoint and address potential discrimination in the mortgage market, among other important goals.

    1 “Majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods” or “majority-Black-and-Hispanic communities” means census tracts in which more than 50 percent of the residents are identified in the 2010 U.S. Census as either “Black or African American” or “Hispanic or Latino.”

    The Office of Fair Lending also has continued to examine and investigate indirect auto lenders for compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Last year brought two noteworthy results, with prominent consent orders issued for American Honda Finance Corporation and Fifth Third Bank. In both matters, the Bureau alleged that the lender's policy of discretionary dealer markup resulted in minority borrowers paying more for loans without regard to their creditworthiness. The lenders agreed to reduce substantially the amount of discretion they permit dealers to mark up such loans and to pay a combined total of $42 million in restitution to harmed consumers. Our supervisory and enforcement work remains ongoing, as shown by our recent similar action against Toyota Motor Credit, and I urge indirect auto lenders to carefully consider the terms of these orders as they evaluate compliance in their own lending programs.

    One tangible outcome of the Office of Fair Lending's dedication is the money they help return to harmed consumers. When an enforcement action is resolved, typically much more work must be done before consumers see the benefits. Last year, the Office worked with Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bank) to complete payments of over $200 million to consumers who were excluded from debt relief offers because of their national origin. They also worked with PNC Bank (successor to National City Bank) to complete payments of over $35 million to tens of thousands of African-American and Hispanic borrowers who were charged higher prices on their mortgage loans. Finally, they worked with Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank to complete payments of over $80 million to over 300,000 borrowers who experienced discrimination in the pricing of Ally's auto loans. In addition to money returned to consumers through public enforcement actions, we achieve additional redress for consumers through the supervisory process. These results demonstrate the Office of Fair Lending's commitment to bettering the lives of consumers by ensuring fair, nondiscriminatory access to credit.

    The list of fair lending successes is even longer, as this report attests. We share our work in many ways, including guidance through Supervisory Highlights, industry and consumer outreach, and productive discussions with policymakers, including members of Congress. We welcome such dialogue because an integral part of the Bureau's commitment to diversity and inclusion is engaging many different voices in a broad discussion of these critical issues. The pursuit of civil rights has always required perseverance, and I am proud of the work my Fair Lending colleagues do to move forward in this important area.

    We are proud of the Bureau's work in 2015 and the successes of our Fair Lending team. And we are thankful for the continued interest that so many people have in our fair lending work.

    Sincerely, Richard Cordray Message from Patrice Alexander Ficklin Director, Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity

    This past year, 2015, has been one of tremendous growth and accomplishment for the CFPB's Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity. From enforcement and supervision to outreach and rulemaking, our office is dedicated to using the tools Congress provided to achieve our mission: Fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory credit for consumers.2 After the whirlwind of getting on our feet and “standing up” the Bureau, we have continued to solidify our presence in now-familiar markets and explored new and emerging issues in other markets. This is an exciting new phase in the Bureau's tenure that promises to make lasting improvements in the lives of America's consumers.

    2 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1013(c)(2)(A), Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5493(c)(2)(A)).

    As part of the Office of Fair Lending's statutory responsibility for oversight and enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act 3 (ECOA) and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act 4 (HMDA), we carefully prioritize among market areas to best utilize our resources. The mortgage and auto markets represent two of the most significant consumer experiences with credit and weigh heavily in our prioritization process. Homes and cars are typically two of the largest and most important purchases for consumers, and the Bureau is committed to ensuring these transactions are fair and equitable for all consumers. Our efforts in 2015 have required approximately $108 million in restitution to consumers harmed by discrimination and additional monetary payments, including loan subsidies, increased consumer financial education, and civil money penalties. Our efforts have also resulted in heightened industry awareness and increased consumer financial education. This year, all four of our public enforcement actions related to these two markets, resulting in monetary remediation for harmed consumers and forward-looking mechanisms to prevent future discrimination. Mortgage and auto featured prominently in our non-public supervisory work as well. Moreover, in January 2016, as a result of a settlement with Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank, the DOJ and the Bureau, a settlement administrator mailed $80 million plus accrued interest in checks to consumers harmed by discriminatory auto loan pricing policies.

    3 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq.

    4 12 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.

    While our settlement administration and mortgage and auto work continue to be priorities for our office, we have made significant strides in expanding our efforts to help consumers in other priority markets. These priority markets include the credit card market, where we continue to engage in both supervisory and enforcement work related to fair lending risks in that market.

    Notably, we also added small business lending to our priorities to address fair lending risks in that market. Small businesses are a backbone of our nation's economy and access to credit is critical to their operation and growth. Unlike large businesses, many small businesses are sole proprietorships where the owner's personal credit—and potentially that of family and friends—may be on the line.5 With so much at stake, and in light of the heightened fair lending risk acknowledged by the enactment of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, we will continue to focus on small business lending in our Fair Lending work going forward. In addition, the Bureau's rulemaking required by the Dodd-Frank Act's small business data collection provision 6 is now in the pre-rule stage.7 We look forward to developing additional subject-matter expertise in this market as we engage in dialogue with stakeholders, including industry, consumer advocates, and other market experts, conduct further examinations, and gather additional data and information in connection with the rulemaking.

    5See Office of Advocacy, Small Business Administration, Frequently Asked Questions (March 2014), available at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/FAQ_March_2014_0.pdf (according to the Small Business Administration, approximately 72.1% of all businesses are sole proprietorships).

    6 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1071(a) (codified at 15 U.S.C. 1691c-2(a)).

    7 80 FR 78055, 78058 (Dec. 15, 2015).

    The Bureau also published its final rule implementing Dodd-Frank's amendments to HMDA's Regulation C. HMDA data are integral to the everyday work of our office and others within the Bureau. One of HMDA's primary purposes is identifying potential discrimination, and many other stakeholders will benefit from improved data, including other agencies, the public, consumer groups, researchers, and industry itself. The final rule reflects our practical experience working with the data, as well as hundreds of comments from industry, consumer advocates, civil rights groups, and other stakeholders. These changes will undoubtedly enhance our work as we are able to analyze and act on this more robust information.

    The Dodd-Frank Act mandated the creation of the CFPB's Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity and charged it with ensuring fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit to consumers; coordinating our fair lending efforts with Federal and State agencies and regulators; working with private industry, fair lending, civil rights, consumer and community advocates to promote fair lending compliance and education; and annually reporting to Congress on our efforts.

    I am proud to say that the Office continues to fulfill our Dodd-Frank mandate and looks forward to continuing to work together with all stakeholders in protecting America's consumers. To that end, I am excited to share our progress with this, our fourth, Fair Lending Report.8

    8See Dodd-Frank Act section 1013(c)(2)(D) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5493(c)(2)(D)).

    Sincerely, Patrice Alexander Ficklin Executive Summary

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank or Dodd-Frank Act) 9 established the Bureau as the Nation's first federal agency with a mission focused solely on consumer financial protection and making consumer financial markets work for all Americans. Dodd-Frank established the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity within the CFPB, and charged it with “providing oversight and enforcement of Federal laws intended to ensure the fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit for both individuals and communities.” 10

    9 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

    10 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1013(c)(2)(A) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5493(c)(2)(A)).

    The Bureau and the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity (the Office of Fair Lending) have taken important strides over the last year in our efforts to protect consumers from credit discrimination and broaden access to credit, as we identify new and emerging fair lending risks and monitor institutions for compliance. In 2015, our fair lending supervisory and public enforcement actions directed institutions to provide approximately $108 million in remediation and other monetary payments.11

    11 Figures represent estimates of monetary relief for consumers ordered by the Bureau as a result of supervisory or enforcement actions on solely fair lending matters in 2015, as well as other monetary payments such as loan subsidies, increased consumer financial education, and civil money penalties. The Bureau also ordered institutions to provide non-monetary relief to consumers.

    • Supervision and enforcement priorities and activity. The Bureau's risk-based prioritization process allows the Office of Fair Lending to focus our supervisory and enforcement efforts on markets or products that represent the greatest risk for consumers.

    ○ Mortgage lending. Mortgage lending continues to be a key priority for the Office of Fair Lending for both supervision and enforcement, with a focus on HMDA data integrity and potential fair lending risks in the areas of redlining, underwriting, and pricing. In 2015, the Bureau resolved two public enforcement actions involving mortgage lending. Through 2015, our mortgage origination work has covered institutions responsible for close to half of the transactions reported pursuant to HMDA (and more than 60% of the transactions reported by institutions subject to the CFPB's supervision and enforcement authority).12 Moreover, our supervisory work on mortgage servicing has included use of the ECOA Baseline Review Modules, which help us to identify potential fair lending risk in mortgage servicing and inform our prioritization of mortgage servicers.

    12 CFPB analysis of HMDA data for 2015.

    ○ Indirect auto lending. In 2015, the Bureau continued its work in overseeing and enforcing compliance with ECOA in indirect auto lending through both supervisory and enforcement activity, including monitoring compliance with our previous supervisory and enforcement actions. Our auto finance targeted ECOA reviews 13 generally have included an examination of three areas: Credit approvals and denials, interest rates quoted by the lender to the dealer (the “buy rates”), and any discretionary markup or adjustments to the buy rate. In 2015, the Bureau resolved two public enforcement actions involving discriminatory pricing and compensation structures in indirect auto lending. Our indirect auto work has covered more than 60% of the auto loan market share by volume.14

    13 ECOA targeted reviews focus on a specific line of business, such as mortgages, credit cards, or auto finance and typically include statistical analysis and, in some cases, loan file reviews in order to evaluate an institution's compliance with ECOA and Regulation B within the specific business line selected.

    14 CFPB analysis of 2015 AutoCount data from Experian Automotive.

    ○ Credit cards. The Bureau also continued fair lending supervisory and enforcement work in the credit card market. We have focused in particular on the quality of fair lending compliance management systems and on fair lending risks in underwriting, line assignment, and servicing, including the treatment of consumers residing in Puerto Rico or who indicate that they prefer to speak in Spanish. Our work in this highly-concentrated market has covered institutions responsible for more than 75% of outstanding credit card balances in the United States.15

    15 CFPB analysis of 3Q 2015 call reports.

    ○ Other product areas. The Bureau has focused supervision and enforcement work in other markets as well. For example, this year we began targeted ECOA reviews of small-business lending, focusing in particular on the quality of fair lending compliance management systems and on fair lending risks in underwriting, pricing, and redlining. We remain committed to assessing and evaluating fair lending risk in all credit markets under the Bureau's jurisdiction.

    • Rulemaking. In October 2015, the Bureau published a final rule to amend Regulation C, the regulation that implements HMDA, to require covered lenders to report additional data elements, among other changes.16 In January 2016, in response to ongoing conversations with industry about compliance with Regulation C, the Bureau published a Request for Information (RFI) on the Bureau's HMDA data resubmission guidelines.17

    16See Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C), 80 FR 66128 (Oct. 28, 2015) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 1003 et. seq.), available at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-10-28/pdf/2015-26607.pdf.

    17 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Request for Information Regarding Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Resubmission Guidelines 2015-0058 (Jan. 12, 2016), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201601_cfpb_request-for-information-regarding-home-mortgage-disclosure-act-resubmission.pdf.

    • Guidance. In May 2015, the Bureau issued a compliance bulletin on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Program.18 The Bulletin reminds creditors of their obligations under ECOA 19 and its implementing regulation, Regulation B,20 to provide non-discriminatory access to credit for mortgage applicants by considering income from the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program. In addition, throughout the year, the Office of Fair Lending provided guidance and information on market trends through Supervisory Highlights.

    18 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program Bulletin 2015-02 (May 11, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201505_cfpb_bulletin-section-8-housing-choice-voucher-homeownership-program.pdf.

    19 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq.

    20 12 CFR 1002 et seq.

    • Outreach to industry, advocates, consumers, and other stakeholders. The Bureau continues to initiate and encourage industry and consumer engagement opportunities to discuss fair lending compliance and access to credit issues, including through speeches, presentations, blog posts, webinars, rulemaking, public comments, and communication with Members of Congress.

    • Interagency coordination and collaboration. The Bureau continues to coordinate with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) agencies,21 as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as we each play a role in enforcing our nation's fair lending laws and regulations. In 2015, the Office of Fair Lending entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with HUD to formalize information-sharing between our agencies and maximize opportunities for joint investigations, when possible.

    21 The FFIEC member agencies are the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The State Liaison Committee was added to FFIEC in 2006 as a voting member.

    This report generally covers the Bureau's fair lending work during calendar year 2015.

    1. Fair Lending Prioritization 1.1 Risk-Based Prioritization: A Data-Driven Approach To Prioritizing Areas of Potential Fair Lending Harm to Consumers

    To use the CFPB's fair lending research, supervision, and enforcement resources most efficiently and effectively, the Office of Fair Lending, working with other offices in the Bureau, developed a fair lending risk-based prioritization approach that assesses and determines how best to address areas of potential fair lending harm to consumers in the entities, products, and markets under our jurisdiction.

    The Bureau considers both qualitative and quantitative information at the institution, product, and market levels to determine where potential fair lending harm to consumers may be occurring. This information includes: Consumer complaints; tips from advocacy groups, whistleblowers, and government agencies; supervisory and enforcement history; quality of lenders' compliance management systems; results from data analysis; and market insights. The Office of Fair Lending integrates all of this information into the fair lending risk-based prioritization process, which is incorporated into the Bureau's larger risk-based prioritization process, allowing the Bureau to efficiently allocate its fair lending resources to areas of greatest risk to consumers. We then coordinate with other regulators so that our focus and efforts may inform their work and vice versa.

    1.1.1 Complaints and Tips

    The CFPB uses input from a variety of external and internal stakeholders to inform its fair lending prioritization process. We consider fair lending complaints handled by the Bureau's Office of Consumer Response and tips brought to the Office of Fair Lending's attention by advocacy groups, whistleblowers, and other government agencies (at the local, state, and federal levels). As part of the prioritization process the Office of Fair Lending also considers public and private fair lending litigation.

    1.1.2 Supervisory and Enforcement History

    The Bureau considers information gathered from prior fair lending work of the Bureau and other regulators, including any supervisory or enforcement actions. At the institution level, the Bureau considers results from past reviews, including information the Bureau has gathered about the fair lending risk(s) presented by a lender's policies, procedures, practices, or business model; the extent and nature of any violations previously cited; and the institution's remediation efforts. Additionally, the Bureau considers self-identified issues and whether the institution took appropriate corrective action when it identified those issues. We also closely monitor institutions' compliance with orders arising from previous enforcement actions. Finally, we coordinate with other regulators to share and consider the results of our respective fair lending efforts.22

    22 Other regulators may take into account the Bureau's fair lending findings in their evaluations of lender compliance with the Fair Housing Act, performance under the Community Reinvestment Act, or in conjunction with the review of merger/acquisition applications and other similar applications.

    1.1.3 Quality of Compliance Management Systems

    One critical piece of information the Bureau obtains through our supervisory work is the quality of an institution's fair lending compliance management system, which is a key factor considered in the fair lending prioritization process. The Bureau has previously identified common features of a well-developed fair lending compliance management system,23 though we recognize that the appropriate scope of an institution's fair lending compliance management system will vary based on its size, complexity, and risk profile.

    23See Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 13-14 (Apr. 2014), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201404_cfpb_report_fair-lending.pdf.

    Many CFPB-supervised institutions face similar fair lending risks, but they may differ in how they manage those risks, based on their size, complexity, and risk profile. A key consideration is that, the lower the quality of an institution's fair lending compliance management system, the less likely that the institution will identify and effectively address fair lending risks. As a result, a lower quality fair lending compliance management system generally indicates a higher fair lending risk to consumers.

    1.1.4 Data Analysis

    The Bureau's fair lending prioritization process is also driven by quantitative data analysis that evaluates developments and trends at the institution and market levels. For example, in the housing finance marketplace, HMDA data allow regulators to assess a specific institution's risk as well as risk across the market in order to identify those institutions or segments that appear to present heightened fair lending risk to consumers. Such analyses can be particularly useful in identifying those lenders that appear to deviate significantly from their peers in, for example, the extent to which they provide access to credit in communities of color.

    1.1.5 Market Insights

    The Office of Fair Lending works closely with all of the Bureau's markets offices, which monitor consumer financial markets to identify emerging developments and trends. These offices monitor key consumer financial products and services, including mortgages, credit cards, auto lending, consumer reporting, installment lending, student lending, and payday lending. The Bureau uses market intelligence and the trends identified by our markets offices to provide insight into the markets we oversee and to identify fair lending risks in a given market that may require further study or attention. For example, our work with the Office of Installment Lending and Collections Markets has assisted in our understanding of indirect auto lenders' business models and pricing policies. Information on fair lending risks in a market is then incorporated into our risk-based prioritization process to determine the level of attention needed in a market and our focus within that market.

    Based on our evaluation of the information and data gathered from the sources above, this year we identified mortgage lending (including both origination and servicing), auto finance, and credit cards as priority markets for our fair lending supervision and enforcement work. We also identified small business lending as a priority market in connection with the Bureau's exploration of the issues that will need to be addressed in the rulemaking required under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amended ECOA to require financial institutions to collect and report data on lending to women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.24 We remain committed to assessing and evaluating fair lending risk in all credit markets under the Bureau's authority.

    24 Dodd-Frank Act section 1071(a) (codified at 15 U.S.C. 1691c-2(a)).

    1.1.6 Addressing Areas of Potential Fair Lending Harm

    Once fair lending risks are identified and prioritized through our risk-based prioritization process, the Office of Fair Lending considers, as part of its strategic planning process, how best to address those risks and which resources to dispatch to address the risks.

    The Bureau's fair lending risk-based prioritization is an ongoing rather than a static process. Even after priorities are identified and steps are taken to effectuate those priorities, we continue to receive and consider information relevant to prioritization. At an institution level, such information may include new whistleblower tips and leads; additional risks identified in ongoing supervisory and enforcement activities; and compliance issues identified and brought to our attention by institutions themselves.

    The Office of Fair Lending considers a number of factors in determining how best to address this new information. Such factors may include the nature and extent of the fair lending risk; the degree of consumer harm involved; whether the risk appears to be isolated or widespread within a market; whether the risk was self-identified and/or self-disclosed to the Bureau; and the nature and extent of an institution's remediation plans. Based on these and other factors, the Office of Fair Lending may decide to initiate supervisory or enforcement activity, conduct additional research or ongoing monitoring of particular issues or institutions, issue guidance, leverage outreach events, or engage in other activity within the Bureau's authority. Fair Lending takes account of responsible conduct as set forth in CFPB Bulletin 2013-06, Responsible Business Conduct: Self-Policing, Self-Reporting, Remediation, and Cooperation.25

    25 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Responsible Business Conduct: Self-Policing, Self-Reporting, Remediation, and Cooperation 2013-06 (June 25, 2013), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201306_cfpb_bulletin_responsible-conduct.pdf.

    2. Fair Lending Supervision

    The CFPB's Fair Lending Supervision program assesses compliance with Federal consumer financial laws and regulations at banks and nonbanks over which the Bureau has supervisory authority. Supervision activities range from assessments of institutions' fair lending compliance management systems to in-depth reviews of products or activities that may pose heightened fair lending risks to consumers. As part of its Fair Lending Supervision program, the Bureau continues to conduct three types of fair lending reviews at Bureau-supervised institutions: ECOA baseline reviews, ECOA targeted reviews, and HMDA data integrity reviews. Our supervisory work has focused in the priority areas of mortgage, auto lending, credit cards, and small business lending.

    When the CFPB identifies situations in which fair lending compliance is inadequate, it directs institutions to establish fair lending compliance programs commensurate with the size and complexity of the institution and its lines of business. When fair lending violations have been identified, the CFPB may direct institutions to provide remediation and restitution to consumers, and may pursue other appropriate relief. The CFPB also refers a matter to the Justice Department when it has reason to believe that a creditor has engaged in a pattern or practice of lending discrimination in violation of ECOA.26 The CFPB may also refer other potential ECOA violations to the Justice Department.

    26 15 U.S.C. 1691e(g).

    2.1 Fair Lending Supervisory Observations

    Although the Bureau's supervisory process is confidential, the Bureau publishes regular reports called Supervisory Highlights, which provide information on supervisory trends the Bureau observes without identifying specific entities. The Bureau may also draw on its supervisory experience to publish compliance bulletins in order to remind the institutions that we supervise of their legal obligations. Industry participants can use this information to inform and assist in complying with ECOA and HMDA. Throughout the year, the Office of Fair Lending, in coordination with other offices within the Division of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending, engages in outreach to provide information on trends from the Bureau's supervisory experience as it relates to fair lending risk.

    2.1.1 Adverse Action Notice Deficiencies

    Regulation B requires a creditor to notify an applicant of an adverse action on the application taken within 30 days after receiving a completed application.27 The notice must be in writing and contain a statement of the action taken; the name and address of the creditor; a statement describing the provisions of section 701(a) of ECOA; the name and address of the Federal agency that administers compliance with respect to the creditor; and either a statement of the specific reasons for the action taken, or a disclosure of the applicant's right to a statement of specific reasons within 30 days, if the statement is requested within 60 days of the creditor's notification.28

    27 12 CFR 1002.9(a)(1)(i).

    28 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq.; 12 CFR 1002.9(a)(2).

    In the Winter 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights, the Office of Fair Lending described supervisory observations of instances in which supervised entities failed to provide the requisite information in denial notices as set forth in Regulation B and failed to notify an applicant of action taken within 30 days after receiving the completed application.29 These errors were attributed to weaknesses in the compliance audit programs and the monitoring and corrective action component of the compliance programs.30 In instances where these violations have been observed, the Bureau has directed the supervised entities to conduct a review of all mortgage loan applications denied within the relevant time period and take appropriate corrective action, including providing corrected notices to applicants.31

    29 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supervisory Highlights Winter 2015 at 12 (March 11, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201503_cfpb_supervisory-highlights-winter-2015.pdf.

    30Id.

    31Id.

    2.1.2 Consideration of Protected Forms of Income

    In 2015, the Bureau published guidance in Supervisory Highlights and in a compliance bulletin to remind industry stakeholders and consumers of ECOA and Regulation B provisions regarding consideration of protected sources of income. ECOA forbids a creditor from discriminating against any applicant “because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.” 32 Regulation B states that a creditor “shall not . . . exclude from consideration the income of an applicant . . . because of a prohibited basis or because the income is derived from part-time employment or is an annuity, pension, or other retirement benefit . . . .” 33 Regulation B also states that a “creditor shall not make any . . . written statement, in advertising or otherwise, to applicants or prospective applicants that would discourage on a prohibited basis a reasonable person from making or pursuing an application.” 34

    32 15 U.S.C. 1691(a)(2).

    33 12 CFR 1002.6(b)(5). Regulation B also states that “[w]hen an applicant relies on alimony, child support, or separate maintenance payments in applying for credit, the creditor shall consider such payments as income to the extent that they are likely to be consistently made.” Id.

    34Id. at § 1002.4(b).

    The Winter 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights discussed supervisory observations during recent examinations of instances in which Bureau examination staff found one or more violations of ECOA and Regulation B related to the treatment of protected sources of income.35 Applicants were automatically declined if they sought to rely on income from a non-employment source, such as Social Security income or retirement benefits, in order to repay the loan. Marketing materials contained written statements regarding the prohibition and may have discouraged applicants who received public assistance or other protected sources of income from applying for credit.

    35 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supervisory Highlights Winter 2015 at 13 (March 11, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201503_cfpb_supervisory-highlights-winter-2015.pdf.

    While the general rules governing the prohibition against consideration of protected sources of income include narrow exceptions (e.g., while a creditor may not consider the fact that an applicant receives public assistance income, the creditor can consider “[t]he length of time an applicant will likely remain eligible to receive such income” 36 ), for these exceptions to apply, an institution must analyze each applicant's particular situation.37 A blanket practice of denying any applicant who relies on public assistance income, or a specific form of public assistance income, without an assessment of an applicant's particular situation, may violate ECOA and Regulation B.

    36See Official Interpretations, 12 CFR 1002, ¶ 6(b)(2)-6 (Supp. I).

    37See id. (“When considering income derived from a public assistance program, a creditor may take into account, for example: i. The length of time an applicant will likely remain eligible to receive such income. ii. Whether the applicant will continue to qualify for benefits based on the status of the applicant's dependents (as in the case of Temporary Aid to Needy Families, or social security payments to a minor).”).

    The relevant supervised entities were directed by examination staff to identify mortgage applicants who were wrongly denied on the basis of their protected income source, as well as prospective applicants who were discouraged by the marketing materials. Supervision also directed that remediation be made to harmed applicants and prospective applicants, including reimbursement of fees and interest; the opportunity to reapply; and additional remuneration for any consumers who were improperly denied and subsequently lost their homes.

    The Winter 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights38 also emphasized guidance issued in the Bureau's November 18, 2014, bulletin on avoiding prohibited discrimination against consumers receiving Social Security disability income.39 The bulletin reminded lenders that requiring unnecessary documentation from consumers who receive Social Security disability income raises fair lending concerns, and called attention to standards and guidelines that may help lenders comply with the law.

    38 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supervisory Highlights Winter 2015 at 18 (March 11, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201503_cfpb_supervisory-highlights-winter-2015.pdf.

    39See Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Social Security Disability Income Verification Bulletin 2014-03 (November 18, 2014), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201411_cfpb_bulletin_disability-income.pdf.

    2.1.3 Consideration of Protected Forms of Income: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program

    The Summer 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights40 and the CFPB bulletin issued on May 11, 2015, provide guidance to help lenders avoid prohibited discrimination against consumers receiving public assistance income.41 Specifically, the bulletin reminds creditors of their obligations under ECOA and Regulation B to provide non-discriminatory access to credit for mortgage applicants by considering income from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Program.

    40 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supervisory Highlights Summer 2015 at 20 (June 23, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201506_cfpb_supervisory-highlights.pdf.

    41 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program Bulletin 2015-02 (May 11, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201505_cfpb_bulletin-section-8-housing-choice-voucher-homeownership-program.pdf.

    The Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program was created to assist low-income, first-time homebuyers in purchasing homes. The program is a component of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) broader Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, which also includes a rental assistance program.42 These programs are funded by HUD and administered by participating local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). Through the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program, the participating PHA may provide an eligible consumer with a monthly housing assistance payment to help pay for homeownership expenses associated with a housing unit purchased in accordance with HUD's regulations.43 In addition to HUD's regulations, the PHAs may also adopt additional requirements, including lender qualifications or terms of financing.44

    42 “Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program” refers to the homeownership assistance program authorized by the Quality Housing & Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-276, approved October 21, 1998; 112 Stat. 2461), and the applicable implementing regulations, 24 CFR 982.625-982.643. The program is also referred to as the Voucher Homeownership Program, the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option, or the Section 8 Homeownership Program.

    43 24 CFR 982.625(c).

    44Id. at § 982.632(a).

    As stated above, ECOA and Regulation B prohibit creditors from discriminating in any aspect of a credit transaction against an applicant “because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.” 45 “Any Federal, state, or local governmental assistance program that provides a continuing, periodic income supplement, whether premised on entitlement or need, is ‘public assistance' for purposes of the regulation. The term includes (but is not limited to) . . . mortgage supplement or assistance programs . . . .” 46 As such, mortgage assistance provided under the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program is income derived from a public assistance program under ECOA and Regulation B.

    45 15 U.S.C. 1691(a)(2); 12 CFR 1002.2(z), 1002.4(a).

    46 Official Interpretations, 12 CFR 1002.2, ¶ 2(z)-3 (Supp. I).

    Regulation B further provides that “[i]n a judgmental system of evaluating creditworthiness, a creditor may consider . . . whether an applicant's income derives from any public assistance program only for the purpose of determining a pertinent element of creditworthiness.” 47 However, “[i]n considering the separate components of an applicant's income, the creditor may not automatically discount or exclude from consideration any protected income. Any discounting or exclusion must be based on the applicant's actual circumstances.” 48 Accordingly, a blanket practice of excluding or refusing to consider Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers as a source of income or accepting the vouchers only for certain mortgage loan products or delivery channels, without an assessment of an applicant's particular situation, may violate ECOA and Regulation B.

    47 12 CFR 1002.6(b)(2)(iii).

    48 Official Interpretations, 12 CFR 1002.6 ¶ 6(b)(5)-3(ii) (Supp. I).

    Through the supervisory process, the Bureau has become aware of one or more institutions excluding or refusing to consider income derived from the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program during the mortgage loan application and underwriting process. Some institutions have restricted the use of Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers to only certain home mortgage loan products or delivery channels. Supervision has required one or more institutions to update their policies and procedures to ensure that their practices concerning Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers comply with ECOA and its implementing regulation, Regulation B. In addition, Supervision has required one or more institutions to identify borrowers who, due to their reliance on Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers, were either denied loans, or discouraged from applying; and to provide those borrowers with financial remuneration and an opportunity to reapply.

    2.1.4 Underwriting Disparity Findings and Remedial Actions

    The Fall 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights detailed the Bureau's supervisory work on ECOA targeted reviews that analyze an institution's underwriting practices. It describes the Bureau's supervisory underwriting reviews, methodologies used to understand underwriting outcomes and identify potential disparities, file selection methods, and guidance to institutions on managing fair lending risks in underwriting.49

    49 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supervisory Highlights Fall 2015 at 27 (November 3, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201510_cfpb_supervisory-highlights.pdf.

    CFPB examination teams conduct targeted ECOA reviews to evaluate areas of heightened fair lending risk. These reviews generally focus on a specific line of business, such as mortgages, credit cards, automobile finance or small business lending. Our underwriting reviews typically include a statistical analysis, and in some cases a loan file review, that assess an institution's compliance with ECOA and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, within the specific business line selected.

    In each examination where a file review is conducted, the review is tailored to the specific heightened areas of risk that have previously been identified. If the examiners identify examples of files that may provide evidence of discrimination, they share the files with the institution to obtain the institution's explanation. If, following the statistical analysis and the file review, the examination team believes that there may be a violation of ECOA, the CFPB may share the findings with the institution in a Potential Action and Request for Response for Fair Lending letter (detailed below).

    We noted that CFPB examination teams have conducted numerous examinations to determine whether statistical disparities in underwriting outcomes attributable to race, national origin, or some other prohibited basis characteristic constituted a violation of ECOA. Many of these examinations have concluded without findings of discrimination. In one or more examinations, however, examiners concluded that the disparities resulted from illegal discrimination in violation of ECOA.

    When examiners identify underwriting disparities that violate ECOA, the Bureau will require the institution to pay remuneration to affected borrowers, which may include application or other fees, costs, and other damages. Institutions also may be required to re-offer credit. In addition, institutions must identify and address any underlying compliance management system (CMS) weaknesses that led to the violations.

    2.2 Potential Action and Request for Response for Fair Lending (PARR-FL) Letters

    In the event that the Bureau is considering formal action, the Bureau may send a Potential Action and Request for Response for Fair Lending (PARR-FL) letter to the institution.50 As part of the examination process, the Bureau sends a PARR-FL letter to provide the entity notice of preliminary findings of violation(s) of Federal consumer financial law. The PARR-FL letter also notifies the entity that the Bureau is considering taking supervisory action, such as a non-public memorandum of understanding, or a public enforcement action, based on the potential violations identified and described in the letter. If there is a potential ECOA violation that could be referred to the DOJ, the PARR-FL letter provides the entity notice of the potential for a referral.

    50 A recent issue of Supervisory Highlights described non-Fair Lending PARR letters and the ARC process. See Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supervisory Highlights Summer 2015 at 27 (June 23, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201506_cfpb_supervisory-highlights.pdf.

    Generally, a PARR-FL letter will:

    • Identify the laws that the Bureau has preliminarily identified may have been violated and describe the possible illegal conduct;

    • Generally describe the types of relief available to the Bureau;

    • Inform the relevant institution of its opportunity to submit a written response presenting its positions regarding relevant legal and policy issues, as well as facts through affidavits or declarations;

    • Describe the manner and form by which the institution should respond, if it chooses to do so, and provide a submission deadline, generally 14 calendar days, for timely consideration;

    • Inform the relevant institution that the Bureau is considering recommending corrective action; and

    • When appropriate, inform the relevant institution that the Office of Fair Lending is considering recommending that the Bureau refer the institution to the DOJ.

    Typically, when a PARR-FL letter results from supervisory activity, the Bureau will send the PARR-FL letter prior to finalizing the examination report or supervisory letter. The Bureau carefully considers the institution's response before reaching a final decision about whether to cite an ECOA violation, what corrective action to take, and, as appropriate, whether to refer the matter to the DOJ. Depending on the response, the Bureau may determine that there is no violation of law, and that, therefore, neither corrective action nor a referral is appropriate. If the Bureau finds a violation, the examination report or supervisory letter will convey the final findings to the institution, the Bureau will seek appropriate corrective action, and the Bureau will inform the institution of any referral of the matter to the DOJ.

    2.3 ECOA Baseline Modules Update

    On October 30, 2015, the CFPB published an update to the ECOA Baseline Review Modules, which are part of the CFPB Supervision and Examination Manual. Examination teams use the ECOA Baseline Review Modules to conduct ECOA Baseline Reviews, which evaluate how well institutions' compliance management systems identify and manage fair lending risks. The revised Baseline Review modules better align in content and organization with the CFPB's examination procedures for CMS. The revised modules are consistent with the FFIEC Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures and organized by fair lending risk areas, such as origination and servicing. In addition, the fifth module, “Fair Lending Risks Related to Models,” is a new module that examiners will use to review empirical models that supervised financial institutions may use.

    When using the modules to conduct an ECOA Baseline Review, CFPB examination teams review an institution's fair lending supervisory history, including any history of fair lending risks or violations previously identified by the CFPB or any other federal or state regulator. Examination teams collect and evaluate information about an entity's fair lending compliance program, including board of director and management participation, policies and procedures, training materials, internal controls and monitoring and corrective action. In addition to responses obtained pursuant to information requests, examination teams may also review other sources of information, including any publicly-available information about the entity as well as information obtained through interviews with an institution's staff or supervisory meetings with an institution. Examiners may complete one or more modules as part of a broader review of compliance within an institution product line. For example, in order to evaluate fair lending risks related to mortgage servicing, examination teams may use Module IV, Fair Lending Risks Related to Servicing. This module includes questions on such topics as servicing consumers with Limited English Proficiency and policies and procedures related to the offering of hardship and/or loss mitigation options.

    The updated ECOA Baseline Review Modules and the CFPB Supervision and Examination Manual can be found on the Bureau's Web site at www.consumerfinance.gov.

    3. Fair Lending Enforcement

    The Bureau conducts investigations of potential violations of HMDA and ECOA, and if it believes a violation has occurred, can file a complaint either through its administrative enforcement process or in federal court. Like the other federal bank regulators, the Bureau refers matters to the DOJ when it has reason to believe that a creditor has engaged in a pattern or practice of lending discrimination.51 However, when the Bureau makes a referral to the DOJ, the Bureau can still take its own independent action to address a violation. In 2015, the Bureau announced four fair lending enforcement actions, in mortgage origination and indirect auto lending. The Bureau also has a number of ongoing fair lending investigations and has authority to settle or sue in a number of matters.

    51 15 U.S.C. 1691e(g).

    3.1 Fair Lending Public Enforcement Actions 3.1.1 Mortgage Hudson City Savings Bank

    On September 24, 2015, the CFPB and the DOJ filed a joint complaint against Hudson City Savings Bank (Hudson City) alleging discriminatory redlining practices in mortgage lending and a proposed consent order to resolve the complaint.52 The complaint alleges that from at least 2009 to 2013 Hudson City illegally redlined by providing unequal access to credit to neighborhoods in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Specifically, Hudson City structured its business to avoid and thereby discourage residents in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods from accessing mortgages. The consent order requires Hudson City to pay $25 million in direct loan subsidies to qualified borrowers in the affected communities, $2.25 million in community programs and outreach, and a $5.5 million penalty. This represents the largest redlining settlement in history as measured by such direct subsidies. On October 30, 2015, Hudson City was acquired by M&T Bank Corporation, and Hudson City was merged into Manufacturers Banking and Trust Company (M&T Bank), with M&T Bank as the surviving institution. As the successor to Hudson City, M&T Bank is responsible for carrying out the terms of the Consent Order.

    52Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Hudson City Savings Bank, F.S.B., No. 2:15-cv-07056-CCC-JBC (D.N.J. Sept. 24, 2015) (complaint), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_hudson-city-joint-complaint.pdf.

    Hudson City was a federally-chartered savings association with 135 branches and assets of $35.4 billion and focused its lending on the origination and purchase of mortgage loans secured by single-family properties. According to the complaint, Hudson City illegally avoided and thereby discouraged consumers in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods from applying for credit by:

    • Placing branches and loan officers principally outside of majority-Black-and-Hispanic communities;

    • Selecting mortgage brokers that were mostly located outside of, and did not effectively serve, majority-Black-and-Hispanic communities;

    • Focusing its limited marketing in neighborhoods with relatively few Black and Hispanic residents; and

    • Excluding majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods from its credit assessment areas.

    The consent order, which was entered by the court on November 4, 2015,53 requires Hudson City to pay $25 million to a loan subsidy program that will offer residents in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania mortgage loans on a more affordable basis than otherwise available from Hudson City; spend $1 million on targeted advertising and outreach to generate applications for mortgage loans from qualified residents in the affected majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods; spend $750,000 on local partnerships with community-based or governmental organizations that provide assistance to residents in majority-Black-and-Hispanic neighborhoods; and spend $500,000 on consumer education, including credit counseling and financial literacy. In addition to the monetary requirements, the decree orders Hudson City to open two full-service branches in majority-Black-and-Hispanic communities, expand its assessment areas to include majority-Black-and-Hispanic communities, assess the credit needs of majority-Black-and-Hispanic communities, and develop a fair lending compliance and training program.

    53Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Hudson City Savings Bank, F.S.B., No. 2:15-cv-07056-CCC-JBC (D.N.J. Sept. 24, 2015) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201511_cfpb_hudson-city-consent-order.pdf.

    Provident Funding Associates

    On May 28, 2015, the CFPB and the DOJ filed a joint complaint against Provident Funding Associates (Provident) alleging discrimination in mortgage lending, along with a proposed order to settle the complaint.54 The complaint alleges that from 2006 to 2011, Provident discriminated in violation of ECOA by charging over 14,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers more in brokers' fees than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers on the basis of race and national origin. Provident is required under the order to pay $9 million in damages to harmed African-American and Hispanic borrowers.

    54United States and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Provident Funding Associates, L.P., No. 3:15-cv-023-73 (N.D. Cal. May 28, 2015) (complaint), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201505_cfpb_complaint-provident-funding-associates.pdf.

    Provident is headquartered in California and originates mortgage loans through its nationwide network of brokers. Between 2006 and 2011, Provident made over 450,000 mortgage loans through its brokers. During this time period, Provident's practice was to set a risk-based interest rate and then allow brokers to charge a higher rate to consumers. Provident would then pay the brokers some of the increased interest revenue from the higher rates—these payments are also known as yield spread premiums. Provident's mortgage brokers also had discretion to charge borrowers higher fees. The fees paid to Provident's brokers were thus made up of these two components: Payments by Provident from increased interest revenue and through the direct fees paid by the borrower.

    The CFPB and the DOJ alleged that Provident violated ECOA by charging African-American and Hispanic borrowers more in total broker fees than non-Hispanic White borrowers based on their race and national origin and not based on their credit risk. The DOJ also alleged that Provident violated the Fair Housing Act, which also prohibits discrimination in residential mortgage lending. The agencies alleged that Provident's discretionary broker compensation policies caused the differences in total broker fees, and that Provident unlawfully discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers in mortgage pricing. Approximately 14,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers paid higher total broker fees because of this discrimination.

    The consent order, which was entered by the court on June 18, 2015, requires Provident to pay $9 million to harmed borrowers, to pay to hire a settlement administrator to distribute funds to the harmed borrowers identified by the CFPB and the DOJ, and to not discriminate against borrowers in assessing total broker fees.55 Provident will maintain the non-discretionary broker compensation policies and procedures it implemented in 2014. Provident's current policy does not allow discretion in borrower- or lender-paid broker compensation because individual brokers are unable to charge or collect different amounts of fees from different borrowers on a loan-by-loan basis. The consent order also requires that Provident continue to have in place a fair lending training program and broker monitoring program.

    55United States v. Provident Funding Associates, L.P., No. 3:15-cv-02373 (N.D. Cal. June 18, 2015) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201505_cfpb_consent-order-provident-funding-associates.pdf.

    Provident must hire a settlement administrator to distribute the $9 million to harmed borrowers.

    3.1.2 Auto Finance Fifth Third Bank

    On September 28, 2015, the CFPB resolved an action with Fifth Third Bank (Fifth Third) that requires Fifth Third to change its pricing and compensation system by substantially reducing or eliminating discretionary markups to minimize the risks of discrimination. On that same date, the DOJ also filed a complaint and proposed consent order in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio addressing the same conduct. That consent order was entered by the court on October 1, 2015. Fifth Third's past practices resulted in thousands of African-American and Hispanic borrowers paying higher interest rates than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers for their auto loans. The consent orders require Fifth Third to pay $18 million in restitution to affected borrowers.56

    56In re, Fifth Third Bank, No. 2015-CFPB-0024 (Sept. 28, 2015) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_consent-order-fifth-third-bank.pdf.

    As of the second quarter of 2015, Fifth Third was the ninth largest depository auto loan lender in the United States and the seventeenth largest auto loan lender overall. As an indirect auto lender, Fifth Third sets a risk-based interest rate, or “buy rate,” that it conveys to auto dealers. Fifth Third then allows auto dealers to charge a higher interest rate when they finalize the transaction with the consumer. As described above, this is typically called “discretionary markup.” Markups can generate compensation for dealers while giving them the discretion to charge similarly-situated consumers different rates. Fifth Third's policy permitted dealers to mark up consumers' interest rates as much as 2.5% during the period under review.

    From January 2013 through May 2013, the Bureau conducted an examination that reviewed Fifth Third's indirect auto lending business for compliance with ECOA and Regulation B. On March 6, 2015, the Bureau referred the matter to the DOJ. The CFPB found and the DOJ alleged that Fifth Third's indirect lending policies resulted in minority borrowers paying higher discretionary markups, and that Fifth Third violated ECOA by charging African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher discretionary markups for their auto loans than non-Hispanic White borrowers without regard to the creditworthiness of the borrowers. Fifth Third's discriminatory pricing and compensation structure resulted in thousands of minority borrowers paying, on average, over $200 more for their auto loans originated between January 2010 and September 2015.

    The CFPB's administrative consent order and the DOJ's consent order require Fifth Third to reduce dealer discretion to mark up the interest rate to a maximum of 1.25% for auto loans with terms of five years or less, and 1% for auto loans with longer terms, or move to non-discretionary dealer compensation. Fifth Third is also required to pay $18 million to affected African-American and Hispanic borrowers whose auto loans were financed by Fifth Third between January 2010 and September 2015. The Bureau did not assess penalties against Fifth Third because of the bank's responsible conduct, namely the proactive steps the bank is taking that directly address the fair lending risk of discretionary pricing and compensation systems by substantially reducing or eliminating that discretion altogether. In addition, Fifth Third Bank must hire a settlement administrator who will contact consumers, distribute the funds, and ensure that affected borrowers receive compensation.

    American Honda Finance Corporation

    On July 14, 2015, the CFPB resolved an action with American Honda Finance Corporation (Honda) that, like Fifth Third Bank, requires Honda to change its pricing and compensation system by substantially reducing or eliminating discretionary markups to minimize the risks of discrimination.57 On that same date, the DOJ also filed a complaint and proposed consent order in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California addressing the same conduct. That consent order was entered by the court on July 16, 2015. Honda's past practices resulted in thousands of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers paying higher interest rates than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers for their auto loans. As part of the enforcement action, Honda is required to pay $24 million in restitution to affected borrowers.

    57In re. American Honda Finance Corp., No. 2015-CFPB-0014 (July 14, 2015) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201507_cfpb_consent-order_honda.pdf.

    Honda is wholly-owned by American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and as of the first quarter of 2015, Honda was the fourth largest captive auto lender in the United States and the ninth largest auto lender overall. As an indirect auto lender, Honda sets a risk-based interest rate, or “buy rate,” that it conveys to auto dealers. Honda then allows auto dealers to charge a higher interest rate when they finalize the transaction with the consumer. As described above, this is typically called “discretionary markup.” The discretionary markups can generate compensation for dealers while giving them the discretion to charge similarly-situated consumers different rates. Honda permitted dealers to mark up consumers' risk-based interest rates as much as 2.25% for contracts with terms of five years or less, and 2% for contracts with longer terms.

    The enforcement action was the result of a joint CFPB and DOJ investigation that began in April 2013. The agencies investigated Honda's indirect auto lending activities' compliance with ECOA. The CFPB found and the DOJ alleged that Honda's indirect lending policies resulted in minority borrowers paying higher discretionary markups and that Honda violated ECOA by charging African-American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers higher discretionary markups for their auto loans than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers. Honda's discriminatory pricing and compensation structure resulted in thousands of minority borrowers paying, on average, from $150 to over $250 more for their auto loans originated from January 2011 through July 14, 2015.

    The CFPB's administrative consent order and the DOJ's consent order require Honda to reduce dealer discretion to mark up the interest rate to a maximum of 1.25% for auto loans with terms of five years or less, and 1% for auto loans with longer terms, or move to non-discretionary dealer compensation. Honda is also required to pay $24 million to affected African-American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers whose auto loans were financed by Honda between January 1, 2011 and July 14, 2015. As in the case of Fifth Third, the Bureau did not assess penalties against Honda because of Honda's responsible conduct, namely the proactive steps the company took to directly address the fair lending risk of discretionary pricing and compensation systems by substantially reducing or eliminating that discretion altogether. In addition, Honda, through American Honda Motor Co., will contact consumers, distribute the funds, and ensure that affected borrowers receive compensation.

    3.2 Implementing Public Consent Orders

    When an enforcement action is resolved through a public consent order, the Bureau (and the DOJ, where relevant) will take steps to ensure that the respondent or defendant complies with the requirements of the order. As appropriate to the specific requirements of individual public consent orders, the Bureau may take steps to ensure that borrowers who are eligible for compensation receive remuneration and that the defendant has implemented a comprehensive fair lending compliance management system. Throughout 2015, the Offices of Fair Lending and Supervision worked to implement and oversee compliance with three separate consent orders that were issued by Federal courts or the Bureau's Director in prior years. A description of these is included below.

    3.2.1 Settlement Administration Synchrony Bank, Formerly Known as GE Capital Retail Bank

    On June 19, 2014, the CFPB, as part of a joint enforcement action with the DOJ, ordered Synchrony Bank, formerly known as GE Capital, to provide $169 million in relief to about 108,000 borrowers excluded from debt relief offers because of their national origin.58

    58In re. Synchrony Bank, f/k/a GE Capital Retail Bank, No. 2014-CFPB-0007 (June 19, 2014) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201406_cfpb_consent-order_synchrony-bank.pdf.

    As previously reported, Synchrony Bank had two different promotions that allowed credit card customers with delinquent accounts to address their outstanding balances, one by paying a specific amount to bring their account current in return for a statement credit and another by paying a specific amount in return for waiving the remaining account balance. However, it did not extend these offers to any customers who indicated that they preferred to communicate in Spanish and/or had a mailing address in Puerto Rico, even if the customer met the promotion's qualifications. This practice denied consumers the opportunity to benefit from these promotions on the basis of national origin in direct violation of ECOA. This public enforcement action represented the federal government's largest credit card discrimination settlement in history.

    In the course of administering the settlement, Synchrony Bank identified additional consumers who were excluded from these offers and had a mailing address in Puerto Rico or indicated a preference to communicate in Spanish. Synchrony Bank provided a total of approximately $201 million in redress including payments, credits, interest, and debt forgiveness to approximately 133,463 eligible consumers. This amount includes approximately $4 million of additional redress based on its identification of additional eligible consumers. Synchrony completed redress to consumers as of August 8, 2015.

    PNC Bank, as Successor to National City Bank

    As previously reported, on December 23, 2013, the CFPB and the DOJ filed a joint complaint against National City Bank for discrimination in mortgage lending, along with a proposed order to settle the complaint. Specifically, the complaint alleged that National City Bank charged higher prices on mortgage loans to African-American and Hispanic borrowers than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers between 2002 and 2008. The consent order, which was entered on January 9, 2014, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, required National City's successor, PNC Bank, to pay $35 million in restitution to harmed African-American and Hispanic borrowers. The consent order also required PNC to pay to hire a settlement administrator to distribute funds to victims identified by the CFPB and the DOJ.59

    59Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. National City Bank, No. 2:13-cv-01817-CB (W.D. Pa. Jan. 9, 2014) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201312_cfpb_consent_national-city-bank.pdf.

    In order to carry out the Bureau's and the DOJ's 2013 settlement with PNC, as successor in interest to National City Bank, the Bureau and the DOJ worked closely with the settlement administrator and PNC to distribute $35 million to harmed African-American and Hispanic borrowers. On September 16, 2014, the Bureau published a blog post (available in English 60 and Spanish 61 ) announcing the selection of the settlement administrator and providing information on contacting the administrator and submitting settlement forms. Under the supervision of the government agencies, the settlement administrator contacted over 90,000 borrowers who were eligible for compensation and made over 120,000 phone calls in an effort to ensure maximum participation. As of the participation deadline of February 17, 2015, borrowers on approximately 74% of the affected loans responded to participate in the settlement. The settlement administrator mailed checks to participating borrowers totaling $35 million plus accrued interest on May 15, 2015.

    60 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National City Bank Settlement Administrator Will Contact Eligible Borrowers Soon (Sept. 16, 2014), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/national-city-bank-settlement-administrator-will-contact-eligible-borrowers-soon/.

    61 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, El administrador de negociación del National City Bank pronto se pondrá en contacto con los prestatarios elegibles (Sept. 16, 2014), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/el-administrador-de-negociacion-del-national-city-bank-pronto-se-pondra-en-contacto-con-los-prestatarios-elegibles/.

    Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank

    On December 19, 2013, the CFPB and the DOJ entered into the federal government's largest auto loan discrimination settlement in history 62 which required Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank (Ally) to pay $80 million in damages to harmed African-American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers. The CFPB found and the DOJ alleged that minority borrowers on more than 235,000 auto loans paid higher interest rates than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers between April 2011 and December 2013 because of Ally's discriminatory discretionary markup and compensation system.

    62In re. Ally Financial Inc., No. 2013-CFPB-0010 (Dec. 20, 2013) (consent order), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201312_cfpb_consent-order_ally.pdf.

    Ally hired a settlement administrator to distribute the $80 million in damages to harmed borrowers. On June 15, 2015, the Bureau published a blog post announcing the selection of the settlement administrator and providing information on contacting the administrator and submitting settlement forms.63 On June 26, 2015, the settlement administrator sent letters to Ally borrowers identified as potentially eligible for remediation from the settlement fund. Consumers had until October 2015 to respond, after which the agencies determined the final distribution amount for each eligible borrower. Following the conclusion of the participation period, Ally's settlement administrator identified approximately 301,000 eligible, participating borrowers and co-borrowers—representing approximately 235,000 loans—who were overcharged as a result of Ally's discriminatory pricing and compensation structure during the relevant time period. On January 29, 2016, the Ally settlement administrator mailed checks totaling $80 million plus accrued interest to harmed borrowers participating in the settlement.64 In addition to the $80 million in settlement payments for consumers who were overcharged between April 2011 and December 2013, Ally paid roughly $38.9 million to consumers that Ally determined were both eligible and overcharged on auto loans issued during 2014, pursuant to its continuing obligations under the terms of the orders.

    63 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Ally Settlement Administrator Will Contact Eligible Borrowers Soon (June 15, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/ally-settlement-administrator-will-contact-eligible-borrowers-soon/.

    64 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Harmed Ally Borrowers Have Been Sent $80 Million in Damages (January 29, 2016), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/harmed-ally-borrowers-have-been-sent-80-million-in-damages/.

    3.3 Equal Credit Opportunity Act Referrals to the Department of Justice

    The CFPB must refer to the DOJ a matter when it has reason to believe that a creditor has engaged in a pattern or practice of lending discrimination in violation of ECOA.65 The CFPB also may refer other potential ECOA violations to the DOJ. In 2015, the CFPB referred eight matters to the DOJ. With respect to two of the eight matters referred to the DOJ, the DOJ declined to open an independent investigation and deferred to the Bureau's handling of the matter. The CFPB's referrals to the DOJ in 2015 covered a variety of practices, specifically discrimination in mortgage lending on the bases of the receipt of public assistance income, sex, marital status, race, color, and national origin, and discrimination in auto lending on the bases of age, receipt of public assistance income, sex, marital status, race, and national origin.

    65 15 U.S.C. 1691e(g).

    3.4 Pending Fair Lending Investigations

    In 2015 the Bureau had a number of ongoing fair lending investigations and authorized enforcement actions against a number of institutions. In particular, as mortgage lending is among the Bureau's top priorities, the Bureau focused its fair lending enforcement efforts on addressing the unlawful practice of redlining. Redlining occurs when a lender provides unequal access to credit, or unequal terms of credit, because of the racial or ethnic composition of a neighborhood. At the end of 2015, the Bureau had a number of authorized enforcement actions in settlement negotiations and pending investigations.

    The Bureau is also focused on institutions' indirect auto lending, specifically discrimination resulting from lender compensation policies that give auto dealers discretion to set loan prices. In 2015, the Bureau investigated several indirect auto lenders and at the end of 2015 had a number of authorized enforcement actions in settlement negotiations and pending investigations.

    Finally, the Bureau is also investigating other areas for potential discrimination. At the end of 2015, the Bureau had a number of pending investigations in other markets including credit cards.

    4. Rulemaking and Related Guidance 4.1 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C)

    In October 2015, the Bureau issued and published in the Federal Register a final rule to implement the Dodd-Frank amendments to HMDA.66 The rule also finalizes certain amendments that the Bureau believes are necessary to improve the utility of HMDA data, further the purposes of HMDA, improve the quality of HMDA data, and create a more transparent mortgage market.

    66 80 FR 66128 (Oct. 28, 2015), available at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-10-28/pdf/2015-26607.pdf; see 12 CFR part 1003.

    4.1.1 HMDA History

    HMDA was enacted 40 years ago to respond to redlining concerns and the effects of disinvestment in urban neighborhoods and to encourage reinvestment in the nation's cities. The statute, as implemented by Regulation C, is intended to provide the public with loan data that can be used to help determine whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities; to assist public officials in distributing public-sector investment to attract private investment in communities where it is needed; and to assist in identifying possible discriminatory lending patterns and enforcing anti-discrimination statutes.67 HMDA data are also used for a range of mortgage market monitoring purposes by community groups, public officials, the financial industry, economists, academics, social scientists, regulators, and the media. Bank regulators and other agencies use HMDA to monitor compliance with and enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and federal anti-discrimination laws, including ECOA and the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

    67 12 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.

    The Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority for HMDA to the Bureau, effective July 2011. It also amended HMDA to require financial institutions to report new data points and authorized the Bureau to require financial institutions to collect, record, and report additional information.

    4.1.2 Rule History

    On August 29, 2014, the Bureau published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to implement changes to Regulation C and sought public comment on the proposal.68 The comment period ran through the end of October 2014. The Bureau received approximately 400 comments on its HMDA proposal. Commenters included consumer advocacy groups; national, State, and regional industry trade associations; banks; credit unions; software providers; housing counselors; academics; and others. The Bureau also consulted with or offered to consult with the prudential regulators (the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)), the DOJ, HUD, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the FTC.

    68 79 FR 51732 (Aug. 29, 2014), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-29/pdf/2014-18353.pdf.

    In adopting the final rule, the Bureau carefully reviewed and considered all of the comments it received, and published the final rule in the Federal Register on October 28, 2015 (the HMDA Rule). The Bureau has also issued a number of regulatory implementation tools and resources to assist industry in understanding and implementing the new rule's requirements, which are available at www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda.

    4.1.3 Summary of Regulation C Changes

    The rule modifies the types of institutions and transactions subject to Regulation C, adds new data reporting requirements, clarifies several existing data reporting requirements and modifies the processes for reporting and disclosing the required data.

    The HMDA Rule changes institutional coverage in two phases. First, to reduce burden on industry, certain lower-volume depository institutions will no longer be required to collect and report HMDA data beginning in 2017. A bank, savings association, or credit union will not be subject to Regulation C in 2017 unless it meets the asset-size, location, federally related, and loan activity tests under current Regulation C and it originates at least 25 home purchase loans, including refinancings of home purchase loans, in both 2015 and 2016. Second, effective January 1, 2018, the HMDA Rule adopts a uniform loan-volume threshold for all institutions. Beginning in 2018, an institution will be subject to Regulation C if it originated at least 25 covered closed-end mortgage loan originations in each of the two preceding calendar years or at least 100 covered open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding calendar years. Other applicable coverage requirements will apply, depending on the type of covered entity.

    The Rule also modifies the types of transactions covered under Regulation C. In general, the HMDA Rule adopts a dwelling-secured standard for transactional coverage. Beginning on January 1, 2018, covered loans under the HMDA Rule generally will include closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit secured by a dwelling and will not include unsecured loans.

    For HMDA data collected on or after January 1, 2018, covered institutions will collect, record, and report additional information on covered loans. New data points include those specifically identified in Dodd-Frank as well as others the Bureau determined will assist in carrying out HMDA's purposes. The HMDA Rule adds new data points for applicant or borrower age, credit score, automated underwriting system information, debt-to-income ratio, combined loan-to-value ratio, unique loan identifier, property value, application channel, points and fees, borrower-paid origination charges, discount points, lender credits, loan term, prepayment penalty, non-amortizing loan features, interest rate, and loan originator identifier as well as other data points. The HMDA Rule also modifies several existing data points.

    For data collected on or after January 1, 2018, the HMDA Rule amends the requirements for collection and reporting of information regarding an applicant's or borrower's ethnicity, race, and sex. First, a covered institution will report whether or not it collected the information on the basis of visual observation or surname. Second, covered institutions must permit applicants to self-identify their ethnicity and race using disaggregated ethnic and racial subcategories. However, the HMDA Rule will not require or permit covered institutions to use the disaggregated subcategories when identifying the applicant's or borrower's ethnicity and race based on visual observation or surname.

    The Bureau is developing a new web-based submission tool for reporting HMDA data, which covered institutions will use beginning in 2018. Regulation C's appendix A is amended effective January 1, 2018 to include new transition requirements for data collected in 2017 and reported in 2018. Covered institutions will be required to electronically submit their loan application registers (LARs). Beginning with data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019, covered institutions will report the new dataset required by the HMDA Rule, using revised procedures that will be available at www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda.

    Beginning in 2020, the HMDA Rule requires quarterly reporting for covered institutions that reported a combined total of at least 60,000 applications and covered loans in the preceding calendar year. An institution will not count covered loans that it purchased in the preceding calendar year when determining whether it is required to report on a quarterly basis. The first quarterly submission will be due by May 30, 2020.

    Beginning in 2018, covered institutions will no longer be required to provide a disclosure statement or a modified LAR to the public upon request. Instead, in response to a request, a covered institution will provide a notice that its disclosure statement and modified LAR are available on the Bureau's Web site. These revised disclosure requirements will apply to data collected on or after January 1, 2017 and reported in or after 2018.

    For data collected in or after 2018 and reported in or after 2019, the Bureau will use a balancing test to determine whether and, if so, how HMDA data should be modified prior to its disclosure in order to protect applicant and borrower privacy while also fulfilling HMDA's disclosure purposes. At a later date, the Bureau will provide a process for the public to provide input regarding the application of this balancing test to determine the HMDA data to be publicly disclosed.

    4.1.4 Reducing Industry Burden

    The Bureau took a number of steps to reduce industry burden while ensuring HMDA data are useful and reflective of the current housing finance market. A key part of this balancing is ensuring an adequate implementation period. Most provisions of the HMDA Rule go into effect on January 1, 2018—more than two years after publication of the Rule—and apply to data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019 or later years. At the same time, an institutional coverage change that will reduce the number of depository institutions that need to report is effective earlier: On January 1, 2017. Institutions subject to the new quarterly reporting requirement will have additional time to prepare: That requirement is effective on January 1, 2020, and the first quarterly submission will be due by May 30, 2020.

    As with all of its rules, the Bureau continues to look for ways to help the mortgage industry implement the new mortgage lending data reporting rules, and has created regulatory implementation resources that are available online. These resources include an overview of the final rule, a plain-language compliance guide, a timeline with various effective dates, a decision tree to help institutions determine whether they need to report mortgage lending data, a chart that provides a summary of the reportable data, and a chart that describes when to report data as not applicable. The Bureau will monitor implementation progress and will be publishing additional regulatory implementation tools and resources on its Web site to support implementation needs.69

    69 These resources are available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory-implementation/hmda/.

    4.1.5 HMDA Data Resubmission RFI

    In response to dialogue with industry and other stakeholders, the Bureau is considering modifications to its current resubmission guidelines. In comments on the Bureau's proposed changes to Regulation C, some stakeholders asked that the Bureau adjust its existing HMDA resubmission guidelines to reflect the expanded data the Bureau will collect under the HMDA Rule.

    Accordingly, on January 7, 2016, the Bureau published on its Web site a Request for Information (RFI) asking for public comment on the Bureau's HMDA resubmission guidelines.70 Specifically, the Bureau requested feedback on the Bureau's use of resubmission error thresholds; how they should be calculated; whether they should vary with the size of the HMDA submission or kind of data; and the consequences for exceeding a threshold, among other topics. Some examples of questions posed to the public include:

    70See http://www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-seeks-public-input-on-mortgage-lending-information-resubmission-guidelines/.

    • Should the Bureau continue to use error percentage thresholds to determine the need for data resubmission? If not, how else may the Bureau ensure data integrity and compliance with HMDA and Regulation C?

    • If the Bureau retains error percentage thresholds, should the thresholds be calculated differently than they are today? If so, how and why?

    • If the Bureau retains error percentage thresholds, should it continue to maintain separate error thresholds for the entire HMDA LAR sample and individual data fields within the LAR sample? If not, why?

    The RFI was published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2016.71 The 60-day comment period ended on March 14, 2016. As of this report's publication date, the Bureau was reviewing the comments received in response to the RFI.

    71 81 FR 1405 (Jan. 12, 2016).

    4.2 Small Business Data Collection

    Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank requires financial institutions to compile, maintain, and submit to the Bureau certain data on credit applications for women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.72 Congress enacted Section 1071 for the purpose of facilitating enforcement of fair lending laws and identifying business and community development needs and opportunities for women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. In December 2015, the Bureau updated its Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan to reflect that rulemaking pursuant to Section 1071 is now in the pre-rule stage.73 The first stage of the Bureau's work will be focused on outreach and research, after which the Bureau will begin developing proposed rules concerning the data to be collected and determining the appropriate procedures and privacy protections needed for information-gathering and public disclosure.

    72 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1071 (codified at 15 U.S.C. 1691c-2).

    73 80 FR 78055, 78058 (Dec. 15, 2015).

    The Bureau has begun to explore some of the issues involved in the rulemaking, including engaging numerous stakeholders about the statutory reporting requirements. The Bureau is also considering how best to work with other agencies to, in part, gain insight into existing small business data collection efforts and possible ways to cooperate in future efforts. In addition, current and future small business lending supervisory activity will help expand and enhance the Bureau's knowledge in this area, including the credit process; existing data collection processes; and the nature, extent, and management of fair lending risk.

    4.3 Amicus Program

    The Bureau's Amicus Program files amicus, or friend-of-the-court, briefs in court cases concerning the federal consumer financial protection laws that the Bureau is charged with implementing, including ECOA. These amicus briefs provide the courts with our views on significant consumer financial protection issues and help ensure that consumer financial protection statutes and regulations are correctly and consistently interpreted by the courts.

    On May 28, 2015, the Bureau with the Solicitor General of the United States filed an amicus brief in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore addressing the question whether Regulation B permissibly interprets ECOA's definition of “applicant” to encompass guarantors.74 Regulation B forbids creditors from requiring one spouse to guarantee the other spouse's debt obligation solely because the couple is married. The regulation further defines the “applicants” protected from that discriminatory practice to include any such guarantor. The amicus brief argues that this interpretation of “applicant” is a permissible interpretation of ECOA that is entitled to deference and should be upheld.75 In an equally divided 4-4 decision that lacks precedential effect, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.76

    74 Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioners, Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, 135 S.Ct. 1492 (2015) (granting cert.) (No. 14-520), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/amicus/.

    75Id. at 11.

    76Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, 577 U.S. (2016), 2016 WL 1092416.

    In 2015, the Bureau also began the process of working on an amicus brief in Alexander v. Ameripro Funding, Inc., appealing the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas's dismissal of an ECOA complaint alleging discrimination because all or part of the applicants' income derives from a public assistance program. The District Court held that the allegations in the complaint failed to state a prima facie claim of discrimination and to allege direct evidence of discrimination because the allegations were “conclusory” and failed to allege hostility or animus.77 The Bureau filed its amicus brief on February 23, 2016, and argued that allegations that creditors refused to consider public assistance income state a claim under ECOA sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. The brief also argued that hostility and animus are not elements of a discrimination claim under ECOA.78

    77Alexander v. Ameripro Funding, Inc., 2015 WL 4545625 at *4 (S.D. Tex. 2015).

    78 Brief of Amicus Curiae Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Support of Appellants and Reversal, Alexander, et al. v. Ameripro Funding, Inc., et al., No. 15-20710 (5th Cir. Feb. 23, 2016), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/amicus/.

    The Bureau's Amicus Program is ongoing and we welcome suggestions of pending cases that might make good candidates for the program.

    5. Research

    As part of the Bureau's commitment to transparency and to being a data-driven agency, we continue to evaluate and share our fair lending methodologies and analytical approaches. In the Bureau's 2015 Fair Lending Report to Congress,79 we discussed our evaluation of our proxy methodology, and responded to feedback from stakeholders. During the past year we have engaged in further dialogue around the Bureau's proxy methodology. We have also described the Bureau's approach to analyzing underwriting outcomes.

    79Available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_fair_lending_report.pdf.

    5.1 Proxy Methodology

    On September 17, 2014, the Bureau published a white paper, titled Using Publicly Available Information to Proxy for Unidentified Race and Ethnicity, that details the Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding (BISG) methodology the Bureau uses to calculate the probability that an individual is of a specific race and ethnicity based on his or her last name and place of residence.80

    80Available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/using-publicly-available-information-to-proxy-for-unidentified-race-and-ethnicity/.

    The analysis in the white paper showed that, compared to the distribution of self-reported race and ethnicity in a sample of mortgage applicants, the BISG proxy underestimated the percentage of non-Hispanic White mortgage applicants and overestimated the percentage of minority applicants. The analysis suggested that this pattern of under- and over-estimation is likely more pronounced for mortgage applicants, who tend to be disproportionately more non-Hispanic White than the U.S. adult population, and that in other settings, such as auto lending, the pattern may be less pronounced.

    Subsequent analysis of auto loan originations reported in the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX), a publicly-available survey of U.S. consumer expenditures conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,81 and mortgage originations reported in the 2012 HMDA data supports this point. For instance, 12% of the U.S. adult population is African American, and in 2012 African-American consumers received 10% of auto loan originations compared to 4% of mortgage loan originations. The general pattern of the percentage of auto loan originations being closer to the corresponding population percentage holds for non-Hispanic White, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic borrowers. This evidence suggests that for a nationally representative sample of consumers, the distribution of race and ethnicity for auto loan borrowers more closely approximates the distribution of race and ethnicity in the U.S. adult population than does the distribution of race and ethnicity for mortgage borrowers.

    81See United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, public-use microdata available at http://www.bls.gov/cex/pumdhome.htm.

    Table 1—Comparison of Distributions of Race and Ethnicity Race/ethnicity Adult
  • population
  • (census 2010)
  • (percent)
  • Auto loan originations
  • (CEX 2012)
  • (percent)
  • Mortgage loan originations
  • (HMDA 2012)
  • (percent)
  • Non-Hispanic White 67 73 82 African American 12 10 4 Asian and Pacific Islander 5 4 7 Hispanic 14 11 7

    The Bureau's methodology is designed to arrive at the best estimate, based on publicly available data, of the total number of harmed borrowers and to accurately identify the full scope of harm. The Bureau makes final determinations regarding discriminatory outcomes and their scope in dialogue with individual lenders, and carefully considers every argument lenders make about alternative ways to identify the number of harmed borrowers and the amount of harm. These alternative methods do not typically suggest an absence of discrimination or consumer harm, but rather a lower level than the Bureau's original estimates. In some instances, as a result of dialogue with institutions, the Bureau has adopted changes to our analyses and reduced our estimates in response to specific alternatives offered by individual lenders with regard to their specific loan portfolios. In other instances, the Bureau has retained its original estimates, for example, where we have concluded that the proffered alternatives would underestimate the level of discrimination and harm without an adequate basis.

    As we stated in our white paper, the Bureau is committed to continuing our dialogue with other federal agencies, lenders, industry groups, consumer advocates, and researchers regarding the Bureau's methodology, the importance of fair lending compliance, and the use of proxies when self-reported race and ethnicity is unavailable. We expect the methodology will continue to evolve as enhancements are identified that further increase accuracy and performance.

    5.2 Methodologies That Can Be Used To Understand Underwriting Disparities

    As noted above, the Fall 2015 edition of Supervisory Highlights detailed the Bureau's supervisory work on ECOA targeted reviews that analyze an institution's underwriting practices, including methodologies used to understand underwriting outcomes and identify potential disparities.

    In CFPB underwriting reviews, which typically evaluate potential disparities in denial rates, Bureau economists and analysts may rely on various methods to measure whether outcomes differ based on race, national origin, sex, or other prohibited bases.

    One traditional method involves odds ratios, which measure the ratio of the odds of two different events. In the context of an underwriting analysis, the ratio reflects the odds of a loan application denial between groups of borrowers.

    However, the Bureau may use other methods of analysis, including marginal effects, to gain a better understanding of the nature and relative magnitude of any underwriting disparities. In contrast to odds ratios, the marginal effect expresses the absolute change in denial probability associated with being a member of a prohibited basis group. For example, a marginal effect of 0.10 in an underwriting analysis means the probability of denial for the test group is 10 percentage points higher than the probability of denial for the control group. When the CFPB calculates marginal effects, it also considers a conditional marginal effect, which provides the increased chances of denial for a group holding all other factors constant, and thus controls for other, legitimate credit characteristics that may affect the probability of denial.

    An additional benefit of marginal effects is that they can be compared across groups and institutions, and to the institution's overall approval and denial rates in the specific product reviewed. In this manner, the CFPB can contextualize the disparity to determine whether it warrants additional inquiry. In a number of instances, our review of marginal effects data has allowed us to decide that a particular disparity does not merit additional inquiry.

    6. Interagency Coordination 6.1 Interagency Coordination and Engagement

    The Office of Fair Lending regularly coordinates the CFPB's fair lending efforts with those of other federal agencies and state regulators to promote consistent, efficient, and effective enforcement of federal fair lending laws.82 Through our interagency engagement, we work to address current and emerging fair lending risks.

    82 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1013(c)(2)(B) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5493(c)(2)(B)).

    6.1.1 Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force's Non-Discrimination Working Group

    The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force was established in November 2009 by an Executive Order aimed at strengthening the efforts of the DOJ and federal, state, and local agencies “to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes and other violations relating to the current financial crisis and economic recovery efforts, recover the proceeds of such financial crimes and violations, and ensure just and effective punishment of those who perpetuate financial crimes and violations.” 83 The Non-Discrimination Working Group focuses on and monitors financial fraud or other unfair practices and emerging trends in order to proactively address emerging discriminatory practices directed at people or neighborhoods based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, or other bases prohibited by law.

    83 Exec. Order No. 13519, 74 FR 60123 (Nov. 17, 2009).

    6.1.2 Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending

    The CFPB, along with the FTC, DOJ, HUD, FDIC, FRB, NCUA, OCC, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, comprise the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending. The Task Force meets regularly to discuss fair lending enforcement efforts, share current methods of conducting supervisory and enforcement fair lending activities, and coordinate fair lending policies.

    6.1.3 Interagency Working Group on Fair Lending Enforcement

    The CFPB belongs to a standing working group of Federal agencies—with the DOJ, HUD, and FTC—that meets regularly to discuss issues relating to fair lending enforcement. The agencies use these meetings to discuss fair lending developments and trends, methodologies for evaluating fair lending risks and violations, and coordination of fair lending enforcement efforts. In addition to these interagency working groups, we meet periodically and on an ad hoc basis with the prudential regulators to coordinate our fair lending work.

    6.1.4 FFIEC HMDA/Community Reinvestment Act Data Collection Subcommittee

    The CFPB takes part in the FFIEC HMDA/Community Reinvestment Act Data Collection Subcommittee, which is a subcommittee of the FFIEC Task Force on Consumer Compliance, as its work relates to the collection and processing of HMDA data jurisdiction.

    6.2 CFPB-HUD Memorandum of Understanding

    To increase efficiency and reduce industry burden where appropriate, the Bureau and HUD frequently collaborate and share information when there is overlapping authority. On September 2, 2015, the Bureau and HUD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) delineating how each agency will use and properly share information to enhance fair lending compliance and interagency collaboration around institutions and issues over which the two agencies share jurisdiction. The MOU further extends the Bureau's robust working relationship with HUD. In particular, HUD can now access the Bureau's Government Portal, allowing HUD to view the Bureau's consumer complaints. HUD, in turn, provides to the Bureau reports describing the fair lending complaints that it has received. Additionally, the agencies have agreed to coordinate joint fair lending investigations to minimize duplication of efforts; meet quarterly to discuss current fair lending investigations of entities within the jurisdiction of both Agencies; coordinate action(s) in a manner consistent and complementary to each agency's actions, including determining whether multiple or joint actions are necessary and appropriate; notify each agency of relevant information under specified circumstances; and meet annually to assess the implementation of the MOU.

    7. Outreach: Promoting Fair Lending Compliance and Education

    Pursuant to Dodd-Frank,84 the Office of Fair Lending regularly engages in outreach with Members of Congress, industry, bar associations, consumer advocates, civil rights organizations, other government agencies, and other stakeholders to help educate and inform about fair lending. The Bureau is committed to communicating directly with all stakeholders on its policies, compliance expectations, and fair lending priorities. As part of this commitment to outreach and education in the area of fair lending, equal opportunity and ensuring fair access to credit, Bureau personnel have engaged in dialogue with stakeholders on issues including the use of public assistance income in underwriting, disparate impact, HMDA data collection and reporting, indirect auto financing, the use of proxy methodology, and the unique challenges facing limited English proficient (LEP) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consumers in accessing credit. Outreach is accomplished through issuance of Interagency Statements, Supervisory Highlights, Compliance Bulletins, and blog posts, speeches and presentations at conferences and trainings, interaction with Members of Congress and their staff, and participating in convenings to discuss fair lending and access to credit matters.

    84 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1013(c)(2)(C) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5493(c)(2)(C)).

    7.1 Section 8 HCV Homeownership Compliance Bulletin

    When the Bureau becomes aware of compliance issues that may be widespread, it works to share information with industry stakeholders and consumers to address the concerns. On May 11, 2015, the Bureau issued a compliance bulletin on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Program.85 The Bulletin reminds creditors of their obligations under ECOA 86 and Regulation B 87 to provide non-discriminatory access to credit for mortgage applicants using income from the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program. In addition to publishing the Bulletin on its Web site, the Bureau published a blog post to raise consumer awareness of the Bulletin and the issues it addresses.88

    85 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program Bulletin 2015-02 (May 11, 2015), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201505_cfpb_bulletin-section-8-housing-choice-voucher-homeownership-program.pdf.

    86 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq.

    87 12 CFR part 1002 et seq.

    88 Patrice Ficklin & Daniel Dodd-Ramirez, Income from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program Shouldn't Mean You Don't Qualify for a Mortgage (May 11, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/income-from-the-section-8-housing-choice-voucher-homeownership-program-shouldnt-mean-you-dont-qualify-for-a-mortgage/.

    The Bureau became aware of circumstances where institutions were excluding or refusing to consider income derived from the Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program during mortgage loan application and underwriting processes. Some institutions have restricted the use of Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers to only certain home mortgage loan products or delivery channels. Our reminder to mortgage lenders, in the form of the compliance bulletin, should help consumers who receive Section 8 HCV Homeownership Program vouchers receive fair and equal access to credit and will help industry comply with current law.

    7.2 HMDA Rule and RFI

    As explained more fully earlier in this report, the Bureau published its final rule implementing the Dodd-Frank Act's amendments to HMDA and Regulation C in October 2015. Prior to publishing its final rule, the Bureau received and reviewed approximately 400 comments in response to its proposed rule. Additionally, the Bureau, in accordance with its obligation under the Dodd-Frank Act to consult with the appropriate prudential regulators and other Federal agencies prior to proposing a rule and during the comment process,89 proactively met with regulators throughout the rulemaking process to seek and consider their feedback.

    89 Dodd-Frank Act, section 1022(b)(2)(B) (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(2)(B)).

    In conjunction with the HMDA Rule, the Bureau published a Web page dedicated to HMDA to consolidate resources for consumers, industry, academia, the media and other stakeholders. The HMDA Web page contains the new rule, materials for better understanding the rule and its requirements, a tool to explore HMDA data, helpful facts and figures about HMDA data, and more. The Web page can be accessed at www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda.

    In addition, on January 12, 2016, the Bureau published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on possible modifications to the HMDA data resubmission guidelines.90 More information on both the HMDA Rule and the HMDA resubmission RFI may be found in Section 4.1 of this Report.

    90 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Request for Information Regarding Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Resubmission Guidelines 2015-0058 (Jan. 12, 2016), available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201601_cfpb_request-for-information-regarding-home-mortgage-disclosure-act-resubmission.pdf.

    7.3 Blog Posts

    The Bureau firmly believes that an informed consumer is the best defense against predatory lending practices. When issues arise that consumers need to know about, the Bureau uses many tools to spread the word. The Bureau regularly uses its blog as a tool to communicate effectively to consumers on timely issues, emerging areas of concern, Bureau initiatives, and more. In 2015 we published several blog posts related to fair lending, including announcement of the Hudson City redlining settlement, published in both English 91 and Spanish; 92 updates on the Ally settlement, published in both English 93 and Spanish; 94 information about income from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program; 95 and, a summary of the 2014 Annual Report.96

    91 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Hudson City Savings Bank to Pay $27 million to Increase Access to Credit in Black and Hispanic Neighborhoods it Discriminated against (September 24, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/hudson-city-savings-bank-to-pay-27-million-to-increase-access-to-credit-in-black-and-hispanic-neighborhoods-it-discriminated-against/.

    92 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, El Banco de Ahorros Hudson City pagará $27 millones para aumentar el acceso al crédito en vecindarios mayormente afroamericanos e hispanos que discriminaba (October 21, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/el-banco-de-ahorros-hudson-city-pagara-27-millones-para-aumentar-el-acceso-al-credito-en-vecindarios-mayormente-afroamericanos-e-hispanos-que-discriminaba/.

    93 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Ally Settlement Administrator Will Contact Eligible Borrowers Soon (June 15, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/ally-settlement-administrator-will-contact-eligible-borrowers-soon/.

    94 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Un administrador del acuerdo de Ally en breve estará en contacto con prestatarios elegibles (June 15, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/un-administrador-del-acuerdo-de-ally-en-breve-estara-en-contacto-con-prestatarios-elegibles/.

    95 Patrice Ficklin & Daniel Dodd-Ramirez, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Income from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program Shouldn't Mean You Don't Qualify for a Mortgage (May 11, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/income-from-the-section-8-housing-choice-voucher-homeownership-program-shouldnt-mean-you-dont-qualify-for-a-mortgage/.

    96 Patrice Ficklin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, We're Making Progress toward Ensuring Fair Access to Credit (April 28, 2015), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/were-making-progress-toward-ensuring-fair-access-to-credit/.

    The blog may be accessed any time at www.consumerfinance.gov/blog.

    7.4 Fair Lending Webinar

    On October 15, 2015, along with federal partners from the FRB, the DOJ, the FDIC, the OCC, HUD, and the NCUA, the Office of Fair Lending staff participated in and presented at the 2015 Federal Interagency Fair Lending Hot Topics webinar. The webinar covered several fair lending topics, including the use of data in evaluating fair lending risk, compliance management, maternity leave discrimination, post-origination risks, and auto lending settlements. The webinar was viewed by more than 6,000 registrants.

    7.5 Supervisory Highlights

    Supervisory Highlights publications anchor the Bureau's efforts to communicate with supervised entities about supervisory findings. Because the Bureau's supervisory process is confidential, Supervisory Highlights reports provide information to all market participants on broad supervisory and market trends that the Bureau observes. In 2015, Supervisory Highlights covered many topical issues pertaining to fair lending, including an overview of Bureau underwriting reviews, discussion of mortgage origination policies that violate ECOA and Regulation B by failing to consider public assistance income, and settlement updates for recent enforcement actions that were originated in the supervisory process.

    More information about the topics discussed this year in Supervisory Highlights can be found in Section 2.1 of this Report. As with all Bureau resources, all editions of Supervisory Highlights are available on www.consumerfinance.gov/reports.

    8. Interagency Reporting

    Pursuant to ECOA, the CFPB is required to file a report to Congress describing the administration of its functions under ECOA, providing an assessment of the extent to which compliance with ECOA has been achieved, and giving a summary of public enforcement actions taken by other agencies with administrative enforcement responsibilities under ECOA.97 This section of this report provides the following information:

    97 15 U.S.C. 1691f.

    • A description of the CFPB's and other agencies' ECOA enforcement efforts; and

    • an assessment of compliance with ECOA.

    In addition, the CFPB's annual HMDA reporting requirement calls for the CFPB, in consultation with HUD, to report annually on the utility of HMDA's requirement that covered lenders itemize certain mortgage loan data.98

    98 12 U.S.C. 2807.

    8.1 Equal Credit Opportunity Act Enforcement

    The enforcement efforts and compliance assessments made by all the agencies assigned enforcement authority under Section 704 of ECOA are discussed in this section.

    8.1.1 Public Enforcement Actions

    In addition to the CFPB, the agencies charged with administrative enforcement of ECOA under Section 704 include: The FRB, the FDIC, the OCC, and the NCUA (collectively, the FFIEC agencies); 99 the FTC, the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the SEC, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) of the Department of Agriculture.100 In 2015, CFPB had four public enforcement actions for violations of ECOA, and the FDIC issued one public enforcement action for violations of ECOA and/or Regulation B.

    99 The FFIEC is a “formal interagency body empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions” by the member agencies listed above and the State Liaison Committee “and to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions.” Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, http://www.ffiec.gov (last visited Jan. 26, 2016).

    100 15 U.S.C. 1691c.

    8.1.2 Violations Cited During ECOA Examinations

    Among institutions examined for compliance with ECOA and Regulation B, the FFIEC agencies reported that the most frequently cited violations were:

    Table 2—Most Frequently Cited Regulation B Violations by FFIEC Agencies: 2015 FFIEC Agencies reporting Regulation B violations: 2015 CFPB, FDIC, FRB, NCUA, OCC 12 CFR 1002.4(a): Discrimination on a prohibited basis in a credit transaction. 12 CFR 1002.5(b), (d): Improperly requesting information about an applicant's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or source of income. 12 CFR 1002.6(b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(5), (b)(9): Improperly considering age, receipt of public assistance, certain other income, or another prohibited basis in a system of evaluating applicant creditworthiness. 12 CFR 1002.7(a), (d)(1): Refusing to grant an individual account to a creditworthy applicant on a prohibit basis; improperly requiring the signature of an applicant's spouse or other person. 12 CFR 1002.9(a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), (b)(2), (c): Failure to timely notify an applicant when an application is denied; failure to provide sufficient information in an adverse action notification, including the specific reasons the application was denied; failure to timely and/or appropriately notify an applicant of either action taken or of incompleteness after receiving an application that is incomplete. 12 CFR 1002.12(b)(1), (b)(3): Failure to preserve records on actions taken on an application or of incompleteness, and on adverse actions regarding existing accounts. 12 CFR 1002.13(a) and (b): Failure to request and collect information about the race, ethnicity, sex, marital status, and age of applicants seeking certain types of mortgage loans. 12 CFR 14(a): Failure to provide an applicant with a copy of all appraisals and other written valuations developed in connection with an application for credit that is to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling, and/or failure to provide an applicant with a notice in writing of the applicant's right to receive a copy of all written appraisals developed in connection with the application. Table 3—Most Frequently Cited Regulation B Violations by Other ECOA Agencies, 2015 Other ECOA agencies Regulation B violations: 2015 FCA 12 CFR 1002.9: Failure to timely notify an applicant when an application is denied; failure to provide sufficient information in an adverse action notification, including the specific reasons the application was denied. 12 CFR 1002.13: Failure to request and collect information about the race, ethnicity, sex, marital status, and age of applicants seeking certain types of mortgage loans.

    The GIPSA, the SEC, and the SBA reported that they received no complaints based on ECOA or Regulation B in 2015. In 2015, the DOT reported that it received a “small number of consumer inquiries or complaints concerning credit matters possibly covered by ECOA,” which it “processed informally.” The FTC is an enforcement agency and does not conduct compliance examinations.

    8.2 Referrals to the Department of Justice

    In 2015, the FFIEC agencies including the CFPB referred a total of 16 matters to the DOJ. The FDIC referred four matters to the DOJ. These matters alleged discriminatory treatment of persons in credit transactions due to protected characteristics, including race, national origin, marital status and receipt of public assistance income. The FRB referred four matters to the DOJ. These matters alleged discriminatory treatment of persons in credit transactions due to protected characteristics, including race, national origin, and marital status. The CFPB referred eight matters to the DOJ during 2015, finding discrimination in credit transactions on the following prohibited bases: Race, color, national origin, age, receipt of public assistance income, sex, and marital status.

    8.3 Reporting on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

    The CFPB's annual HMDA reporting requirement calls for the CFPB, in consultation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to report annually on the utility of HMDA's requirement that covered lenders itemize in order to disclose the number and dollar amount of certain mortgage loans and applications, grouped according to various characteristics.101 The CFPB, in consultation with HUD, finds that itemization and tabulation of these data further the purposes of HMDA. For more information on the Bureau's proposed amendments to HMDA's implementing regulation, Regulation C, please see the Rulemaking section of this report (Section 4).

    101See 12 U.S.C. 2807.

    9. Conclusion

    In this, our fourth Fair Lending Report to Congress, we outline our work in furtherance of our Congressional mandate to ensure fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit. Our multipronged approach uses every tool at our disposal—supervision, enforcement, rulemaking, outreach, research, data-driven prioritization, interagency coordination, and more. We are proud to present this report as we continue to fulfill our Congressional mandate as well as the Bureau's mission to help consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing these rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.

    Appendix A: Defined Terms Term Definition Bureau The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CFPB The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CMS Compliance Management System. Dodd-Frank Act The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. DOJ The U.S. Department of Justice. DOT The U.S. Department of Transportation. ECOA The Equal Credit Opportunity Act. FCA Farm Credit Administration. FDIC The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Federal Reserve Board The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. FFIEC The U.S. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council—the FFIEC member agencies are the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The State Liaison Committee was added to FFIEC in 2006 as a voting member. FRB The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. FTC The U.S. Federal Trade Commission. GIPSA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. HMDA The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. HUD The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. LEP Limited English Proficiency. LGBT Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. NCUA The National Credit Union Administration. OCC The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. SBA Small Business Administration. SEC U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. [2]. Regulatory Requirements

    This Fair Lending Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau summarizes existing requirements under the law, and summarizes findings made in the course of exercising the Bureau's supervisory and enforcement authority. It is therefore exempt from notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis. 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a). The Bureau has determined that this Fair Lending Report does not impose any new or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

    Dated: April 29, 2016. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11138 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings Notice TIME AND DATE:

    Wednesday May 18, 2016, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

    PLACE:

    Hearing Room 420, Bethesda Towers, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Commission Meeting—Open to the Public.

    Matter To Be Considered Decisional Matter: Fiscal Year 2016 Midyear Review and Proposed Operating Plan Adjustments

    A live webcast of the Meeting can be viewed at www.cpsc.gov/live.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Todd A. Stevenson, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, (301) 504-7923.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11341 Filed 5-10-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of the Air Force, Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, DOD.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150, the Department of Defense announces that the United States Air Force (USAF) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) Summer Board meeting will take place on 15 June 2016 at the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Center, located at 100 Academy Drive in Irvine, CA 92617. The meeting will occur from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 15 June 2016. The session that will be open to the general public will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on 15 June 2016. The purpose of this Air Force Scientific Advisory Board quarterly meeting is to finalize FY16 SAB studies, which consist of: Data Analytics to Support Operational Decision Making (DAN), Responding to Uncertain or Adaptive Threats in Electronic Warfare (AEW), and Airspace Surveillance to Support A2/AD Operations (ASV). In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.155, a number of sessions of the USAF SAB Summer Board meeting will be closed to the general public because they will discuss classified information and matters covered by Section 552b of Title 5, United States Code, subsection (c), subparagraph (1).

    Any member of the public that wishes to attend this meeting or provide input to the USAF SAB must contact the SAB meeting organizer at the phone number or email address listed in this announcement at least five working days prior to the meeting date. Please ensure that you submit your written statement in accordance with 41 CFR 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Statements being submitted in response to the agenda mentioned in this notice must be received by the SAB meeting organizer at least five calendar days prior to the meeting commencement date. The SAB meeting organizer will review all timely submissions and respond to them prior to the start of the meeting identified in this noice. Written statements received after this date may not be considered by the SAB until the next scheduled meeting.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The SAB meeting organizer, Major Mike Rigoni at [email protected] or 240-612-5504, United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 1500 West Perimeter Road, Ste. #3300, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11176 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0055] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Study of Digital Learning Resources for Instructing English Learner Students AGENCY:

    Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (OPEPD), 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 new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 11, 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-0055. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Julie Warner, 202-453-6043.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Study of Digital Learning Resources for Instructing English Learner Students.

    OMB Control Number: 1875-NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 3,540.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 2,657.

    Abstract: This study will examine the use of digital learning resources (DLRs) to support the English language acquisition and academic achievement of English learners (ELs) in K-12 education. The goal of this study is to provide an understanding of the current use of DLRs for instructing EL students in order to inform further research and policy development efforts.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11194 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0027] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0027. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Valerie Sherrer, 202-377-3547.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0035.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 28,188.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 60,798.

    Abstract: The United States Department of Education will collect data through the National Student Loan Data System from Federal Perkins Loan holders (or their servicers) and Guaranty Agencies (GA) about Federal Perkins, Federal Family Education, and William D. Ford Direct Student Loans to be used to manage the federal student loan programs, develop policy, and determine eligibility for programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11195 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0054] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Evaluation of the ESSA Title I, Part D, Neglected or Delinquent Programs AGENCY:

    Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (OPEPD), 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 new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 11, 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-0054. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Michael Fong, 202-401-7462.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Evaluation of the ESSA Title I, Part D, Neglected or Delinquent Programs.

    OMB Control Number: 1875-NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 502.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 392.

    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine how state agencies, school districts, and juvenile justice and child welfare facilities implement education and transition programs for youth who are neglected or delinquent (N or D) under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title I, Part D. The information will be used by ED to produce and disseminate a report detailing how state agencies, school districts, and juvenile justice and child welfare facilities implement education and transition programs for youth who are neglected or delinquent (N or D).

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11193 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2299-000] Turlock Irrigation District; Modesto Irrigation District; Notice of Authorization for Continued Project Operation

    On April 28, 2014 Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, licensees for the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project, filed an Application for a New License pursuant to the Federal Power Act (FPA) and the Commission's regulations thereunder. The Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project facilities are located on the Tuolumne River in Tuolumne County, California.

    The license for Project No. 2299 was issued for a period ending April 30, 2016. Section 15(a)(1) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 808(a)(1), requires the Commission, at the expiration of a license term, to issue from year-to-year an annual license to the then licensee under the terms and conditions of the prior license until a new license is issued, or the project is otherwise disposed of as provided in section 15 or any other applicable section of the FPA. If the project's prior license waived the applicability of section 15 of the FPA, then, based on section 9(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 558(c), and as set forth at 18 CFR 16.21(a), if the licensee of such project has filed an application for a subsequent license, the licensee may continue to operate the project in accordance with the terms and conditions of the license after the minor or minor part license expires, until the Commission acts on its application. If the licensee of such a project has not filed an application for a subsequent license, then it may be required, pursuant to 18 CFR 16.21(b), to continue project operations until the Commission issues someone else a license for the project or otherwise orders disposition of the project.

    If the project is subject to section 15 of the FPA, notice is hereby given that an annual license for Project No. 2299 is issued to the licensee for a period effective May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017 or until the issuance of a new license for the project or other disposition under the FPA, whichever comes first. If issuance of a new license (or other disposition) does not take place on or before April 30, 2017, notice is hereby given that, pursuant to 18 CFR 16.18(c), an annual license under section 15(a)(1) of the FPA is renewed automatically without further order or notice by the Commission, unless the Commission orders otherwise.

    If the project is not subject to section 15 of the FPA, notice is hereby given that the licensee, Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, is authorized to continue operation of the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project, until such time as the Commission acts on its application for a subsequent license.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11221 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RP16-618-000] Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference

    As announced in the Notice of Technical Conference issued on April 15, 2016 in the above-captioned proceeding, a technical conference will be held in this proceeding on Monday, May 9, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and ending at approximately 3:30 p.m., at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. The purpose of the technical conference is to examine the issues raised in the protests and comments regarding the February 19, 2016 filing made by Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin). In that filing, Algonquin proposed to exempt from the capacity release bidding requirements certain types of capacity releases of firm transportation by electric distribution companies that are participating in state-regulated electric reliability programs.1 Issues to be examined at the technical conference include concerns raised regarding the basis and need for the waiver.

    1Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC, 154 FERC ¶ 61,269 (2016).

    The agenda for this technical conference is attached. Due to the number of parties requesting to make presentations, each presentation will be limited to fifteen minutes to provide sufficient time for discussion. We have allotted time between each presentation for questions and comments from staff, panelists, and the audience. Parties may file in this docket longer presentations or other materials prior to the technical conference. A schedule for post-technical comments will be established at the technical conference.

    For more information about this technical conference, please contact Anna Fernandez at [email protected] or (202) 502-6682. For information related to logistics, please contact Sarah McKinley at [email protected] or (202) 502-8368.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11222 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14769-000] Green Canyon Energy, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On March 14, 2016, Green Canyon Energy, LLC filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Eagle Creek Hydroelectric Project (Eagle Creek Project or project) to be located on Eagle Creek, in Lane County, Oregon. The proposed project boundary will occupy approximately 14.5 acres of federal land within the Willamette National Forest. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following new features: (1) A 40-foot-long, 9.5-foot-high concrete diversion weir traversing Eagle Creek; (2) an approximately 0.7 acre-foot impoundment; (3) an approximately 11,470-foot-long, 36-inch-diameter polyvinyl chloride pipe penstock; (4) a 50-foot-long, 40-foot-wide concrete powerhouse; (5) one Pelton turbine/generator with a total installed capacity of 7.0-megawatts; (6) a tailrace comprised of a 50-foot-long, 60-inch steel pipe and a 350-foot-long and 25-foot-wide rip-rapped channel discharging flows from the powerhouse back to Eagle Creek; (7) an approximately 3,960-foot-long, 12.4-kilovolt (kV) transmission line interconnecting with the existing Blachly-Lane Electric Cooperative transmission line; and (8) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Eagle Creek Project would be 50 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Mark A. Mikkelsen, 275 Knight Avenue, Eugene, Oregon 97404; phone: (541) 520-2233.

    FERC Contact: Karen Sughrue; phone: (202) 502-8556.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14769-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14769) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11220 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF16-4-000] Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned B-System Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the B-System Project involving abandonment, construction, and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) in Fairfield and Franklin Counties, Ohio. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before June 6, 2016.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on March 10, 2016, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF16-4-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (PF16-4-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    Columbia plans to abandon pipeline and appurtenant aboveground facilities as well as construct replacement and new pipeline and appurtenant aboveground facilities in Franklin and Fairfield Counties, Ohio. The project would replace aging infrastructure and construct new facilities as a part of Columbia's proposed Modernization II Program, which would allow Columbia to achieve compliance with emerging regulations and meet current and future service requirements.

    The B-System Project would:

    • Abandon in place approximately 17.5 miles of 20-inch-diameter pipeline and remove two associated mainline valves (mileposts 7.7 and 10.9) on Columbia's Line B-105;

    • construct approximately 14.0 miles of 20-inch-diameter replacement pipeline, and construct one new bi-directional pig 1 launcher/receiver (milepost 0.0) and mainline valve (milepost 7.0) on Columbia's Line B-111;

    1 A “pig” is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning the pipeline, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    • replace approximately 0.1 mile of 4-inch-diameter pipeline on Columbia's Line B-121;

    • replace approximately 0.5 mile of 4-inch-diameter pipeline on Columbia's Line B-130; and

    • construct approximately 7.6 miles of new 20-inch-diameter pipeline (“Line K-270”) connecting Columbia's K-System to its B-System, one pig launcher and tie-in piping (milepost 0.0), and one pig receiver, tie-in piping, gas heater, and regulation facility (milepost 7.6).

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Columbia's planned abandonment and construction activities would disturb about 387.6 acres of land. Following construction, Columbia would utilize and maintain about 147.5 acres for permanent operation of the new and replacement facilities.

    The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 3 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    3 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.4 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office(s), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO(s) as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned project.

    If we publish and distribute the EA, copies of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Columbia files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF16-4). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11192 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL00-95-288] San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange; Notice of Compliance Filing

    Take notice that on May 5, 2016, the California Power Exchange Corporation submitted its Refund Rerun Compliance Filing pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) July 15, 2011 Order Accepting Compliance Filings and Providing Guidance. 1

    1San Diego Gas & Elec. Co. v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Servs., 136 FERC ¶ 61,036 (2011).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 26, 2016.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11191 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 7518-018] Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations, 18 CFR part 380 (Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897), the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe's (licensees) Environmental Analysis, filed with the Commission on April 28, 2016, regarding the proposed surrender of project license for the Hogansburg Hydroelectric Project. The project is located on the St Regis River in Franklin County, New York. The project does not occupy any federal lands.

    After independent review of the licensees' Environmental Analysis, Commission staff has decided to adopt it and issue it as staff's Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of decommissioning project facilities, including dam removal, and the surrender of the project license. The EA includes proposed mitigation measures and concludes that granting the proposed surrender would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

    A copy of the EA is on file with the Commission and is available for public inspection. The EA may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number (P-7518) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or call toll-free at 1-866-208-3676 or (202) 502-8659 (for TTY).

    A copy of the EA may also be accessed using this link: http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=14226917.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubsription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    All comments must be filed within 30 days of the date of this notice and should reference Project No. 7518-018. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments using the Commission's efiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    For further information, contact Mo Fayyad at (202) 502-8759 or [email protected].

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11229 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-138-000] Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Atlantic Sunrise Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Sunrise Project, proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in the above-referenced docket. Transco requests authorization to expand its existing pipeline system from the Marcellus Shale production area in northern Pennsylvania to deliver an incremental 1.7 million dekatherms per day of year-round firm transportation capacity to its existing southeastern market areas.

    The draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC staff concludes that approval of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts; however, most of these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco's proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the draft EIS.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the National Environmental Policy Act analysis. Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the agency will present its own conclusions and recommendations in its respective record of decision or determination for the project.

    The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of about 197.7 miles of pipeline composed of the following facilities:

    • 183.7 miles of new 30- and 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania;

    • 11.5 miles of new 36- and 42-inch-diameter pipeline looping in Pennsylvania;

    • 2.5 miles of 30-inch-diameter replacements in Virginia; and

    • associated equipment and facilities.

    The project's proposed aboveground facilities include two new compressor stations in Pennsylvania; additional compression and related modifications to three existing compressor stations in Pennsylvania and Maryland; two new meter stations and three new regulator stations in Pennsylvania; and minor modifications at existing aboveground facilities at various locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to allow for bi-directional flow and the installation of supplemental odorization, odor detection, and/or odor masking/deodorization equipment.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the draft EIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to this proceeding. Paper copy versions of this EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them; all others received a CD version. In addition, the draft EIS is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. To ensure consideration of your comments on the proposal in the final EIS, it is important that the Commission receive your comments on or before June 27, 2016.

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (CP15-138-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project.

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type.

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public comment meetings its staff will conduct in the project area to receive comments on the draft EIS. We 1 encourage interested groups and individuals to attend and present oral comments on the draft EIS. We will begin our sign up of speakers at 6:30 p.m. All meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. and are scheduled as follows:

    1 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the FERC's Office of Energy Projects.

    Date Location June 13, 2016 Manheim Township High School, 115 Blue Streak Boulevard, Lancaster, PA 17601, (717) 560-3098. June 14, 2016 Lebanon Valley College, Lutz Auditorium, 101 N. College Avenue, Annville, PA 17003, (717) 867-6310. June 15, 2016 Bloomsburg University, Haas Center for the Arts—Mitrani Hall, 400 E. Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815, (570) 389-4291. June 16, 2016 Lake Lehmon High School, 1128 Old Route 115, Dallas, PA 18612, (570) 255-2705.

    The Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will participate (jointly with FERC) in the public comment meetings to gather information on this proposal to assist them in the review of the permit application for the proposed activity.

    The joint comment meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a description of our environmental review process by Commission staff, after which speakers will be called. The meetings will end once all speakers have provided their comments or at 10:30 p.m., whichever comes first. Please note that there may be a time limit of three minutes to present comments, and speakers should structure their comments accordingly. If time limits are implemented, they will be strictly enforced to ensure that as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to comment. The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter to ensure comments are accurately recorded. Transcripts will be entered into the formal record of the Commission proceeding.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (Title 18 Code of Federal Regulations Part 385.214).2 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding that no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    2 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Questions?

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-138). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676; for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11223 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Staff Notice of Alleged Violations

    Take notice 1 that in a nonpublic investigation pursuant to 18 CFR part 1b (2015), the staff of the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has preliminary determined that Saracen Energy Midwest, LP, violated Southwest Power Pool, Inc.'s Open Access Transmission Tariff, Attachment AE, 7.4.1(4), by submitting bids for Transmission Congestion Rights at Electronically Equivalent Settlement Locations between August 2014 and March 2015.

    1Enforcement of Statutes, Regulations, and Orders, 129 FERC ¶ 61,247 (2009), order on reh'g, 134 FERC ¶ 61,054 (2011).

    This Notice does not confer a right on third parties to intervene in the investigation or any other right with respect to the investigation.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11224 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 12966-004] Utah Board of Water Resources; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Licensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Major Unconstructed License.

    b. Project No.: 12966-004.

    c. Date Filed: May 2, 2016.

    d. Applicant: Utah Board of Water Resources.

    e. Name of Project: Lake Powell Pipeline Project.

    f. Location: In Washington and Kane counties, Utah, and in Coconino and Mohave counties, Arizona. The project would occupy 449 acres of federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Bill Leeflang, Project Manager, Utah Division of Water Resources; Telephone (801) 538-7293 or [email protected].

    i. FERC Contact: Jim Fargo, (202) 502-6095 or [email protected].

    j. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    k. The proposed Lake Powell Pipeline Project would consist of: (1) 140 miles of 69-inch-diameter pipeline and penstock, (2) a combined conventional peaking and pumped storage hydro station, (3) four conventional in-pipeline hydro stations, (4) a conventional hydro station, and (4) transmission lines.

    The proposed project's water intake would convey water from the Bureau of Reclamation's Lake Powell up to a high point within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, after which it would flow through a series of hydroelectric turbines, ending at Sand Hollow reservoir, near St. George, Utah.

    The energy generation components of the proposed project would include: (1) An inline single-unit, 1-megawatt (MW) facility at Hydro Station 1 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; (2) an inline single-unit, 1.7-MW facility at Hydro Station 2 east of Colorado City, Arizona; (3) an inline single-unit, 1-MW facility in Hildale City, Utah; (4) an inline single-unit, 1.7-MW facility above the Hurricane Cliffs forebay reservoir; (5) a 2-unit, 300-MW (150-MW each unit) hydroelectric pumped storage development at Hurricane Cliffs, with the forebay and afterbay sized to provide ten hours of continuous 300-MW output; (6) a single-unit, 35-MW conventional energy recovery generation unit built within the Hurricane Cliffs development; and (7) a single-unit, 5-MW facility at the existing Sand Hollow Reservoir.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Procedural Schedule:

    The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Notice of Acceptance/Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis January 2017. Filing of recommendations, preliminary terms and conditions March 2017. Commission issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) September 2017. Comments on DEIS November 2017. Modified terms and conditions January 2018. Commission issues Final EIS April 2018.

    o. Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11226 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2651-049] Indiana Michigan Power Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Recreation Plan Amendment.

    b. Project No: 2651-049.

    c. Date Filed: April 18, 2016.

    d. Applicant: Indiana Michigan Power Company.

    e. Name of Project: Elkhart Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the St. Joseph River in the City of Elkhart and Elkhart County, Indiana.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Ms. Elizabeth Parcell, Process Supervisor Senior, Indiana Michigan Power Company, 40 Franklin Road SW., Roanoke, VA 24011, (540) 984-2441.

    i. FERC Contact: Mr. Kevin Anderson, (202) 502-6465, [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: June 6, 2016.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2651-049.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person whose name appears on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee proposes to revise the project's recreation plan to incorporate a modification made in 2015 to the canoe portage take-out. Specifically, the licensee, with assistance from the City of Elkhart, constructed a concrete boat loading/unloading area within the right-of-way of Beardsley Avenue that enables the take-out to function better as an independent boat launch. Aside from the new loading/unloading area, other aspects of the current recreation plan would remain the same.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214, respectively. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. Any filing made by an intervenor must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11225 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-115-000.

    Applicants: Antelope Big Sky Ranch LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act for the Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities, Request for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment of Antelope Big Sky Ranch LLC.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2721-006.

    Applicants: El Paso Electric Company.

    Description: Supplement to December 31, 2015 Updated Market Power Analysis of El Paso Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5283.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4625-002; ER13-2169-001; ER13-1504-002; ER11-3634-002; ER10-2867-002; ER10-2866-001; ER10-2862-002; ER10-2861-001.

    Applicants: Colton Power L.P., Goal Line L.P., SWG Arapahoe, LLC, KES Kingsburg, L.P., Valencia Power, LLC, SWG Colorado, LLC, Harbor Cogeneration Co., Fountain Valley Power, LLC.

    Description: Amendment to March 17, 2016 Notice of Change in Status of the Southwest Generation Operating Company, LLC public utility subsidiaries, et al.

    Filed Date: 5/4/16.

    Accession Number: 20160504-5219.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1587-002.

    Applicants: Northeastern Power Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Planned Transfer to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-1218-001.

    Applicants: Armstrong Power, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Planned Transfer to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5217.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1051-000; ER16-1051-001.

    Applicants: Graphic Packaging International Inc.

    Description: Supplement to March 1, 2016 and April 28, 2016 Graphic Packaging International Inc. tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5278.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1454-001.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Resubmit Amended DSA w/SCE's Power Production Department to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1628-000.

    Applicants: Monongahela Power Company, Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company, The Potomac Edison Company, American Transmission Systems, Incorporation, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ATSI et al submits Service Agreement Nos. 4090, 4441, 4442, 4443 to be effective 7/4/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5205.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1629-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement No. 209—Four Corners Acquisition to be effective 7/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5225.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1630-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule Nos. 44, 98, 211—Four Corners Acquisition to be effective 7/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160505-5226.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1631-000.

    Applicants: Armstrong Power, LLC, Calumet Energy Team, LLC, Northeastern Power Company, Pleasants Energy, LLC, Troy Energy, LLC.

    Description: Joint Request for Waiver of Armstrong Power, LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 5/4/16.

    Accession Number: 20160504-5223.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/25/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1632-000.

    Applicants: Calumet Energy Team, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Planned Transfer to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5091.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1633-000.

    Applicants: Pleasants Energy, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Planned Transfer to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1634-000.

    Applicants: Troy Energy, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Informational Filing Regarding Planned Transfer to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1635-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule No. 281 to be effective 7/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1636-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Ekdorado-Moenkopi 500kV Transmission Line IA with APS to be effective 7/7/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1637-000.

    Applicants: UIL Distributed Resources, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for MBR Authority & Request for Related Waivers & Blanket Approval to be effective 5/7/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5174.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1638-000.

    Applicants: 4C Acquisition, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Baseline FERC Electric Tariff to be effective 7/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 5/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160506-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 5/27/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11190 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC16-6-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725J); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection FERC-725J (Definition of the Bulk Electric System) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 9179, 2/24/2016) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-725J and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    Note: Commission staff has revised the burden table, added an information collection requirement, and revised the burden estimate.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0259, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected]. Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-0710.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC16-6-000, by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725J, Definition of the Bulk Electric System.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0259.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-725J information collection requirements with no changes to the reporting requirements.

    Abstract: On December 20, 2012, the Commission issued Order No. 773, a Final Rule approving NERC's modifications to the definition of “bulk electric system” and the Rules of Procedure exception process to be effective July 1, 2013. On April 18, 2013, in Order No. 773-A, the Commission largely affirmed its findings in Order No. 773. In Order Nos. 773 and 773-A, the Commission directed NERC to modify the definition of bulk electric system in two respects: (1) Modify the local network exclusion (exclusion E3) to remove the 100 kV minimum operating voltage to allow systems that include one or more looped configurations connected below 100 kV to be eligible for the local network exclusion; and (2) modify the exclusions to ensure that generator interconnection facilities at or above 100 kV connected to bulk electric system generators identified in inclusion I2 are not excluded from the bulk electric system.

    Type of Respondents: Generator owners, distribution providers, other NERC-registered entities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:1 The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden 2 for the information collection as:

    1 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    2 The FERC-725J information collection no longer includes reporting burden for “System Review and List Creation” and “Regional and ERO Handling of Exception Requests”. These two response categories were part of the reporting burden in Years 1 and 2 of the FERC-725J implementation and have been completed.

    3 The hourly cost figure (wages plus benefits) comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm). The figure is for an electric engineer ($62.38, Occupational Code: 17-2071), file clerk ($30.53, Occupational Code: 43-4071), and a lawyer (129.12, Occupational Code: 23-0000); the calculation is as follows: 60 hours of burden * $62.38 = $3,743; 32 hours * $30.53 = $977; 2 hours * $129.12 = $258. $3,743 + $977 + $258 = $4,978.

    4 The hourly cost figure of $62.38 (wages plus benefits) comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm). The figure is for an electric engineer (Occupational Code: 17-2071).

    5 The hourly cost figure (wages plus benefits) comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm). The figure is a weighted average comprised of hourly figures for an electric engineer ($62.38, Occupational Code: 17-2071), file clerk ($30.53, Occupational Code: 43-4071), and a lawyer (129.12, Occupational Code: 23-0000); the calculation is as follows: 60 hours of burden * $62.38 = $3,743; 8 hours * $30.53 = $244; 24 hours * $129.12 = $3,099. $3,743 + $244 + $3,099 = $7,086.

    FERC-725J [Definition of the bulk electric system] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden and cost per
  • response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Generator Owners, Distribution Providers, and Transmission Owners (Exception Request) 20 1 20 94 hrs.; $4,978 3 1,880 hrs.; $99,560 $4,978 All Registered Entities (Implementation Plans and Compliance) 186 1 186 350 hrs.; $21,833 4 65,100 hrs.; $4,060,938 21,833 Local Distribution Determinations 8 1 8 92 hrs.; 7,086 5 736 hrs.; $56,688 7,086 Total 214 67,716 hrs.; $4,217,186

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11228 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14772-000] Black Mountain Hydro, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On March 24, 2016, Black Mountain Hydro, LLC, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Southern Intertie Pumped Storage Project (Southern Intertie Project or project) to be located on Black Mountain, near Yerington, in Mineral and Lyon Counties, Nevada. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed closed-loop pumped storage project would consist of the following: (1) An upper reservoir in a natural depression having a total storage capacity of 4,460 acre-feet at a normal maximum operating elevation of 7,410 feet mean sea level (msl); (2) a 105-foot-tall, 1,500-foot-long lower dam of indeterminate construction; (3) a lower reservoir having a total storage capacity of 4,384 acre-feet at a normal maximum operating elevation of 5,500 feet msl; (4) a 2,200-foot-long, 16.5-foot-diameter, concrete low pressure tunnel; (5) a 7,850-foot-long 16.5-foot-diameter concrete and steel lined high pressure tunnel; (6) a 2,200-foot-long, 20-foot-diameter concrete lined tailrace; (7) a 300-foot-long, 80-foot-wide, 50-feet-high underground powerhouse containing three 200-MW pump-turbine generator units; (8) a 4.6-mile-long 230-kV transmission line; (9) a 230/500 kV substation; and (10) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the Southern Intertie Project would be 1,577 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Mathew Schapiro, Chief Executive Officer, Gridflex Energy, LLC, 1210 W. Franklin St., Ste. 2, Boise, Idaho 83702; phone: (208) 246-9925.

    FERC Contact: Joseph Hassell; phone: (202) 502-8079.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14772-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14772) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11227 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    DATE AND TIME:

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    PLACE:

    Jacqueline A. Berrien Conference Room on the First Floor of the EEOC Office Building, 131 “M” Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.

    STATUS:

    The meeting will be open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Open Session

    1. Announcement of Notation Votes, and

    2. Innovation Opportunity: Examining Strategies to Promote Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces in the Tech Industry.

    Note: In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting will be open to public observation of the Commission's deliberations and voting. Seating is limited and it is suggested that visitors arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room. (In addition to publishing notices on EEOC Commission meetings in the Federal Register, the Commission also provides information about Commission meetings on its Web site, www.eeoc.gov, and provides a recorded announcement a week in advance on future Commission sessions.)

    Please telephone (202) 663-7100 (voice) and (202) 663-4074 (TTY) at any time for information on these meetings. The EEOC provides sign language interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services at Commission meetings for the hearing impaired. Requests for other reasonable accommodations may be made by using the voice and TTY numbers listed above.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Bernadette B. Wilson, Acting Executive Officer on (202) 663-4077.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Bernadette B. Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11344 Filed 5-10-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6570-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0819] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before July 11, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0819.

    Title: Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support, Connect America Fund.

    Form Numbers: FCC Form 497, 555, & 481.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Individuals or households and business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 21,162,260 respondents; 23,956,240 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .0167 hours—250 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual and on occasion reporting requirements and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Total Annual Burden: 13,484,412 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $937,500.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes. The Commission completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for some of the information collection requirements contain in this collect. The PIA was published in the Federal Register at 78 FR 73535 on December 6, 2013. The PIA may be reviewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/omd/privacyact/Privacy_Impact_Assessment.html.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Some of the requirements contained in this information collection do affect individuals or households, and thus, there are impacts under the Privacy Act. The FCC's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/WCB-1, “Lifeline Program.” The Commission will use the information contained in FCC/WCB-1 to cover the personally identifiable information (PII) that is required as part of the Lifeline Program (“Lifeline”). As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Commission also published a SORN, FCC/WCB-1 “Lifeline Program” in the Federal Register on December 6, 2013 (78 FR 73535).

    Also, respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission or to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC or Administrator) be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the FCC's rules. We note that USAC must preserve the confidentiality of all data obtained from respondents; must not use the data except for purposes of administering the universal service programs; and must not disclose data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this information collection after this comment period to obtain the full, three-year clearance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Commission also proposes several revisions to this information collection.

    On April 27, 2016, the Commission released an order reforming its low-income universal service support mechanisms. Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization; Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support; Connect America Fund, WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 09-197, 10-90, Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, and Further Report and Order, (Lifeline Third Reform Order). This revised information collection addresses requirements to carry out the programs to which the Commission committed itself in the Lifeline Third Reform Order. Under this information collection, the Commission seeks to revise the information collection to comply with the Commission's new rules, adopted in the Lifeline Third Reform Order, regarding phasing out support for mobile voice over the next six years, requiring Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) to certify compliance with the new minimum service requirements, creating a new ETC designation for Lifeline Broadband Providers (LBPs), updating the obligations to advertise Lifeline offerings, modifying the non-usage de-enrollment requirements within the program, moving to rolling annual subscriber recertification, and streamlining the first-year ETC audit requirements. Also, the Commission seeks to update the number of respondents for all the existing information collection requirements, thus increasing the total burden hours for some requirements and decreasing the total burden hours for other requirements. Finally, the Commission seeks to revise the FCC Forms 555, 497, and 481 to incorporate the new Commission rules and modify the filings for FCC Forms 555 and 497 to include detailed field descriptions.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11143 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than May 26, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Sam Charles Brown and Josephine Marie Brown, Pueblo, Colorado; to retain voting shares and thereby control of Pueblo Bancorporation, parent of Pueblo Bank & Trust Company, both of Pueblo, Colorado. In addition, Michelle Rene Brown, Kenneth Scott Brown, Karla Lynn Brown, and Sam Charles Brown, III, all of Pueblo, Colorado, request approval to retain shares of Pueblo Bancorporation and for approval as members of the Brown Family Group, which acting in concert, controls Pueblo Bancorporation.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 6, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11188 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice; Correction AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    SUMMARY:

    On February 19, 2016, the Board published a notice of final approval of proposed information collections by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under OMB delegated authority. This document corrects the effective dates in the notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer —Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    Correction: The Board published in the Federal Register of February 19, 2016 (81 FR 8491), a notice of final approval of proposed revisions to the Semiannual Report of Derivatives Activity (FR 2436) and the Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivate Market Activity (FR 3036). The document announced incorrect effective dates for the two collections.

    Under the effective date for the Semiannual Report of Derivatives Activity correct the Effective Date to read: “Effective Date: June 30, 2016.”

    Under the effective date for the Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivative Market Activity correct the Effective Date to read: “Effective Date: April 30, 2016.”

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 6, 2016. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11203 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than June 6, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309:

    1. Millennium Bancshares, Inc.; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Millennium Bank, both of Ooltewah, Tennessee.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 6, 2016. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11187 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to PAR 13-129, Occupational Safety and Health Research, NIOSH Member Conflict Review.

    Time and Date: 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, June 9, 2016 (Closed).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c) (4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “PAR 13-129, Occupational Safety and Health Research, NIOSH Member Conflict Review.”

    Contact Person for More Information: Nina Turner, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, NIOSH, CDC, 1095 Willowdale Road, Mailstop G905, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, Telephone: (304) 285-5976.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11142 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-16-16GX] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Mining Industry Surveillance System—New—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to promote safety and health at work for all people through research and prevention. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Section 501, enables NIOSH to carry out research relevant to the health and safety of workers in the mining industry. Surveillance of occupational injuries, illnesses, and exposures has been an integral part of the work of NIOSH since its creation by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. Surveillance activities at the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR), a division of NIOSH, are focused on the nation's mining workforce.

    OMSHR is planning to develop the Mining Industry Surveillance System, a unique source of longitudinal information on U.S. mines and their employees. Its purpose will be to: (1) Track changes and emerging trends over time; (2) provide current data to guide research and training activities; (3) provide updated demographic and occupational data for the mining workforce; and (4) provide denominator data to help understand the risk of work-related injuries, disease, and fatalities in specific demographic and occupational subgroups.

    The goal of the proposed project is to improve its surveillance capability related to the occupational risks in mining. NIOSH is requesting a three-year approval for this data collection.

    NIOSH is planning to use the Mining Industry and Workforce Survey (MIWS) to collect data for the Mining Industry Surveillance System. Data will be collected through surveys conducted on a rotating basis in mining sectors aligned with national mining association. In Phase 1 of the project, the MIWS will be conducted in the stone/sand and gravel mining sector in year 1, the metal/nonmetal mining sector in year 2, and the coal mining sector in year 3. Data from this survey will provide denominator data so that accident, injury, and illness reports can be evaluated in relation to the population at risk. Additionally, NIOSH cannot separately determine the number of contractor employees working in metal, nonmetal, stone, or sand and gravel mines. The survey will collect mine-level data on contractor employees to allow NIOSH to determine the quantity of contract labor that mine operators use and the type of work these employees perform. NIOSH will also use the MIWS to collect mine-level data that will provide a valuable picture of the current working environment (work schedules and shift work practices) used in the U.S. mining industry.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

    The burden estimates were derived in the following manner. Based on the stratification and sample size allocation plan developed for this project 34% of all sampled mines have fewer than 10 employees. Mines with 10 or fewer employees will not have to do any sampling as they will be asked to provide data for all of their employees. Small mines will require up to 45 minutes to complete the survey. Mines with 11 or more employees will need up to 1.5 hours given their need to generate an employee roster and sample 10 of their employees. Thus, NIOSH is estimating that the average annual burden to complete the survey will be 1 hour. Non-responding mines will be asked to complete the Nonresponse Survey which consists of only seven questions. NIOSH estimates that the burden for this brief survey will be 10 minutes or less. The burden data are calculated based on a 60% response rate for the sampled mines. This does not take into account that some sampled mines may not be eligible to participate in the survey (e.g., inactive, temporarily closed). The total estimated annualized burden hours are 491.

    There is no cost to the respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of
  • respondents
  • Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Responding Mines Mining Industry and Workforce Survey 420 1 1 Nonresponding Mines Phone Script 280 1 5/60 Nonresponding Mines Nonresponse Survey 280 1 10/60
    Leroy A. Richardson Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11179 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (WTCHP STAC or Advisory Committee), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Docket Number CDC-2016-0036; NIOSH 248-E

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee:

    Time and Date: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., June 2, 2016 (All times are Eastern Daylight Time).

    Place: Jacob J. Javits Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278. This meeting will also be available by telephone and Web conference. Audio only will be available by telephone; video will be available by Web conference. The USA toll-free, dial-in number is 1-888-606-8411, and when prompted enter passcode—5064451. To view the web conference, enter the following web address in your web browser: https://odniosh.adobeconnect.com/wtchpstac/.

    Public Comment Time and Date: 9:20 a.m.-9:50 a.m., June 2, 2016.

    Please note that the public comment period ends at the time indicated above or following the last call for comments, whichever is earlier. Members of the public who want to comment must sign up by providing their name by mail, email, or telephone, at the addresses provided below by May 29, 2016. Each commenter will be provided up to five minutes for comment. A limited number of time slots are available and will be assigned on a first come-first served basis. Written comments will also be accepted from those unable to attend the public session.

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the number of telephone lines. The conference line will accommodate up to 50 callers; therefore it is suggested that those interested in calling in to listen to the committee meeting share a line when possible.

    Background: The Advisory Committee was established by Title I of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-347 (January 2, 2011), amended by Public Law 114-113 (Dec. 18, 2015), adding Title XXXIII to the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (codified at 42 U.S.C. 300mm to 300mm-61).

    Purpose: The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to review scientific and medical evidence and to make recommendations to the World Trade Center (WTC) Program Administrator regarding additional WTC Health Program eligibility criteria, potential additions to the list of covered WTC-related health conditions, and research regarding certain health conditions related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Title XXXIII of the PHS Act established the WTC Health Program within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The WTC Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible firefighters and related personnel, law enforcement officers, and rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (responders), and to eligible persons who were present in the dust or dust cloud on September 11, 2001 or who worked, resided, or attended school, childcare, or adult daycare in the New York City disaster area (survivors). Certain specific activities of the WTC Program Administrator are reserved to the Secretary, HHS, to delegate at her discretion; other WTC Program Administrator duties not explicitly reserved to the Secretary, HHS, are assigned to the Director, NIOSH. The administration of the Advisory Committee is left to the Director of NIOSH in his role as WTC Program Administrator. CDC and NIOSH provide funding, staffing, and administrative support services for the Advisory Committee. The charter was reissued on May 12, 2015, and will expire on May 12, 2017.

    Matters for Discussion: The Advisory Committee will address the new responsibilities required under the reauthorization of the WTC Health Program in the PHS Act. Specifically, the enhanced role of the STAC to (1) make recommendations regarding the identification of individuals to conduct independent peer reviews of the evidence that would be the basis for issuing final rules to add a health condition to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions; and (2) review and evaluate the policies and procedures in effect within the WTC Health Program that are used to determine whether sufficient evidence is available to support adding a non-cancer condition or type of cancer to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions.

    The two policies can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/policies.html. The agenda will include presentations on peer review and the policies and procedures the WTC Health Program uses to add health conditions to the list of covered conditions.

    The agenda is subject to change as priorities dictate.

    To view the notice, visit http://www.regulations.gov and enter CDC-2016-0036 in the search field and click “Search.”

    Public Comment Sign-up and Submissions to the Docket: To sign up to provide public comments or to submit comments to the docket, send information to the NIOSH Docket Office by one of the following means:

    Mail: NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, MS C-34, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.

    Email: [email protected]

    Telephone: (513) 533-8611.

    In the event an individual cannot attend, written comments may be submitted. The comments should be limited to two pages and submitted through http://www.regulations.gov enter CDC-2016-0036 in the search field and click “Search” by May 29, 2016. Efforts will be made to provide the two-page written comments received by the deadline above to the committee members before the meeting. Comments in excess of two pages will be made publicly available at http://www.regulations.gov (enter CDC-2016-0036 in the search field and click “Search”).

    Policy on Redaction of Committee Meeting Transcripts (Public Comment): Transcripts will be prepared and posted to http://www.regulations.gov (enter CDC-2016-0036 in the search field and click “Search”) within 60 days after the meeting. If a person making a comment gives his or her name, no attempt will be made to redact that name. NIOSH will take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals making public comments are aware of the fact that their comments (including their name, if provided) will appear in a transcript of the meeting posted on a public Web site. Such reasonable steps include a statement read at the start of the meeting stating that transcripts will be posted and names of speakers will not be redacted. If individuals in making a statement reveal personal information (e.g., medical information) about themselves, that information will not usually be redacted. The CDC Freedom of Information Act coordinator will, however, review such revelations in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and, if deemed appropriate, will redact such information. Disclosures of information concerning third party medical information will be redacted.

    Contact Person for More Information: Paul J. Middendorf, Ph.D., Designated Federal Officer, NIOSH, CDC, 2400 Century Parkway NE., Mail Stop E-20, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, telephone 1 (888) 982-4748; email: [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register Notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11141 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    National Vaccine Program Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Health and Human Services is hereby giving notice that the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) will hold a meeting June 7-8, 2016. The meeting is open to the public. However, pre-registration is required for both public attendance and public comment. Individuals who wish to attend the meeting and/or participate in the public comment session should register at http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/meetings/upcomingmeetings. Participants may also register by emailing [email protected] or by calling (202) 690-5566 and providing their name, organization, and email address.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on June 7-8, 2016. The meeting times and agenda will be posted on the NVAC Web site at http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/meetings/upcomingmeetings as soon as they become available.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, the Great Hall, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201.

    The meeting can also be accessed through a live webcast the day of the meeting. For more information, visit http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/meetings/upcomingmeetings.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    National Vaccine Program Office, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 715-H, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201. Phone: (202) 690-5566; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 2101 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300aa-1), the Secretary of Health and Human Services was mandated to establish the National Vaccine Program to achieve optimal prevention of human infectious diseases through immunization and to achieve optimal prevention against adverse reactions to vaccines. The NVAC was established to provide advice and make recommendations to the Director of the National Vaccine Program on matters related to the Program's responsibilities. The Assistant Secretary for Health serves as Director of the National Vaccine Program.

    The June 2016 NVAC meeting will continue important discussions on addressing the barriers and scientific challenges to the development of new and improved vaccines, with a presentation from the NVAC Maternal Immunization Working Group of their draft recommendations for overcoming barriers to research and development of vaccines for use in pregnant women. The NVAC will host a comprehensive discussion on the financial costs and perceived barriers to providing immunization services across the lifespan. Committee discussions will also include an update on immunization priorities at the local level, efforts to improve immunization coverage among adults and adolescents, and findings from a midcourse review of the 2010 National Vaccine Plan on the areas of greatest opportunity for strengthening the immunization system going forward. Please note that agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate. Information on the final meeting agenda will be posted prior to the meeting on the NVAC Web site: http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac.

    Public attendance at the meeting is limited to the available space. Individuals who plan to attend in person and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the National Vaccine Program Office at the address/phone listed above at least one week prior to the meeting. For those unable to attend in person, a live webcast will be available. More information on registration and accessing the webcast can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/meetings/upcomingmeetings.

    Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments at the NVAC meeting during the public comment periods designated on the agenda. Public comments made during the meeting will be limited to three minutes per person to ensure time is allotted for all those wishing to speak. Individuals are also welcome to submit their written comments. Written comments should not exceed three pages in length. Individuals submitting written comments should email their comments to the National Vaccine Program Office ([email protected]) at least five business days prior to the meeting.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Bruce Gellin, Executive Secretary, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Director, National Vaccine Program Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11243 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-44-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Announcement of Re-Establishment of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives AGENCY:

    Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Authority: Re-establishment of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives is authorized under 42 U.S.C. 217a, Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The Committees will be governed by provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces re-establishment of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives. The new titles for the Committees are the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030, respectively. The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives have been established as discretionary federal advisory committees. Both committees have been established to perform single, time-limited tasks that will assist with furthering the mission of the HHS.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee: Richard D. Olson, MD, MPH; Designated Federal Officer or LT Katrina L. Piercy, Ph.D., RD, ACSM-CEP, Alternate DFO; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, OASH/DHHS; 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite LL100 Tower Building; Rockville, MD 20852; Telephone: (240) 453-8280; Fax: (240) 453-8281. Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030: Emmeline Ochiai, Designated Federal Officer or Carter Blakey, Alternate DFO; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, OASH/DHHS; 1101 Wootton Parkway; Suite LL 100 Tower Building; Rockville, MD 20852; Telephone: (240) 453-8280; Fax: (240) 453-8281. Additional information about the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee can be found at http://health.gov/paguidelines. Additional information about the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives can be found at https://www.healthypeople.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 26, 2016, the Secretary approved for the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives to be re-established. Both committees have been re-established to accomplish single, time-limited tasks.

    The Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee was first established in February 2007 to assist the Department in development of the first edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG). The Department plans to develop a second edition of the PAG, and it was recommended that the same process be used to develop this document. The new committee will examine the current edition of the PAG, take into consideration new scientific evidence and current resource documents, and then develop a scientific advisory report that will be submitted to the Secretary. The title for the new committee is the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (2018 PAGAC; the Committee).

    Objectives and Scope of Activities. The 2018 PAGAC will provide independent advice and recommendations based on current scientific evidence for use by the federal government in the development of the second edition of the PAG. The PAG provides a foundation for federal recommendations and education for physical activity programs for Americans, including those at risk for chronic disease.

    Description of Duties. The work of the 2018 PAGAC is solely advisory in nature. The Committee will be established for the single, time-limited task of reviewing the current edition of the PAG and conducting an evidence-based systematic literature review of physical activity and health for use in developing physical activity recommendations to promote health and reduce chronic disease risk.

    Membership and Designation. The 2018 PAGAC will be composed of 11 to 17 members. One or more members will be selected to serve as the Chair, Vice Chair, and/or Co-Chairs. The Committee will consist of respected published experts in designated fields and specific specialty areas. Individuals appointed to serve on the Committee will have demonstrated expert knowledge of current science in the field of human physical activity and health promotion or the prevention of chronic disease. Members will be appointed to the Committee by the Secretary of HHS and invited to serve for the duration of the Committee. All appointed members of the Committee will be classified as special government employees (SGEs).

    Administrative Management and Support. The 2018 PAGAC will provide advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH). The Committee will provide a report to the Secretary, outlining their recommendations and rationale for the second edition of the PAG.

    Management and support services for the Committee will be provided within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). The ODPHP is a program staff office within OASH; OASH is a staff division in the HHS Office of the Secretary.

    ODPHP will collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the OASH program staff office for the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN). The ASH will appoint seven Co-Executive Secretaries to support the Committee, two each from the ODPHP, CDC, and NIH, and one from the OASH staff office for the PCFSN. The two ODPHP Co-Executive Secretaries will be appointed to serve as the DFO and Alternate DFO for the Committee.

    The Department established the Healthy People initiative in 1979. The initiative was established to develop a framework for improving the health of all people in the United States. Healthy People provides evidence-based, ten-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Every 10 years, the Department issues a comprehensive set of national public health objectives. To assist with this task for the development of Healthy People 2020, the Department utilized a scientific advisory committee, the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020. It was recommended that the same process be used to assist with development of Healthy People 2030 because the Department must create a more focused set of ten-year national disease prevention and health promotion objectives that reflect the Nation's needs and carries stakeholder support. The title for the new committee is the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (the Committee).

    Objectives and Scope of Activities. In 1979, HHS established the Healthy People initiative to develop a framework for improving the health of all people in the United States. Healthy People provides evidence-based, ten-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People offers a strategic agenda to align health promotion and disease prevention activities in communities around the country. The Healthy People initiative is grounded in the principle that setting national objective and monitoring progress can motivate action.

    The Committee will provide independent advice based on current scientific evidence for use by the Secretary of HHS or a designated representative in the development of Healthy People 2030. The Committee will advise the Secretary on the Department's approach for Healthy People 2030. Framed around health determinants and risk factors, this approach will generate a focused set of objective that address high-impact public health challenges.

    Description of Duties. The work of the Committee is solely advisory in nature. The Committee will perform the single, time-limited task of providing advice regarding creating Healthy People 2030. The Committee's duties include providing advice about the Healthy People 2030 mission statement, vision statement, framework, and organizational structure.

    Membership and Designation. The Committee will consist of no more than 13 members. One or more members will be selected to serve as the Chair, Vice Chair, and/or Co-Chairs. The Committee membership may include former Assistant Secretaries for Health and nationally known experts in areas such as biostatistics, business, epidemiology, health communications, health economics, health information technology, health policy, health sciences, health systems, international health, outcomes research, public health law, social determinants of health, special populations, and state and local health public health and from a variety of public, private, philanthropic, and academic settings.

    Members will be appointed to the Committee by the Secretary of HHS or a designated representative and invited to serve for the duration of the Committee. All appointed members of the Committee will be classified as special government employees (SGEs).

    Administrative Management and Support. The Committee will provide advice to the Secretary of HHS, through the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH). The ASH will provide oversight for the Committee's function and activities. Management and support services for the Committee will be provided by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). ODPHP is a program office within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, which is a staff division in the HHS Office of the Secretary.

    To comply with the provisions of FACA, the charters for the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 will be filed with the appropriate Congressional committees and the Library of Congress fifteen calendar days after notice of this action being taken has been published in the Federal Register. After the charters have been filed, copies of these documents can be obtained from the ODPHP Web site under the appropriate program headings. Copies of the charters for the two designated committees also can be obtained by accessing the FACA database that is maintained by the Committee Management Secretariat under the General Services Administration. The Web site address for the FACA database is http://facadatabase.gov/.

    Dated: May 3, 2016. Karen B. DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11235 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Periodically, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish a summary of information collection requests under OMB review, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these documents, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Project: Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration Evaluation—NEW

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) is requesting approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for new data collection activities associated with their Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) program.

    This information collection is needed to provide SAMHSA with objective information to document the reach and impact of the PBHCI program. The information will be used to monitor quality assurance and quality performance outcomes for organizations funded by this grant program. The information will also be used to assess the impact of services on behavioral health and physical health services for individuals served by this program. .

    Collection of the information included in this request is authorized by Section 505 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290aa-4)—Data Collection.

    SAMHSA launched the PBHCI program in FY 2009 with the understanding that adults with serious mental illness (SMI) experience heightened rates of morbidity and mortality, in large part due to elevated incidence and prevalence of risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. These risk factors are influenced by a variety of factors, including inadequate physical activity and poor nutrition; smoking; side effects from atypical antipsychotic medications; and lack of access to health care services. Many of these health conditions are preventable through routine health promotion activities, primary care screening, monitoring, treatment and care management/coordination strategies and/or other outreach programs.

    The purpose of the PBHCI grant program is to establish projects for the provision of coordinated and integrated services through the co-location of primary and specialty care medical services in community-based behavioral health settings. The program's goal is to improve the physical health status of adults with serious mental illnesses (and those with co-occurring substance use disorders) who have or are at risk for co-occurring primary care conditions and chronic diseases.

    As the largest federal effort to implement integrated behavioral and physical health care in community behavioral health settings, SAMHSA's PBHCI program offers an unprecedented opportunity to identify which approaches to integration improve outcomes, how outcomes are shaped by the characteristics of the treatment setting and community, and which models have the greatest potential for sustainability and replication. SAMHSA awarded the first cohort of 13 PBHCI grants in fiscal year (FY) 2009, and between FY 2009 and FY 2014, SAMHSA funded a total of seven cohorts comprising 127 grants. An eighth cohort, funded in fall 2015, included 60 new grants.

    The data collection described in this request will build upon the first PBHCI evaluation and provide essential data on the implementation of integrated primary and behavioral health care, along with rigorous estimates of its effects on health.

    The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality is requesting clearance for ten data collection instruments and forms related to the implementation and impact studies to be conducted as part of the evaluation:

    1. PBHCI grantee director survey 2. PBHCI frontline staff survey 3. Telephone interview protocol 4. On-site staff interview protocol 5. Client focus group guide 6. Data extraction tool for grantee registry/electronic health records (EHRs) 7. Initial client letter for physical exam and health assessment 8. Consent form for client physical exam and health assessment 9. Consent form for client focus group 10. Client physical exam and health assessment questionnaire

    The table below reflects the annualized hourly burden.

    Respondents/activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total hour
  • burden
  • Web surveys Grantee director 78 2 b 149 0.5 b 75 Grantee frontline staff survey 782 2 c 1,494 0.5 c 747 Phone interviews Grantee director 60 1 60 1.0 60 Grantee director—site interview 10 2 20 2.0 40 Grantee mental health providers—site interview 40 2 80 1.0 80 Grantee primary care providers—site interview 40 2 80 1.5 120 Grantee care coordinators—site interview 20 2 40 1.5 60 Focus groups Focus group participants 120 2 240 1.0 240 Extraction of grantee registry/EHR data 92 11 1,012 8.0 8,096 SMI clients—baseline physical exam and health assessment 2,500 1 2,500 1.0 2,500 SMI clients—follow-up physical exam and health assessment 1,750 1 1,750 1.0 1,750 Comparison group clinic director—coordination d 10 1 10 8.0 80 Total e 3,752 7,435 13,848 a Hourly wage estimates are based on salary information provided in 10 PBHCI grant proposals representing mostly urban locations across the country and represent an average across responders of each type. b Cohort VI funding ends before the administration of the second survey. Total number of responses excludes the Cohort VI directors, who will not receive the second survey. c Cohort VI funding ends before the administration of the second survey. Total number of responses excludes the Cohort VI frontline staff, who will not receive the second survey. d Includes logistical coordination between the evaluation and site staff to conduct the physical exam and health assessment as well as oversight of client recruitment. e Excludes physical exam and health assessment follow-up respondents.

    Written comments and recommendations concerning the proposed information collection should be sent by June 13, 2016 to the SAMHSA Desk Officer at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). To ensure timely receipt of comments, and to avoid potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] Although commenters are encouraged to send their comments via email, commenters may also fax their comments to: 202-395-7285. Commenters may also mail them to: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, Washington, DC 20503.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11184 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0081] Agency Information Collection Activities: Delivery Ticket AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; Extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: Delivery Ticket (CBP Form 6043). This is a proposed extension of an information collection that was previously approved. CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before June 13, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Tracey Denning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, at 202-325-0265.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (81 FR 7823) on February 16, 2016, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13; 44 U.S.C. 3507). The comments should address: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual costs to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs). The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the CBP request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document, CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Delivery Ticket.

    OMB Number: 1651-0081.

    Form Number: CBP Form 6043.

    Abstract: CBP Form 6043, Delivery Ticket, is used to document transfers of imported merchandise between parties. This form collects information such as the name and address of the consignee; the name of the importing carrier; lien information; the location of where the goods originated and where they were delivered; and information about the imported merchandise. CBP Form 6043 is filled out by warehouse proprietors, carriers, Foreign Trade Zone operators and others involved in transfers of imported merchandise. This form is authorized by 19 U.S.C. 1551a and 1565, and provided for by 19 CFR 4.34, 4.37 and 19.9. It is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%206043.pdf.

    Action: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the estimated burden hours.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 200.

    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 200,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 20 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 66,000.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Tracey Denning, Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11218 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [Docket No. USCBP-2016-0018] U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC) Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    ACTION:

    Committee management; notice of federal advisory public committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC) will meet on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Washington, DC. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The UFAC will meet on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. Please note that the meeting is scheduled for two hours and that the meeting may close early if the committee completes its business.

    Pre-Registration: Meeting participants may attend either in person or via webinar after pre-registering using a method indicated below:

    —For members of the public who plan to attend the meeting in person, please register either online at https://apps.cbp.gov/te_reg/index.asp?w=76, by email to [email protected]; or by fax to (202) 325-4290 by 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 27, 2016. —For members of the public who plan to participate via webinar, please register online at https://apps.cbp.gov/te_reg/index.asp?w=77 by 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 27, 2016.

    Feel free to share this information with other interested members of your organization or association.

    Members of the public who are pre-registered and later require cancellation, please do so in advance of the meeting by accessing one (1) of the following links: https://apps.cbp.gov/te_reg/cancel.asp?w=76 to cancel an in person registration, or https://apps.cbp.gov/te_reg/cancel.asp?w=77 to cancel a webinar registration.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Courtroom A, Washington, DC 20436. There will be signage posted directing visitors to the location of the conference room.

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact Ms. Wanda Tate, Office of Trade Relations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection at (202) 344-1661 as soon as possible.

    To facilitate public participation, we are inviting public comment on the topics to be discussed by the committee, prior to the meeting as listed in the “Agenda” section below.

    Comments must be submitted in writing no later than May 23, 2016, and must be identified by Docket No. USCBP-2016-0018, and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 325-4290.

    Mail: Ms. Wanda Tate, Office of Trade Relations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 3.5A, Washington, DC 20229.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Do not submit personal information to this docket.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket Number USCBP-2016-0018. To submit a comment, see the link on the Regulations.gov Web site for “How do I submit a comment?” located on the right hand side of the main site page.

    There will be two (2) public comment periods held during the meeting on June 1, 2016. Speakers are requested to limit their comments to two (2) minutes or less to facilitate greater participation. Contact the individual listed below to register as a speaker. Please note that the public comment periods for speakers may end before the times indicated on the schedule that is posted on the CBP Web page, http://www.cbp.gov/trade/stakeholder-engagement/user-fee-advisory-committee.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Wanda Tate, Office of Trade Relations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 3.5A, Washington, DC 20229; telephone (202) 344-1440; facsimile (202) 325-4290.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hereby announces the meeting of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC). The UFAC is tasked with providing advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on matters related to the performance of inspections coinciding with the assessment of an agriculture, customs, or immigration user fee.

    Agenda

    1. Oath and Recognition of the incoming UFAC members.

    2. The Financial Assessment and Options Subcommittee will review and discuss their Statement of Work and Next Steps.

    3. Public Comment Period.

    4. The Process Improvements Subcommittee will review and discuss their Statement of Work and Next Steps.

    5. Public Comment Period.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Maria Luisa Boyce, Senior Advisor for Private Sector Engagement, Office of Trade Relations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11280 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation and Approval of Saybolt LP as a Commercial Gauger and Laboratory AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of accreditation and approval of Saybolt LP as a commercial gauger and laboratory.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Saybolt LP has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of January 22, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective: The accreditation and approval of Saybolt LP as commercial gauger and laboratory became effective on January 22, 2016. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for January 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Approved Gauger and Accredited Laboratories Manager, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13, that Saybolt LP, 16025-A Jacinto Port Blvd., Houston, TX 77015, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13. Saybolt LP is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API chapters Title 3 Tank gauging. 7 Temperature determination. 8 Sampling. 11 Physical Properties. 12 Calculations. 17 Maritime measurement.

    Saybolt LP is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM):

    CBPL No. ASTM Title 27-03 D4006 Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oil by Distillation. 27-05 D4928 Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oils by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration. 27-06 D473 Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. 27-08 D86 Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products. 27-13 D4294 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. 27-46 D5002 Density of Crude Oils by Digital Density Meter. 27-48 D4052 Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter. 27-50 D93 Standard Test Methods for Flash-Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester.

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories.

    http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories Dated: May 6, 2016. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11289 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation and Approval of AmSpec Services, LLC, as a Commercial Gauger and Laboratory AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of accreditation and approval of AmSpec Services, LLC, as a commercial gauger and laboratory.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that AmSpec Services, LLC, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of August 26, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective: The accreditation and approval of AmSpec Services, LLC, as commercial gauger and laboratory became effective on August 26, 2015. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for August 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Approved Gauger and Accredited Laboratories Manager, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13, that AmSpec Services, LLC, 1980 Oriziba Ave., Signal Hill, CA 90755, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13. AmSpec Services, LLC is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API chapters Title 3 Tank Gauging. 7 Temperature Determination. 8 Sampling. 11 Physical Properties, 12 Calculations. 17 Maritime Measurement.

    AmSpec Services, LLC is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM):

    CBPL No. ASTM Title 27-05 D4928 Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oils by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration. 27-06 D473 Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. 27-13 D4294 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. 27-46 D5002 Density of Crude Oils by Digital Density Meter. 27-48 D4052 Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter.

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories.

    http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories Dated: May 6, 2016. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11291 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126; FXHC11220900000-156-FF09E33000] Proposed Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of draft policy; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are reopening the comment period for our March 8, 2016, notice that announced proposed revisions to the Service Mitigation Policy. This action will allow interested persons additional time to comment on the proposed revisions. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final policy.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments from all interested parties until June 13, 2016. Please note that if you are using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below), the deadline for submitting an electronic comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    Document Review: The draft policy is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov, under docket number FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126.

    General Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the Docket number for the proposed policy, which is FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126. You may enter a comment by clicking on the “Comment Now!” button. Please ensure that you have found the correct document before submitting your comment.

    U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0126; Division of Policy, Performance and Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Conservation Planning Assistance, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone 703-358-1756.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comments

    We will accept written comments during this reopened comment period on our notice announcing proposed revisions to the Service Mitigation Policy that published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2016 (81 FR 12380). We will consider comments and information that we receive from all interested parties on or before the close of the comment period (see DATES).

    If you have already submitted comments during the public comment period that began March 8, 2016, please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated them into the public record, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final policy.

    You may submit your comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov as well. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Background

    On March 8, 2016, we published a notice (81 FR 12380) announcing proposed revisions to our Mitigation Policy (January 23, 1981; 46 FR 7644-7663). The revisions were motivated by changes in conservation challenges and practices since 1981, including accelerating loss of habitats, effects of climate change, and advances in conservation science. The revised policy provides a framework for applying a landscape-scale approach to achieve, through application of the mitigation hierarchy, a net gain in conservation outcomes, or at a minimum, no net loss of resources and their values, services, and functions resulting from proposed actions. The primary intent of the policy is to apply mitigation in a strategic manner that ensures an effective linkage with conservation strategies at appropriate landscape scales.

    The revised policy integrates all authorities that allow the Service to recommend or require mitigation of impacts to federal trust fish and wildlife resources, and other resources identified in statute, during development processes. It is intended to serve as a single umbrella policy under which the Service may issue more detailed policies or guidance documents covering specific activities in the future.

    Our March 8, 2016, notice stated that we would accept comments on the proposed revisions to our Mitigation Policy for 60 days, ending May 9, 2016. During the course of the comment period on the notice, we received requests to extend the public comment period. In order to provide all interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed revisions, we are reopening the comment period on the proposed revisions until the date specified in DATES.

    Authority

    The multiple authorities for this action include the: Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 661-667(e)); National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); and others identified in section 2 and Appendix A of the proposed policy (81 FR 12380).

    Dated: May 6, 2016. James W. Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11267 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-R8-NWRS-2016-0063; FXRS12610800000-167-FF08R00000] 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 Statement; Correction AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 6, 2016, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced the availability of a Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, and Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuges (Refuges) for review and comment. In one instance, we printed the incorrect docket number for interested parties to use to submit comments. The correct docket number is FWS-R8-NWRS-2016-0063. With this notice, we correct that error.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Klamath Refuge Planner, (916) 414-6464 (phone).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Federal Register of May 6, 2016 (81 FR 27468; FR Doc. 2016-10717), in the second column of page 27468 in the ADDRESSES section, correct the docket number from “FWS-R8-R-2016-0063” to “FWS-R8-NWRS-2016-0063.”

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11214 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX16AE6000C1000] Exclusive Licenses AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to grant an exclusive license.

    SUMMARY:

    The Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Geological Survey intends to grant to Williamson and Associates, 1124 NW 53rd ST, Seattle, WA 98107, an exclusive license to practice the following: A system and method, to utilize induced polarization to locate and detect minerals, and oil plumes below the surface water.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received fifteen (15) days from the effective date of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Benjamin Henry, Technology Enterprise Specialist, Office of Policy and Analysis, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr., MS 153, Reston, VA 20192, 703-648-4344.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    It is in the public interest to license this invention, as Williamson and Associates, submitted a complete and sufficient application for a license. The prospective exclusive license will be royalty-bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published Notice, the U.S. Geological Survey Office of Policy & Analysis receives written evidence and argument which establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    Katherine McCulloch, Deputy Associate Director for Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11174 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0089 AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is announcing that the information collection request for the Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to the Extraction of Other Minerals, has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden and cost.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before June 13, 2016, to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Department of the Interior Desk Officer, via email at [email protected], or by facsimile to (202) 395-5806. Also, please send a copy of your comments to John Trelease, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1951 Constitution Ave. NW., Room 203—SIB, Washington, DC 20240, or electronically to [email protected] Please reference 1029-0089 in your correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To receive a copy of the information collection request contact John Trelease at (202) 208-2783, or electronically at [email protected] You may also review the information collection request online at http://www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to review Department of the Interior collections under review by OMB.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. OSMRE has submitted a request to OMB to renew its approval for the collection of information found at 30 CFR part 702—Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to the Extraction of Other Minerals. OSMRE is requesting a 3-year term of approval for this collection.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection of information is 1029-0089 and is displayed at 30 CFR 702.10.

    As required under 5 CFR 1320.8(d), a Federal Register notice soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on February 16, 2016 (81 FR 7829). No comments were received. This notice provides the public with an additional 30 days in which to comment on the following information collection activity:

    Title: 30 CFR part 702—Exemption for Coal Extraction Incidental to the Extraction of Other Minerals.

    OMB Control Number: 1029-0089.

    Summary: This Part implements the requirement in Section 701(28) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), which grants an exemption from the requirements of SMCRA to operators extracting not more than 16 2/3 percentage tonnage of coal incidental to the extraction of other minerals. This information will be used by the regulatory authorities to make that determination.

    Bureau Form Number: None.

    Frequency of Collection: Once and annually thereafter.

    Description of Respondents: Producers of coal and other minerals, and State regulatory authorities.

    Total Annual Responses: 127.

    Total Annual Burden Hours: 396.

    Total Non-wage Costs: $600.

    Obligation to Respond: Required in order to obtain or retain benefits.

    Send comments on the need for the collection of information for the performance of the functions of the agency; the accuracy of the agency's burden estimates; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, such as use of automated means of collection of the information, to the offices listed in the ADDRESSES section. Please refer to OMB control number 1029-0089 in all correspondence.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Harry J. Payne, Chief, Division of Regulatory Support.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11273 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    JUDICIAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Meeting of the Judicial Conference; Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure AGENCY:

    Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, Judicial Conference of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure will hold a meeting on June 6, 2016, which will continue the morning of June 7, 2016, if necessary. The meeting will be open to public observation but not participation. An agenda and supporting materials will be posted at least 7 days in advance of the meeting at: http://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/records-and-archives-rules-committees/agenda-books.

    DATES:

    June 6-7, 2016.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, Mecham Conference Center, One Columbus Circle NE., Washington, DC 20544.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca A. Womeldorf, Rules Committee Secretary, Rules Committee Support Office, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Washington, DC 20544, telephone (202) 502-1820.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Rebecca A. Womeldorf, Rules Committee Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11140 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 2210-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—Cooperative Research Group on CHEDE-VII

    Notice is hereby given that, on April 21, 2016, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), Southwest Research Institute—Cooperative Research Group on CHEDE-VII (“CHEDE-VII”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing changes in its membership. The notifications were filed for the purpose of extending the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances. Specifically, Toyota Motor Corporation, Shizuoka Perfecture, JAPAN; and Komatsu Ltd., Tochigi-Ken, JAPAN, have been added as parties to this venture.

    No other changes have been made in either the membership or planned activity of the group research project. Membership in this group research project remains open, and CHEDE-VII intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership.

    On January 6, 2016, CHEDE-VII filed its original notification pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act. The Department of Justice published a notice in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on February 2, 2016, (81 FR 5484).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on March 15, 2016. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to section 6(b) of the Act on April 14, 2016(81 FR 22121).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11137 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1190-NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested; Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing AGENCY:

    Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    60-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (DRS), will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until July 11, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments (especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time), suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or need additional information, please contact Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, by any one of the following methods: By email at [email protected]; by regular U.S. mail at Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 2885, Fairfax, VA 22031-0885; by overnight mail, courier, or hand delivery at Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1425 New York Avenue NW., Suite 4039, Washington, DC 20005; or by phone at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY) (the DRS Information Line).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Evaluate whether, and if so, how, the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and

    • 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    1. Type of information collection: New information collection.

    2. The title of the form/collection: Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form Number: None.

    Component: The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Disability Rights Section in the Civil Rights Division.

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Affected Public (Primary): Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing will be asked to respond.

    Affected Public (Other): None.

    Abstract: DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (DRS), is requesting PRA approval of a new collection that would request information about the perceived monetary value of captioning on Web sites from individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing for the purpose of estimating the potential monetized benefits of captioning audio and video content on the Web. DRS is not suggesting that people with disabilities should be asked to pay for captioning; rather, it intends to ask individuals about the theoretical monetary value that they place on the captioning of audio and video Web content in order to estimate how highly they value captioning. The collection will also request additional information about how frequently individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing access audio content on Web sites, what type of audio content they access, how often this content is not captioned, how much additional time (if any) they spend trying to access content or information when the content is not captioned, and whether lack of captioning makes using the Internet more difficult. This information will enhance DRS's ability to monetize the benefits of any captioning requirements imposed by future rulemaking under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 1,070 respondents will complete the questions. It is estimated that an average of 10 minutes per respondent is needed to complete the questions. DRS estimates that nearly all of the approximately 1,070 respondents will fully complete the questions.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated public burden associated with this collection is 178 hours. It is estimated that respondents will take an average of 10 minutes (1/6 of an hour) to complete the questions. The burden hours for collecting respondent data sum to 178.33 hours (1,070 respondents × 1/6 hours = 178 and 1/3 hours).

    If additional information is required, contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11151 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Department of Labor Generic Solution for Site Visits for Research Purposes ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the information collection request (ICR) proposal titled, “Department of Labor Generic Solution for Site Visits for Research Purposes,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Public comments on the ICR are invited.

    DATES:

    The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201410-1290-002 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at [email protected]

    Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-OS, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: [email protected] Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor-OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at [email protected]

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This ICR seeks PRA authority for a DOL generic solution for site visits for research purposes information collection in order to be able to carry out evaluation data collection in a timely manner and to facilitate the gathering of critical information to support analysis around core research questions. Qualitative information will be collected from individuals who are familiar with, are administering or participating in, the intervention being evaluated. Site visits provide critical data for research and evaluation projects that can: (1) Describe implementation issues, the context in which the intervention was implemented, services, management and costs; (2) describe the experiences of service providers at each of the study sites, including site perspectives on implementation challenges and intervention effects; (3) describe the experiences and responses of individuals administering or participating in the intervention; (4) document the extent to which the intervention was implemented as planned; and (5) describe the extent to which treatment and control or comparison groups received the intended services of the intervention, if applicable. Sources of qualitative information proposed for collection include: (1) Exploratory discussions during site recruitment; (2) in-person or telephone discussions with individuals and/or groups from selected sites; and (3) focus groups.

    This proposed information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if the collection of information does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. For additional information, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2013 (78 FR 44157).

    Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB ICR Reference Number 201410-1290-002. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Agency: DOL-OS.

    Title of Collection: Department of Labor Generic Solution for Site Visits for Research Purposes.

    OMB ICR Reference Number: 201410-1290-002.

    Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Governments; Federal Government; Individuals or Households; Private Sector—businesses or other for-profits, not-for-profit institutions, farms.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 20,000.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 20,000.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 20,000 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

    Dated: May 5, 2016. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11185 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-HX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Occupational Code Assignment ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) revision titled, “Occupational Code Assignment,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Public comments on the ICR are invited.

    DATES:

    The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before June 13, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201603-1205-004 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or sending an email to [email protected]

    Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-ETA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: [email protected] Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor—OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or sending an email to [email protected]

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This ICR seeks approval under the PRA for revisions to the Occupational Code Assignment information collection. Information collected on Form ETA-741, Occupational Code Assignment, is necessary to help occupational information users relate an occupational specialty or job title to an occupational code and title within the framework of the Occupational Information Network. The form helps provide occupational codes for jobs where duties have changed to the extent that the published information is no longer appropriate or the user is unable to classify the job on his or her own. This information collection has been classified as a revision because of minor revisions to the form and because of additional respondents from the American Apprenticeship grant competition. Wagner-Peyser Act section 15 authorizes this information collection. See 29 U.S.C. 49l-1.

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1205-0137. The current approval is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2016; however, the DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. New requirements would only take effect upon OMB approval. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on December 17, 2015 (80 FR 78769).

    Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1205-0137. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Agency: DOL-ETA.

    Title of Collection: Occupational Code Assignment.

    OMB Control Number: 1205-0137.

    Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 30.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 30.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 15 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11186 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P
    NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES National Endowment for the Arts Arts Advisory Panel Meetings AGENCY:

    National Endowment for the Arts, National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given that 29 meetings of the Arts Advisory Panel to the National Council on the Arts will be held by teleconference.

    DATES:

    All meetings are Eastern time and ending times are approximate:

    Dance (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 2, 2016; 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dance (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 2, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dance (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 3, 2016; 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Artist Communities (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 13, 2016; 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Local Arts Agencies (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 3, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Arts Education (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 15, 2016; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Folk & Traditional Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 15, 2016; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Folk & Traditional Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 16, 2016; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Theater and Musical Theater (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 16, 2016; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Theater and Musical Theater (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 16, 2016; 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Music (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 20, 2016; 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Music (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 20, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Design (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 21, 2016; 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Design (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 21, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Music (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 22, 2016; 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Music (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 22, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Media Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 27, 2016; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Arts Education (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 28, 2016; 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Opera (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 28, 2016; 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Opera (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 28, 2016; 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 28, 2016; 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visual Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 28, 2016; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Visual Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 28, 2016; 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Media Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 29, 2016; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Media Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 29, 2016; 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 29, 2016; 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 30, 2016; 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visual Arts (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 30, 2016; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Theater and Musical Theater (review of applications): This meeting will be closed. Date and time: June 30, 2016; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    National Endowment for the Arts, Constitution Center, 400 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 20506.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Further information with reference to these meetings can be obtained from Ms. Kathy Plowitz-Worden, Office of Guidelines & Panel Operations, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC 20506; [email protected], or call 202-682-5691.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The closed portions of meetings are for the purpose of Panel review, discussion, evaluation, and recommendations on financial assistance under the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, including information given in confidence to the agency. In accordance with the determination of the Chairman of February 15, 2012, these sessions will be closed to the public pursuant to subsection (c)(6) of section 552b of title 5, United States Code.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Kathy Plowitz-Worden, Panel Coordinator, National Endowment for the Arts.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11180 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7537-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) #1173.

    Dates/Time: June 8, 2016 1:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., June 9, 2016 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

    Place: National Science Foundation (NSF), 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. To help facilitate your entry into the building, please contact Vickie Fung ([email protected]) on or prior to June 6, 2016.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Contact Person: Dr. Bernice Anderson, Senior Advisor and CEOSE Executive Secretary, Office of Integrative Activities (OIA), National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Contact Information: 703-292-8040/[email protected]

    Minutes: Meeting minutes and other information may be obtained from the CEOSE Executive Secretary at the above address or the Web site at http://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/activities/ceose/index.jsp.

    Purpose of Meeting: To study data, programs, policies, and other information pertinent to the National Science Foundation and to provide advice and recommendations concerning broadening participation in science and engineering.

    Agenda Opening Statement by the CEOSE Chair NSF Executive Liaison Report Updates from the Federal Liaisons Presentation: NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science) Leadership Discussion: Broadening Participation in STEM: Disciplinary Highlights Presentation: Science of Broadening Participation Panel Discussion: Evaluation of NSF BP Programs in EHR (Directorate for Education and Human Resources) Working Session with EAC (Evaluation and Assessment Capability): Framework for a Broadening Participation Accountability System—Part II Work Session: 2015-2016 CEOSE Biennial Report to Congress Dated: May 8, 2016. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11166 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50-18, 50-73 and 50-183; NRC-2015-0169] GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Vallecitos Nuclear Center, Partial Site Release AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact regarding a partial site release for license Nos. DPR-1 (Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor), R-33 (GE-Hitachi Nuclear Test Reactor), and DR-10 (Empire State Atomic Development Agency Vallecitos Experimental Superheat Reactor), issued to GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy at the Vallecitos Nuclear Center in Sunol, California.

    DATES:

    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact set forth in this document is available on May 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0169 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0169. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jack Parrott, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-00001; telephone: 301-415-6634; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    The NRC received, by letter dated April 24, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15114A437), a request from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH or licensee) to approve a partial site release of a portion of its Vallecitos Nuclear Center (VNC) site located at 6705 Vallecitos Road, Sunol, California. The April 24, 2015 letter transmitted a report, entitled “Release of North Section of Vallecitos, California Site,” prepared by GEH evaluating the proposed release (ADAMS Accession No. ML15114A438). The VNC site contains four reactor units. Two of the four units are licensed as power reactors under part 50, “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities,” of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR part 50). These two units are the Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor (VBWR), NRC License DPR-1, Docket 50-18, and the Empire State Atomic Development Agency Vallecitos Experimental Superheat Reactor (EVESR), NRC License DR-10, Docket 50-183. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.4(b)(8)-(9), the licensee has certified, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1), that both units have permanently ceased operation and that all nuclear fuel has been removed from the respective reactor vessels of both units. These units are presently in “SAFSTOR” 1 status awaiting the termination of the power reactor licenses.

    1 SAFSTOR is the decommissioning method in which a nuclear facility is placed and maintained in a condition that allows the safe storage of radioactive components of the nuclear plant and subsequent decontamination to levels that permit license termination.

    The third reactor unit is a shutdown testing facility (also called a test reactor), the General Electric Test Reactor (GETR), NRC License TR-1, Docket 50-70. The GETR has also been defueled and is in a SAFSTOR status. The fourth reactor unit is a currently operating research reactor, the Nuclear Test Reactor (NTR), NRC License R-33, Docket 50-73. The NRC is considering a license amendment application for the NTR that would modify the site description to remove the portion of the site requested by the licensee for release (see the connected action section of this notice).

    Research reactors and testing facilities are non-power reactors that are used for research and development, non-power commercial activities, medical therapy, education and training. Non-power reactors differ from power reactors in a number of significant ways. The purpose of a power reactor is to generate steam, which can be used to generate electricity; the purpose of a non-power reactor is to generate radiation for purposes of experimentation, research and development, commercial activities, medical therapy, education, and training. Therefore, non-power reactors operate at significantly lower power than power reactors and at lower temperatures and pressure. For these reasons, non-power reactors have smaller safety and environmental footprints than power reactors.

    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.83, “Release of part of a power reactor facility or site for unrestricted use,” the licensee requested release from the NRC licenses, for unrestricted use, an approximately 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel in the northern section of the approximately 647-hectare (1,600 acre) VNC site. The licensee is declaring the parcel as a “non-impacted area,” which is defined in 10 CFR 50.2 to mean an area “with no reasonable potential for residual radioactivity in excess of natural background or fallout levels.” If approved, the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will no longer be considered part of the licensed site and thus, no longer under NRC jurisdiction. Once released, the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will be available for unrestricted use. In this regard, GEH has indicated that it intends to sell the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel to a non-GEH controlled entity.

    The NRC is considering approval of the requested partial site release for the VBWR and EVESR licenses at the VNC site. Therefore, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (NEPA), and its NEPA implementing regulations in 10 CFR part 51, the NRC has prepared this Environmental Assessment (EA). The NRC is preparing this EA because the site was licensed prior to the enactment of NEPA, and as such, a Final Environmental Statement (FES) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were never prepared by the NRC's predecessor agency, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), when the site was first licensed. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.83(b)(5), if a FES or EIS had been previously prepared, and if the licensee had demonstrated that the environmental impacts associated with the proposed partial site release were bounded by the FES or EIS, then the preparation of an EA would not be necessary. As the EA preparation here is due simply to the absence of a FES or an EIS, the preparation of this EA should not be taken as precedent-setting for future NRC approvals of 10 CFR 50.83 partial site releases of non-impacted land where the NRC or the AEC had previously prepared a FES or an EIS and the licensee has demonstrated that any environmental impacts associated with the partial site release are bounded by that FES or EIS. Based on the results of the EA that follows, the NRC has determined not to prepare an EIS for the partial site release, and is issuing a finding of no significant impact.

    II. Environmental Assessment Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would approve the release of a 247-hectare (610-acre), non-impacted parcel, located in the northern section of the approximately 647-hectare (1,600) acre VNC site, for unrestricted use. Once released, the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel would no longer be part of the licensed site and thus, no longer under NRC jurisdiction.2 Under the applicable NRC regulation, 10 CFR 50.83(b), a licensee may submit a written request for the release of non-impacted land if a license amendment is not otherwise required. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.83(c), the NRC can approve such a partial release of non-impacted land for unrestricted use in writing.

    2 The NRC's organic statutory authority is the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq. (AEA). Under the AEA, the NRC's jurisdiction is limited to matters of radiological health and safety, for both members of the public and occupational workers, and of physical security for NRC licensed facilities and radioactive materials possessed by NRC licensees. The NRC holds no property interest in licensee owned or controlled lands nor does the NRC have any land or natural resources management authority.

    Need for the Proposed Action

    The licensee has requested the release of the 247-hectare (610-acre), non-impacted parcel as the licensee has no current or projected operational need for this parcel at the licensed site. In fact, the licensee has never used the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel for licensed operations. The licensee intends to sell the parcel to a non-GEH controlled entity. Once the NRC has approved the release, the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel can be made available for another use.

    VNC Site

    VNC is located near the center of the Pleasanton quadrangle of Alameda County, California. The site is east of San Francisco Bay, approximately 56 air kilometers (35 air miles) east-southeast of San Francisco and 32 air kilometers (20 air miles) north of San Jose. The properties surrounding the site are primarily used for agriculture and cattle raising, with some residences, which are mostly to the west of the property. The nearest sizeable towns are Pleasanton located 6.6 kilometers (4.1 miles) to the north-northwest and Livermore located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the northeast.

    The site is on the north side of Vallecitos Road (State Route 84), which is a two and four-lane paved highway. A Union Pacific railroad line lies about three kilometers (two miles) west of the site. There is light industrial activity within a 16-kilometer (10-mile) radius of the plant. San Jose (32 kilometers (20 miles) south), Oakland (48 kilometers (30 miles) northwest) and San Francisco (56 kilometers (35 miles) northwest) are major industrial centers. The property boundary, which has not changed since the original property purchase in 1956, is fenced and posted “No Trespassing.” A security gate at the entrance provides access control to the active area of the site. The GEH evaluation report provides additional information about the site (ADAMS Accession No. ML15114A438).

    Safety Evaluation of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff evaluated the safety impacts of the proposed action and concludes that the requirements of 10 CFR 50.83, 10 CFR 50.59, and other applicable NRC regulations have been met (see ADAMS Accession No. ML16007A348).

    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff evaluated the environmental impacts of the proposed action and concludes that the release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will not have any adverse environmental impacts. The 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel is located in the northern portion of the site. The parcel consists of undeveloped land and is currently used for cattle grazing. The land has not been used for the processing or storage of radioactive material. The properties surrounding the site are primarily used for agriculture and cattle raising, with some scattered residences mostly to the west of the property. The power reactors at the site have permanently ceased operations and are being maintained in a possession-only SAFSTOR status. The release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will not impact the shutdown reactors. The licensee notes that the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel has never been used for licensed activity. The 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel is topographically uphill from the shutdown reactors so any surface or subsurface transport of liquid effluents from the active area of the site could not have impacted the parcel.

    There is no evidence of any radiological impact on the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel. Samples taken in the area do not indicate impact from licensed activities. The licensee measured direct dose in and around the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel and found that all measurements were consistent with a background direct dose measurement of approximately 0.7 mSieverts/yr (70 mRem/yr) (GEH Annual Report for 2014, ADAMS Accession No. ML15069A472). The NRC verified that the area to be released was not radiologically impacted by licensed site activities, as described in NRC inspection report 050-00018/15-001 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15303A361) dated October 30, 2015.

    The NRC staff reviewed the request and concluded that the environmental impacts associated with this request remain bounded by the environmental impacts evaluated in the previously issued “Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities,” NUREG-0586, Supplement 1, Volume 1 (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr0586/s1/v1/index.html). NUREG-0586 evaluated the environmental impacts of the decommissioning of entire power reactor sites and facilities that have been impacted by operations. The release of a part of a power reactor site that has been demonstrated to not have been impacted by operations is within the scope of the evaluation performed in NUREG-0586. The NRC staff concludes that the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel is bounded by NUREG-0586.

    The NRC has determined that the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel is wholly procedural and administrative in nature, that the parcel is radiologically non-impacted, and that the licensee has no safety, physical security, or emergency preparedness need to retain the parcel. The environmental impacts associated with the shutdown power reactors will not change as a result of the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel. The proposed release will not result in public or environmental exposure to radioactive contamination. There are no known records of any spills, leaks, or uncontrolled release of radioactive material on the 247-hectare (610-acre parcel). The 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel was not used for any activities that could have contaminated the property. Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel from NRC jurisdiction does not involve or authorize any construction activities, renovation of buildings or structures, ground disturbing activities or other alteration to land. The proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will not result in any change to current licensed activities on that portion of the site that will remain under NRC jurisdiction and therefore, will not result in any changes to the workforce or vehicular traffic. Furthermore, as the NRC has determined that the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel is an administrative action, it is not a type of activity that has the potential to cause effects on historic properties or cultural resources, including traditional cultural properties. Similarly, the NRC staff has determined that the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will have no effect on listed species or critical habitat. In addition the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel will not result in any change to non-radiological plant effluents and thus, will have no impact on either air or water quality. Therefore, there are no significant non-radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel.

    Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

    Connected Action

    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.90, GEH has also requested the amendment of its operating research reactor license for the NTR, NRC License R-33, Docket 50-73 to reflect the release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel. Specifically, GEH has requested an amendment to the license's site description section. GEH submitted that license amendment request on February 16, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15048A008; attachments to the February 16, 2015 request are at ADAMS Accession Nos. ML15048A007, ML15048A009, ML15048A010, ML15048A011). The NRC approval or disapproval of the proposed NTR license amendment request will be handled administratively as a separate licensing matter. However, the NRC considers that this EA encompasses and otherwise bounds the environmental impacts of the proposed NTR license amendment request. As discussed in Section I, “Introduction,” of this notice, a non-power reactor has a much smaller safety and environmental footprint than a power reactor. In this regard, the NTR operates at a power level of 100 kilowatts-thermal. In contrast, the VBWR, the largest of the decommissioned power reactors at the site, operated at a much higher power level, 50 megawatts-thermal. As a further, comparison, a typical commercial nuclear power reactor is rated at 3000 megawatts-thermal, and provides enough electricity to power 200,000 households in the peak summer months. Because of this large difference in thermal power generated, the consequence of an accident at a non-power reactor is much lower when compared to a commercial power reactor. For this reason, the NTR research reactors' emergency planning zones (EPZ) to protect the public from potential radiological accidents is well within the owner-controlled areas—and is the boundary of the room in which the reactor is housed. In accordance with the guidance of ANSI/ANS 15.16-1982, “Emergency Planning for Research Reactors”, the operations boundary is defined as the EPZ boundary for each reactor facility. For the NTR, the operations boundary is defined by the portions of Building 105 occupied by NTR facilities. The NRC staff has concluded that the environmental impacts of reducing the licensed site would be similarly bounded and that there would be no environmental impact associated with the continued operation of the NTR in relation to the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel.

    The shutdown, defueled testing facility, the GETR, NRC License TR-1, Docket 50-70 is not the subject of any license amendment request. The GETR is in SAFSTOR status. The GETR license does not contain a site description and as such, there is no need to amend the GETR license to reflect the release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel. In any event, the NRC staff considers this EA to encompass and bound any environmental impacts resulting from the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel in relation to the ongoing shutdown, SAFSTOR status of the GETR.

    Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered denial of the proposed release of the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel (i.e., the “no-action” alternative). Denial of the request would result in the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel remaining part of the licensed site and subject to NRC jurisdiction. As the licensee has no need for the parcel, its current use as a site for cattle grazing would most likely continue. As there is no policy or regulatory reason for the NRC to require a licensee to retain land that is not radiologically impacted and for which the licensee has no further operational need, the no-action alternative is not further considered.

    Conclusion

    The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action will not significantly impact the quality of the human environment, and that the proposed action is the preferred alternative.

    Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The NRC contacted the California Department of Public Health concerning this request. There were no comments, concerns or objections from the State official.

    A public meeting to obtain comments on the release approval request was announced on the NRC public meeting Web site on July 7, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15188A344). A notice of GEH's request to release the 247-hectare (610-acre) parcel and the public meeting, including a request for comment, was also published in the Tri-Valley Herald, Livermore, CA on July 15, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15292A519). The NRC staff published a notice of the receipt of GEH's request, including a request for comment, in the Federal Register on July 20, 2015 (80 FR 42846). The NRC staff conducted the public meeting in Pleasanton, CA on July 22, 2015. A summary of the public meeting, which includes copies of the presentations made and a copy of the transcript of the meeting, is available in ADAMS at Accession No. ML15260A199. No comments were made on the Federal Rulemaking Web site, or were received by mail or email, and all questions asked at the meeting were answered in the meeting.

    III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has prepared this EA as part of its review of the proposed action. On the basis of this EA, the NRC finds that there are no significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, and that preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted. Accordingly, the NRC has determined that a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) is appropriate. In accordance with 10 CFR 51.32(a)(4), this FONSI incorporates the EA set forth in this notice by reference.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of May 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    John R. Tappert, Director, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11206 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77778; File No. SR-BOX-2016-21] Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee Schedule on the BOX Market LLC (“BOX”) Options Facility May 6, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 29, 2016, BOX Options Exchange LLC (the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act,3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) a proposed rule change to amend the Fee Schedule on the BOX Market LLC (“BOX”) options facility. While changes to the fee schedule pursuant to this proposal will be effective upon filing, the changes will become operative on May 2, 2016. The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission's Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange's Internet Web site at http://boxexchange.com.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Fee Schedule for trading on BOX.

    PIP and COPIP Transactions

    The Exchange first proposes to amend certain PIP and COPIP Transaction fees for Professional Customers, Broker Dealer and Market Makers in Section I.B of the BOX Fee Schedule. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to reduce the PIP and COPIP Order fees for Professional Customers and Broker Dealers from $0.37 to $0.15 and the PIP and COPIP Order Fees for Market Makers from $0.20 to $0.15.

    The revised pricing structure for PIP and COPIP Transactions will be as follows:

    Account type Public
  • customer
  • Professional
  • customer
  • Broker
  • dealer
  • Market
  • maker
  • PIP Order or COPIP Order $0.00 $0.15 $0.15 $0.15. Improvement Order in PIP or COPIP 0.15 0.37 0.37 0.30. Primary Improvement Order See Section I. B.1 See Section I. B.1 See Section I. B.1 See Section I. B.1.

    The Exchange also proposes to make a clerical correction to Section I.B. of the BOX Fee Schedule. Specifically, the Primary Improvement Order row references ADV (Average Daily Volume). The Exchange no longer uses a Participant's ADV to determine volume based tiers for rebates and fees. Instead, the qualification thresholds are based on a percentage of the Participant's volume relative to the account type's overall total industry equity and ETF option volume. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to remove the reference ADV and only refer to Section I.B.1.

    BVR

    Under the BVR, the Exchange offers a tiered per contract rebate for all PIP Orders and COPIP orders of 100 contracts and under that do not trade solely with their contra order. Percentage thresholds are calculated on a monthly basis by totaling the Participant's PIP and COPIP volume submitted to BOX, relative to the total national Customer volume in multiply-listed options classes.

    The Exchange proposes to establish an additional tier within the BVR for percentage thresholds of 1.250% and above. Participants whose PIP and COPIP volume submitted to BOX, relative to the total national Customer volume in multiply-listed options classes, is 1.250% or above will receive a per contract rebate of $0.18 in PIP transactions and $0.06 in COPIP transactions. With this, the Exchange also proposes to adjust the threshold in Tier 4 to end at 1.249%.

    The new BVR set forth in Section I.B.2 of the BOX Fee Schedule will be as follows:

    Tier Percentage
  • thresholds of national customer
  • volume in multiply-listed options
  • classes (monthly)
  • Per contract rebate
  • (all account types)
  • PIP COPIP
    1 0.000% to 0.159% ($0.00) ($0.00) 2 0.160% to 0.339% (0.04) (0.02) 3 0.340% to 0.999% (0.11) (0.04) 4 1.000% to 1.249% (0.14) (0.06) 5 1.250% and Above (0.18) (0.06)
    Complex Orders

    The Exchange then proposes to adjust certain fees within the Complex Order Pricing Structure in Section III.A. of the BOX Fee Schedule (All Complex Orders). The Exchange recently introduced a pricing structure where Complex Orders are assessed transaction fees and credits dependent upon three factors: (i) The account type of the Participant submitting the order; (ii) whether the Participant is a liquidity provider or liquidity taker; and (iii) the account type of the contra party.5

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 77568 (April 8, 2016), 81 FR 22151 (April 14, 2016) (SR-BOX-2016-15).

    The Exchange now proposes to adjust certain fees and rebates within the new pricing structure. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to replace the $0.10 credit applied to Market Makers, Professional Customer and Broker Dealers making liquidity against a Public Customer in Penny Pilot Classes. The Exchange proposes to instead assess Professional Customers or Broker Dealers $0.45 and Market Makers $0.40 when their Penny Pilot Complex Order makes liquidity against a Public Customer Complex Order.

    For Complex Orders in Non-Penny Pilot Classes, the Exchange proposes to replace the $0.10 credit applied to Market Makers, Professional Customer and Broker Dealers making liquidity against a Public Customer. The Exchange proposes to instead assess Professional Customers and Broker Dealers $0.80 and Market Makers $0.75 when their Non-Penny Pilot Complex Order makes liquidity against a Public Customer Complex Order.

    The revised Complex Order Pricing Structure will be as follows:

    Account type Contra party Penny pilot classes Maker fee/credit Taker fee/credit Non-penny pilot classes Maker fee/credit Taker fee/credit Public Customer Public Customer $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 Professional Customer/Broker Dealer (0.35) (0.35) (0.70) (0.70) Market Maker (0.35) (0.35) (0.70) (0.70) Professional Customer or Broker Dealer Public Customer 0.45 0.45 0.80 0.80 Professional Customer/Broker Dealer (0.10) 0.30 (0.10) 0.45 Market Maker (0.10) 0.30 (0.10) 0.45 Market Maker Public Customer 0.40 0.40 0.75 0.75 Professional Customer/Broker Dealer (0.10) 0.30 (0.10) 0.45 Market Maker (0.10) 0.30 (0.10) 0.45

    For example, if a Market Maker's Complex Order in a Penny Pilot Class interacted with a Public Customer's Complex Order, regardless of whether the Complex Order was making or taking liquidity, the Market Maker would now be charged $0.40 and the Public Customer would be credited $0.35.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act, in general, and Section 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5)of the Act,6 in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among BOX Participants and other persons using its facilities and does not unfairly discriminate between customers, issuers, brokers or dealers.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4) and (5).

    The Exchange believes that reducing the PIP and COPIP Order Fees to $0.15 for Market Makers, Professional Customers and Broker Dealers is reasonable. Reducing these fees is meant to encourage auction order flow to the Exchange, which will benefit all market participants on the Exchange. BOX believes the $0.15 fee is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory, as it applies to all Market Marker, Professional Customers and Broker Dealers submitting PIP and COPIP Orders to these auction mechanisms. Further, the Exchange believes it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to charge Public Customers less than Non-Public Customers for their PIP and COPIP Orders. The practice of incentivizing increased Public Customer order flow is common in the options markets.

    The Exchange believes the proposed amendments to the BVR in Section I.B.2 of the BOX Fee Schedule are reasonable, equitable and non-discriminatory. The BVR was adopted to attract Public Customer order flow to the Exchange by offering these Participants incentives to submit their PIP and COPIP Orders to the Exchange and the Exchange believes it is appropriate to now amend the BVR. The Exchange believes it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to establish an additional tier within the BVR, as all Participants have the ability to qualify for a rebate, and rebates are provided equally to qualifying Participants. Finally, the Exchange believes it is reasonable and appropriate to continue to provide incentives for Public Customers, which will result in greater liquidity and ultimately benefit all Participants trading on the Exchange.

    BOX believes it is reasonable, equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to adjust the monthly Percentage Thresholds of National Customer Volume in Multiply-Listed Options Classes. The volume thresholds and applicable rebates are meant to incentivize Participants to direct order flow to the Exchange to obtain the benefit of the rebate, which will in turn benefit all market participants by increasing liquidity on the Exchange. Other exchanges employ similar incentive programs,7 and the Exchange believes that the proposed changes to the volume thresholds and rebates are reasonable and competitive when compared to incentive structures at other exchanges.

    7See Section B of the PHLX Pricing Schedule entitled “Customer Rebate Program;” ISE Gemini's Qualifying Tier Thresholds (page 6 of the ISE Gemini Fee Schedule); and CBOE's Volume Incentive Program (VIP).

    The Exchange believes amending the Complex Order pricing structure is reasonable, equitable and not unfairly discriminatory. The fee structure for Complex Orders was recently adopted and the Exchange believes it is now appropriate to adjust certain fees and credits. The Complex Order fee structure is generally intended to attract order flow to the Exchange by offering all market participants incentives to submit their Complex Orders to the Exchange.

    The Exchange believes that the proposed fees for Professional Customers, Broker Dealers and Market Makers interacting with Public Customer Complex Orders are reasonable. A Professional Customer or Broker Dealer interacting against a Public Customer will now be charged $0.45 in Penny Pilot Classes and $0.80 Non-Penny Pilot Classes, regardless if it is making or taking liquidity. A Market Maker interacting against a Public Customer will now be charged $0.40 in Penny Pilot Classes and $0.75 Non-Penny Pilot Classes, regardless of whether it is making or taking liquidity. The Exchange believes these proposed Complex Order fees remain competitive when compared to the Complex Order fees on another exchange.8

    8 Comparative Complex Order fees at another exchanges [sic] range from $0.30 [sic] to $0.88. See Section II of the International Securities Exchange (“ISE”) Schedule of Fees entitled “Complex Order Fees and Rebates.”

    The Exchange believes that charging Professional Customers and Broker Dealers higher fees than Public Customers for Complex Orders is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory. Professional Customers, while Public Customers by virtue of not being Broker Dealers, generally engage in trading activity more similar to Broker Dealer proprietary trading accounts (submitting more than 390 standard orders per day on average). The Exchange believes that the higher level of trading activity from these Participants will draw a greater amount of BOX system resources than that of non-professional, Public Customers. Because this higher level of trading activity will result in greater ongoing operational costs, the Exchange aims to recover its costs by assessing Professional Customers and Broker Dealers higher fees for transactions.

    The Exchange also believes it is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory for BOX Market Makers to be assessed lower fees than Professional Customers and Broker Dealers for certain Complex Order executions because of the significant contributions to overall market quality that Market Makers provide. Specifically, Market Makers can provide higher volumes of liquidity and lowering their fees will help attract a higher level of Market Maker order flow to the BOX Book and create liquidity, which the Exchange believes will ultimately benefit all Participants trading on BOX. As such, the Exchange believes it is appropriate that Market Makers be charged lower transaction fees than Professional Customers and Broker Dealers for certain Complex Order executions.

    The Exchange also believes it is reasonable, equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to charge Non-Public Customers a higher fee when their Complex Order interacts with a Public Customer's Complex Order, when compared to the fee assessed when their Complex Order interacts with a Non-Public Customer's Complex Order. To attract Public Customer order flow, Public Customers are given credit when their Complex Order executes against a non-Public Customer. The securities markets generally, and BOX in particular, have historically aimed to improve markets for investors and develop various features within the market structure for Public Customer benefit. Similar to payment for order flow and other pricing models that have been adopted by the Exchange and other exchanges to attract Public Customer order flow, the Exchange increases fees to non-Public Customers to provide incentives for Public Customers. The Exchange believes that providing incentives for Complex Orders by Public Customers is reasonable and, ultimately, will benefit all Participants trading on the Exchange by attracting Public Customer order flow.

    Finally, the Exchange also believes it is reasonable to charge Professional Customers, Broker Dealers, and Market Makers less for certain executions in Penny Pilot issues compared to Non-Penny Pilot issues because these classes are typically more actively traded; assessing lower fees will further incentivize order flow in Penny Pilot issues on the Exchange, ultimately benefiting all Participants trading on BOX.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange is simply proposing to reduce PIP and COPIP Order fees and establish a new qualification tier in the BVR. The Exchange believes doing so will increase intermarket and intramarket competition by incenting Participants to direct their order flow to the exchange, which benefits all participants by providing more trading opportunities and improves competition on the Exchange. The Exchange also believes amending certain Complex Order fees and credits will enhance competition between exchanges because it is designed to allow the Exchange to better compete with other exchanges for Complex Order flow.

    Finally, the Exchange notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor competing exchanges. In such an environment, the Exchange must continually review, and consider adjusting, its fees and credits to remain competitive with other exchanges. For the reasons described above, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change reflects this competitive environment.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Exchange Act 9 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,10 because it establishes or changes a due, or fee.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend the rule change if it appears to the Commission that the action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or would otherwise further the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

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

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-BOX-2016-21 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BOX-2016-21. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BOX-2016-21, and should be submitted on or before June 2, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.11

    11 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11153 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77779; File No. TP 16-06] Order Granting Limited Exemptions From Exchange Act Rule 10b-17 and Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M to IndexIQ ETF Trust, IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. ETF, IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. ETF, IQ Leaders Bond Allocation Tracker ETF, and IQ Leaders GTAA Tracker ETF, Pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 10b-17(b)(2) and Rules 101(d) and 102(e) of Regulation M May 6, 2016.

    By letter dated May 6, 2016 (the “Letter”), as supplemented by conversations with the staff of the Division of Trading and Markets, counsel for IndexIQ ETF Trust (the “Trust”), on behalf of the Trust, the IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. ETF, IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. ETF, IQ Leaders Bond Allocation Tracker ETF, and IQ Leaders GTAA Tracker ETF (each, a “Fund” and collectively the “Funds”), NYSE Arca or any national securities exchange on or through which shares issued by the Funds (“Shares”) may subsequently trade, ALPS Distributors, Inc. (the “Distributor”), and persons or entities engaging in transactions in Shares (collectively, the “Requestors”), requested exemptions, or interpretive or no-action relief, from Rule 10b-17 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”), and Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M, in connection with secondary market transactions in Shares and the creation or redemption of aggregations of Shares of at least 50,000 shares (“Creation Units”).

    The Trust is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”), as an open-end management investment company. Each Fund is an index fund that seeks to track, as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the performance of its stated index by holding a portfolio of investments selected to correspond generally to the price and yield performance of such index.

    The IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. ETF and the IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. ETF seek investment results that correspond (before fees and expenses) generally to the price and yield performance of their indices, the IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. Index and IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. Index, respectively. These indices were designed to weight each of the various sectors of the investment grade fixed income market (and, in the case of the IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. Index, the high yield fixed income securities market) based on each index's overall level of risk as measured by volatility and the total return momentum of each fixed income sector, so that each index will overweight fixed income sectors with high momentum and underweight fixed income sectors with low momentum, with constraints to maintain sector diversification.

    The IQ Leaders Bond Allocation Tracker ETF and the IQ Leaders GTAA Tracker ETF seek investment results that correspond (before fees and expenses) generally to the price and yield performance of their indices, the IQ Leaders Bond Allocation Index and IQ Leaders GTAA Index, respectively. The IQ Leaders Bond Allocation Index seeks to track the “beta” portion of the returns of the ten leading bond mutual funds pursuing a global bond strategy and the IQ Leaders GTAA Index seeks to track the beta portion of the returns of the ten leading global allocation mutual funds based on fund performance and fund asset size.1

    1 The global allocation mutual funds invest in a combination of equity, fixed-income, and money market securities of U.S. and foreign issuers, and may also invest in other asset classes such as commodities.

    At least 80% of each Fund's portfolio holdings are, and will be, shares of some or all of the exchange-traded products (“ETPs”) that are the index constituents of its stated index. Some or all of the remaining 20% may be invested in securities that are not index constituents which the advisor believes will help the Fund track its index, as well as cash, cash equivalents and various types of financial instruments including, but not limited to, futures contracts, swap agreements, forward contracts, reverse repurchase agreements, and options on securities, indices, and futures contracts. In no case will a Fund hold any non-ETP equity security issued by a single issuer in excess of 20% of such Fund's portfolio holdings.

    Accordingly, each Fund intends to operate primarily as an “ETF of ETFs.” Except for the fact that each Fund intends to operate primarily as an ETF of ETFs, each Fund will operate in a manner very similar to that of the ETPs held in its portfolio.

    The Requestors represent, among other things, the following:

    • Shares of each Fund will be issued by the Trust, an open-end management investment company that is registered with the Commission;

    • The Trust will continuously redeem Creation Units at net asset value (“NAV”), and the secondary market price of the Shares should not vary substantially from the NAV of such Shares;

    • Shares of each Fund will be listed and traded on the NYSE Arca (the “Exchange”) or other exchange in accordance with exchange listing standards that are, or will become, effective pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act;

    • Each ETP in which each Fund is invested will meet all conditions set forth in a relevant class relief letter,2 or will have received individual relief from the Commission;

    2 Letter from Catherine McGuire, Esq., Chief Counsel, Division of Market Regulation, to the Securities Industry Association Derivative Products Committee (Nov. 21, 2005); Letter from Racquel L. Russell, Branch Chief, Division of Market Regulation, to George T. Simon, Esq., Foley & Lardner LLP (June 21, 2006); Letter from James A. Brigagliano, Acting Associate Director, Division of Market Regulation, to Stuart M. Strauss, Esq., Clifford Chance US LLP (Oct. 24, 2006); Letter from James A. Brigagliano, Associate Director, Division of Market Regulation, to Benjamin Haskin, Esq., Willkie. Farr & Gallagher LLP (Apr. 9, 2007); or Letter from Josephine Tao, Assistant Director, Division of Trading and Markets, to Domenick Pugliese, Esq., Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLP (June 27, 2007). See also Staff Legal Bulletin No. 9, “Frequently Asked Questions About Regulation M” (Apr. 12, 2002) (regarding actively-managed ETFs).

    • All of the components of each Fund's underlying index will have publicly available last sale trade information;

    • The intra-day proxy value of each Fund per share and the value of each Index will be publicly disseminated by a major market data vendor throughout the trading day;

    • On each business day before the opening of business on the Exchange, each Fund's custodian, through the National Securities Clearing Corporation, will make available the list of the names and the numbers of securities and other assets of the Fund's portfolio that will be applicable that day to creation and redemption requests;

    • The Exchange or other market information provider will disseminate every 15 seconds throughout the trading day through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association an amount representing the current value of the cash and securities held in the portfolio of a Fund but does not reflect corporate actions, expenses, and other adjustments made to such portfolio throughout the day (“Estimated NAV”);

    • At least 80% of each Fund's portfolio holdings are, and will be, shares of some or all of the ETPs that are the index constituents of its stated index;

    • Each Fund will invest in securities that will facilitate an effective and efficient arbitrage mechanism and the ability to create workable hedges;

    • The Requestors believe that arbitrageurs can be expected to take advantage of price variations between each Fund's market price and its NAV;

    • The arbitrage mechanism will be facilitated by the transparency of each Fund's portfolio and the availability of the Estimated NAV, the liquidity of securities and other assets held by each Fund, and the ability to acquire such securities, as well as arbitrageurs' ability to create workable hedges; and

    • A close alignment between the market price of Shares and each Fund's NAV is expected.

    Regulation M

    While redeemable securities issued by an open-end management investment company are excepted from the provisions of Rule 101 and 102 of Regulation M, the Requestors may not rely upon that exception for the Shares.3 However, we find that it is appropriate in the public interest, and is consistent with the protection of investors, to grant a limited exemption from Rules 101 and 102 to persons who may be deemed to be participating in a distribution of Shares and the Fund as described in more detail below.

    3 While ETFs operate under exemptions from the definitions of “open-end company” under Section 5(a)(1) of the 1940 Act and “redeemable security” under Section 2(a)(32) of the 1940 Act, each Fund and its securities do not meet those definitions.

    Rule 101 of Regulation M

    Generally, Rule 101 of Regulation M is an anti-manipulation rule that, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits any “distribution participant” and its “affiliated purchasers” from bidding for, purchasing, or attempting to induce any person to bid for or purchase, any security which is the subject of a distribution until after the applicable restricted period, except as specifically permitted in the rule. Rule 100 of Regulation M defines “distribution” to mean any offering of securities that is distinguished from ordinary trading transactions by the magnitude of the offering and the presence of special selling efforts and selling methods. The provisions of Rule 101 of Regulation M apply to underwriters, prospective underwriters, brokers, dealers, or other persons who have agreed to participate or are participating in a distribution of securities. The Shares are in a continuous distribution and, as such, the restricted period in which distribution participants and their affiliated purchasers are prohibited from bidding for, purchasing, or attempting to induce others to bid for or purchase, extends indefinitely.

    Based on the representations and facts presented in the Letter, particularly that the Trust is a registered open-end management investment company that will continuously redeem at the NAV Creation Unit size aggregations of the Shares of each Fund and that a close alignment between the market price of Shares and each Fund's NAV is expected, the Commission finds that it is appropriate in the public interest, and consistent with the protection of investors, to grant the Trust an exemption under paragraph (d) of Rule 101 of Regulation M with respect to each Fund, thus permitting persons participating in a distribution of Shares of each Fund to bid for or purchase such Shares during their participation in such distribution.4

    4 Additionally, we confirm the interpretation that a redemption of Creation Unit size aggregations of Shares of each Fund and the receipt of securities in exchange by a participant in a distribution of Shares of each Fund would not constitute an “attempt to induce any person to bid for or purchase, a covered security during the applicable restricted period” within the meaning of Rule 101 of Regulation M and, therefore, would not violate that rule.

    Rule 102 of Regulation M

    Rule 102 of Regulation M prohibits issuers, selling security holders, or any affiliated purchaser of such person from bidding for, purchasing, or attempting to induce any person to bid for or purchase a covered security during the applicable restricted period in connection with a distribution of securities effected by or on behalf of an issuer or selling security holder.

    Based on the representations and facts presented in the Letter, particularly that the Trust is a registered open-end management investment company that will redeem at the NAV Creation Units of Shares of each Fund and that a close alignment between the market price of Shares and each Fund's NAV is expected, the Commission finds that it is appropriate in the public interest, and consistent with the protection of investors, to grant the Trust an exemption under paragraph (e) of Rule 102 of Regulation M with respect to the Funds, thus permitting each Fund to redeem Shares of each Fund during the continuous offering of such Shares.

    Rule 10b-17

    Rule 10b-17, with certain exceptions, requires an issuer of a class of publicly traded securities to give notice of certain specified actions (for example, a dividend distribution) relating to such class of securities in accordance with Rule 10b-17(b). Based on the representations and facts in the Letter, and subject to the conditions below, we find that it is appropriate in the public interest, and consistent with the protection of investors, to grant the Trust a conditional exemption from Rule 10b-17 because market participants will receive timely notification of the existence and timing of a pending distribution, and thus the concerns that the Commission raised in adopting Rule 10b-17 will not be implicated.5

    5 We also note that timely compliance with Rule 10b-17(b)(1)(v)(a) and (b) would be impractical because it is not possible for the Funds to accurately project ten days in advance what dividend, if any, would be paid on a particular record date. Further, the Commission finds, based upon the representations of the Requestors in the Letter, that the provision of the notices as described in the Letter would not constitute a manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance comprehended within the purpose of Rule 10b-17.

    Conclusion

    It is hereby ordered, pursuant to Rule 101(d) of Regulation M, that the Trust, based on the representations and the facts presented in the Letter, is exempt from the requirements of Rule 101 with respect to each Fund, thus permitting persons who may be deemed to be participating in a distribution of Shares of each Fund to bid for or purchase such Shares during their participation in such distribution.

    It is further ordered, pursuant to Rule 102(e) of Regulation M, that the Trust, based on the representations and the facts presented in the Letter, is exempt from the requirements of Rule 102 with respect to each Fund, thus permitting each Fund to redeem Shares of each Fund during the continuous offering of such Shares.

    It is further ordered, pursuant to Rule 10b-17(b)(2), that the Trust, based on the representations and the facts presented in the Letter, and subject to the conditions below, is exempt from the requirements of Rule 10b-17 with respect to transactions in the Shares of each Fund.

    This exemptive relief is subject to the following conditions:

    • The Trust will comply with Rule 10b-17 except for Rule 10b-17(b)(1)(v)(a) and (b); and

    • The Trust will provide the information required by Rule 10b-17(b)(1)(v)(a) and (b) to the Exchange as soon as practicable before trading begins on the ex-dividend date, but in no event later than the time when the Exchange last accepts information relating to distributions on the day before the ex-dividend date.

    This exemptive relief is subject to modification or revocation at any time the Commission determines that such action is necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Exchange Act. Persons relying upon this exemptive relief shall discontinue transactions involving the Shares of the Funds, pending presentation of the facts for the Commission's consideration, in the event that any material change occurs with respect to any of the facts or representations made by the Requestors and, consistent with all preceding letters, particularly with respect to the close alignment between the market price of Shares and each Fund's NAV. In addition, persons relying on this exemptive relief are directed to the anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions of the Exchange Act, particularly Sections 9(a) and 10(b), and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Responsibility for compliance with these and any other applicable provisions of the federal securities laws must rest with the persons relying on this exemptive relief.

    This order should not be considered a view with respect to any other question that the proposed transactions may raise, including, but not limited to the adequacy of the disclosure concerning, and the applicability of other federal or state laws to, the proposed transactions.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.6

    6 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(6) and (9).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11154 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77781; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2016-064] Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the First Trust Strategic Mortgage REIT ETF of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII May 6, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on May 3, 2016, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by Nasdaq. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    Nasdaq proposes to list and trade the shares of the First Trust Strategic Mortgage REIT ETF (the “Fund”) of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VIII (the “Trust”) under Nasdaq Rule 5735 (“Managed Fund Shares”).3 The shares of the Fund are collectively referred to herein as the “Shares.”

    3 The Commission approved Nasdaq Rule 5735 in Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57962 (June 13, 2008), 73 FR 35175 (June 20, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-039). There are already multiple actively-managed funds listed on the Exchange; see, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 72506 (July 1, 2014), 79 FR 38631 (July 8, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-050) (order approving listing and trading of First Trust Strategic Income ETF); 69464 (April 26, 2013), 78 FR 25774 (May 2, 2013) (SR-NASDAQ-2013-036) (order approving listing and trading of First Trust Senior Loan Fund); and 66489 (February 29, 2012), 77 FR 13379 (March 6, 2012) (SR-NASDAQ-2012-004) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund). The Exchange believes the proposed rule change raises no significant issues not previously addressed in those prior Commission orders.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, Nasdaq included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. Nasdaq has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to list and trade the Shares of the Fund under Nasdaq Rule 5735, which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares 4 on the Exchange. The Fund will be an actively-managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”). The Shares will be offered by the Trust, which was established as a Massachusetts business trust on February 22, 2016.5 The Trust is registered with the Commission as an investment company and has filed a registration statement on Form N-1A (“Registration Statement”) with the Commission.6 The Fund will be a series of the Trust.

    4 A Managed Fund Share is a security that represents an interest in an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1) (the “1940 Act”) organized as an open-end investment company or similar entity that invests in a portfolio of securities selected by its investment adviser consistent with its investment objectives and policies. In contrast, an open-end investment company that issues Index Fund Shares, listed and traded on the Exchange under Nasdaq Rule 5705, seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a specific foreign or domestic stock index, fixed income securities index or combination thereof.

    5 The Commission has issued an order, upon which the Trust may rely, granting certain exemptive relief under the 1940 Act. See Investment Company Act Release No. 28468 (October 27, 2008) (File No. 812-13477) (the “Exemptive Relief”).

    6See Registration Statement on Form N-1A for the Trust, dated March 14, 2016 (File Nos. 333-210186 and 811-23147). The descriptions of the Fund and the Shares contained herein are based, in part, on information in the Registration Statement.

    First Trust Advisors L.P. will be the investment adviser (“Adviser”) to the Fund. First Trust Portfolios L.P. (the “Distributor”) will be the principal underwriter and distributor of the Fund's Shares. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (“BNY”) will act as the administrator, accounting agent, custodian and transfer agent to the Fund.

    Paragraph (g) of Rule 5735 provides that if the investment adviser to the investment company issuing Managed Fund Shares is affiliated with a broker-dealer, such investment adviser shall erect a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer with respect to access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to such investment company portfolio.7 In addition, paragraph (g) further requires that personnel who make decisions on the open-end fund's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding the open-end fund's portfolio. Rule 5735(g) is similar to Nasdaq Rule 5705(b)(5)(A)(i); however, paragraph (g) in connection with the establishment of a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer reflects the applicable open-end fund's portfolio, not an underlying benchmark index, as is the case with index-based funds. The Adviser is not a broker-dealer, but it is affiliated with the Distributor, a broker-dealer, and has implemented a fire wall with respect to its broker-dealer affiliate regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the portfolio. In addition, personnel who make decisions on the Fund's portfolio composition will be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material non-public information regarding the Fund's portfolio. In the event (a) the Adviser or any sub-adviser registers as a broker-dealer, or becomes newly affiliated with a broker-dealer, or (b) any new adviser or sub-adviser is a registered broker-dealer or becomes affiliated with another broker-dealer, it will implement a fire wall with respect to its relevant personnel and/or such broker-dealer affiliate, as applicable, regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the portfolio and will be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material non-public information regarding such portfolio. The Fund currently does not intend to use a sub-adviser.

    7 An investment adviser to an open-end fund is required to be registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”). As a result, the Adviser and its related personnel are subject to the provisions of Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act relating to codes of ethics. This Rule requires investment advisers to adopt a code of ethics that reflects the fiduciary nature of the relationship to clients as well as compliance with other applicable securities laws. Accordingly, procedures designed to prevent the communication and misuse of non-public information by an investment adviser must be consistent with Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act. In addition, Rule 206(4)-7 under the Advisers Act makes it unlawful for an investment adviser to provide investment advice to clients unless such investment adviser has (i) adopted and implemented written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation, by the investment adviser and its supervised persons, of the Advisers Act and the Commission rules adopted thereunder; (ii) implemented, at a minimum, an annual review regarding the adequacy of the policies and procedures established pursuant to subparagraph (i) above and the effectiveness of their implementation; and (iii) designated an individual (who is a supervised person) responsible for administering the policies and procedures adopted under subparagraph (i) above.

    The Fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

    First Trust Strategic Mortgage REIT ETF Principal Investments

    The investment objective of the Fund will be to generate high current income. Under normal market conditions,8 the Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its net assets (including investment borrowings) in the exchange-traded common shares of U.S. exchange-traded mortgage real estate investment trusts (“mortgage REITs”). In general terms, a mortgage REIT makes loans to developers and owners of property and invests primarily in mortgages and similar real estate interests, and includes companies or trusts that are primarily engaged in the purchasing or servicing of commercial or residential mortgage loans or mortgage-related securities, which may include mortgage-backed securities issued by private issuers and those issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored entities.

    8 The term “under normal market conditions” as used herein includes, but is not limited to, the absence of adverse market, economic, political or other conditions, including extreme volatility or trading halts in the securities markets or the financial markets generally; operational issues causing dissemination of inaccurate market information; or force majeure type events such as systems failure, natural or man-made disaster, act of God, armed conflict, act of terrorism, riot or labor disruption or any similar intervening circumstance. On a temporary basis, including for defensive purposes, during the initial invest-up period and during periods of high cash inflows or outflows, the Fund may depart from its principal investment strategies; for example, it may hold a higher than normal proportion of its assets in cash. During such periods, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may adopt a defensive strategy when the Adviser believes securities in which the Fund normally invests have elevated risks due to political or economic factors and in other extraordinary circumstances.

    Other Investments

    The Fund may invest (in the aggregate) up to 20% of its net assets in the following securities and instruments.

    The Fund may invest in the exchange-traded preferred shares of U.S. exchange-traded mortgage REITs.

    The Fund may invest in (i) U.S. exchange-traded equity and preferred securities and (ii) domestic over-the-counter (“OTC”) preferred securities, in each case, of companies engaged in the U.S. real estate industry (other than mortgage REITs) (collectively, “Real Estate Companies”).

    The Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities,9 and such investments may, from time to time, include investments in to-be-announced transactions 10 and mortgage dollar rolls 11 (collectively, “Mortgage-Related Instruments”).

    9 Mortgage-backed securities, which are securities that directly or indirectly represent a participation in, or are secured by and payable from, mortgage loans on real property, will consist of: (1) Residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”); (2) commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”); (3) stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are mortgage-backed securities where mortgage payments are divided between paying the loan's principal and paying the loan's interest; (4) collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”), which are mortgage-backed securities that are divided into multiple classes, with each class being entitled to a different share of the principal and interest payments received from the pool of underlying assets.

    10 A to-be-announced (“TBA”) transaction is a method of trading mortgage-backed securities. In a TBA transaction, the buyer and seller agree upon general trade parameters such as agency, settlement date, par amount, and price. The actual pools delivered generally are determined two days prior to the settlement date.

    11 In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund will sell (or buy) mortgage-backed securities for delivery on a specified date and simultaneously contract to repurchase (or sell) substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) securities on a future date. During the period between a sale and repurchase, the Fund will forgo principal and interest paid on the mortgage-backed securities. The Fund will earn or lose money on a mortgage dollar roll from any difference between the sale price and the future purchase price. In a sale and repurchase, the Fund will also earn money on the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale. The Fund intends to enter into mortgage dollar rolls only with high quality securities dealers and banks, as determined by the Adviser.

    The Fund may invest in exchange-traded and OTC options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; OTC options on mortgage TBA transactions; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded and OTC interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded and OTC options on interest rate swap agreements. The use of these derivative transactions may allow the Fund to obtain net long or short exposures to selected interest rates. These derivatives may also be used to hedge risks, including interest rate risks and credit risks, associated with the Fund's portfolio investments. The Fund's investments in derivative instruments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and the 1940 Act and will not be used to seek to achieve a multiple or inverse multiple of an index. The Fund will only enter into transactions in OTC derivatives (including OTC options on mortgage REITs, Real Estate Companies and mortgage TBA transactions; OTC interest rate swap agreements; and OTC options on interest rate swap agreements) with counterparties that the Adviser reasonably believes are capable of performing under the applicable contract or agreement.12

    12 The Fund will seek, where possible, to use counterparties, as applicable, whose financial status is such that the risk of default is reduced; however, the risk of losses resulting from default is still possible. The Adviser will evaluate the creditworthiness of counterparties on an ongoing basis. In addition to information provided by credit agencies, the Adviser's analysis will evaluate each approved counterparty using various methods of analysis and may consider the Adviser's past experience with the counterparty, its known disciplinary history and its share of market participation.

    The Fund may invest in short-term debt securities and other short-term debt instruments (described below), as well as cash equivalents, or it may hold cash. The percentage of the Fund invested in such holdings or held in cash will vary and will depend on several factors, including market conditions. The Fund may invest in the following short-term debt instruments: 13 (1) Fixed rate and floating rate U.S. government securities, including bills, notes and bonds differing as to maturity and rates of interest, which are either issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities; (2) certificates of deposit issued against funds deposited in a bank or savings and loan association; (3) bankers' acceptances, which are short-term credit instruments used to finance commercial transactions; (4) repurchase agreements,14 which involve purchases of debt securities; (5) bank time deposits, which are monies kept on deposit with banks or savings and loan associations for a stated period of time at a fixed rate of interest; and (6) commercial paper, which is short-term unsecured promissory notes.15

    13 Short-term debt instruments are issued by issuers having a long-term debt rating of at least A by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, a Division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“S&P Ratings”), Moody's Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody's”) or Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) and have a maturity of one year or less.

    14 The Fund intends to enter into repurchase agreements only with financial institutions and dealers believed by the Adviser to present minimal credit risks in accordance with criteria approved by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (“Trust Board”). The Adviser will review and monitor the creditworthiness of such institutions. The Adviser will monitor the value of the collateral at the time the transaction is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement.

    15 The Fund may only invest in commercial paper rated A-1 or higher by S&P Ratings, Prime-1 or higher by Moody's or F1 or higher by Fitch.

    The Fund may invest (but only, in the aggregate, up to 10% of its net assets) in the securities of money market funds and other ETFs 16 that, in each case, will be investment companies registered under the 1940 Act.

    16 An ETF is an investment company registered under the 1940 Act that holds a portfolio of securities. Many ETFs are designed to track the performance of a securities index, including industry, sector, country and region indexes. ETFs included in the Fund will be listed and traded in the U.S. on registered exchanges. The Fund may invest in the securities of ETFs in excess of the limits imposed under the 1940 Act pursuant to exemptive orders obtained by other ETFs and their sponsors from the Commission. In addition, the Fund may invest in the securities of certain other investment companies in excess of the limits imposed under the 1940 Act pursuant to an exemptive order that the Trust has obtained from the Commission. See Investment Company Act Release No. 30377 (February 5, 2013) (File No. 812-13895). The ETFs in which the Fund may invest include Index Fund Shares (as described in Nasdaq Rule 5705), Portfolio Depository Receipts (as described in Nasdaq Rule 5705), and Managed Fund Shares (as described in Nasdaq Rule 5735). While the Fund may invest in inverse ETFs, the Fund will not invest in leveraged or inverse leveraged (e.g., 2X or -3X) ETFs.

    Investment Restrictions

    The Fund may enter into short sales as part of its overall portfolio management strategies or to offset a potential decline in the value of a security; however, the Fund will not engage in short sales with respect to more than 30% of the value of its net assets. To the extent required under applicable federal securities laws, rules, and interpretations thereof, the Fund will “set aside” liquid assets or engage in other measures to “cover” open positions and short positions held in connection with the foregoing types of transactions.

    The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid assets (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities deemed illiquid by the Adviser.17 The Fund will monitor its portfolio liquidity on an ongoing basis to determine whether, in light of current circumstances, an adequate level of liquidity is being maintained, and will consider taking appropriate steps in order to maintain adequate liquidity if, through a change in values, net assets, or other circumstances, more than 15% of the Fund's net assets are held in illiquid assets. Illiquid assets include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets as determined in accordance with Commission staff guidance.18

    17 In reaching liquidity decisions, the Adviser may consider the following factors: the frequency of trades and quotes for the security; the number of dealers wishing to purchase or sell the security and the number of other potential purchasers; dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; and the nature of the security and the nature of the marketplace in which it trades (e.g., the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers and the mechanics of transfer).

    18 The Commission has stated that long-standing Commission guidelines have required open-end funds to hold no more than 15% of their net assets in illiquid securities and other illiquid assets. See Investment Company Act Release No. 28193 (March 11, 2008), 73 FR 14618 (March 18, 2008), footnote 34. See also Investment Company Act Release No. 5847 (October 21, 1969), 35 FR 19989 (December 31, 1970) (Statement Regarding “Restricted Securities”); Investment Company Act Release No. 18612 (March 12, 1992), 57 FR 9828 (March 20, 1992) (Revisions of Guidelines to Form N-1A). A fund's portfolio security is illiquid if it cannot be disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to it by the fund. See Investment Company Act Release No. 14983 (March 12, 1986), 51 FR 9773 (March 21, 1986) (adopting amendments to Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act); Investment Company Act Release No. 17452 (April 23, 1990), 55 FR 17933 (April 30, 1990) (adopting Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933).

    The Fund may not invest 25% or more of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry.19 This restriction does not apply to securities of issuers in the real estate sector, including real estate investment trusts; obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; or securities of other investment companies. The Fund will be concentrated in the real estate sector.

    19See Form N-1A, Item 9. The Commission has taken the position that a fund is concentrated if it invests more than 25% of the value of its total assets in any one industry. See, e.g., Investment Company Act Release No. 9011 (October 30, 1975), 40 FR 54241 (November 21, 1975).

    Creation and Redemption of Shares

    The Fund will issue and redeem Shares on a continuous basis at net asset value (“NAV”) 20 only in large blocks of Shares (“Creation Units”) in transactions with authorized participants, generally including broker-dealers and large institutional investors (“Authorized Participants”). Creation Units generally will consist of 50,000 Shares, although this may change from time to time. Creation Units, however, are not expected to consist of less than 50,000 Shares. As described in the Registration Statement and consistent with the Exemptive Relief, the Fund will issue and redeem Creation Units in exchange for an in-kind portfolio of instruments and/or cash in lieu of such instruments (the “Creation Basket”).21 In addition, if there is a difference between the NAV attributable to a Creation Unit and the market value of the Creation Basket exchanged for the Creation Unit, the party conveying instruments with the lower value will pay to the other an amount in cash equal to the difference (referred to as the “Cash Component”).

    20 The NAV of the Fund's Shares generally will be calculated once daily Monday through Friday as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), generally 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time (the “NAV Calculation Time”). NAV per Share will be calculated by dividing the Fund's net assets by the number of Fund Shares outstanding.

    21 It is expected that the Fund will typically issue and redeem Creation Units on an in-kind basis; however, subject to, and in accordance with, the provisions of the Exemptive Relief, the Fund may, at times, issue and redeem Creation Units on a cash (or partially cash) basis.

    Creations and redemptions must be made by or through an Authorized Participant that has executed an agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor and BNY with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Units. All standard orders to create Creation Units must be received by the transfer agent no later than the closing time of the regular trading session on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time) (the “Closing Time”) in each case on the date such order is placed in order for the creation of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of Shares as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt not later than the Closing Time of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the transfer agent and only on a business day.

    The Fund's custodian, through the National Securities Clearing Corporation, will make available on each business day, prior to the opening of business of the Exchange, the list of the names and quantities of the instruments comprising the Creation Basket, as well as the estimated Cash Component (if any), for that day. The published Creation Basket will apply until a new Creation Basket is announced on the following business day prior to commencement of trading in the Shares.

    Net Asset Value

    The Fund's NAV will be determined as of Closing Time on each day the NYSE is open for trading. If the NYSE closes early on a valuation day, the NAV will be determined as of that time. NAV per Share will be calculated for the Fund by taking the value of the Fund's total assets, including interest or dividends accrued but not yet collected, less all liabilities, including accrued expenses and dividends declared but unpaid, and dividing such amount by the total number of Shares outstanding. The result, rounded to the nearest cent, will be the NAV per Share. All valuations will be subject to review by the Trust Board or its delegate.

    The Fund's investments will be valued daily. As described more specifically below, investments traded on an exchange (i.e., a regulated market), will generally be valued at market value prices that represent last sale or official closing prices. In addition, as described more specifically below, non-exchange traded investments will generally be valued using prices obtained from third-party pricing services (each, a “Pricing Service”).22 If, however, valuations for any of the Fund's investments cannot be readily obtained as provided in the preceding manner, or the Pricing Committee of the Adviser (the “Pricing Committee”) 23 questions the accuracy or reliability of valuations that are so obtained, such investments will be valued at fair value, as determined by the Pricing Committee, in accordance with valuation procedures (which may be revised from time to time) adopted by the Trust Board (the “Valuation Procedures”), and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act. The Pricing Committee's fair value determinations may require subjective judgments about the value of an investment. The fair valuations attempt to estimate the value at which an investment could be sold at the time of pricing, although actual sales could result in price differences, which could be material.

    22 The Adviser may use various Pricing Services or discontinue the use of any Pricing Services, as approved by the Trust Board from time to time.

    23 The Pricing Committee will be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material non-public information regarding the Fund's portfolio.

    Certain securities in which the Fund may invest will not be listed on any securities exchange or board of trade. Such securities will typically be bought and sold by institutional investors in individually negotiated private transactions that function in many respects like an OTC secondary market, although typically no formal market makers will exist. Certain securities, particularly debt securities, will have few or no trades, or trade infrequently, and information regarding a specific security may not be widely available or may be incomplete. Accordingly, determinations of the value of debt securities may be based on infrequent and dated information. Because there is less reliable, objective data available, elements of judgment may play a greater role in valuation of debt securities than for other types of securities.

    The information summarized below is based on the Valuation Procedures as currently in effect; however, as noted above, the Valuation Procedures are amended from time to time and, therefore, such information is subject to change.

    The following investments will typically be valued using information provided by a Pricing Service: (a) Mortgage-Related Instruments; (b) OTC derivatives (including OTC options on mortgage REITs, Real Estate Companies and mortgage TBA transactions; OTC interest rate swap agreements; and OTC options on interest rate swap agreements); (c) OTC preferred securities of Real Estate Companies; and (d) except as provided below, short-term U.S. government securities, commercial paper, and bankers' acceptances, all as set forth under “Other Investments” (collectively, “Short-Term Debt Instruments”). Debt instruments may be valued at evaluated mean prices, as provided by Pricing Services. Pricing Services typically value non-exchange-traded instruments utilizing a range of market-based inputs and assumptions, including readily available market quotations obtained from broker-dealers making markets in such instruments, cash flows, and transactions for comparable instruments. In pricing certain instruments, the Pricing Services may consider information about an instrument's issuer or market activity provided by the Adviser.

    Short-Term Debt Instruments having a remaining maturity of 60 days or less when purchased will typically be valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts, provided the Pricing Committee has determined that the use of amortized cost is an appropriate reflection of value given market and issuer-specific conditions existing at the time of the determination.

    Certificates of deposit and bank time deposits will typically be valued at cost.

    Repurchase agreements will typically be valued as follows: Overnight repurchase agreements will be valued at amortized cost when it represents the best estimate of value. Term repurchase agreements (i.e., those whose maturity exceeds seven days) will be valued at the average of the bid quotations obtained daily from at least two recognized dealers.

    Common stocks and other equity securities (including mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares); ETFs; and exchange-traded Real Estate Companies), as well as preferred securities of Real Estate Companies, that are listed on any exchange other than the Exchange will typically be valued at the last sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded on the business day as of which such value is being determined. Such securities listed on the Exchange will typically be valued at the official closing price on the business day as of which such value is being determined. If there has been no sale on such day, or no official closing price in the case of securities traded on the Exchange, such securities will typically be valued using fair value pricing. Such securities traded on more than one securities exchange will be valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, on the business day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities.

    Money market funds will typically be valued at their net asset values as reported by such funds to Pricing Services.

    Exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies, exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts, exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements, exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts, and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements will typically be valued at the closing price in the market where such instruments are principally traded.

    Availability of Information

    The Fund's Web site (www.ftportfolios.com), which will be publicly available prior to the public offering of Shares, will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund that may be downloaded. The Web site will include the Shares' ticker, CUSIP and exchange information along with additional quantitative information updated on a daily basis, including, for the Fund: (1) Daily trading volume, the prior business day's reported NAV and closing price, mid-point of the bid/ask spread at the time of calculation of such NAV (the “Bid/Ask Price”),24 and a calculation of the premium and discount of the Bid/Ask Price against the NAV; and (2) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the daily Bid/Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Regular Market Session 25 on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the identities and quantities of the portfolio of securities and other assets (the “Disclosed Portfolio” as defined in Nasdaq Rule 5735(c)(2)) held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day.26

    24 The Bid/Ask Price of the Fund will be determined using the mid-point of the highest bid and the lowest offer on the Exchange as of the time of calculation of the Fund's NAV. The records relating to Bid/Ask Prices will be retained by the Fund and its service providers.

    25See Nasdaq Rule 4120(b)(4) (describing the three trading sessions on the Exchange: (1) Pre-Market Session from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time; (2) Regular Market Session from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time; and (3) Post-Market Session from 4 p.m. or 4:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time).

    26 Under accounting procedures to be followed by the Fund, trades made on the prior business day (“T”) will be booked and reflected in NAV on the current business day (“T+1”). Accordingly, the Fund will be able to disclose at the beginning of the business day the portfolio that will form the basis for the NAV calculation at the end of the business day.

    The Fund's disclosure of derivative positions in the Disclosed Portfolio will include sufficient information for market participants to use to value these positions intraday. On a daily basis, the Fund will disclose on the Fund's Web site the following information regarding each portfolio holding, as applicable to the type of holding: Ticker symbol, CUSIP number or other identifier, if any; a description of the holding (including the type of holding, such as the type of swap); the identity of the security or other asset or instrument underlying the holding, if any; for options, the option strike price; quantity held (as measured by, for example, par value, notional value or number of shares, contracts or units); maturity date, if any; coupon rate, if any; effective date, if any; market value of the holding; and percentage weighting of the holding in the Fund's portfolio. The Web site information will be publicly available at no charge.

    In addition, for the Fund, an estimated value, defined in Rule 5735(c)(3) as the “Intraday Indicative Value,” that reflects an estimated intraday value of the Fund's Disclosed Portfolio, will be disseminated. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value, available on the NASDAQ OMX Information LLC proprietary index data service,27 will be based upon the current value for the components of the Disclosed Portfolio and will be updated and widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors and broadly displayed at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session. The Intraday Indicative Value will be based on quotes and closing prices from the securities' local market and may not reflect events that occur subsequent to the local market's close. Premiums and discounts between the Intraday Indicative Value and the market price may occur. This should not be viewed as a “real time” update of the NAV per Share of the Fund, which is calculated only once a day.

    27 Currently, the NASDAQ OMX Global Index Data Service (“GIDS”) is the Nasdaq global index data feed service, offering real-time updates, daily summary messages, and access to widely followed indexes and Intraday Indicative Values for ETFs. GIDS provides investment professionals with the daily information needed to track or trade Nasdaq indexes, listed ETFs, or third-party partner indexes and ETFs.

    The dissemination of the Intraday Indicative Value, together with the Disclosed Portfolio, will allow investors to determine the value of the underlying portfolio of the Fund on a daily basis and will provide a close estimate of that value throughout the trading day.

    Investors will also be able to obtain the Fund's Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), the Fund's annual and semi-annual reports (together, “Shareholder Reports”), and its Form N-CSR and Form N-SAR, filed twice a year. The Fund's SAI and Shareholder Reports will be available free upon request from the Fund, and those documents and the Form N-CSR and Form N-SAR may be viewed on-screen or downloaded from the Commission's Web site at www.sec.gov. Information regarding market price and trading volume of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services. Information regarding the previous day's closing price and trading volume information for the Shares will be published daily in the financial section of newspapers. Quotation and last sale information for the Shares will be available via Nasdaq proprietary quote and trade services, as well as in accordance with the Unlisted Trading Privileges and the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) plans for the Shares. Quotation and last sale information for U.S. exchange-traded equity securities (including mortgage REITs, ETFs and exchange-traded Real Estate Companies) will be available from the exchanges on which they are traded as well as in accordance with any applicable CTA plans. Quotation and last sale information for U.S. exchange-traded options will be available via the Options Price Reporting Authority.

    Pricing information for Mortgage-Related Instruments, OTC Real Estate Companies, Short-Term Debt Instruments, repurchase agreements, certificates of deposit, bank time deposits, OTC options on mortgage REITs, Real Estate Companies and mortgage TBA transactions, OTC interest rate swap agreements, and OTC options on interest rate swap agreements will be available from major broker-dealer firms and/or major market data vendors and/or Pricing Services. Pricing information for mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares), exchange-traded Real Estate Companies, ETFs, exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies, exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts, exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements, exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts, and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements will be available from the applicable listing exchange and from major market data vendors. Money market funds are typically priced once each business day and their prices will be available through the applicable fund's Web site or from major market data vendors.

    Additional information regarding the Fund and the Shares, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, fees, Fund holdings disclosure policies, distributions and taxes will be included in the Registration Statement.

    Initial and Continued Listing

    The Shares will be subject to Rule 5735, which sets forth the initial and continued listing criteria applicable to Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange represents that, for initial and continued listing, the Fund must be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 28 under the Act. A minimum of 100,000 Shares will be outstanding at the commencement of trading on the Exchange. The Exchange will obtain a representation from the issuer of the Shares that the NAV per Share will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio will be made available to all market participants at the same time.

    28See 17 CFR 240.10A-3.

    Trading Halts

    With respect to trading halts, the Exchange may consider all relevant factors in exercising its discretion to halt or suspend trading in the Shares of the Fund. Nasdaq will halt trading in the Shares under the conditions specified in Nasdaq Rules 4120 and 4121, including the trading pauses under Nasdaq Rules 4120(a)(11) and (12). Trading may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable. These may include: (1) The extent to which trading is not occurring in the securities and/or the other assets constituting the Disclosed Portfolio of the Fund; or (2) whether other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present. Trading in the Shares also will be subject to Rule 5735(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted.

    Trading Rules

    Nasdaq deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to Nasdaq's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. Nasdaq will allow trading in the Shares from 4:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions. As provided in Nasdaq Rule 5735(b)(3), the minimum price variation for quoting and entry of orders in Managed Fund Shares traded on the Exchange is $0.01.

    Surveillance

    The Exchange represents that trading in the Shares will be subject to the existing trading surveillances, administered by both Nasdaq and also the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) on behalf of the Exchange, which are designed to detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.29 The Exchange represents that these procedures are adequate to properly monitor Exchange trading of the Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.

    29 FINRA surveils trading on the Exchange pursuant to a regulatory services agreement. The Exchange is responsible for FINRA's performance under this regulatory services agreement.

    The surveillances referred to above generally focus on detecting securities trading outside their normal patterns, which could be indicative of manipulative or other violative activity. When such situations are detected, surveillance analysis follows and investigations are opened, where appropriate, to review the behavior of all relevant parties for all relevant trading violations.

    FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares and the exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund (including mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares); exchange-traded Real Estate Companies; ETFs; exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements) with other markets and other entities that are members of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”),30 and FINRA may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares and such exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares and the exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund from markets and other entities that are members of ISG, which includes securities and futures exchanges, or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. Moreover, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will be able to access, as needed, trade information for certain fixed income securities held by the Fund reported to FINRA's Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (“TRACE”).

    30 For a list of the current members of ISG, see www.isgportal.org. The Exchange notes that not all components of the Disclosed Portfolio may trade on markets that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

    At least 90% of the Fund's net assets that are invested in exchange-traded derivatives (including exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements) (in the aggregate) will be invested in instruments that trade in markets that are members of ISG or are parties to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement with the Exchange. All of the Fund's net assets that are invested in exchange-traded equity securities (including mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares); ETFs; and exchange-traded Real Estate Companies) (in the aggregate) will be invested in securities that trade in markets that are members of ISG or are parties to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement with the Exchange.

    In addition, the Exchange also has a general policy prohibiting the distribution of material, non-public information by its employees.

    Information Circular

    Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its members in an Information Circular of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Information Circular will discuss the following: (1) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Units (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (2) Nasdaq Rule 2111A, which imposes suitability obligations on Nasdaq members with respect to recommending transactions in the Shares to customers; (3) how information regarding the Intraday Indicative Value and the Disclosed Portfolio is disseminated; (4) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Pre-Market and Post-Market Sessions when an updated Intraday Indicative Value will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (5) the requirement that members deliver a prospectus to investors purchasing newly issued Shares prior to or concurrently with the confirmation of a transaction; and (6) trading information. The Information Circular will also discuss any exemptive, no-action and interpretive relief granted by the Commission from any rules under the Act.

    Additionally, the Information Circular will reference that the Fund is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Registration Statement. The Information Circular will also disclose the trading hours of the Shares of the Fund and the applicable NAV Calculation Time for the Shares. The Information Circular will disclose that information about the Shares of the Fund will be publicly available on the Fund's Web site.

    All statements and representations made in this filing regarding (a) the description of the portfolio, (b) limitations on portfolio holdings or reference assets, or (c) the applicability of Exchange rules and surveillance procedures shall constitute continued listing requirements for listing the Shares on the Exchange. In addition, the issuer has represented to the Exchange that it will advise the Exchange of any failure by the Fund to comply with the continued listing requirements, and, pursuant to its obligations under Section 19(g)(1) of the Act, the Exchange will monitor for compliance with the continued listing requirements. If the Fund is not in compliance with the applicable listing requirements, the Exchange will commence delisting procedures under the Nasdaq 5800 Series.

    2. Statutory Basis

    Nasdaq believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act in general and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act in particular in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices in that the Shares will be listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to the initial and continued listing criteria in Nasdaq Rule 5735. The Exchange represents that trading in the Shares will be subject to the existing trading surveillances, administered by both Nasdaq and also FINRA on behalf of the Exchange, which are designed to detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.

    The Adviser is not a broker-dealer, but it is affiliated with the Distributor, a broker-dealer, and is required to implement a “fire wall” with respect to such broker-dealer affiliate regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the Fund's portfolio. In addition, paragraph (g) of Nasdaq Rule 5735 further requires that personnel who make decisions on the open-end fund's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material non-public information regarding the open-end fund's portfolio.

    FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares and the exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund (including mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares); exchange-traded Real Estate Companies; ETFs; exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements) with other markets and other entities that are members of ISG, and FINRA may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares and such exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares and the exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund from markets and other entities that are members of ISG, which includes securities and futures exchanges, or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. Moreover, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will be able to access, as needed, trade information for certain fixed income securities held by the Fund reported to FINRA's TRACE.

    At least 90% of the Fund's net assets that are invested in exchange-traded derivatives (including exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements) (in the aggregate) will be invested in instruments that trade in markets that are members of ISG or are parties to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement with the Exchange. All of the Fund's net assets that are invested in exchange-traded equity securities (including mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares); ETFs; and exchange-traded Real Estate Companies) (in the aggregate) will be invested in securities that trade in markets that are members of ISG or are parties to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement with the Exchange.

    The investment objective of the Fund will be to generate high current income. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its net assets (including investment borrowings) in the exchange-traded common shares of U.S. exchange-traded mortgage REITs. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in the exchange-traded preferred shares of U.S. exchange-traded mortgage REITs. Additionally, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in derivative instruments (including exchange-traded and OTC options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; OTC options on mortgage TBA transactions; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded and OTC interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded and OTC options on interest rate swap agreements). The Fund's investments in derivative instruments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and the 1940 Act and will not be used to seek to achieve a multiple or inverse multiple of an index. Also, the Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid assets (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities deemed illiquid by the Adviser. The Fund will monitor its portfolio liquidity on an ongoing basis to determine whether, in light of current circumstances, an adequate level of liquidity is being maintained, and will consider taking appropriate steps in order to maintain adequate liquidity if, through a change in values, net assets, or other circumstances, more than 15% of the Fund's net assets are held in illiquid assets. Illiquid assets include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets as determined in accordance with Commission staff guidance.

    The proposed rule change is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and to protect investors and the public interest in that the Exchange will obtain a representation from the issuer of the Shares that the NAV per Share will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio will be made available to all market participants at the same time. In addition, a large amount of information will be publicly available regarding the Fund and the Shares, thereby promoting market transparency. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value, available on the NASDAQ OMX Information LLC proprietary index data service, will be widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors and broadly displayed at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Regular Market Session on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the Disclosed Portfolio that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. Information regarding market price and trading volume of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares will be available via Nasdaq proprietary quote and trade services, as well as in accordance with the Unlisted Trading Privileges and the CTA plans for the Shares. Pricing information for Mortgage-Related Instruments, OTC Real Estate Companies, Short-Term Debt Instruments, repurchase agreements, certificates of deposit, bank time deposits, OTC options on mortgage REITs, Real Estate Companies and mortgage TBA transactions, OTC interest rate swap agreements, and OTC options on interest rate swap agreements will be available from major broker-dealer firms and/or major market data vendors and/or Pricing Services. Pricing information for mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares), exchange-traded Real Estate Companies, ETFs, exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies, exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts, exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements, exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts, and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements will be available from the applicable listing exchange and from major market data vendors. Money market funds are typically priced once each business day and their prices will be available through the applicable fund's Web site or from major market data vendors.

    The Fund's Web site will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund and additional data relating to NAV and other applicable quantitative information. Trading in Shares of the Fund will be halted under the conditions specified in Nasdaq Rules 4120 and 4121 or because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable, and trading in the Shares will be subject to Nasdaq Rule 5735(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares.

    The Fund's investments will be valued daily. Investments traded on an exchange (i.e., a regulated market), will generally be valued at market value prices that represent last sale or official closing prices. Non-exchange traded investments will generally be valued using prices obtained from a Pricing Service. If, however, valuations for any of the Fund's investments cannot be readily obtained as provided in the preceding manner, or the Pricing Committee questions the accuracy or reliability of valuations that are so obtained, such investments will be valued at fair value, as determined by the Pricing Committee, in accordance with the Valuation Procedures and in accordance with provisions of the 1940 Act.

    The proposed rule change is designed to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest in that it will facilitate the listing and trading of an additional type of actively-managed exchange-traded product that will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace. As noted above, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares and exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund (including mortgage REITs (both common and preferred shares); exchange-traded Real Estate Companies; ETFs; exchange-traded options on mortgage REITs and Real Estate Companies; exchange-traded U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; exchange-traded interest rate swap agreements; exchange-traded options on U.S. Treasury and Eurodollar futures contracts; and exchange-traded options on interest rate swap agreements) with other markets and other entities that are members of ISG, and FINRA may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares and such exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares and the exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund from markets and other entities that are members of ISG, which includes securities and futures exchanges, or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. Moreover, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will be able to access, as needed, trade information for certain fixed income securities held by the Fund reported to FINRA's TRACE. Furthermore, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares.

    For the above reasons, Nasdaq believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will facilitate the listing and trading of an additional type of actively-managed exchange-traded fund that will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will: (a) by order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change; or (b) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

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

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NASDAQ-2016-064 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2016-064. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2016-064 and should be submitted on or before June 2, 2016.

    31 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.31

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11156 Filed 5-11-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77780; File No. SR-BatsEDGX-2016-13] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees May 6, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 29, 2016, Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “EDGX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend the fee schedule applicable to Members 5 and non-members of the Exchange pursuant to EDGX Rules 15.1(a) and (c).

    5 The term “Member” is defined as “any registered broker or dealer that has been admitted to membership in the Exchange.” See Exchange Rule 1.5(n).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange determines the liquidity adding rebate that it will provide to Members using the Exchange's tiered pricing structure. Currently, the Exchange provides a $0.0027 per share rebate under footnote 2 of the Fee Schedule for a Member that adds an ADV 6 of at least 0.02% of the TCV 7 in Tape B securities for orders that yield fee codes B and 4.8 The Exchange currently has only one Tape B Volume Tier.

    6 As defined on the Exchange's Fee Schedule.

    7Id.

    8See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76816 (January 4, 2016, 81 FR 987 (January 8, 2016) (SR-EDGX-2015-67).

    The Exchange now proposes to amend the Tape B Volume Tier to add an additional Tape B Volume Tier to provide two Tape B Volume Tiers. The Exchange proposes that the current Tape B Volume Tier be renamed Tape B Volume Tier 1. The Exchange proposes that the rebate and the required criteria for Tape B Volume Tier 1 remain substantively the same as the current Tape B Volume Tier. The Exchange also proposes a second Tape B Volume Tier named “Tape B Volume Tier 2.” The Exchange proposes to provide a rebate per share of $0.0030 pursuant to the Tier and proposes the required criteria to be that a Member adds an ADV of at least 0.15% of the TCV in Tape B securities. To accommodate this proposed change in its Fee Schedule, the Exchange proposes adding an additional row to the Tape B Volume Tier table to list the Tape B Volume Tier 2. The Exchange also proposes adding an additional column to separate Tape B Volume Tier 1 and Tape B Volume Tier 2. Finally, the Exchange proposes stating as a precursor that both Tape B Volume Tiers are applicable to orders yielding fee codes B and 4 and removing the same statement from the current text describing Tape B Volume Tier 1.

    Implementation Date

    The Exchange proposes to implement this amendment to its Fee Schedule effective May 2, 2016.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the objectives of Section 6 of the Act,9 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4),10 in particular, as it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its Members and other persons using its facilities. The Exchange also notes that it operates in a highly-competitive market in which market participants can readily direct order flow to competing venues if they deem fee levels at a particular venue to be excessive. The proposed rule changes reflect a competitive pricing structure designed to incent market participants to direct their order flow to the Exchange. The Exchange believes that the proposed amendments to the Tape B Volume Tier are equitable and non-discriminatory in they would apply uniformly to all Members. The Exchange believes the rate remains competitive with those charged by other venues and, therefore, reasonable and equitably allocated to Members.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    Volume-based rebates such as that proposed herein have been widely adopted by exchanges, including the Exchange, and are equitable because they are open to all Members on an equal basis and provide additional benefits or discounts that are reasonably related to: (i) The value to an exchange's market quality; (ii) associated higher levels of market activity, such as higher levels of liquidity provision and/or growth patterns; and (iii) introduction of higher volumes of orders into the price and volume discovery processes. The Exchange believes that the proposal is a reasonable, fair and equitable, and not unfairly discriminatory allocation of fees and rebates because it will provide Members with an additional incentive to reach certain thresholds on the