Federal Register Vol. 82, No.124,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 124 (June 29, 2017)

Page Range29363-29697
FR Document

82_FR_124
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 29588 - Sunshine Act; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 29545 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Modification of Secondary Treatment Requirements for Discharges Into Marine Waters (Renewal)PDF
82 FR 29551 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Information Collection Request Renewal for the NOXPDF
82 FR 29548 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Gasoline VolatilityPDF
82 FR 29549 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program (Renewal)PDF
82 FR 29448 - Air Plan Approval; Alabama: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
82 FR 29467 - Air Plan Approval; Kentucky; Revisions to Jefferson County Emissions Monitoring and ReportingPDF
82 FR 29552 - See the Item Specific Docket Numbers Provided in the Text: Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; See Item Specific ICR Titles Provided in the TextPDF
82 FR 29470 - Approval of Section 112(l) Authority for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Equivalency by Permit Provisions; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Plating and Polishing OperationsPDF
82 FR 29457 - Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2PDF
82 FR 29432 - Approval of Section 112(l) Authority for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Equivalency by Permit Provisions; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Plating and Polishing OperationsPDF
82 FR 29544 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Engine Emission Defect Information Reports and Voluntary Emission Recall ReportsPDF
82 FR 29561 - Notification of a Public Teleconference of the Great Lakes Advisory BoardPDF
82 FR 29547 - Adequacy Status of Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets in Submitted Ozone Attainment Plan for San Joaquin Valley, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 29550 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Alternative Affirmative Defense Requirements for Ultra-low Sulfur DieselPDF
82 FR 29560 - Meeting of Good Neighbor Environmental BoardPDF
82 FR 29478 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Oregon Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 29398 - Safety Zone: San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CAPDF
82 FR 29572 - Application for Recertification of Cook Inlet Regional Citizens' Advisory CouncilPDF
82 FR 29584 - Notification of a Public Teleconference of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (Commission)PDF
82 FR 29397 - Safety Zone; Southern California Annual Firework Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone.PDF
82 FR 29586 - AREVA, Inc.; Consideration of Approval of Transfer of LicensePDF
82 FR 29622 - Iowa River Railroad, Inc.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Rail Line of North Central Railway Association, Inc.PDF
82 FR 29564 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29580 - Agency Information Collection Activities: OMB Control Number 1076-0017; Financial Assistance and Social ServicesPDF
82 FR 29579 - Agency Information Collection Activities: OMB Control Number 1076-0176; IDEIA Part B and C Child CountPDF
82 FR 29536 - Board of Visitors National Defense University; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 29565 - Notice of Proposed Subaward Under a Council-Selected Restoration Component AwardPDF
82 FR 29581 - Extension of the Category 5 Royalty Rate Reduction Qualification for Oklahoma Federal Coal Within a Designated Area of Nine Oklahoma Counties (OKNM 96155)PDF
82 FR 29481 - Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From Italy: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 29479 - Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From India: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
82 FR 29483 - Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From India: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 29521 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, South Basin Improvements ProjectPDF
82 FR 29581 - Privacy Act of 1974; Matching ProgramPDF
82 FR 29561 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
82 FR 29438 - Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements-Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend LocationPDF
82 FR 29582 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under The Clean Air ActPDF
82 FR 29520 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 29485 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 29582 - Withdrawal of Notice of Proposed Exemption Involving the ABARTA, Inc. Pension Plan (the Plan) Located in Pittsburgh, PAPDF
82 FR 29624 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
82 FR 29626 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; DiabetesPDF
82 FR 29578 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection; Application for Family Unity BenefitsPDF
82 FR 29585 - Information Collection: NRC Form 749, “Manual License Verification Report”PDF
82 FR 29537 - Government-Industry Advisory Panel; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 29535 - Notice of Roundtable Related to Fraudulent SolicitationsPDF
82 FR 29567 - Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Resistance: Addressing Challenges of Diagnostic Devices; Public Workshop; Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 29622 - Request for Comments Regarding the Administration's Reviews and Report to the President on Trade Agreement Violations and AbusesPDF
82 FR 29569 - Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication for Original 351(k) Biologics License Applications in Biosimilar User Fee Act IIPDF
82 FR 29565 - Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Medical Gases; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 29474 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29624 - Ninth RTCA SC-235 Non Rechargeable Lithium Batteries PlenaryPDF
82 FR 29583 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 29541 - Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P.; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Protests and Motions To IntervenePDF
82 FR 29543 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft and Final Environmental Assessment and Revised Procedural Schedule: PacifiCorpPDF
82 FR 29543 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization: Wrighter Energy LLCPDF
82 FR 29539 - Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization: Mineral Point Energy LLCPDF
82 FR 29542 - Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization: Florida Southeast Connection, LLCPDF
82 FR 29539 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mountain Valley Project and Equitrans Expansion Project: Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, Equitrans LPPDF
82 FR 29541 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 29623 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 29628 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program Allocation ApplicationPDF
82 FR 29546 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI) Units (40 CFR Part 60, Subpart CCCC) (Renewal)PDF
82 FR 29592 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change To Harmonize the Requirements of the NYSE MKT Company Guide With the Periodic and Semi-Annual Reporting Requirements of the NYSEPDF
82 FR 29610 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to the NYSE MKT Equities Price List and the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule To Add Access for Users to Two Third Party Systems and Connectivity to Six Additional Third Party Data FeedsPDF
82 FR 29615 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Add Access for Users to Two Third Party Systems and Connectivity to Six Additional Third Party Data FeedsPDF
82 FR 29604 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to its NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule and the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges for Exchange Services To Add Access for Users to Two Third Party Systems and Connectivity to Six Additional Third Party Data FeedsPDF
82 FR 29597 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change To Reduce the Delay Period for Transactions Included in the Historic TRACE Data Sets Relating to Corporate and Agency Debt SecuritiesPDF
82 FR 29588 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Rule 6.56 (Compression Forums)PDF
82 FR 29620 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Waive Certain TRACE Reporting FeesPDF
82 FR 29598 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Concerning the U.S. Market Transition to a Shortened Settlement CyclePDF
82 FR 29602 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 7730 To Make Available a New TRACE Security Activity ReportPDF
82 FR 29511 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Coast Boulevard Improvements Project, La Jolla, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 29486 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility ProjectPDF
82 FR 29470 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; State Waters ExemptionPDF
82 FR 29477 - Notice of 107th Commission MeetingPDF
82 FR 29478 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
82 FR 29400 - Safety Zones; Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display, Chequamegon Bay, Ashland, WIPDF
82 FR 29475 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Repayment Demand and Program DisqualificationPDF
82 FR 29571 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 29570 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 29571 - Center For Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 29562 - Filing Dates for the Utah Special Elections in the 3rd Congressional DistrictPDF
82 FR 29379 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Finleyville, PAPDF
82 FR 29380 - Establishment of Temporary Restricted Areas R-2509E, R-2509W, and R-2509N; Twentynine Palms, CAPDF
82 FR 29435 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
82 FR 29576 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 29573 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 29410 - Group Registration of Contributions to PeriodicalsPDF
82 FR 29424 - Approval of Missouri's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees and Process InformationPDF
82 FR 29466 - Air Plan Approval; GA and SC: Changes to Ambient Air Standards and DefinitionsPDF
82 FR 29414 - Air Plan Approval; GA and SC: Changes to Ambient Air Standards and DefinitionsPDF
82 FR 29469 - Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Permit Exemptions and DefinitionsPDF
82 FR 29418 - Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Permit Exemptions and DefinitionsPDF
82 FR 29401 - Revival of Abandoned Applications, Reinstatement of Abandoned Applications and Cancelled or Expired Registrations, and Petitions to the DirectorPDF
82 FR 29445 - Airworthiness Directives; Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29426 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Redesignation of the Collin County Area to Attainment the 2008 Lead StandardPDF
82 FR 29469 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Redesignation of the Collin County Area to Attainment the 2008 Lead StandardPDF
82 FR 29421 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County; New Source Review (NSR) Preconstruction Permitting ProgramPDF
82 FR 29383 - Processing of Monetary ClaimsPDF
82 FR 29376 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29371 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29363 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29440 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29368 - Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29387 - Review and Approval of Projects; Hearings and Enforcement ActionsPDF
82 FR 29670 - Investigation ProceduresPDF
82 FR 29690 - Investigation Procedures: Marine InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 29630 - Amendments to Rules Concerning Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)PDF

Issue

82 124 Thursday, June 29, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29474-29475 2017-13605 2017-13607
Arctic Arctic Research Commission NOTICES Meetings: 107th Commission Meeting, 29477-29478 2017-13578 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and the Truth in Lending Act, 29630-29667 2017-12845 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Oregon Advisory Committee, 29478 2017-13653 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display, Chequamegon Bay, Ashland, WI, 29400-29401 2017-13576 San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CA, 29398-29400 2017-13652 Southern California Annual Firework Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone, 29397-29398 2017-13649 NOTICES Recertification Applications: Cook Inlet Regional Citizens' Advisory Council, 29572-29573 2017-13651 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress RULES Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals, 29410-29414 2017-13548 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors National Defense University, 29536-29537 2017-13637 Federal Advisory Committee; Government-Industry Advisory Panel, 29537-29538 2017-13613 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Exemption Applications: ABARTA, Inc. Pension Plan; Withdrawal, 29582-29583 2017-13619 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Georgia and South Carolina: Changes to Ambient Air Standards and Definitions, 29414-29418 2017-13543 Georgia: Permit Exemptions and Definitions, 29418-29421 2017-13536 Missouri; Air Quality Implementation Plans; Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees and Process Information, 29424-29426 2017-13547 New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County; New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Program, 29421-29424 2017-13449 Texas; Redesignation of the Collin County Area to Attainment the 2008 Lead Standard, 29426-29431 2017-13479 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Plating and Polishing Operations, 29432-29435 2017-13665 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alabama: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 29448-29457 2017-13671 Georgia and South Carolina: Ambient Air Standards and Definitions, 29466-29467 2017-13546 Georgia: Permit Exemptions and Definitions, 29469 2017-13537 Kentucky; Revisions to Jefferson County Emissions Monitoring and Reporting, 29467-29469 2017-13670 North Dakota; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 29457-29466 2017-13667 Texas; Redesignation of the Collin County Area to Attainment the 2008 Lead Standard, 29469-29470 2017-13478 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Plating and Polishing Operations, 29470 2017-13668 NOTICES Adequacy Status of Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets for Transportation Conformity Purposes: Ozone Attainment Plan for San Joaquin Valley, CA, 29547-29548 2017-13658 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29552-29560 2017-13669 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Alternative Affirmative Defense Requirements for Ultra-low Sulfur Diesel, 29550-29551 2017-13655 Engine Emission Defect Information Reports and Voluntary Emission Recall Reports, 29544-29545 2017-13661 Modification of Secondary Treatment Requirements for Discharges into Marine Waters; Renewal, 29545-29546 2017-13677 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, 29549-29550 2017-13672 Nox Budget Trading Program to Reduce the Regional Transport of Ozone, 29551-29552 2017-13676 NSPS for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units, 29546-29547 2017-13591 Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Gasoline Volatility, 29548-29549 2017-13675 Meetings: Good Neighbor Environmental Board; Teleconference, 29560-29561 2017-13654 Great Lakes Advisory Board; Teleconference, 29561 2017-13660 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 29363-29368, 29371-29375 2017-13407 2017-13409 Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes, 29376-29379 2017-13411 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes, 29368-29371 2017-13405 Class E Airspace; Establishments: Finleyville, PA, 29379-29380 2017-13568 Temporary Restricted Areas; Establishments: R-2509E, R-2509W, and R-2509N; Twentynine Palms, CA, 29380-29383 2017-13566 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 29440-29445 2017-13406 PIAGGIO AERO INDUSTRIES S.p.A. Airplanes, 29445-29448 2017-13498 NOTICES Exemption Petitions; Summaries, 29623-29624 2017-13596 Meetings: Ninth RTCA SC-235 Non Rechargeable Lithium Batteries Plenary, 29624 2017-13606 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Public Inspection File Requirements; Revisions: Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location, 29438-29439 2017-13623 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29561-29562 2017-13624 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Filing Dates: Utah Special Elections in the 3rd Congressional District, 29562-29563 2017-13569 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 29435-29438 2017-13565 NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 29573-29578 2017-13562 2017-13564 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P., 29541 2017-13603 Combined Filings, 29541-29542 2017-13597 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: PacifiCorp, 29543-29544 2017-13602 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, Equitrans LP; Mountain Valley Project, 29539-29541 2017-13598 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Mineral Point Energy LLC, 29539 2017-13600 Wrighter Energy LLC, 29543 2017-13601 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Florida Southeast Connection, LLC, 29542-29543 2017-13599 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes, 29626-29628 2017-13617 Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 29624-29626 2017-13618 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29564-29565 2017-13641 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Medical Gases, 29565-29567 2017-13608 Meetings: Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Resistance: Addressing Challenges of Diagnostic Devices; Public Workshop, 29567-29569 2017-13611 Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication for Original 351(k) Biologics License Applications in Biosimilar User Fee Act II, 29569-29570 2017-13609 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Repayment Demand and Program Disqualification, 29475-29477 2017-13574 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council NOTICES Proposed Subaward under a Council-Selected Restoration Component Award, 29565 2017-13633 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Assistance and Social Services, 29580 2017-13639 IDEIA Part B and C Child Count, 29579-29580 2017-13638 Interior Interior Department See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India, 29479-29481 2017-13628 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India, 29483-29485 2017-13627 Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from Italy, 29481-29483 2017-13629 Export Trade Certificates of Review: California Pistachio Export Council, 29478-29479 2017-13577 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Matching Programs, 29581-29582 2017-13625 Proposed Consent Decrees: Clean Air Act, 29582 2017-13622 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Category 5 Royalty Rate Reduction Qualifications: Oklahoma Federal Coal Within a Designated Area of Nine Oklahoma Counties; Extension, 29581 2017-13630 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Processing of Monetary Claims, 29383-29387 2017-13421 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 29583-29584 2017-13604 National Drug National Drug Control Policy Office NOTICES Meetings: President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis; Teleconference, 29584-29585 2017-13650 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 29570-29572 2017-13570 2017-13571 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 29571 2017-13572 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; State Waters Exemption, 29470-29473 2017-13579 NOTICES Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 29520-29521 2017-13621 New England Fishery Management Council, 29485-29486 2017-13620 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility Project, 29486-29511 2017-13580 Coast Boulevard Improvements Project, La Jolla, CA, 29511-29520 2017-13581 San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, South Basin Improvements Project, 29521-29535 2017-13626 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board RULES Investigation Procedures: Marine Investigations, 29670-29697 2017-12983 2017-12988 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Manual License Verification Report, 29585 2017-13614 License Transfer Applications: AREVA, Inc., 29586-29588 2017-13646 Patent Patent and Trademark Office RULES Revival of Abandoned Applications, Reinstatement of Abandoned Applications and Cancelled or Expired Registrations, and Petitions to the Director, 29401-29409 2017-13519 NOTICES Meetings: Fraudulent Solicitations Roundtable, 29535-29536 2017-13612 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 29588 2017-13764 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 29588-29592 2017-13585 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 29597-29598, 29602-29604, 29620-29622 2017-13586 2017-13582 2017-13584 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 29615-29620 2017-13588 NYSE Arca, Inc., 29604-29609 2017-13587 NYSE MKT, LLC, 29592-29597, 29610-29615 2017-13589 2017-13590 The Options Clearing Corp., 29598-29602 2017-13583 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Acquisition and Operation Exemptions: Iowa River Railroad, Inc. from Rail Line of North Central Railway Association, Inc., 29622 2017-13645 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission RULES Review and Approval of Projects; Hearings and Enforcement Actions, 29387-29397 2017-13324 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Request for Comments: Administration's Reviews and Report to the President on Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses, 29622-29623 2017-13610 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: New Markets Tax Credit Program Allocation Application, 29628 2017-13595 U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Family Unity Benefits, 29578-29579 2017-13616 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 29630-29667 2017-12845 Part III National Transportation Safety Board, 29670-29697 2017-12983 2017-12988 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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82 124 Thursday, June 29, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9573; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-149-AD; Amendment 39-18938; AD 2017-13-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-23-13, for all Airbus Model A318 and A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. AD 2015-23-13 required modification of the pin programming of the flight warning computer (FWC) to activate the stop rudder input warning (SRIW) logic; and an inspection to determine the part numbers of the FWC and the flight augmentation computer (FAC), and replacement of the FWC and FAC if necessary. This new AD, for certain airplanes, also requires accomplishment of additional modification instructions to install the minimum FWC and FAC configuration compatible with SRIW activation. This AD was prompted by a determination that, in specific flight conditions, the allowable load limits on the vertical tail plane could be reached and possibly exceeded. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 3, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of December 29, 2015 (80 FR 73099, November 24, 2015).

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9573.

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-2016-9573; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2015-23-13, Amendment 39-18330 (80 FR 73099, November 24, 2015) (“AD 2015-23-13”). AD 2015-23-13 applied to all Airbus Model A318 and A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2017 (82 FR 10721) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that, for certain airplanes, additional modification instructions must be accomplished to allow installation of the minimum FWC and FAC configuration compatible with SRIW activation. The NPRM proposed to continue to require modification of the pin programming of the FWC to activate the SRIW logic; and an inspection to determine the part numbers of the FWC and the FAC, and replacement of the FWC and FAC if necessary. The NPRM also proposed, for certain airplanes, to also require accomplishment of additional modification instructions to install the minimum FWC and FAC configuration compatible with SRIW activation. We are issuing this AD to prevent detachment of the vertical tail plane and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0132, dated July 5, 2016; corrected July 20, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318 and A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

During design reviews that were conducted following safety recommendations related to in-service incidents and one accident on another aircraft type, it has been determined that, in specific flight conditions, the allowable load limits on the vertical tail plane could be reached and possibly exceeded.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to in-flight detachment of the vertical tail plane, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane.

To address this unsafe condition, Airbus developed modifications within the flight augmentation computer (FAC) to reduce the vertical tail plane stress and to activate a conditional aural warning within the flight warning computer (FWC) to further protect against pilot induced rudder doublets.

Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0217 (later revised) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2015-23-13] to require installation and activation of the stop rudder input warning (SRIW) logic. In addition, that [EASA] AD required upgrades of the FAC and FWC, to introduce the SRIW logic and SRIW aural capability, respectively. After modification, the [EASA] AD prohibited (re)installation of certain Part Number (P/N) FWC and FAC.

Since EASA AD 2014-0217R1 was issued, Airbus made available additional modification instructions that, for certain aeroplanes, must be accomplished to allow installation of the minimum FWC and FAC configuration compatible with SRIW activation.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0217R1, which is superseded, and includes reference to modification instructions, which must be accomplished on certain aeroplanes.

This [EASA] AD is republished to remove a typographical error in Appendix 1 [of the EASA AD].

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9573.

Comments

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

Request for Technical Details

Mr. Geoffrey Barrance stated that the public disclosure in the NPRM did not provide sufficient technical details and disclosure relative to the unsafe condition; and that, presumably, the actions required by this proposed AD are to improve the protection provided by the SRIW logic. Mr. Barrance noted that the purpose of publication in the Federal Register is to provide public disclosure. We infer the commenter is requesting that we provide additional technical details.

We do not agree with the commenter's request. The technical details associated with correcting the unsafe condition were already provided in the previously published AD, AD 2015-23-13. That AD and all service information that was incorporated by reference in AD 2015-23-13 is posted on the public docket in the Federal Docket Management System and is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0251. This superseding AD only mandates accomplishment of additional modification instructions to ensure design compatibility. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

Request for Review of Design Approval Process and Compliance Time Determination

Mr. Geoffrey Barrance asserted that this rulemaking action is a result of failure of design, development, oversight and approval processes at the EASA and the FAA. Mr. Barrance asserted that the FAA must do a comprehensive review of these processes and evaluate the extent that the flying public has been exposed to risks due to delayed processes in releasing this AD.

We do not agree with Mr. Geoffrey Barrance's comments. Mr. Barrance has submitted no data to substantiate his claims. This rulemaking action simply supersedes a previous AD in order to mandate accomplishment of additional modification instructions to ensure design compatibility. Furthermore, we and our bilateral partner, EASA, work closely with Airbus to ensure that design solutions are certificated based on applicable airworthiness regulations prior to mandating those solutions to mitigate safety risks. We also ensure that all appropriate instructions and parts are available at the appropriate time to comply with AD requirements. As a component of our safety management system, we continuously evaluate our certification system and procedures and improve them when problems are found. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

Request for Compliance Time Review

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) stated that it agrees with the NPRM, but requested that we revisit the compliance timeframe to ensure it is aligned with the intent of the AD.

The EASA has determined the compliance times based on the overall risk to the fleet, including the severity of the failure and the likelihood of the failure's occurrence. The FAA and EASA worked with Airbus to ensure that all appropriate action(s) are taken at appropriate times to mitigate the risk to the fleet. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request for Correction of Typographical Error

Jetblue Airways (Jetblue) requested that we correct a typographical error in paragraph (i)(10) of the NPRM. Jetblue stated that it should be “FWC H2-F7,” not “FWC H-F7.”

We agree with the commenter's request and have revised this AD accordingly.

Request for an Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC)

Jetblue requested that we include an AMOC for FWC standard H2-F9D (P/N 350E053021818) in this AD.

We do not agree to include an AMOC in this AD because certain later approved parts are already addressed in paragraph (l) of this AD. To clarify, FWCs approved after March 5, 2015, are an approved method of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (h) or (j) of this AD, provided the requirements specified in paragraphs (l)(1) and (l)(2) of this AD are met. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 02, dated March 30, 2015, and Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 03, dated October 13, 2015. This service information describes procedures for modifying the pin programming to activate the SRIW logic. These documents are distinct due to editorial revisions.

Airbus has also issued the following service information. The service information describes procedures for replacing FWCs and FACs. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane configurations and software packages.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1375, dated January 15, 2014.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 05, including Appendix 01, dated November 24, 2014.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1447, Revision 03, dated April 21, 2015.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1454, dated February 12, 2014.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 07, including Appendix 01, dated March 23, 2015.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1502, dated November 14, 2014.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1539, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2016.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1553, dated March 21, 2016.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1554, dated April 19, 2016.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1414, Revision 03, dated September 15, 2014.

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 1,032 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions required by AD 2015-23-13, and retained in this AD take about 3 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2015-23-13 is $255 per product.

We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $263,160, or $255 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 6 work-hours (3 work-hours for an FWC and 3 work-hours for an FAC), and require parts costing $88,000 (FAC), for a cost of $88,510 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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-23-13, Amendment 39-18330 (80 FR 73099, November 24, 2015), and adding the following new AD: 2017-13-08 Airbus: Amendment 39-18938; Docket No. FAA-2016-9573; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-149-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2015-23-13, Amendment 39-18330 (80 FR 73099, November 24, 2015) (“AD 2015-23-13”).

(c) Applicability

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

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

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

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

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 22, Auto Flight; 31, Instruments.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that, in specific flight conditions, the allowable load limits on the vertical tail plane could be reached and possibly exceeded. Exceeding allowable load limits could result in detachment of the vertical tail plane. We are issuing this AD to prevent detachment of the vertical tail plane and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Retained Pin Programming Modification, With New Service Information

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2015-23-13, with new service information. Within 48 months after December 29, 2015 (the effective date of AD 2015-23-13), modify the pin programming to activate the stop rudder input warning (SRIW) logic, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 02, dated March 30, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 03, dated October 13, 2015. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 03, dated October 13, 2015.

(h) Retained Inspection To Determine Part Numbers (P/Ns), Flight Warning Computer (FWC) and Flight Augmentation Computer (FAC) Replacement, With New Replacement Part Numbers

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2015-23-13, with new replacement part numbers. Prior to or concurrently with the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Inspect the part numbers of the FWC and the FAC installed on the airplane. If any FWC or FAC having a part number identified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable, is installed on an airplane, prior to or concurrently with the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, replace all affected FWCs and FACs with a unit having a part number identified in figure 1 to paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service information specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, use only figure 1 to paragraph (h)(3) of this AD to identify the replacement part numbers.

(1) Paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(xvii) of this AD identify FWCs having part numbers that are non-compatible with the SRIW activation required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) 350E017238484 (H1-D1).

(ii) 350E053020303 (H2-E3).

(iii) 350E016187171 (C5).

(iv) 350E053020404 (H2-E4).

(v) 350E017248685 (H1-D2).

(vi) 350E053020606 (H2-F2).

(vii) 350E017251414 (H1-E1).

(viii) 350E053020707 (H2-F3).

(ix) 350E017271616 (H1-E2).

(x) 350E053021010 (H2-F3P).

(xi) 350E018291818 (H1-E3CJ).

(xii) 350E053020808 (H2-F4).

(xiii) 350E018301919 (H1-E3P).

(xiv) 350E053020909 (H2-F5).

(xv) 350E018312020 (H1-E3Q).

(xvi) 350E053021111 (H2-F6).

(xvii) 350E053020202 (H2-E2).

(2) Paragraphs (h)(2)(i) through (h)(2)(xxxiv) of this AD identify FACs having part numbers that are non-compatible with the SRIW activation required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) B397AAM0202.

(ii) B397BAM0101.

(iii) B397BAM0512.

(iv) B397AAM0301.

(v) B397BAM0202.

(vi) B397BAM0513.

(vii) B397AAM0302.

(viii) B397BAM0203.

(ix) B397BAM0514.

(x) B397AAM0303.

(xi) B397BAM0305.

(xii) B397BAM0515.

(xiii) B397AAM0404.

(xiv) B397BAM0406.

(xv) B397BAM0616.

(xvi) B397AAM0405.

(xvii) B397BAM0407.

(xviii) B397BAM0617.

(xix) B397AAM0506.

(xx) B397BAM0507.

(xxi) B397BAM0618.

(xxii) B397AAM0507.

(xxiii) B397BAM0508.

(xxiv) B397BAM0619.

(xxv) B397AAM0508.

(xxvi) B397BAM0509.

(xxvii) B397BAM0620.

(xxviii) B397AAM0509.

(xxix) B397BAM0510.

(xxx) B397CAM0101.

(xxxi) B397AAM0510.

(xxxii) B397BAM0511.

(xxxiii) B397CAM0102.

(xxxiv) Soft P/N G2856AAA01 installed on hard P/N C13206AA00.

(3) As of the effective date of this AD, figure 1 to paragraph (h)(3) of this AD identifies the FACs and FWCs having the part numbers that are compatible with SRIW activation required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P ER29JN17.000 BILLING CODE 4910-13-C (i) Retained Service Information for Actions Required by Paragraph (h) of This AD, With New Service Information

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2015-23-13, with new service information. Do the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1) through (i)(10) of this AD.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1375, dated January 15, 2014 (FAC 621 hard B).

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 05, including Appendix 01, dated November 24, 2014 (FAC 622 hard B).

(3) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1447, Revision 03, dated April 21, 2015 (FAC CAA02 hard C).

(4) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1454, dated February 12, 2014 (FAC CAA02).

(5) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 07, including Appendix 01, dated March 23, 2015 (FAC 623 hard B).

(6) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1502, dated November 14, 2014 (FAC CAA02).

(7) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1539, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2016 (FAC CAA03).

(8) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1553, dated March 21, 2016 (FAC B624).

(9) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1554, dated April 19, 2016 (FAC CAA03).

(10) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1414, Revision 03, dated September 15, 2014 (FWC H2-F7).

(j) Retained Exclusion From Actions Required by Paragraphs (g) and (h) of This AD, With No Changes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2015-23-13, with no changes. An airplane on which Airbus Modification 154473 has been embodied in production is excluded from the requirements of paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, provided that within 30 days after December 29, 2015 (the effective date of AD 2015-23-13), an inspection of the part numbers of the FWC and the FAC installed on the airplane is done to determine that no FWC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, and no FAC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, has been installed on that airplane since date of manufacture. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part numbers of the FWC and FAC can be conclusively determined from that review. If any FWC or FAC having a part number identified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable, is installed on a post Airbus Modification 154473 airplane: Within 30 days after December 29, 2015, do the replacement required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

(k) Retained Parts Installation Prohibitions, With New Requirements

This paragraph restates the parts installation prohibitions specified in paragraph (k) of AD 2015-23-13, with new requirements.

(1) After modification of an airplane as required by paragraphs (g), (h), or (j) of this AD: Do not install on that airplane any FWC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD or any FAC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

(2) For an airplane that does not have a FWC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD and does not have a FAC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD: As of the effective date of this AD, do not install a FWC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD or a FAC having a part number listed in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

(l) Retained Later Approved Parts, With a Different Effective Date

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (l) of AD 2015-23-13, with a different effective date. Installation of a version (part number) of the FWC or FAC approved after March 5, 2015 (the effective date of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2014-0217R1), is an approved method of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (h) or (j) of this AD, provided the requirements specified in paragraphs (l)(1) and (l)(2) of this AD are met.

(1) The version (part number) must be approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

(2) The installation must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

(m) Credit for Previous Actions

(1) This paragraph restates the credit provided by paragraph (m)(1) of AD 2015-23-13. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before December 29, 2015 (the effective date of AD 2015-23-13) using the service information specified in paragraphs (m)(1)(i) or (m)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, dated July 9, 2014.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 01, dated February 6, 2015.

(2) This paragraph restates the credit provided by paragraph (m)(2) of AD 2015-23-13. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before December 29, 2015 (the effective date of AD 2015-23-13) using the applicable Airbus service information identified in paragraphs (m)(2)(i) through (m)(2)(xviii) of this AD.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, dated January 25, 2013.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 01, dated July 30, 2013.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 02, dated October 14, 2013.

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 03, dated November 8, 2013.

(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 04, dated February 11, 2014.

(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1447, dated October 18, 2013.

(vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1447, Revision 01, dated September 18, 2014.

(viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1447, Revision 02, dated December 2, 2014.

(ix) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, dated October 31, 2013.

(x) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 01, dated February 25, 2014.

(xi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 02, dated April 30, 2014.

(xii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 03, dated July 17, 2014.

(xiii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 04, dated September 15, 2014.

(xiv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 05, dated November 13, 2014.

(xv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 06, dated January 21, 2015.

(xvi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1414, dated December 19, 2012.

(xvii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1414, Revision 01, dated March 21, 2013.

(xviii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1414, Revision 02, dated July 30, 2013.

(3) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1539, dated December 28, 2015.

(n) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

(ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2015-23-13, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

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

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

(o) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0132, dated July 5, 2016; corrected July 20, 2016; for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9573.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

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

(p) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 3, 2017.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 03, dated October 13, 2015.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1539, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2016.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1553, dated March 21, 2016.

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1554, dated April 19, 2016.

(4) The following service information was approved for IBR on December 29, 2015 (80 FR 73099, November 24, 2015).

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1375, dated January 15, 2014.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1427, Revision 05, including Appendix 01, dated November 24, 2014.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1447, Revision 03, dated April 21, 2015.

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1454, dated February 12, 2014.

(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1461, Revision 07, including Appendix 01, dated March 23, 2015.

(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1480, Revision 02, dated March 30, 2015.

(vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1502, dated November 14, 2014.

(viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-31-1414, Revision 03, dated September 15, 2014.

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

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

(7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 16, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-13407 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9437; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-131-AD; Amendment 39-18941; AD 2017-13-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Model G-IV airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the G-IV gust lock system allows more throttle travel than was intended and could allow the throttle to be advanced to reach take-off thrust. This AD requires modification of the gust lock system, and a revision of the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate functional tests. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, GA 31402-2206; telephone 800-810-4853; fax 912-965-3520; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.gulfstream.com/product_support/technical_pubs/pubs/index.htm. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9437.

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-2016-9437; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gideon Jose, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ACE-119A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: 404-474-5569; fax: 404-474-5606; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model G-IV airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016 (81 FR 89397) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that the G-IV gust lock system allows more throttle travel than was intended and could allow the throttle to be advanced to reach take-off thrust. The intended function of the gust lock system is to restrict throttle lever movement to a maximum of 6 degrees of forward travel, which provides an unmistakable warning to the pilot that the gust lock system is still engaged, prohibiting the use of the primary flight control surfaces. The NPRM proposed to require modification of the gust lock system, and a revision of the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate functional tests. We are issuing this AD to prevent the throttle lever movement from advancing more than 6 degrees of forward travel, which could result in the aircraft reaching near take-off thrust and high velocities without primary flight controls (aileron, elevator, and rudder) and cause a failure to rotate during take-off and high speed runway overrun.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comment received. The commenter, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), supported the NPRM.

New Service Information

Since we issued the NPRM, we received the following customer bulletins that clarify the modification instructions, and we have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to refer to these bulletins:

• Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017;

• Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017; and

• Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

We have also added the following customer bulletins to paragraph (k) of this AD to provide credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD:

• Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 236A, dated August 8, 2016;

• Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 236A, dated August 8, 2016; and

• Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 236A, dated August 8, 2016.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed the following customer bulletins:

• Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017;

• Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017; and

• Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

The service information describes procedures for modifying the gust lock system by doing a retrofit of the gust lock throttle interlock. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations.

We also reviewed the following temporary revisions (TRs):

• Gulfstream IV Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016;

• Gulfstream IV MSG-3 Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016;

• Gulfstream G300 Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016; and

• Gulfstream G400 Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

The service information describes procedures for a functional test of the throttle lever gust lock protection. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations.

We also reviewed the following temporary revisions:

• Gulfstream IV Maintenance Manual TR 5-7, dated April 29, 2016;

• Gulfstream IV MSG-3 Maintenance Manual TR 5-6, dated April 29, 2016;

• Gulfstream G300 Maintenance Manual TR 5-3, dated April 29, 2016; and

• Gulfstream G400 Maintenance Manual TR 5-3, dated April 29, 2016.

The service information describes an airworthiness limitation (certification maintenance requirement) task to do functional tests of the throttle lever gust lock protection. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations.

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 425 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Modification and Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision 109 work-hours × $85 per hour = $9,265 $9,080 $18,345 $7,796,625

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-13-11 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: Amendment 39-18941; Docket No. FAA-2016-9437; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-131-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model G-IV airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the G-IV gust lock system allows more throttle travel than was intended and could allow the throttle to be advanced to reach take-off thrust. The intended function of the gust lock system is to restrict throttle lever movement to a maximum of 6 degrees of forward travel, which provides an unmistakable warning to the pilot that the gust lock system is still engaged, prohibiting the use of the primary flight control surfaces. We are issuing this AD to prevent the throttle lever movement from advancing more than 6 degrees of forward travel, which could result in the aircraft reaching near take-off thrust and high velocities without primary flight controls (aileron, elevator, and rudder) and cause a failure to rotate during take-off and high speed runway overrun.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the gust lock system by doing a retrofit of the gust lock throttle interlock, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

    (2) Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

    (3) Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

    (h) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision To Include a Functional Test

    Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate a functional test of the throttle lever gust lock protection specified in the applicable temporary revision (TR) identified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD. The initial compliance time for the functional test is within the applicable time specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. The functional test must be done in accordance with the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1) through (i)(4) of this AD.

    (1) For Gulfstream IV Maintenance Manual TR 5-7, dated April 29, 2016: Within 12 months or 4,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first after accomplishing the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) For Gulfstream IV MSG-3 Maintenance Manual TR 5-6, dated April 29, 2016: Before the next 1C maintenance check or within 4,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first after accomplishing the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (3) For Gulfstream G300 Maintenance Manual TR 5-3, dated April 29, 2016: Before the next 1C maintenance check or within 4,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first after accomplishing the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (4) For Gulfstream G400 Maintenance Manual TR 5-3, dated April 29, 2016: Before the next 1C maintenance check or within 4,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first after accomplishing the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Service Information for the Functional Test of the Throttle Lever Gust Lock Protection

    The functional test of the throttle lever gust lock protection specified in paragraph (h) of this AD must be done in accordance with the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1) through (i)(4) of this AD.

    (1) Gulfstream IV Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (2) Gulfstream IV MSG-3 Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (3) Gulfstream G300 Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (4) Gulfstream G400 Maintenance Manual TR 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (j) No Alternative Actions and Intervals

    After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraph (k)(1), (k)(2), or (k)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 236, dated June 1, 2016; or 236A, dated August 8, 2016.

    (2) Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 236, dated June 1, 2016; or 236A, dated August 8, 2016.

    (3) Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 236, dated June 1, 2016; or 236A, dated August 8, 2016.

    (l) Exception for Reporting and Return of Parts

    Although the service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer and to return parts to the manufacturer, this AD does not include those requirements.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta 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.

    (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) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(3)(i) and (m)(3)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. If a step or substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. 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.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Gideon Jose, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ACE-119A, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: 404-474-5569; fax: 404-474-5606; email: [email protected]

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

    (o) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

    (ii) Gulfstream G300 Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (iii) Gulfstream G300 Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 5-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (iv) Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

    (v) Gulfstream G400 Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (vi) Gulfstream G400 Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 5-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (vii) Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 236B, dated February 3, 2017.

    (viii) Gulfstream IV Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (ix) Gulfstream IV Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 5-7, dated April 29, 2016.

    (x) Gulfstream IV MSG-3 Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 27-3, dated April 29, 2016.

    (xi) Gulfstream IV MSG-3 Maintenance Manual Temporary Revision 5-6, dated April 29, 2016.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, GA 31402-2206; telephone 800-810-4853; fax 912-965-3520; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.gulfstream.com/product_support/technical_pubs/pubs/index.htm.

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

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 16, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13405 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-8185; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-050-AD; Amendment 39-18940; AD 2017-13-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2003-18-06, which applied to certain Airbus Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes. AD 2003-18-06 required installing new anti-swivel plates and weights on the engine fan cowl door (FCD) latches and a new cowl door hold-open device. This AD retains the previous actions and requires modifying the engine FCDs, installing placards, and re-identifying the FCDs. This AD also adds airplanes to the applicability. This AD was prompted by reports of additional engine FCD in-flight losses, and a new FCD front latch and keeper assembly that has been developed to address this unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 3, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of October 16, 2003 (68 FR 53501, September 11, 2003).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8185.

    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-2016-8185; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2003-18-06, Amendment 39-13297 (68 FR 53501, September 11, 2003) (“AD 2003-18-06”). AD 2003-18-06 applied to certain Airbus Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2016 (81 FR 51813). The NPRM was prompted by reports of additional engine FCD in-flight losses, and a new FCD front latch and keeper assembly that has been developed to address this unsafe condition. The NPRM proposed to continue to require installing new anti-swivel plates and weights on the engine FCD latches and a new cowl door hold-open device. The NPRM also proposed to require modifying the engine FCDs, installing placards, and re-identifying the FCDs with new part numbers. Additionally, the NPRM proposed to revise the applicability to include all Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes. We are issuing this AD to prevent in-flight loss of an engine FCD and possible consequent damage to the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0053, dated March 14, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Fan Cowl Door (FCD) losses during take-off were reported on aeroplanes equipped with IAE V2500 engines. Prompted by these occurences, [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] DGAC France issued AD 2000-444-156(B), mandating FCD latch improvements. This [DGAC] AD was later superseded by [DGAC] AD 2001-381(B) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2003-18-06], requiring installation of additional fan cowl latch improvement by installing a hold open device.

    Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, further FCD in flight losses were experienced in service. Investigations confirmed that in all cases, the fan cowls were opened prior to the flight and were not correctly re-secured. During the pre-flight inspection, it was then not detected that the FCD were not properly latched.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to in-flight loss of a FCD, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and/or injury to persons on the ground.

    Prompted by these recent events, new FCD front latch and keeper assembly were developed, having a specific key necessary to un-latch the FCD. This key cannot be removed unless the FCD front latch is safely closed. The key, after removal, must be stowed in the flight deck at a specific location, as instructed in the applicable Aircraft Maintenance Manual. Applicable Flight Crew Operating Manual has been amended accordingly. After modification, the FCD is identified with a different Part Number (P/N).

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC AD 2001-381(B), which is superseded, and requires modification and re-identification of FCD.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8185.

    Comments

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

    Request To Withdraw the NPRM

    United Airlines (UAL) stated that it strongly disagrees with making the new latch keys installation mandatory. UAL stated that each one of the fan cowl door losses during takeoff can be attributed solely to human error. UAL explained that the mechanics are not correctly latching the fan cowl after maintenance and the flight crews are not checking that the latches are secured before departure. UAL asserted that it did not believe that introduction of the new latch design would resolve human error problems. Historically, UAL noted, visual cues have proven ineffective, but other changes, especially dual inspection signoff, have proven much more effective. Therefore, instead of mandating the modification, UAL stated that more emphasis should be placed on addressing the root cause—not the design, but human error.

    Further, UAL explained that the fan cowls are routinely accessed for engine and thrust reverser maintenance, and adding another loose piece of equipment to be maintained and stored on the airplane would lead to operational complications. UAL also noted that additional time would be added to accomplishing routine tasks after incorporation of the modification. In a case where the maintenance personnel are required to open the fan cowls, UAL contended that additional time would be required to access the cockpit, retrieve the key, and open the fan cowls, which would expose personnel and the airplane to further damage or harm. Mandating the modification, UAL argued, would impose an unnecessary financial and maintenance burden on operators that have proactively implemented alternate procedures.

    UAL further stated that some airplanes in their Model A319 and Model A320 fleet are installed with monolithic FCDs which have some design advantages to mitigate the risks addressed in this AD. This AD does not include any modification instructions for these FCDs.

    From these statements, we infer that UAL was requesting that we withdraw the NPRM. We do not agree with UAL's request. The EASA, as the State of Design Authority for Airbus products, has determined an unsafe condition exists after conducting a risk analysis taking into consideration the in-service events in the worldwide fleet. We agree with EASA's decision to mitigate the risk by mandating a new design that makes it apparent to the flight crew on a pre-flight walk-around that an FCD is not latched. Regarding the concern about operational complications, we have determined that the safety benefits of the new design outweigh any potential complications. UAL has not provided any substantiating information to support withdrawing the NPRM. If an operator believes that there are certain FCDs that cannot be modified in accordance with the AD requirements, then they may apply for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) using the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(1) of this AD. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Allow Continued Operation With a Lost or Damaged Key/Lock

    UAL and American Airlines (AAL) requested that we add a provision in the proposed AD to allow continued operation with a damaged or missing key or damaged lock. UAL also stated that it disagrees with mandating the exact stowage location of the key and that it should be left to the operator's discretion where to store the key on the airplane. UAL pointed out that the key could become lost or damaged, and that it's possible the lock could become damaged, requiring the airplane to be taken out of service.

    We disagree with the commenters. EASA has determined that proper stowage for retrieval of the key and a fully functional lock are necessary to mitigate the risk of losing an FCD in flight, and we agree with EASA's assessment. If relief is approved in the future, such as Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) relief, that allows continued operation with a damaged or missing key or damaged lock, we will consider additional rulemaking. An operator may also apply for an AMOC using the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, provided they submit sufficient data to substantiate that the AMOC provides an acceptable level of safety. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Remove Placard Installation Requirement

    AAL requested that we revise the proposed AD to allow continued operation with a damaged or missing placard provided the placard is replaced within a specific time. AAL pointed out that a missing or damaged placard does not reduce flight safety. UAL also requested that the installation and location of the placard not be mandated. UAL explained that the placard itself does not prevent a fan cowl door loss event, nor does it raise awareness about the issue.

    We disagree with the commenters. Installation of the placard is designed to ensure that the key is stowed in a particular location on board the airplane and can be consistently retrieved from that location when needed. However, an operator may apply for an AMOC using the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, provided they can show they have an alternative means to ensure the key is stowed on board the airplane in a constantly retrievable and accessible location. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

    Request To Revise Cost Estimate

    AAL requested that we review the proposed cost estimate for significant economic impact as related to the actual costs of compliance. AAL asserted that the proposed cost estimate is underestimated and that the actual cost is nearly double the specified amount. AAL stated that two kits are required per airplane instead of the one kit estimated in the NPRM, and that the placard cost from Airbus is $50. AAL explained that the NPRM does not account for the cost of maintenance activities such as re-rigging all cowl latches during embodiment, or other recording, tracking, and supply chain costs. Additionally, AAL mentioned that U.S. operators are competing with operators worldwide for these parts, which could impact the availability of necessary parts.

    We partially agree with AAL's request. We recognize that, in accomplishing the requirements of any AD, operators might incur “incidental” costs in addition to the “direct” costs that are reflected in the cost analysis presented in the AD preamble. However, the cost analysis in AD rulemaking actions typically does not include incidental costs. However, we have confirmed the need for two kits and the cost of the placards; therefore, we have revised this final rule to reflect the cost for two kits and placards.

    Regarding the reference to a “significant economic impact,” according to Executive Order 12866, we are not required to do a full cost-benefit analysis for an AD unless it is considered a significant regulatory action. This AD is not a significant regulatory action because it does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million dollars or more; it does not create inconsistency with an action planned by another agency; it does not impact entitlements, grants, user fees or loan programs; and it does not raise novel legal or policy issues. However, the FAA does comply with Executive Order 12866 by assessing the costs and determining that correcting the unsafe condition justifies them. As a matter of law, in order to be airworthy, an aircraft must conform to its type design and be in a condition for safe operation. The type design is approved only after we determine that it complies with all applicable airworthiness requirements. In adopting and maintaining those requirements, we have already determined that they establish a level of safety that is cost beneficial. When we later make a finding of an unsafe condition in an aircraft and issue an AD, it means that the original cost-beneficial level of safety is no longer being achieved and that the required actions are necessary to restore that level of safety. Because this level of safety has already been determined to be cost beneficial, and because the AD does not add any additional regulatory requirement that increases the level of safety beyond what has been established by the type design, a full cost-benefit analysis would be redundant and unnecessary. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

    Request To Exempt Certain Airplanes

    Airbus requested that we revise the NPRM to exclude airplanes on which the following Airbus modifications were installed in production from the requirements of paragraph (g) of the proposed AD.

    • Modifications 21948/P6222 and 30869.

    • Modifications 24259/P6222 and 30869.

    • Modifications 24259/P6222 and 24259/P6473.

    We agree with excluding airplanes with these Airbus modifications that were installed during production. These modifications address the identified unsafe condition. These exempt airplanes were inadvertently omitted from paragraph (g) of the proposed AD. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD accordingly.

    Request To Extend Compliance Time

    AAL requested that, due to the elapsed time needed to complete each airplane modification and the potential unavailability of modification kits to match the operator's modification schedule, we extend the compliance time for the new modification from 36 months to 48 months.

    We do not agree with AAL's request to extend the compliance time. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this action, we considered the urgency associated with the subject unsafe condition, the availability of required parts, and the practical aspect of accomplishing the required modification within a period of time that corresponds to the normal scheduled maintenance for most affected operators. According to the manufacturer, adequate parts will be available to modify the U.S. fleet within the required compliance time. However, under the provisions of paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of an extension of the compliance time if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in his regard.

    Request To Use Later Revisions of the Service Information

    AAL requested that we allow later revisions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, dated December 18, 2015, to be used as a method of compliance for the actions specified in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD.

    We may not refer to any document that does not yet exist in an AD. In general terms, we are required by the Office of the Federal Register's (OFR) regulations to either publish the service document contents as part of the actual AD language; or submit the service document to the OFR for approval as “referenced” material, in which case we may only refer to such material in the text of an AD. The AD may refer to the service document only if the OFR approved it for “incorporation by reference.” See 1 CFR part 51.

    To allow operators to use later revisions of the referenced document (issued after publication of the AD), either we must revise the AD to reference specific later revisions, or operators must request approval to use later revisions as an AMOC with this AD under the provisions of paragraph (m)(1) of this AD.

    However, since we issued the NPRM, we have received Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016. This revision clarifies a storage location for Groups 7 and 8 but specifies no additional work requirements from the previous issue (Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, dated December 18, 2015). Therefore, we have revised paragraph (h) of this AD to specify Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016, as an appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the required actions. We have also added paragraph (l) to this AD to provide credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, dated December 18, 2015. We have redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016. The service information describes procedures for modifying the engine FCDs, installing placards, and re-identifying the FCDs with new part numbers. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 558 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2003-18-06, and retained in this AD, take about 8 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $1,500 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2003-18-06 is $2,180 per product.

    We also estimate that it takes about 6 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $9,676 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $5,683,788, or $10,186 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2003-18-06, Amendment 39-13297 (68 FR 53501, September 11, 2003), and adding the following new AD: 2017-13-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-18940; Docket No. FAA-2016-8185; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-050-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2003-18-06, Amendment 39-13297 (68 FR 53501, September 11, 2003), (“AD 2003-18-06”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Powerplant.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of engine fan cowl door (FCD) in-flight losses, and a new FCD front latch and keeper assembly that has been developed to address this unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to prevent in-flight loss of an engine FCD and possible consequent damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Modification and/or Installation, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (a) of AD 2003-18-06, with no changes. For airplanes identified in paragraph (c) of this AD, except those airplanes on which Airbus Modifications 21948/P6222 and 30869, Modifications 24259/P6222 and 30869, or Modifications 24259/P6222 and 24259/P6473 have been installed in production: Within 18 months after October 16, 2003 (the effective date of AD 2003-18-06), do the action(s) specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For Configuration 01 airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001: Modify the door latches of the fan cowl of both engines (i.e., installation of new anti-swivel plates and weights), and install a new hold-open device, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001.

    (2) For Configuration 02 airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001: Install a new hold-open device, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001.

    (h) New Modifications

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions required by paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016.

    (1) Modify the left-hand and right-hand FCDs on engines 1 and 2.

    (2) Install a placard on the box located at the bottom of the 120 VU panel or at the bottom of the coat stowage, as applicable.

    (3) Re-identify both engine FCDs with the new part numbers (P/Ns), as specified in table 1 and table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (h) of This AD—Left-Side Door Old part No. New part No. 740-4000-501 740-4000-9501 740-4000-503 740-4000-9503 745-4000-501 745-4000-513 745-4000-503 745-4000-515 745-4000-505 745-4000-517 Table 2 to Paragraph (h) of This AD—Right-Side Door Old part No. New part No. 740-4000-502 740-4000-9502 740-4000-504 740-4000-9504 740-4000-506 740-4000-9506 740-4000-508 740-4000-9508 745-4000-502 745-4000-9502 745-4000-504 745-4000-9504 745-4000-506 745-4000-9506 745-4000-508 745-4000-514 745-4000-510 745-4000-516 745-4000-512 745-4000-518 (i) New Method of Compliance: Replacement

    (1) Replacing an engine FCD having a part number listed as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable, with an FCD having the corresponding part number listed as “New Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable, is an acceptable method of compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(3) of this AD for that engine FCD only.

    (2) An airplane on which Airbus Modification 157516 has been embodied in production is compliant with the requirements of paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(3) of this AD, provided no engine FCD, having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable, is installed on that airplane.

    (3) An airplane on which Airbus Modification 157718 has been embodied in production is compliant with the requirements of paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

    (j) New Parts Installation Limitations

    (1) For an airplane with an engine FCD installed having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable: After modification of that airplane as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, do not install an engine FCD, having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable.

    (2) For an airplane that does not have an engine FCD installed having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable: On or after the effective date of this AD, do not install an engine FCD, having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable.

    (k) New Method of Compliance: Installation

    Installation on an engine of a right-hand and left-hand engine FCD having a part number approved after the effective date of this AD is a method of compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (g), (h)(1), and (h)(3) of this AD for that engine only, provided the part number is approved, and the installation is accomplished, in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD.

    (l) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, dated December 18, 2015.

    (m) 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 the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. 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.

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

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

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0053, dated March 14, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8185.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149.

    (o) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 3, 2017.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 16, 2003 (68 FR 53501, September 11, 2003).

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001.

    (ii) Reserved.

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

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

    (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 17, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13409 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7529; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-207-AD; Amendment 39-18939; AD 2017-13-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-16-02, which applied to certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes. AD 2014-16-02 required revising the airplane flight manual to prohibit thrust reverser operation, doing repetitive detailed inspections of both engine thrust reversers for cracks, and modifying the thrust reversers if necessary. The modification is also an interim (optional) terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This new AD adds a new terminating modification of the thrust reversers, which includes new inspections and repair, if necessary. This AD was prompted by a determination that it is necessary to add a requirement to repair or modify the thrust reversers, which would terminate the requirements of AD 2014-16-02. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 3, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of August 12, 2014 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America; toll-free telephone number 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone number 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7529.

    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-2015-7529; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014) (“AD 2014-16-02”). AD 2014-16-02 applied to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2016 (81 FR 89881) (“the SNPRM”). We preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2015 (80 FR 80293) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that it is necessary to add a requirement to repair or modify the thrust reversers, which would terminate the requirements of AD 2014-16-02 after modification or repair. The NPRM proposed to continue to require the actions specified in AD 2014-16-02 until modification or repair of the thrust reversers. The SNPRM proposed to reduce the compliance time for modification of the thrust reversers, and add new modification procedures. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser actuator attachment points, which could result in deployment or dislodgement of an engine thrust reverser in flight and subsequent reduced control of the airplane.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-19R1, dated March 11, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There have been two reported incidents of partial deployment of an engine thrust reverser in-flight, caused by a failure of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser actuator attachment points. Inspection of the same area on some other thrust reversers revealed cracks emanating from the holes under the nut plates.

    In both incidents, the affected aeroplane landed safely without any noticeable controllability issues, however structural failure of thrust reverser actuator attachment points resulting in thrust reverser deployment or dislodgment in flight is a safety hazard warranting an immediate mitigating action.

    To help in mitigating any immediate safety hazard, Bombardier Inc. has revised the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) through Temporary Revisions (TR) 600/29, 600/30, 600-1/24 and 600-1/26, to prohibit the thrust reverser operation on affected aeroplanes. Additionally, as an interim corrective action, Bombardier Inc. has issued alert service bulletin (ASB) A600-0769 requiring an inspection and/or a mechanical lock out of the thrust reverser to prevent it from moving out of forward thrust mode.

    Original [TCCA] Emergency AD CF-2014-19 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-16-02] was issued 20 June 2014 to mandate the incorporation of above mentioned revised AFM procedures and compliance with ASB A600-0769. This [TCCA] AD is now being revised to include the terminating action [modification of the thrust reversers] in accordance with Part C of the ASB A600-0769 Rev 02 dated 22 February 2016.

    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-2015-7529.

    Comments

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

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016. The service information describes procedures for a new permanent modification of the thrust reversers on both engines, which includes inspections for cracks and elongated holes.

    We also reviewed the following TRs, which introduce procedures to prohibit thrust reverser operation. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane configurations.

    • Canadair TR 600/29-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM.

    • Canadair TR 600-1/24-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets).

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 18 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • AFM revision; inspection [retained actions from AD 2014-16-02] 29 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,465 N/A $2,465 $44,370 New modification 100 work-hours × $85 per hour = $8,500 $509 9,009 162,162

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Modification 36 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,060 $509 $3,569

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), and adding the following new AD: 2017-13-09 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18939; Docket No. FAA-2015-7529; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-207-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 3, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014) (“AD 2014-16-02”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 1004 through 1085 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 78, Engine Exhaust.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of partial deployment of an engine thrust reverser in flight caused by a failure of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser attachment points. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser actuator attachment points, which could result in deployment or dislodgement of an engine thrust reverser in flight and subsequent reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) Revision With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2014-16-02, with revised service information. Within 1 calendar day after August 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-16-02): Revise the applicable sections of the AFM to include the information specified in the temporary revisions (TRs) identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable. These TRs introduce procedures to prohibit thrust reverser operation. Operate the airplane according to the limitations and procedures in the TRs identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable. The revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD may be done by inserting copies of the applicable TRs identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD into the AFM. When these TRs have been included in the general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted in the AFM, provided the relevant information in the general revision is identical to that in the applicable TRs, and the TRs may be removed.

    (1) Canadair TR 600/29, dated June 20, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM; or Canadair TR 600/29-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Canadair TR 600/29-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM.

    (2) Canadair TR 600-1/24, dated June 20, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets), including Erratum, Publication No. PSP 600-1AFM (US), TR No. 600-1/24, June 20, 2014; or Canadair TR 600-1/24-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets). As of the effective date of this AD, use only Canadair TR 600-1/24-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets).

    (h) Retained Repetitive Inspections and Modifications, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2014-16-02, with revised service information. Within 25 flight cycles or 90 days, whichever occurs first, after August 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-16-02), do detailed inspections (including a borescope inspection) of both engine thrust reversers for cracks, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016.

    (1) If no cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 flight cycles until the repair or modification specified in paragraph (i) or (k) of this AD is done.

    (2) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, modify the thrust reversers on both engines, in accordance with Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016.

    (i) Retained Optional Terminating Modification, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the optional terminating action specified in paragraph (i) of AD 2014-16-02, with revised service information. Modifying the thrust reversers on both engines, in accordance with Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016; terminates the inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016.

    (j) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the credit provided in paragraph (j) of AD 2014-16-02, with no changes. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before August 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-16-02), using Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, dated June 19, 2014.

    (k) New Requirement of This AD: Permanent Modification and Inspections

    Within 24 months after the accomplishing the modification specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, or within 48 months after accomplishing the initial inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, whichever occurs later: Modify the thrust reversers on both engines, including doing the inspections specified in paragraphs (k)(1) through (k)(6) of this AD, in accordance with Part C of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016, except as required by paragraphs (m)(1) and (m)(2) of this AD. Modification of all thrust reversers terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD.

    (1) Do general visual inspections of the flipper doors for cracks.

    (2) Do a general visual inspection of the thrust reverser skin, frames, joints, splices, and fasteners for cracks.

    (3) Do a general visual inspection of the thrust reverser for cracks.

    (4) Do liquid penetrant or eddy current inspections, as applicable, of the frames for cracks.

    (5) Do a detailed visual inspection of the frames for cracks and elongated holes, and do a liquid penetrant inspection of the frames for cracks.

    (6) Do a liquid penetrant or an eddy current inspection of the translating sleeve skin for cracks.

    (l) New Requirement of This AD: Repair

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD, any cracking or elongated hole is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

    (m) New Exceptions to Service Information

    (1) If it is not possible to follow all instructions specified in Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016, during accomplishment of the actions required by paragraph (k) of this AD, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (2) Where Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016, specifies to contact Bombardier if shim thickness is over the applicable thicknesses identified in Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (n) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, 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 ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. 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.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian AD CF-2014-19R1, dated March 11, 2016, 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-2015-7529.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

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

    (p) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 3, 2017.

    (i) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 02, dated February 22, 2016.

    (ii) Canadair Temporary Revision 600/29-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 Airplane Flight Manual.

    (iii) Canadair Temporary Revision 600-1/24-2, dated January 18, 2016, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 Airplane Flight Manual (Winglets).

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 12, 2014 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014).

    (i) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014.

    (ii) Canadair TR 600/29, dated June 20, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 Airplane Flight Manual.

    (iii) Canadair TR 600-1/24, dated June 20, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets), including Erratum, Publication No. PSP 600-1AFM (US), TR No. 600-1/24, June 20, 2014.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America; toll-free telephone number 1-866-538-1247 or direct-dial telephone number 1-514-855-2999; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

    (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 16, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13411 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9496; Airspace Docket No. 16-AEA-16] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Finleyville, PA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action establishes Class E airspace at Finleyville, PA, to accommodate new area navigation (RNAV) global positioning system (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures (SIAPs) serving Finleyville Airpark. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, August 17, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11A at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Finleyville Airpark, Finleyville, PA to support instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    History

    On April 7, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 16962) Docket No. FAA-2016-9496, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Finleyville, PA, providing the controlled airspace required to support the new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures for Finleyville Airpark. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11A dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.3-mile radius of Finleyville Airpark, Finleyville, PA, to support the new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AEA PA E5 Finleyville, PA [New] Finleyville Airpark, PA (Lat. 40°14′45″ N., long. 80°00′44″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.3-mile radius of Finleyville Airpark.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on June 22, 2017. Ryan W. Almasy, Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13568 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9536; Airspace Docket No. 16-AWP-27] Establishment of Temporary Restricted Areas R-2509E, R-2509W, and R-2509N; Twentynine Palms, CA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action establishes temporary restricted areas (Temp RAs) R-2509E, R-2509W, and R-2509N, Twentynine Palms, CA, to support a Marine Expeditionary Brigade level Large Scale Exercise (LSE) planned for existing and newly acquired training lands at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms from August 7 to August 26, 2017.

    DATES:

    Effective date 0901 UTC, August 7, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish the temporary restricted area airspace at Twentynine Palms, CA, to support a Marine Expeditionary Brigade level LSE and accommodate essential USMC training requirements.

    History

    On February 23, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (82 FR 11414), Docket No. FAA-2016-9536, to establish Temp RAs R-2509E, R-2509W, and R-2509N, Twentynine Palms, CA, to support a Marine Expeditionary Brigade level LSE. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. Five comments were received; four from individuals and one from Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

    Discussion of Comments

    In their response to the NPRM, the commenters raised several substantive issues. The commenters contend the temporary restricted airspace design could be managed through alternative airspace management methods like temporary flight restrictions or controlled firing areas. Additionally, commenters contended that the location and lack of knowledge of temporary restricted areas would have a negative impact on general aviation aircraft. One commenter supported the exercise to allow warfighters the opportunity to practice tactics in preparation for actual war. The comments have been categorized in the following groupings: (1) Alternative designation of the airspace as a temporary flight restriction (TFR) or as a controlled firing area (CFA); (2) the general concern that R-2509W creates a narrow funneling of traffic at a known “choke point” of airspace; and (3) the need for advanced notification of pilots of activation and awareness of temporary restricted areas.

    Having considered the issues and recommendations provided by the commenters, the FAA offers the following responses.

    Designation of the Airspace as a TFR or as a CFA

    Two commenters suggested the airspace would be better served as TFR because a TFR could be depicted graphically and would provide better notification to pilots. The commenters noted perceived limitations in the NOTAM system used to inform pilots of temporary restricted areas established under part 73.

    TFRs under 14 CFR 91.137 are not used for any pre-planned military operations involving hazardous activity. Additionally, a TFR issued under § 91.137 involves restrictions and limitations that are not appropriately applied to military operations. The fact that commenters perceive that a TFR permits better notification to a pilot about restricted airspace is not sufficient to warrant using § 91.137 for activity that it was not intended to cover.

    One commenter suggested a CFA as an alternative. CFAs are not intended for aerial activities which involve aircraft ordinance delivery which this LSE will involve.

    R-2509W Creates a Narrow Funneling of Traffic at a Known “Choke Point” of Airspace

    One commenter stated the corridor created by restricted airspace in the high desert of Southern California is already very narrow and congested and funnels high amounts of traffic today. The commenter noted that adding restricted areas that will reduce the corridor will exacerbate the problem. The commenter suggested expanding the existing restricted area into one of the already established military operations areas (MOA) on the eastern side of R-2509 and away from the already narrow funnel in the west. AOPA contends that the proposed restricted areas create an unnecessary and unacceptable risk to general aviation pilots. AOPA specifically noted that, because the proposed R-2509W overlies a valley, it will force general aviation pilots to fly closer to precipitous rising terrain and will provide a greater challenge to pilots needing to turn around safely. AOPA also commented that federal airway V-386 which is heavily utilized by general aviation pilots will be impacted by the proposed restricted area. AOPA contended that the restricted area would force many pilots to deviate further to the west and into more complex and congested airspace. AOPA also noted that the FAA previously withdrew a proposal for the same temporary restricted areas because efforts to mitigate the aeronautical impacts were unsuccessful.

    After the 2016 NPRM was withdrawn, LA Center negotiated certain mitigations with the Marine Corps in response to LA Center's aeronautical study of the impact of the temporary restricted areas to non-participating aircraft operating within the corridor west of the proposed restricted areas. In response to the aeronautical study, the Marines met with LA Center and addressed internal boundary changes for R-2509N and R-2509E which allow for arrivals and departures to fly over the restricted areas allowing better flow control and altitude stratum for Metroplex procedures. Additionally, the Marine Corps agreed to limit the maximum altitude for R-2509E to FL400 for only three days of the exercise otherwise the maximum altitude will be FL220. The FAA has further addressed the commenters concerns by restricting the airspace the Marine Corps will utilize within R-2509W to 8,000 feet MSL for the duration of the exercise and limiting the airspace above R-2509N to 16,000 feet MSL for the duration of the exercise. These changes account for the differences from the 2016 NPRM that could not be agreed upon prior to the August 2016 exercise. Those operations were cancelled and the NPRM withdrawn due to inability to alleviate aeronautical concerns. The mitigations agreed to by the Marine Corps have adequately addressed the FAA's earlier concerns.

    In regard to the commenters' recommendation to expand to the east rather than into the corridor in the west, the Marine Corps conducted an extensive land use study which included a review of the possible expansion to the east side of the current restricted area. The planned exercise requires land and airspace that allows for close air support, which is the use of aviation in support of ground units, surface fires and maneuver areas that are oriented for continual progression throughout the exercise area. The study found that the land to the east was not a feasible alternative for the conduct of the planned exercise. Additionally, the use of surface fires is required to integrate with both fixed and rotary winged aircraft that would require the use of land the Department of Defense does not possess. Lastly, the Safety Risk Management Panel conducted by FAA identified the proposal added minimal impact to the National Airspace System (NAS) compared to daily operations.

    Pilots Need Advanced Notifications of Activation and Awareness of Temp RAs

    AOPA stated concerns of the lack of awareness for pilots for Temp RAs as a whole. The infrequent use of Temp RAs in the past 20 years, lack of discussion within the aeronautical manuals for general aviation pilots, and lack of temporary special use airspace depicted electronically (most notably the electronic flight bag), all lead to the potential of a general aviation pilot to violate the Temp RAs. AOPA commented that the times of use in the NOTAM for the temporary restricted areas should be changed to provide 4 hours advance notice before the areas are activated.

    The FAA agrees and directed the Marine Corps to work within the current system to insure pilots are notified of the LSE by:

    1. Working with Los Angeles Center to establish “Pointer NOTAMs” to enhance coverage and visibility of the activities taking place.

    2. Publish Special Use Airspace NOTAMs no less than six hours prior to hazardous activity taking place.

    3. Work with the FAA to ensure the Temp RAs will be reflected on the FAA's SUA Web site: https://sua.faa.gov/sua/siteFrame.app, for current flight planning information.

    4. Coordinate with AOPA on public outreach matters.

    Additionally, the FAA has started the process to update aeronautical manuals to define what temporary special use airspace entails and developing a process to electronically display temporary special use airspace on the electronic flight bag.

    Differences From the NPRM

    In response to comments and the FAA aeronautical study completed by Los Angeles Center, the FAA changed the internal boundaries of two of the restricted areas (R-2509N and R-2509W) that were proposed in the NPRM. Geographic lat./long. coordinates have been adjusted to accommodate traffic above and around the newly established temporary restricted areas ensure ample separation from non-participating traffic. The following restricted area updates are incorporated in this action.

    Three geographic lat./long. coordinates internal to R-2509N and R-2509E have been changed and four new points were established.

    The Rule

    The FAA is amending 14 CFR part 73 to establish new temporary restricted areas (R-2509E, R-2509W, and R-2509N) at Twentynine Palms, CA. Subsequent to the NPRM, the FAA is also incorporating the restricted area updates noted in the Differences from the NPRM section. The FAA is taking this action to accommodate live fire from pistols, rifles, machine guns, anti-tank weapons, mortars, artillery, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, fixed wing, and rotary wing training activities including close air support and live ordnance delivery. These temporary restricted areas are required to effectively deconflict Department of Defense and civilian air traffic from hazards associated with live fire training. The amendments are as follows:

    Temporary R-2509E: The geographic coordinate lat. 34°40′30″ N., long. 116°29′43″ W., in the boundaries description proposed in the NPRM is replaced with lat. 34°39′24″ N., long. 116°29′19″ W.; Geographic coordinate lat. 34°34′17″ N., long. 116°35′52″ W.; in the boundaries description proposed in the NPRM is replaced with lat. 34°32′36″ N., long. 116°35′12″ W.

    Temporary R-2509N: The geographic coordinate lat. 34°39′24″ N., long. 116°29′19″ W.; was added to the proposed legal description. The geographic coordinate lat. 34°34′17″ N., long. 116°35′52″ W.; in the proposed boundaries description, is replaced with lat. 34°32′36″ N., long. 116°35′12″ W.

    Temporary R2509N/E/W: The “times of use” for each legal description has changed to read: Intermittent by NOTAM 6 hours in advance during the period from August 7 to August 26, 2017.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraphs 8-2 and 9-2, Adoption of Other Agencies' National Environmental Policy Act Documents, and Written Re-evaluations, and 7400.2L, paragraph 32-2-3, the FAA, after conducting an independent review and evaluation of the United States Navy's 2012 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the U.S. Navy's 2017 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (2017 EIS) and Written Re-evaluation for Land Acquisition and Airspace Establishment to Support Large-Scale Marine Air Ground Task Force Live-Fire and Maneuver Training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, California, has determined that the 2012 EIS and 2017 SEIS and their supporting documentation, as incorporated by reference, adequately assess and disclose the environmental impacts of the Proposed Action including evaluation of the establishment of airspace for six temporary restricted airspace areas R-2509, 2509E, 2509W, and 2509N (aka R-2509 E/W/N)

    Based on the evaluation for potential environmental impact in the above-mentioned NEPA documents, the FAA, as the Cooperating Agency, concluded that adoption of the EIS for Land Acquisition and Airspace Establishment to Support Large-Scale Marine Air Ground Task Force Live-Fire and Maneuver Training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, California, with incorporation of its supporting documentation, is authorized in accordance with 40 CFR1506.3, Adoption. Accordingly, FAA adopts the 2012 EIS and 2017 EIS and takes full responsibility for the scope and content that address the FAA's airspace establishment action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 73.25 California [Amended]
    2. § 73.25 is amended as follows: R-2509E Twentynine Palms, CA [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 34°39′24″ N., long. 116°29′19″ W.; to lat. 34°36′00″ N., long. 116°28′03″ W.; to lat. 34°31′30″ N., long. 116°26′48″ W.; to lat. 34°30′00″ N., long. 116°26′23″ W.; to lat. 34°21′35″ N., long. 116°21′38″ W.; to lat. 34°19′30″ N., long. 116°20′29″ W.; to lat. 34°17′38″ N., long. 116°19′19″ W.; to lat. 34°22′25″ N., long. 116°31′10″ W.; to lat. 34°32′36″ N., long. 116°35′12″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to FL 400.

    Time of designation. Intermittent by NOTAM 6 hours in advance from August 7 to August 26, 2017.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    Using agency. Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, CA.

    R-2509W Twentynine Palms, CA [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 34°35′03″ N., long. 116°36′10″ W.; to lat. 34°22′25″ N., long. 116°31′10″ W.; to lat. 34°27′38″ N., long. 116°40′34″ W.; to lat. 34°27′59″ N., long. 116°42′51″ W.; to lat. 34°29′44″ N., long. 116°42′51″ W.; to the point of beginning. Excluding that airspace within a 3.4-mile radius of point in space at lat. 34°25′32″ N., long. 116°36′52″ W.; surface to 1,500 feet AGL.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to 8,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. Intermittent by NOTAM 6 hours in advance from August 7 to August 26, 2017.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    Using agency. Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, CA.

    R-2509N Twentynine Palms, CA [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 34°35′03″ N., long. 116°36′10″ W.; to lat. 34°40′30″ N., long. 116°29′43″ W.; to lat. 34°39′24″ N., long. 116°29′19″ W.; to lat. 34°32′36″ N., long. 116°35′12″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to 16,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. Intermittent by NOTAM 6 hours in advance from August 7 to August 26, 2017.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    Using agency. Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, CA.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2017. Rodger A. Dean, Jr., Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13566 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 14 CFR Part 1261 [Document Number NASA-2017-0003; Notice: 17-040] RIN 2700-AD83 Processing of Monetary Claims AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This direct final rule makes changes to comply with statutory modifications increasing NASA's approval authority for certain actions from $20,000 to $100,000 and makes nonsubstantive changes to clarify the existing notification and review procedures. Pursuant to statutory amendments, NASA's authority to approve certain claims has increased from $20,000 to $100,000. NASA is amending its implementing regulation accordingly. Prior to this statutory change, amounts over $20,000 had to be forwarded to officials within the Department of Justice for approval. The additional changes to procedures were made to comply with “plain wording” criteria and to incorporate debt collection procedural changes implemented under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. No substantive changes were made to existing NASA provisions for notice and review of claims or indebtedness. The revision to this rule is part of NASA's retrospective plan under Executive Order (E.O.) 13563 completed in August 2011.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective August 28, 2017. Comments due on or before July 31, 2017. If adverse comments are received, NASA will publish a timely withdrawal of the rule in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    NASA's full plan can be accessed on the Agency's open Government Web site at http://www.nasa.gov/open/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bryan R. Diederich, Office of the General Counsel, NASA Headquarters, telephone (202) 358-0216.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Direct Final Rule

    NASA has determined this rulemaking meets the criteria for a direct final rule because it involves non-discretionary statutory modifications to certain of NASA's claims and indebtedness approval authorities and makes nonsubstantive and “plain wording” changes to existing notification and review procedures within NASA. However, if the Agency receives a significant adverse comment, it will withdraw this direct final rule by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. A significant adverse comment is one that explains: (1) Why the direct final rule is inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach; or (2) why the direct final rule will be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In determining whether a comment necessitates withdrawal of this direct final rule, NASA will consider whether it warrants a substantive response in a notice and comment process.

    Statutory Authority:

    Title 31, Subchapter II, Section 3711(a)(2) Collection and compromise.

    Regulatory Analysis Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This final rule does not contain an information collection requirement that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    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 final rule has been designated a “not significant.”

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    It has been certified that this final rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 1261

    Claims.

    Accordingly, 14 CFR part 1261 is amended as follows:

    PART 1261—PROCESSING OF MONETARY CLAIMS (GENERAL) 1. The authority citation for part 1261 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Subparts 1261.4, 1261.5, and 1261.6 issued under 51 U.S.C. 20113; 31 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.; 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 CFR parts 900 through 904; 5 CFR part 550, subpart K, §§ 550.1101 through 550.1107.

    Subpart 1261.3—Claims Against NASA or Its Employees for Damage to or Loss of Property or Personal Injury or Death—Accruing On or After January 18, 1967 2. The authority citation for subpart 1261.3 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    28 U.S.C. 2671-2680, 51 U.S.C. 20113(m), and 28 CFR part 14.

    3. Amend § 1261.301 by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 1261.301 Authority.

    (b) Under 51 U.S.C. 20113(m)(1), NASA is authorized to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, settle, and pay, on behalf of the United States, in full satisfaction thereof, any claim for $25,000 or less against the United States for bodily injury, death, or damage to or loss of real or personal property resulting from the conduct of NASA's functions as specified in 51 U.S.C. 20112. At the discretion of NASA, a claim may be settled and paid under this authority even though the United States could not be held legally liable to the claimant.

    (c) Under 51 U.S.C. 20113(m)(2), if NASA considers that a claim in excess of $25,000 is meritorious and would otherwise be covered by 51 U.S.C. 20113(m)(1), NASA may report the facts and circumstances of the claim to the Congress for its consideration or to the Comptroller General as provided in the “Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1978,” Public Law 95-240 (92 Stat. 107), 31 U.S.C. 724a.

    4. Revise § 1261.304 to read as follows:
    § 1261.304 Place of filing claim.

    A claim arising in the United States should be submitted to the Chief Counsel of the NASA installation whose activities are believed to have given rise to the claimed injury, loss, or death. If the identity of such installation is not known, or if the claim arose in a foreign country, the claim should be submitted to the General Counsel, Headquarters, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546.

    5. Amend § 1261.307 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 1261.307 Time limitations.

    (b) A claim may not be acted upon pursuant to 51 U.S.C. 20113(m)(1) or (2) unless it is presented to NASA within two years after the occurrence of the accident or incident out of which the claim arose.

    6. Amend § 1261.308 by revising paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 1261.308 NASA officials authorized to act upon claims.

    (c) Claims of $10,000 or more, pursuant either to the Federal Tort Claims Act, or 51 U.S.C. 20113(m), shall be acted upon only with the prior approval of the General Counsel. Such claims shall be forwarded to the General Counsel for approval, if the Chief Counsel or the Associate General Counsel for General Law is of the opinion that the claim may be meritorious and otherwise suitable for settlement under any authority. A claim so forwarded should be accompanied by a report of the facts of the claim, based upon such investigation as may be appropriate, and a recommendation as to the action to be taken.

    (d) Claims acted upon by NASA officials pursuant to this section shall be acted upon pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, or 51 U.S.C. 20113(m)(1) or (2), as the NASA official deems appropriate.

    7. Amend § 1261.312 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1261.312 Action on approved claims.

    (a) Upon settlement of a claim, the official designated in § 1261.308 will prepare and have executed by the claimant a Voucher for Payment of Tort Claims (NASA Form 616) if the claim has been acted upon pursuant to 51 U.S.C. 20113(m), or a Voucher for Payment under Federal Tort Claims Act (Standard Form 1145) if the claim has been acted upon pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The form will then be referred to the cognizant NASA installation fiscal or financial management office for appropriate action.

    8. Amend § 1261.315 by revising paragraphs (b) introductory text and (c) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 1261.315 Procedures for the handling of lawsuits against NASA employees arising within the scope of their office or employment.

    (b) Upon receipt of such process and pleadings, the Associate General Counsel for General Law or the Chief Counsel of the NASA installation receiving the same shall furnish to the U.S. Attorney for the district embracing the place where the action or proceeding is brought and, if appropriate, the Director, Torts Branch, Civil Division, Department of Justice, the following:

    (c) The Associate General Counsel for General Law or a Chief Counsel acting pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section shall submit the following documents to the General Counsel, who is hereby designated to receive such documents on behalf of the Administrator:

    9. Amend § 1261.317 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 1261.317 Attorney-client privilege.

    (b) Any adverse information communicated by the client-employee to an Agency attorney during the course of such attorney-client relationship shall not be disclosed to anyone, either inside or outside NASA, other than attorneys responsible for representation of the employee, unless such disclosure is authorized by the employee. Such adverse information shall continue to be fully protected whether or not representation is provided and even though representation may be denied or discontinued.

    Subpart 1261.4—Collection of Civil Claims of the United States Arising Out of the Activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 10. Amend § 1261.402 by revising paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 1261.402 Delegation of authority.

    (b) For Headquarters, with regard to subpart 1261.4 and subpart 1261.5: The Associate Administrator for Mission Support or a designee who reports directly to the Associate Administrator for Mission Support. A copy of such designation, if any, shall be sent to the Director, Financial Management Division, NASA Headquarters.

    (c) With respect to the analysis required by § 1261.413: The NASA Chief Financial Officer or designee.

    (d) NASA-wide, with regard to subpart 1261.6: The NASA Chief Financial Officer or designee.

    (e) NASA-wide, for complying with pertinent provisions under these regulations for agency hearing or review (see §§ 1261.408(b), 1261.503, and 1261.603(c)): The NASA General Counsel or designee.

    11. Amend § 1261.403 by revising paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 1261.403 Consultation with appropriate officials; negotiation.

    (a) The authority pursuant to § 1261.402 to determine to forgo collection of interest, to accept payment of a claim in installments, or, as to claims which do not exceed $100,000, exclusive of interest and related charges, to compromise a claim or to refrain from doing so, or to refrain from, suspend, or terminate collection action, shall be exercised only after consultation with legal counsel for the particular installation and the following NASA officials or designees, who may also be requested to negotiate the appropriate agreements or arrangements with the debtor:

    12. Amend § 1261.405 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1261.405 Subdivision of claims not authorized; other administrative proceedings.

    (a) Subdivision of claims. Claims may not be subdivided to avoid the $100,000 ceiling, exclusive of interest, penalties, and administrative costs, for purposes of compromise (§ 1261.414) or suspension or termination of collection (§ 1261.416). The debtor's liability arising from a particular transaction or contract shall be considered a single claim (31 CFR 900.6).

    13. Amend § 1261.407 by adding paragraph (b)(4) to read as follows:

    (b) * * *

    (4) The name, address, and phone number of a contact person or office within the Agency.

    14. Amend § 1261.408 by revising paragraph (b)(2)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 1261.408 Use of consumer reporting agency.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) If a current address is available, notifying the individual by certified mail, return receipt requested, that: The designated NASA official has reviewed the claim and determined that it is valid and overdue; within not less than 60 days after sending this notice, NASA intends to disclose to a consumer reporting agency the specific information to be disclosed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section; the individual may request a complete explanation of the claim, dispute the information in the records of NASA about the claim, and file for an administrative review or repeal of the claim or for reconsideration of the initial decision on the claim.

    15. Amend § 1261.409 by revising paragraph (a) introductory text, adding paragraph (a)(5), revising paragraph (b), and adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 1261.409 Contracting for collection services.

    (a) When NASA determines that there is a need to contract for collection services, the following conditions shall apply:

    (5) The debt must not be subject to mandatory transfer to the Department of the Treasury for collection. See 31 CFR 901.5(a) and (b).

    (b) NASA shall use Government-wide debt collection contracts to obtain debt collection services provided by private collection contractors. See 31 CFR 901.5(b).

    (c) NASA shall fund private collection contractor contracts in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3728(d) or as otherwise permitted by law. See 31 CFR 901.5(c).

    16. Amend § 1261.411 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1261.411 Collection in installments.

    (a) Whenever feasible, and except as otherwise provided by law, debts owed to the United States, together with interest penalties, and administrative costs as required by § 1261.412, should be collected in full in one lump sum. This is true whether the debt is being collected by administrative offset or by another method, including voluntary payment. However, if the debtor is financially unable to pay the indebtedness in one lump sum, payment may be accepted in regular installments. Debtors who represent that they are unable to pay the debt in one lump sum must submit justification, including financial statements. If NASA agrees to accept payment in regular installments, it will obtain a legally enforceable written agreement from the debtor which specifies all of the terms of the arrangement and which contains a provision accelerating the debt in the event the debtor defaults. The size and frequency of installment payments should bear a reasonable relation to the size of the debt and the debtor's ability to pay. If possible, the installment payments should be sufficient in size and frequency to liquidate the Government's claim in not more than three years. Installment payments of less than $50 per month should be accepted only if justifiable on the grounds of financial hardship or similar reasonable cause. If the claim is unsecured, an executed confess-judgment note should be obtained from a debtor when the total amount of the deferred installments will exceed $750. Such notes may be sought when an unsecured obligation of a lesser amount is involved. When attempting to obtain confess-judgment notes, the debtor should be provided with written explanation of the consequences of signing the note, and documentation should be maintained sufficient to demonstrate that the debtor has signed the note knowingly and voluntarily. Security for deferred payments other than a confess-judgment note may be accepted in appropriate cases. NASA, at its option, may accept installment payments notwithstanding the refusal of a debtor to execute a confess-judgment note or to give other security.

    17. Amend § 1261.412 by revising paragraph (i)(1)(iv) and (i)(2) to read as follows:
    § 1261.412 Interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

    (i) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) To debts arising under the Social Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code, or the tariff laws of the United States.

    (2) NASA may, however, assess interest and related charges on debts which are not subject to 31 U.S.C. 3717 to the extent authorized under the common law or applicable statutory authority.

    18. Amend § 1261.413 by revising the introductory text to read as follows:
    § 1261.413 Analysis of costs; automation; prevention of overpayments, delinquencies, or defaults.

    The Office of the NASA Chief Financial Officer will:

    19. Amend § 1261.414 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 1261.414 Compromise of claims.

    (a) Designated NASA officials (see §§ 1261.402 and 1261.403) may compromise claims for money or property arising out of the activities of the Agency where the claim, exclusive of interest, penalties, and administrative costs, does not exceed $100,000, prior to the referral of such claims to the Government Accountability Office, or to the Department of Justice for litigation. The Comptroller General may exercise such compromise authority with respect to claims referred to the Government Accountability Office prior to their further referral for litigation. Only the Comptroller General may effect the compromise of a claim that arises out of an exception made by the Government Accountability Office in the account of an accountable officer, including a claim against the payee, prior to its referral by the Government Accountability Office for litigation.

    (b) When the claim, exclusive of interest, penalties, and administrative costs, exceeds $100,000, the authority to accept the compromise rests solely with the Department of Justice. NASA should evaluate the offer, using the factors set forth in paragraphs (c) through (f) of this section, and may recommend compromise for reasons under one, or more than one, of those paragraphs. If NASA then wishes to accept the compromise, it must refer the matter to the Department of Justice, using the Claims Collection Litigation Report. See § 1261.417(e) or 31 CFR 904.2(c). Claims for which the gross amount is over $200,000 shall be referred to the Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530. Claims for which the gross original amount is $200,000 or less shall be referred to the United States Attorney in whose judicial district the debtor can be found. The referral should specify the reasons for the Agency's recommendation. If NASA has a debtor's firm written offer of compromise which is substantial in amount and the Agency is uncertain as to whether the offer should be accepted, it may refer the offer, the supporting data, and particulars concerning the claim to the Government Accountability Office or to the Department of Justice. The Government Accountability Office or the Department of Justice may act upon such an offer or return it to the agency with instructions or advice. If NASA wishes to reject the compromise, Government Accountability Office or Department of Justice approval is not required.

    20. Amend § 1261.416 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), (c)(3)(iii) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 1261.416 Suspending or terminating collection action.

    (a) The standards set forth in this section apply to the suspension or termination of collection action pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3711(a)(3) on claims which do not exceed $100,000, exclusive of interest, penalties, and administrative costs, after deducting the amount of partial payments or collections, if any. NASA may suspend or terminate collection action under this part with respect to claims for money or property arising out of activities of the Agency, prior to the referral of such claims to the Government Accountability Office or to the Department of Justice for litigation. The Comptroller General (or designee) may exercise such authority with respect to claims referred to the Government Accountability Office prior to their further referral for litigation.

    (b) If, after deducting the amount of partial payments or collections, if any, a claim exceeds $100,000, exclusive of interest, penalties, and administrative costs, the authority to suspend or terminate rests solely with the Department of Justice. If the designated official believes suspension or termination may be appropriate, the matter should be evaluated using the factors set forth in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. If the Agency concludes that suspension or termination is appropriate, it must refer the matter, with its reasons for the recommendation, to the Department of Justice, using the Claims Collection Litigation Report. See § 1261.417(e) or 31 CFR 904.2(c). If NASA decides not to suspend or terminate collection action on the claim, Department of Justice approval is not required; or if it determines that its claim is plainly erroneous or clearly without legal merit, it may terminate collection action regardless of the amount involved, without the need for Department of Justice concurrence.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (iii) Collection of the debt will cause undue hardship on the debtor.

    (e) Transfer of claim. When NASA has doubt as to whether collection action should be suspended or terminated on a claim, it may refer the claim to the Government Accountability Office for advice. When a significant enforcement policy is involved in reducing a statutory penalty or forfeiture to judgment, or recovery of a judgment is a prerequisite to the imposition of administrative sanctions, such as the suspension or revocation of a license or the privilege of participating in a Government-sponsored program, NASA may refer such a claim for litigation even though termination of collection activity might otherwise be given consideration under paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section. Claims on which NASA holds a judgment by assignment or otherwise will be referred to the Department of Justice for further action if renewal of the judgment lien or enforced collection proceedings are justified under the criteria discussed in this section.

    21. Amend § 1261.417 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 1261.417 Referral to Department of Justice or Government Accountability Office.

    (c) When the merits of the claim, the amount owed on the claim, or the propriety of acceptance of a proposed compromise, suspension, or termination are in doubt, the designated official should refer the matter to the Government Accountability Office for resolution and instructions prior to proceeding with collection action and/or referral to the Department of Justice for litigation.

    (d) Once a claim has been referred to the Government Accountability Office or to the Department of Justice pursuant to this section, NASA shall refrain from having any contact with the debtor about the pending claim and shall direct the debtor to the Government Accountability Office or to the Department of Justice, as appropriate, when questions concerning the claim are raised by the debtor. The Government Accountability Office or the Department of Justice, as appropriate, shall be immediately notified by NASA of any payments which are received from the debtor subsequent to referral of a claim under this section.

    22. Add § 1261.418 to read as follows:
    § 1261.418 Transfer of debts to Treasury for collection.

    Unless subject to an exception identified in 31 CFR 285.12(d), NASA shall transfer any debt that is more than 180 days delinquent to the Financial Management Service for debt collection services in accordance with the procedures described in 31 CFR 285.12.

    Subpart 1261.5—Administrative Offset of Claims 23. Amend § 1261.500 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 1261.500 Scope of subpart.

    (a) This subpart applies to collection of claims by administrative offset under section 5 of the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 as amended by the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 3716), other statutory authority, or the common law; it does not include “Salary Offset,” which is governed by subpart 1261.6, infra.

    (b) NASA shall refer past due, legally enforceable nontax debts which are over 180 days delinquent to the Secretary of the Treasury for collection by centralized administrative offset. For purposes of debts governed by this provision, NASA adopts and will follow the procedures established by the Department of the Treasury in 31 CFR 901.3.

    (c) For claims not subject to mandatory transfer to the Department of the Treasury pursuant to paragraph (b), NASA may consider ad hoc non-centralized administrative offset of claims at its sole discretion. Any ad hoc non-centralized administrative offset of claims will be conducted consistent with the requirements of 31 CFR 901.3(c).

    24. Amend § 1261.503 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(2), (b), and (c) to read as follows:
    § 1261.503 Agency records inspection; hearing or review.

    (a) NASA shall provide the debtor with a reasonable opportunity for a live, telephonic, or video-teleconference hearing when:

    (2) Unless otherwise required by law, a hearing under this section is not required to be a formal evidentiary-type hearing, although significant matters discussed at the hearing should be documented. See 31 CFR 901.3(e)(1). Such hearing may be an informal discussion/interview with the debtor, face-to-face meeting between debtor and cognizant NASA personnel, or written formal submission by the debtor and response by the NASA cognizant personnel with an opportunity for oral presentation. The hearing will be conducted before or in the presence of an official as designated by the NASA General Counsel on a case-by-case basis. The hearing is not an adversarial adjudication and need not take the form of an evidentiary hearing. However, depending on the particular facts and circumstances, the hearing may be analogous to a fact-finding proceeding with oral presentations; or an informal meeting with or interview of the employee; or formal written submissions, with an opportunity for oral presentation, and decision based on the available written record. Ordinarily, hearings may consist of informal conferences before the hearing official in which the employee and Agency officials will be given full opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, and argument. The employee may represent himself or herself or be represented by an individual of his or her choice at no cost to the United States. The hearing official must maintain or provide for a summary record of the hearing provided under this subpart. The decision of the reviewing/hearing official should be communicated in writing (no particular form is required) to the affected parties and will constitute the final administrative decision of the Agency.

    (b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not require a hearing with respect to debt collection systems, as determinations of indebtedness or waiver from these rarely involve issues of credibility or veracity since NASA has determined that review of the written record is ordinarily an adequate means to correct prior mistakes. See 31 CFR 901.3(e)(3).

    (c) In those cases where a live, telephonic, or video-teleconference hearing is not required or granted, NASA will nevertheless accord the debtor an opportunity to submit any position regarding the matter by documentation and/or written presentation—that is, the Agency will make its determination on the request for waiver or reconsideration based upon a review of the available written record. See 31 CFR 901.3(e)(4). In such case, the responsible official or designee shall refer the request to the appropriate NASA Office of General Counsel or Chief Counsel for review and recommendation.

    25. Amend § 1261.507 by revising paragraph (e)(3) to read as follows:
    § 1261.507 Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

    (e) * * *

    (3) Provide or not provide a live, telephonic, or video-teleconference hearing.

    Subpart 1261.6—Collection by Offset From Indebted Government Employees 26. Amend § 1261.601 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 1261.601 Scope of subpart.

    (b) * * *

    (2) Waiver requests and claims to the Government Accountability Office. This subpart does not preclude an employee from requesting waiver of a salary overpayment under 5 U.S.C. 5584, 10 U.S.C. 2774, or 32 U.S.C. 716, or in any way questioning the amount or validity of a debt by submitting a subsequent claim to the Government Accountability Office in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Government Accountability Office. Similarly, in the case of other types of debts, it does not preclude an employee from requesting waiver, if waiver is available under any statutory provision pertaining to the particular debt being collected.

    27. Amend § 1261.603 by revising the introductory text and paragraphs (a) introductory text and (c)(2) and (5), removing paragraphs (c)(6) through (8), and revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 1261.603 Procedures for salary offset.

    If NASA determines that a Federal employee is indebted to the United States or is notified of such by the head of another agency (or delegee), the amount of indebtedness may be collected in monthly installments, or regularly established pay intervals, by deduction from the affected employee's pay account. The deductions may be made from basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or in the case of an employee not entitled to basic pay, from other authorized pay. The requirements in paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section must be met before a deduction is made from the current pay account of an employee.

    (a) Written notice. The employee must be sent a minimum of 30 days written notice prior to further offset action, which specifies:

    (c) * * *

    (2) The petition should be addressed to the Agency counsel designated in the notice, but the hearing will be conducted by an official not under the supervision or control of the NASA Administrator. The Agency Chief Financial Officer is authorized to appoint an administrative law judge or other Federal executive branch employee or official on a reimbursable or other basis. Notice of the name and address of the hearing official will be sent to the employee within 10 days of receipt of petition.

    (5) As for the conduct of any live, telephonic, or video teleconference hearing, for additional guidance see 14 CFR 1261.503.

    (e) Limitation on amount and duration of deductions. Ordinarily, debts are to be collected in one lump-sum payment. However, if the employee is financially unable to pay in one lump sum or if the amount of the debt exceeds 15 percent of disposable pay for an officially established pay interval, collection must be made in installments. The size of installment deductions must bear a reasonable relationship to the size of the debt and the employee's ability to pay (see 14 CFR 1261.411), but the amount deducted for any period must not exceed 15 percent of the disposable pay from which the deduction is made (unless the employee has agreed in writing to the deduction of a greater amount). Deduction must commence with the next full pay interval (ordinarily, the next biweekly pay period). Such installment deductions must be made over a period not greater than the anticipated period of active duty or employment, as the case may be, except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

    Nanette Smith, NASA Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13421 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN COMMISSION 18 CFR Parts 806 and 808 Review and Approval of Projects; Hearings and Enforcement Actions AGENCY:

    Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains rules that would amend the regulations of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (Commission) to clarify application requirements and standards for review of projects, add a subpart to provide for registration of grandfathered projects, and revise requirements dealing with hearings and enforcement actions. These rules are designed to enhance the Commission's existing authorities to manage the water resources of the basin and add regulatory clarity.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 1, 2017, except for the amendments to § 806.4(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2)(iv) and the addition of subpart E to part 806 which are effective January 1, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 4423 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-1788.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason E. Oyler, Esq., General Counsel, telephone: 717-238-0423, ext. 1312; fax: 717-238-2436; email: [email protected] Also, for further information on the final rulemaking, including the comment response document, visit the Commission's Web site at www.srbc.net.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2016 (81 FR 64812); New York Register on October 5, 2016; Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 8, 2016; and Maryland Register on October 14, 2017. The Commission convened four public hearings: On November 3, 2016, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; on November 9, 2016, in Binghamton, New York; on November 10, 2016, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and on December 8, 2016, in Annapolis, Maryland. A written comment period was held open through January 30, 2017.

    The Commission received 14 written public comments in addition to testimony received at the public hearings. The Commission has prepared a comment response document, which is available to the public at www.srbc.net. Comments that led to a change to the proposed rulemaking and their responses are discussed below.

    Registration of Grandfathered Projects, Subpart E and § 806.4(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2)(iv)

    Comment: The Commission should allow projects to register a grandfathered amount previously determined by the Commission if it is not seeking a higher amount through the registration process.

    Response: The Commission agrees that previous grandfathering determinations should be honored if the project wishes to register that amount. A new paragraph (c) is added in § 806.44 allowing the Executive Director to use past grandfathering determinations, and revisions are made to § 806.42(b) allowing the Commission to waive certain registration information if a project is relying on a past grandfathering determination.

    Comment: Ongoing reporting requirements need to be linked to member jurisdiction reporting to avoid duplication of effort and confusion.

    Response: The Commission agrees with the commenter that it is important to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort with state law requirements. Section 806.43(c) notes that if quantity reporting is required by the member jurisdiction where the project is located, the Commission may accept that reporting to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph. This evidences the Commission's intent to use its best efforts to accept state reporting requirements where appropriate. The Commission will add language to §§ 806.42(a)(6) and 806.43(c) to clarify its intention to rely on member jurisdiction reporting where it is able, and that any additional reporting required will be because it is not duplicated by the member jurisdiction. A new § 806.43(d) is added to emphasize the commitment of the Commission and its member jurisdiction to share all reporting data and to further the goal of creating a unified data set for all agencies involved.

    Comment: The proposed rule at § 806.4(a)(1)(iii)(A) and (a)(2)(iv)(A) changes the current rule that allows a grandfathered consumptive use an additional increase of up to 20,000 gpd and a grandfathered withdrawal an additional increase of up to 100,000 gpd before review and approval of the grandfathered activity is triggered. This leeway should be restored for grandfathered projects.

    Response: In most instances, the registration process will allow grandfathered projects sufficient margin for operational flexibility. However, the Commission agrees that the registration process should not put a project in jeopardy of needing review and approval subsequent to registration absent a change to the project. A new factor is added as § 806.44(b)(4) that allows the Executive Director to consider whether the grandfathered amount includes an operational margin of safety.

    Comment: The proposed rule provides that the determination of the grandfathered quantity will be based on the most recent data. This may be too restrictive and projects should be allowed to submit more than the last five years of data and where such data is submitted, the Executive Director should base the determination under § 806.44 on the peak 30-day average for withdrawals and consumptive uses shown by the data.

    Response: The Commission agrees that the factor as written could be clarified and the final rule reflects a revision to § 806.44(b)(1) to allow more than a minimum of five years of data to be submitted and that the Executive Director will consider the withdrawal and use data and the peak consecutive 30-day average shown by all the data submitted.

    Consumptive Use Mitigation, § 806.22

    Comments: The Commission should not adopt the Consumptive Use Mitigation Policy and the changes to the Consumptive Use Mitigation Rule.

    The Commission should not shift the responsibility for physical consumptive use mitigation to project sponsors because project sponsor based mitigation will be more balkanized and less effective and the Commission has powerful tools to set up projects to provide such mitigation from the Compact.

    The mitigation plan proposal should be removed or smaller projects should be able to have an abbreviated consumptive use mitigation alternative analysis.

    New consumptive use mitigation requirements should not be applied retroactively to existing projects upon renewal.

    The proposed rule should be revised to allow greater use of groundwater storage and quarries and be more flexible with respect to the “no impacts” to surface water requirements for such mitigation.

    The Commission should focus its mitigation requirements to the low flow period.

    All references to water critical planning areas should be removed. Article 11 of the Compact provides for designation of protected areas. This concept appears to circumvent those procedures.

    Water critical areas should not be based on member jurisdiction planning areas and it should not be a mechanism to require mitigation for pre-compact consumptive use.

    Response: The Commission has reviewed the detailed comments regarding how the Commission requires consumptive use mitigation and the options of projects to provide such mitigation. The Commission will further examine and reevaluate its policies and procedures for consumptive use and consumptive use mitigation in a more comprehensive fashion. As a result, the Commission will not move forward with the changes to the Consumptive Use Mitigation Policy and the consumptive use mitigation rule as follows. The definition of “water critical area” in § 806.3 is removed and all references to water critical areas are removed from §§ 806.22 and 808.1. The reference and changes associated with a mitigation plan in § 806.22(b) are removed. The changes associated with amending the 90 day mitigation requirement to 45 days in § 806.22(b)(1)(i) and (ii) are removed and reserved for the reevaluation process for consumptive use mitigation described above.

    Project Review Application Procedures and Standards for Review and Approval—18 CFR Part 806, Subparts B and C

    Comment: The Commission should clarify how the alternatives analysis under § 806.14(b)(2)(v) differs from the previous provision in the current rules at § 806.14(b)(1)(iii) and specify what is expected from applicants.

    Response: The purpose for this requirement is to document the project sponsor's consideration of alternatives during planning of the proposed project to include, but not be limited to, identification of reasonable alternatives to the proposed water withdrawal project, the extent of the project sponsor's economic and technical investigation, the adequacy of the source to meet the demand, an assessment of the potential environmental impact, and measures for avoidance or minimization of adverse impact of each alternative. Specifically, the alternatives analysis should include identification of reasonable alternative water sources and locations, including opportunities for uses of lesser quality waters; project footprint and infrastructure; opportunities for water conservation or water saving technology; requirements of the uses of the water as related to the proposed locations; the economic feasibility of the alternative(s) and technical opportunities or limitations identified in the evaluation of reasonable alternate sites. The Commission is preparing a draft policy to outline how alternative analyses should be conducted and evaluated, and will release it for public comment prior to consideration for Commission adoption. In addition, on final rulemaking, the Commission will adjust the language of § 806.14(b)(1)(v) to make clear that the analysis is needed only for new projects and for major modifications that seek to increase the surface water withdrawal.

    Comment: The Commission should reconcile the application requirements in § 806.14 to recognize that the potential for waiver of the aquifer testing requirements in § 806.12.

    Response: The Commission agrees and has revised § 806.14(b)(2)(i) and (d)(2)(i).

    Comment: The Commission should clarify whether renewals that involve a major modification should be handled under the new application and major modification standards in § 806.14(a) and (b) or in the renewal standards in § 806.14(c) and (d).

    Response: The Commission agrees that the rule should be clarified and proposes changes to § 806.14(c) and 806.14(d)(2), (4) and (6) to establish that renewal applications, with either minor or major modifications, are subject to § 806.14(c) and (d).

    Comment: The Commission should accept other types of certified mail proof of delivery beyond the US Postal Service under § 806.15(g).

    Response: The Commission agrees and § 806.15(g) is revised to include the verified return delivery receipt from a comparable delivery service to the U.S. Postal Service.

    Comment: The Commission should revise § 806.15(b)(3) to clarify which property is subject to the notice requirements and should read “where the property of such property owner is served by a public water supply.”

    Response: The Commission agrees and the final rulemaking is revised accordingly.

    Comment: The Commission should exempt AMD passive treatment systems from the requirements for mining and construction dewatering under §§ 806.14(b)(6) and (d)(6) and 806.23(b)(5).

    Response: The Commission has not extended its review jurisdiction over passive AMD treatment facilities and nothing in the proposed rule was meant to alter that long standing determination. Accordingly, the final rule contains revisions to §§ 806.14(b)(6) and (d)(6) and 806.23(b)(5) to remove the word “gravity-drained” and clarify its application to “AMD facilities that qualify as a withdrawal.”

    Miscellaneous Changes

    Comment: Including in § 808.2(a) that the 30 day appeal period can run from publication on the Commission's Web site creates issues, including knowing whether the appeal period runs from publication on the Web site or the Federal Register and the fact that it is not always clear when something is posted to a Web site or is easily found on the Web site.

    Response: The final rule revises § 808.2(a) to remove this language. The 30-day appeal period for third party appeals will run from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    Comment: The addition of “or other fluids associated with the development of natural gas resources” to the definition of “production fluids” under § 806.3 is inaccurate and over-inclusive. The revised definition of production fluids would cause confusion with the member jurisdiction terminology. The commenter is supportive of the stated goal of this change and proposed additional language to be added in other parts of regulations.

    Response: The final rule removes the change to the definition of “production fluid.” The revision proposed by the commenter will be evaluated for inclusion in a future rulemaking.

    Comment: The addition of “consumptive use” to the definition of “facility” in § 806.3 is unwarranted as the definition of “facility” matches the definition in the Compact.

    Response: The final rule will remove the amendment to the definition of “facility”. However, the definition of facility includes plants, structures, machinery and equipment acquired, constructed, operated or maintained for the beneficial use of water resources that includes the consumptive use of water.

    The Commission also is making additional housekeeping changes on the final rulemaking:

    (1) § 806.6(b)(6) (related to transfers of approvals) was added to recognize registered grandfathered aspects of a project under subpart E.

    (2) The phrase “hydro report” in § 806.14(d)(2)(ii) was clarified to “hydrogeologic report”.

    (3) The word “Commission's” is removed from § 806.41(c).

    Transition Issues

    As noted in the DATES section, this rule will take effect on July 1, 2017, with the exception of the adoption of subpart E (related to registration of grandfathered projects) and the corresponding changes to § 806.4(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(2)(iv), which take effect on January 1, 2018.

    Coincident with the authorization to adopt this final rulemaking, the Commission also adopted a Regulatory Program Fee Schedule that sets forth the fee for registration for grandfathered projects. This fee schedule is available on the Commission's Web site at www.srbc.net/policies/policies.htm.

    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Parts 806 and 808

    Administrative practice and procedure, Water resources.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission amends 18 CFR parts 806 and 808 as follows:

    PART 806—REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF PROJECTS 1. The authority citation for part 806 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 3.4, 3.5(5), 3.8, 3.10 and 15.2, Pub. L. 91-575, 84 Stat. 1509, et seq.

    2. Amend § 806.1 by revising paragraphs (a) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 806.1806.1 Scope.

    (a) This part establishes the scope and procedures for review and approval of projects under section 3.10 of the Susquehanna River Basin Compact, Pub. L. 91-575, 84 Stat. 1509, et seq., (the compact) and establishes special standards under section 3.4(2) of the compact governing water withdrawals, the consumptive use of water, and diversions. The special standards established pursuant to section 3.4(2) shall be applicable to all water withdrawals and consumptive uses in accordance with the terms of those standards, irrespective of whether such withdrawals and uses are also subject to project review under section 3.10. This part, and every other part of 18 CFR chapter VIII, shall also be incorporated into and made a part of the comprehensive plan.

    (f) Any Commission forms or documents referenced in this part may be obtained from the Commission at 4423 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110, or from the Commission's Web site at www.srbc.net.

    3. In § 806.3, add, in alphabetical order, a definition for “Wetlands” to read as follows:
    § 806.3806.3 Definitions.

    Wetlands. Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

    4. Amend § 806.4 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(1)(iii), (a)(2) introductory text, and (a)(2)(iv) and adding paragraph (a)(3)(vii) to read as follows:
    § 806.4806.4 Projects requiring review and approval.

    (a) Except for activities relating to site evaluation, to aquifer testing under § 806.12 or to those activities authorized under § 806.34, no person shall undertake any of the following projects without prior review and approval by the Commission. The project sponsor shall submit an application in accordance with subpart B of this part and shall be subject to the applicable standards in subpart C of this part.

    (1) * * *

    (iii) With respect to projects that existed prior to January 23, 1971, any project:

    (A) Registered in accordance with subpart E of this part that increases its consumptive use by any amount over the quantity determined under § 806.44;

    (B) Increasing its consumptive use to an average of 20,000 gpd or more in any consecutive 30-day period; or

    (C) That fails to register its consumptive use in accordance with subpart E of this part.

    (2) Withdrawals. Any project, including all of its sources, described below shall require an application to be submitted in accordance with § 806.13, and shall be subject to the standards set forth in §§ 806.21 and 806.23. Hydroelectric projects, except to the extent that such projects involve a withdrawal, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section regarding withdrawals; provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph (a)(2) shall be construed as exempting hydroelectric projects from review and approval under any other category of project requiring review and approval as set forth in this section, § 806.5, or part 801 of this chapter. The taking or removal of water by a public water supplier indirectly through another public water supply system or another water user's facilities shall constitute a withdrawal hereunder.

    (iv) With respect to groundwater projects that existed prior to July 13, 1978, surface water projects that existed prior to November 11, 1995, or projects that existed prior to January 1, 2007, with multiple sources involving a withdrawal of a consecutive 30-day average of 100,000 gpd or more that did not require Commission review and approval, any project:

    (A) Registered in accordance with subpart E of this part that increases its withdrawal by any amount over the quantity determined under § 806.44;

    (B) Increasing its withdrawal individually or cumulatively from all sources to an average of 100,000 gpd or more in any consecutive 30-day period; or

    (C) That fails to register its withdrawals in accordance with subpart E of this part.

    (3) * * *

    (vii) The diversion of any flowback or production fluids from hydrocarbon development projects located outside the basin to an in-basin treatment or disposal facility authorized under separate government approval to accept flowback or production fluids, shall not be subject to separate review and approval as a diversion under this paragraph (c)(3), provided the fluids are handled, transported and stored in compliance with all standards and requirements of the applicable member jurisdiction.

    5. Amend § 806.6 by adding paragraph (b)(6) to read as follows:
    § 806.6806.6 Transfer of approvals.

    (b) * * *

    (6) The project is registered under subpart E of this part.

    6. Amend § 806.11 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 806.11 Preliminary consultations.

    (b) Except for project sponsors of electric power generation projects under § 801.12(c)(2) of this chapter, preliminary consultation is optional for the project sponsor (except with respect to aquifer test plans under § 806.12) but shall not relieve the sponsor from complying with the requirements of the compact or with this part.

    7. Amend § 806.12 by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 806.12 Constant-rate aquifer testing.

    (a) Prior to submission of an application pursuant to § 806.13, a project sponsor seeking approval for a new groundwater withdrawal, a renewal of an expiring groundwater withdrawal, or an increase of a groundwater withdrawal shall perform a constant-rate aquifer test in accordance with this section.

    (f) Review of submittals under this section may be terminated by the Commission in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 806.16.

    8. Revise § 806.14 to read as follows:
    § 806.14 Contents of application.

    (a) Applications for a new project or a major modification to an existing approved project shall include, but not be limited to, the following information and, where applicable, shall be subject to the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section and submitted on forms and in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

    (1) Identification of project sponsor including any and all proprietors, corporate officers or partners, the mailing address of the same, and the name of the individual authorized to act for the sponsor.

    (2) Project location, including latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees accurate to within 10 meters, the project location displayed on a map with a 7.5-minute USGS topographic base, and evidence of legal access to the property upon which the project is proposed.

    (3) Project description, including: Purpose, proposed quantity to be withdrawn or consumed, if applicable, and identification of all water sources related to the project including location and date of initiation of each source.

    (4) Anticipated impact of the project, including impacts on existing water withdrawals, nearby surface waters, and threatened or endangered species and their habitats.

    (5) The reasonably foreseeable need for the proposed quantity of water to be withdrawn or consumed, including supporting calculations, and the projected demand for the term of the approval.

    (6) A metering plan that adheres to § 806.30.

    (7) Evidence of coordination and compliance with member jurisdictions regarding all necessary permits or approvals required for the project from other federal, state or local government agencies having jurisdiction over the project.

    (8) Project estimated completion date and estimated construction schedule.

    (9) Draft notices required by § 806.15.

    (10) The Commission may also require the following information as deemed necessary:

    (i) Engineering feasibility.

    (ii) Ability of the project sponsor to fund the project.

    (b) Additional information is required for a new project or a major modification to an existing approved project as follows.

    (1) Surface water. (i) Water use and availability.

    (ii) Project setting, including surface water characteristics, identification of wetlands, and site development considerations.

    (iii) Description and design of intake structure.

    (iv) Anticipated impact of the proposed project on local flood risk, recreational uses, fish and wildlife, and natural environment features.

    (v) For new projects and major modifications to increase a withdrawal, alternatives analysis for a withdrawal proposed in settings with a drainage area of 50 miles square or less, or in a waterway with exceptional water quality, or as required by the Commission.

    (2) Groundwater—(i) With the exception of mining related withdrawals solely for the purpose of dewatering; construction dewatering withdrawals and withdrawals for the sole purpose of groundwater or below water table remediation generally which are addressed in paragraph (b)(6) of this section, the project sponsor shall provide an interpretative report that includes all monitoring and results of a constant-rate aquifer test consistent with § 806.12 and an updated groundwater availability estimate if changed from the aquifer test plan, unless a request for a waiver of the requirements of § 806.12 is granted. The project sponsor shall obtain Commission approval of the test procedures prior to initiation of the constant-rate aquifer test.

    (ii) Water use and availability.

    (iii) Project setting, including nearby surface water features.

    (iv) Groundwater elevation monitoring plan for all production wells.

    (v) Alternatives analysis as required by the Commission.

    (3) Consumptive use. (i) Consumptive use calculations, and a mitigation plan consistent with § 806.22(b).

    (ii) Water conservation methods, design or technology proposed or considered.

    (iii) Alternatives analysis as required by the Commission.

    (4) Into basin diversions. (i) Provide the necessary information to demonstrate that the proposed project will meet the standards in § 806.24(c).

    (ii) Identification of the source and water quality characteristics of the water to be diverted.

    (5) Out of basin diversions. (i) Provide the necessary information to demonstrate that the proposed project will meet the standards in § 806.24(b).

    (ii) Project setting.

    (6) Other projects. Other projects, including without limitation, mine dewatering, construction dewatering, water resources remediation projects, and AMD remediation facilities that qualify as a withdrawal.

    (i) In lieu of aquifer testing, report(s) prepared for any other purpose or as required by other governmental regulatory agencies that provides a demonstration of the hydrogeologic and/or hydrologic effects and limits of said effects due to operation of the proposed project and effects on local water availability.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (c) All applications for renewal of expiring approved projects, including those with minor or major modifications, shall include, but not be limited to, the following information, and, where applicable, shall be subject to the requirements in paragraph (d) of this section and submitted on forms and in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

    (1) Identification of project sponsor including any and all proprietors, corporate officers or partners, the mailing address of the same, and the name of the individual authorized to act for the sponsor.

    (2) Project location, including latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees accurate to within 10 meters, the project location displayed on map with a 7.5-minute USGS topographic base, and evidence of legal access to the property upon which the project is located.

    (3) Project description, to include, but not be limited to: Purpose, proposed quantity to be withdrawn or consumed if applicable, identification of all water sources related to the project including location and date of initiation of each source, and any proposed project modifications.

    (4) The reasonably foreseeable need for the requested renewal of the quantity of water to be withdrawn or consumed, including supporting calculations, and the projected demand for the term of the approval.

    (5) An as-built and approved metering plan.

    (6) Copies of permits from member jurisdictions regarding all necessary permits or approvals obtained for the project from other federal, state, or local government agencies having jurisdiction over the project.

    (7) Copy of any approved mitigation or monitoring plan and any related as-built for the expiring project.

    (8) Demonstration of registration of all withdrawals or consumptive uses in accordance with the applicable state requirements.

    (9) Draft notices required by § 806.15.

    (d) Additional information is required for the following applications for renewal of expiring approved projects.

    (1) Surface water. (i) Historic water use quantities and timing of use.

    (ii) Changes to stream flow or quality during the term of the expiring approval.

    (iii) Changes to the facility design.

    (iv) Any proposed changes to the previously authorized purpose.

    (2) Groundwater—(i) The project sponsor shall provide an interpretative report that includes all monitoring and results of any constant-rate aquifer testing previously completed or submitted to support the original approval. In lieu of a testing report, historic operational data pumping and elevation data may be considered, as a request for waiver of the requirements of § 806.12. Those projects that did not have constant-rate aquifer testing completed for the original approval that was consistent with § 806.12 or sufficient historic operational pumping and groundwater elevation data may be required to complete constant-rate aquifer testing consistent with § 806.12, prepare and submit an interpretative report that includes all monitoring and results of any constant-rate aquifer test.

    (ii) An interpretative report providing analysis and comparison of current and historic water withdrawal and groundwater elevation data with previously completed hydrogeologic report.

    (iii) Current groundwater availability analysis assessing the availability of water during a 1-in-10 year recurrence interval under the existing conditions within the recharge area and predicted for term of renewal (i.e., other users, discharges, and land development within the groundwater recharge area).

    (iv) Groundwater elevation monitoring plan for all production wells.

    (v) Changes to the facility design.

    (vi) Any proposed changes to the previously authorized purpose.

    (3) Consumptive use. (i) Consumptive use calculations, and a copy of the approved plan or method for mitigation consistent with § 806.22.

    (ii) Changes to the facility design.

    (iii) Any proposed changes to the previously authorized purpose.

    (4) Into basin diversion. (i) Provide the necessary information to demonstrate that the proposed project will meet the standards in § 806.24(c).

    (ii) Identification of the source and water quality characteristics of the water to be diverted.

    (iii) Changes to the facility design.

    (iv) Any proposed changes to the previously authorized purpose.

    (5) Out of basin diversion. (i) Historic water use quantities and timing of use.

    (ii) Changes to stream flow or quality during the term of the expiring approval.

    (iii) Changes to the facility design.

    (iv) Any proposed changes to the previously authorized purpose,

    (6) Other projects. Other projects, including without limitation, mine dewatering, water resources remediation projects, and AMD facilities that qualify as a withdrawal.

    (i) Copy of approved report(s) prepared for any other purpose or as required by other governmental regulatory agencies that provides a demonstration of the hydrogeologic and/or hydrologic effects and limits of said effects due to operation of the project and effects on local water availability.

    (ii) Any data or reports that demonstrate effects of the project are consistent with those reports provided in paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section.

    (iii) Demonstration of continued need for expiring approved water source and quantity.

    (iv) Changes to the facility design.

    (v) Any proposed changes to the previously authorized purpose.

    (e) A report about the project prepared for any other purpose, or an application for approval prepared for submission to a member jurisdiction, may be accepted by the Commission provided the said report or application addresses all necessary items on the Commission's form or listed in this section, as appropriate.

    (f) Applications for minor modifications must be complete and will be on a form and in a manner prescribed by the Commission. Applications for minor modifications must contain the following:

    (1) Description of the project;

    (2) Description of all sources, consumptive uses and diversions related to the project;

    (3) Description of the requested modification;

    (4) Statement of the need for the requested modification; and

    (5) Demonstration that the anticipated impact of the requested modification will not adversely impact the water resources of the basin.

    (g) For any applications, the Executive Director or Commission may require other information not otherwise listed in this section.

    9. Amend § 806.15 by revising paragraph (a), adding paragraph (b)(3), and revising paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 806.15 Notice of application.

    (a) Except with respect to paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section, any project sponsor submitting an application to the Commission shall provide notice thereof to the appropriate agency of the member State, each municipality in which the project is located, and the county and the appropriate county agencies in which the project is located. The project sponsor shall also publish notice of submission of the application at least once in a newspaper of general circulation serving the area in which the project is located. The project sponsor shall also meet any of the notice requirements set forth in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section, if applicable. All notices required under this section shall be provided or published no later than 20 days after submission of the application to the Commission and shall contain a description of the project, its purpose, the requested quantity of water to be withdrawn, obtained from sources other than withdrawals, or consumptively used, and the address, electronic mail address, and phone number of the project sponsor and the Commission. All such notices shall be in a form and manner as prescribed by the Commission.

    (b) * * *

    (3) For groundwater withdrawal applications, the Commission or Executive Director may allow notification of property owners through alternate methods where the property of such property owner is served by a public water supply.

    (g) The project sponsor shall provide the Commission with a copy of the United States Postal Service return receipt or the verified return receipt from a comparable delivery service for the notifications to agencies of member States, municipalities and appropriate county agencies required under paragraph (a) of this section. The project sponsor shall also provide certification on a form provided by the Commission that it has published the newspaper notice(s) required by this section and made the landowner notifications as required under paragraph (b) of this section, if applicable. Until these items are provided to the Commission, processing of the application will not proceed. The project sponsor shall maintain all proofs of publication and records of notices sent under this section for the duration of the approval related to such notices.

    10. Amend § 806.21 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c)(1) to read as follows:
    § 806.21 General standards.

    (a) A project shall be feasible and not be detrimental to the proper conservation, development, management, or control of the water resources of the basin.

    (c) * * *

    (1) The Commission may suspend the review of any application under this part if the project is subject to the lawful jurisdiction of any member jurisdiction or any political subdivision thereof, and such member jurisdiction or political subdivision has disapproved or denied the project. Where such disapproval or denial is reversed on appeal, the appeal is final, and the project sponsor provides the Commission with a certified copy of the decision, the Commission shall resume its review of the application. Where, however, an application has been suspended hereunder for a period greater than three years, the Commission may terminate its review. Thereupon, the Commission shall notify the project sponsor of such termination and that the application fee paid by the project sponsor is forfeited. The project sponsor may reactivate the terminated application by reapplying to the Commission, providing evidence of its receipt of all necessary governmental approvals and, at the discretion of the Commission, submitting new or updated information.

    11. Amend § 806.22 by revising paragraphs (b) introductory text, (b)(3), (e), and (f)(3) and (9) to read as follows:
    § 806.22 Standards for consumptive use of water.

    (b) Mitigation. All project sponsors whose consumptive use of water is subject to review and approval under § 806.4, § 806.5, § 806.6, or § 806.17 shall mitigate such consumptive use. Except to the extent that the project involves the diversion of the waters out of the basin, public water supplies shall be exempt from the requirements of this section regarding consumptive use; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt individual consumptive users connected to any such public water supply from the requirements of this section. Mitigation may be provided by one or a combination of the following:

    (3) Provide monetary payment to the Commission, for all water consumptively used over the course of a year, in an amount and manner prescribed by the Commission.

    (e) Approval by rule for consumptive uses. (1) General rule. Except with respect to projects involving hydrocarbon development subject to the provisions of paragraph (f) of this section, any project who is solely supplied water for consumptive use by public water supply may be approved by the Executive Director under this paragraph (e) in accordance with the following, unless the Executive Director determines that the project cannot be adequately regulated under this approval by rule.

    (2) Notification of intent. Prior to undertaking a project or increasing a previously approved quantity of consumptive use, the project sponsor shall submit a notice of intent (NOI) on forms prescribed by the Commission, and the appropriate application fee, along with any required attachments.

    (3) Time of notice. Within 20 days after submittal of an NOI under paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the project sponsor shall satisfy the notice requirements set forth in § 806.15.

    (4) Metering, daily use monitoring, and quarterly reporting. The project sponsor shall comply with metering, daily use monitoring, and quarterly reporting as specified in § 806.30.

    (5) Standard conditions. The standard conditions set forth in § 806.21 shall apply to projects approved by rule.

    (6) Mitigation. The project sponsor shall comply with mitigation in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) or (3) of this section.

    (7) Compliance with other laws. The project sponsor shall obtain all necessary permits or approvals required for the project from other federal, state or local government agencies having jurisdiction over the project. The Commission reserves the right to modify, suspend or revoke any approval under this paragraph (e) if the project sponsor fails to obtain or maintain such approvals.

    (8) Decision. The Executive Director may grant, deny, suspend, revoke, modify or condition an approval to operate under this approval by rule, or renew an existing approval by rule previously granted hereunder, and will notify the project sponsor of such determination, including the quantity of consumptive use approved.

    (9) Term. Approval by rule shall be effective upon written notification from the Executive Director to the project sponsor, shall expire 15 years from the date of such notification, and shall be deemed to rescind any previous consumptive use approvals.

    (f) * * *

    (3) Within 20 days after submittal of an NOI under paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the project sponsor shall satisfy the notice requirements set forth in § 806.15.

    (9) The Executive Director may grant, deny, suspend, revoke, modify or condition an approval to operate under this approval by rule, or renew an existing approval by rule granted hereunder, and will notify the project sponsor of such determination, including the sources and quantity of consumptive use approved. The issuance of any approval hereunder shall not be construed to waive or exempt the project sponsor from obtaining Commission approval for any water withdrawals or diversions subject to review pursuant to § 806.4(a). Any sources of water approved pursuant to this section shall be further subject to any approval or authorization required by the member jurisdiction.

    12. Amend § 806.23 by revising paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3)(i) and adding paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:
    § 806.23 Standards for water withdrawals.

    (b) * * *

    (2) The Commission may deny an application, limit or condition an approval to ensure that the withdrawal will not cause significant adverse impacts to the water resources of the basin. The Commission may consider, without limitation, the following in its consideration of adverse impacts: Lowering of groundwater or stream flow levels; groundwater and surface water availability, including cumulative uses; rendering competing supplies unreliable; affecting other water uses; causing water quality degradation that may be injurious to any existing or potential water use; affecting fish, wildlife or other living resources or their habitat; causing permanent loss of aquifer storage capacity; affecting wetlands; or affecting low flow of perennial or intermittent streams.

    (3) * * *

    (i) Limit the quantity, timing or rate of withdrawal or level of drawdown, including requiring a total system limit.

    (5) For projects consisting of mine dewatering, water resources remediation, and AMD facilities that qualify as a withdrawal, review of adverse impacts will have limited consideration of groundwater availability, causing permanent loss of aquifer storage and lowering of groundwater levels provided these projects are operated in accordance with the laws and regulations of the member jurisdictions.

    13. Amend § 806.30 by revising the introductory text and paragraph (a)(4) and adding paragraph (a)(8) to read as follows:
    § 806.30 Monitoring.

    The Commission, as part of the project review, shall evaluate the proposed methodology for monitoring consumptive uses, water withdrawals and mitigating flows, including flow metering devices, stream gages, and other facilities used to measure the withdrawals or consumptive use of the project or the rate of stream flow. If the Commission determines that additional flow measuring, metering or monitoring devices are required, these shall be provided at the expense of the project sponsor, installed in accordance with a schedule set by the Commission, and installed per the specifications and recommendations of the manufacturer of the device, and shall be subject to inspection by the Commission at any time.

    (a) * * *

    (4) Measure groundwater levels in all approved production and other wells, as specified by the Commission.

    (8) Perform other monitoring for impacts to water quantity, water quality and aquatic biological communities, as specified by the Commission.

    14. Amend § 806.31 by revising paragraphs (d) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 806.31 Term of approvals.

    (d) If the Commission determines that a project has been abandoned, by evidence of nonuse for a period of time and under such circumstances that an abandonment may be inferred, the Commission may revoke the approval for such withdrawal, diversion or consumptive use.

    (e) If a project sponsor submits an application to the Commission no later than six months prior to the expiration of its existing Commission docket approval or no later than one month prior to the expiration of its existing ABR or NOI approval, the existing approval will be deemed extended until such time as the Commission renders a decision on the application, unless the existing approval or a notification in writing from the Commission provides otherwise.

    15. Add subpart E to read as follows: Subpart E—Registration of Grandfathered Projects Sec. 806.40 Applicability. 806.41 Registration and eligibility. 806.42 Registration requirements. 806.43 Metering and monitoring requirements. 806.44 Determination of grandfathered quantities. 806.45 Appeal of determination.
    § 806.40 Applicability.

    (a) This subpart is applicable to the following projects, which shall be known as grandfathered projects:

    (1) The project has an associated average consumptive use of 20,000 gpd or more in any consecutive 30-day period all or part of which is a pre-compact consumptive use that has not been approved by the Commission pursuant to § 806.4.

    (2) The project has an associated groundwater withdrawal average of 100,000 gpd or more in any consecutive 30-day period all or part of which was initiated prior to July 13, 1978, that has not been approved by the Commission pursuant to § 806.4.

    (3) The project has an associated surface water withdrawal average of 100,000 gpd or more in any consecutive 30-day period all or part of which was initiated prior to November 11, 1995, that has not been approved by the Commission pursuant to § 806.4.

    (4) The project (or an element of the project) has been approved by the Commission but has an associated consumptive use or water withdrawal that has not been approved by the Commission pursuant to § 806.4.

    (5) Any project not included in paragraphs (a)(2) through (4) of this section that has a total withdrawal average of 100,000 gpd or more in any consecutive 30-day average from any combination of sources which was initiated prior to January 1, 2007, that has not been approved by the Commission pursuant to § 806.4.

    (6) Any source associated with a project included in paragraphs (a)(2) through (5) of this section regardless of quantity.

    (b) A project, including any source of the project, that can be determined to have been required to seek Commission review and approval under the pertinent regulations in place at the time is not eligible for registration as a grandfathered project.

    § 806.41 Registration and eligibility.

    (a) Project sponsors of grandfathered projects identified in § 806.40 shall submit a registration to the Commission, on a form and in a manner prescribed by the Commission, by December 31, 2019.

    (b) Any grandfathered project that fails to register under paragraph (a) of this section shall be subject to review and approval under § 806.4.

    (c) Any project that is not eligible to register under paragraph (a) of this section shall be subject to review and approval under § 806.4.

    (d) The Commission may establish fees for obtaining and maintaining registration in accordance with § 806.35.

    (e) A registration under this subpart may be transferred pursuant to § 806.6.

    § 806.42 Registration requirements.

    (a) Registrations shall include the following information:

    (1) Identification of project sponsor including any and all proprietors, corporate officers or partners, the mailing address of the same, and the name of the individual authorized to act for the sponsor.

    (2) Description of the project and site in terms of:

    (i) Project location, including latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees accurate to within 10 meters.

    (ii) Project purpose.

    (3) Identification of all sources of water, including the date the source was put into service, each source location (including latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees accurate to within 10 meters), and if applicable, any approved docket numbers.

    (4) Identification of current metering and monitoring methods for water withdrawal and consumptive use.

    (5) Identification of current groundwater level or elevation monitoring methods at groundwater sources.

    (6) All quantity data for water withdrawals and consumptive use for a minimum of the previous five calendar years. If the project sponsor registering submitted the water withdrawal and consumptive use data for the previous five calendar years to a member jurisdiction, that data will satisfy this requirement. A project sponsor registering may provide supplementary data related to water withdrawals and consumptive use quantities. If quantity data are not available, any information available upon which a determination of quantity could be made.

    (7) For consumptive use, description of processes that use water, identification of water returned to the Basin, history of the use, including process changes, expansions and other actions that would have an impact on the amount of water consumptively used during the past five calendar years.

    (8) Based on the data provided, the quantity of withdrawal for each individual source and consumptive use the project sponsor requests to be grandfathered by the Commission.

    (9) Any ownership or name changes to the project since January 1, 2007.

    (b) The Commission may require any other information it deems necessary for the registration process or waive any information required under paragraph (a) of this section for projects relying on a prior determination of the Commission.

    § 806.43 Metering and monitoring requirements.

    (a) As a part of the registration process, the Commission shall review the current metering and monitoring for grandfathered withdrawals and consumptive uses.

    (b) The Commission may require a metering and monitoring plan for the project sponsor to follow.

    (c) Project sponsors, as an ongoing obligation of their registration, shall report to the Commission all information specified in the grandfathering determination under § 806.44 in a form and manner determined by the Commission. If water withdrawal and consumptive use quantity reporting is required by the member jurisdiction where the project is located, the Commission shall accept that reported quantity to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (c), unless the Commission finds that additional data is needed that is not required by the member jurisdiction.

    (d) Any data generated or collected under paragraph (c) of this section will be made available to the member jurisdictions in a manner and timeframe mutually agreeable to both the Commission and the jurisdiction.

    § 806.44 Determination of grandfathered quantities.

    (a) For each registration submitted, the Executive Director shall determine the grandfathered quantity for each withdrawal source and consumptive use.

    (b) In making a determination, the following factors should be considered:

    (1) The withdrawal and use data and the peak consecutive 30-day average shown by the data;

    (2) The reliability and accuracy of the data and/or the meters or measuring devices;

    (3) Determination of reasonable and genuine usage of the project, including any anomalies in the usage;

    (4) Whether the grandfathered amount includes an operational margin of safety; and

    (5) Other relevant factors.

    (c) The Executive Director, in lieu of a determination under paragraph (b) of this section, may accept a previous grandfathering determination by the Commission at the request of the project sponsor.

    § 806.45 Appeal of determination.

    (a) A final determination of the grandfathered quantity by the Executive Director must be appealed to the Commission within 30 days from actual notice of the determination.

    (b) The Commission shall appoint a hearing officer to preside over appeals under this section. Hearings shall be governed by the procedures set forth in part 808 of this chapter.

    PART 808—HEARINGS AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS 16. The authority citation for part 808 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 3.4, 3.5(5), 3.8, 3.10 and 15.2, Pub. L. 91-575, 84 Stat. 1509, et seq.

    17. Revise § 808.1 to read as follows:
    § 808.1808.1 Public hearings.

    (a) Required hearings. A public hearing shall be conducted in the following instances:

    (1) Addition of projects or adoption of amendments to the comprehensive plan, except as otherwise provided by section 14.1 of the compact.

    (2) Review and approval of diversions.

    (3) Imposition or modification of rates and charges.

    (4) Determination of protected areas.

    (5) Drought emergency declarations.

    (6) Hearing requested by a member jurisdiction.

    (7) As otherwise required by sections 3.5(4), 4.4, 5.2(e), 6.2(a), 8.4, and 10.4 of the compact.

    (b) Optional hearings. A public hearing may be conducted by the Commission or the Executive Director in any form or style chosen by the Commission or Executive Director in the following instances:

    (1) Proposed rulemaking.

    (2) Consideration of projects, except projects approved pursuant to memoranda of understanding with member jurisdictions.

    (3) Adoption of policies and technical guidance documents.

    (4) When it is determined that a hearing is necessary to give adequate consideration to issues related to public health, safety and welfare, or protection of the environment, or to gather additional information for the record or consider new information on a matter before the Commission.

    (c) Notice of public hearing. At least 20 days before any public hearing required by the compact, notices stating the date, time, place and purpose of the hearing including issues of interest to the Commission shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected. In all other cases, at least 20 days prior to the hearing, notice shall be posted on the Commission Web site, sent to the parties who, to the Commission's knowledge, will participate in the hearing, and sent to persons, organizations and news media who have made requests to the Commission for notices of hearings or of a particular hearing. With regard to rulemaking, hearing notices need only be forwarded to the directors of the New York Register, the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Maryland Register and the Federal Register, and it is sufficient that this notice appear in the Federal Register at least 20 days prior to the hearing and in each individual state publication at least 10 days prior to any hearing scheduled in that state.

    (d) Standard public hearing procedure. (1) Hearings shall be open to the public. Participants may be any person, including a project sponsor, wishing to appear at the hearing and make an oral or written statement. Statements shall be made a part of the record of the hearing, and written statements may be received up to and including the last day on which the hearing is held, or within 10 days or a reasonable time thereafter as may be specified by the presiding officer.

    (2) Participants are encouraged to file with the Commission at its headquarters written notice of their intention to appear at the hearing. The notice should be filed at least three days prior to the opening of the hearing.

    (e) Representative capacity. Participants wishing to be heard at a public hearing may appear in person or be represented by an attorney or other representative. A governmental authority may be represented by one of its officers, employees or by a designee of the governmental authority.

    (f) Description of project. When notice of a public hearing is issued, there shall be available for inspection, consistent with the Commission's Access to Records Policy, all plans, summaries, maps, statements, orders or other supporting documents which explain, detail, amplify, or otherwise describe the project the Commission is considering. Instructions on where and how the documents may be obtained will be included in the notice.

    (g) Presiding officer. A public hearing shall be presided over by the Commission chair, the Executive Director, or any member or designee of the Commission or Executive Director. The presiding officer shall have full authority to control the conduct of the hearing and make a record of the same.

    (h) Transcript. Whenever a project involving a diversion of water is the subject of a public hearing, and at all other times deemed necessary by the Commission or the Executive Director, a written transcript of the hearing shall be made. A certified copy of the transcript and exhibits shall be available for review during business hours at the Commission's headquarters to anyone wishing to examine them. Persons wishing to obtain a copy of the transcript of any hearing shall make arrangements to obtain it directly from the recording stenographer at their expense.

    (i) Joint hearings. The Commission may conduct any public hearings in concert with any other agency of a member jurisdiction.

    18. Revise § 808.2 to read as follows:
    § 808.2808.2 Administrative appeals.

    (a) A project sponsor or other person aggrieved by a final action or decision of the Executive Director shall file a written appeal with the Commission within 30 days of the receipt of actual notice by the project sponsor or within 30 days of publication of the action in the Federal Register. Appeals shall be filed on a form and in a manner prescribed by the Commission and the petitioner shall have 20 days from the date of filing to amend the appeal. The following is a non-exclusive list of actions by the Executive Director that are subject to an appeal to the Commission:

    (1) A determination that a project requires review and approval under § 806.5;

    (2) An approval or denial of an application for transfer under § 806.6;

    (3) An approval of a Notice of Intent under a general permit under § 806.17;

    (4) An approval of a minor modification under § 806.18;

    (5) A determination regarding an approval by rule under § 806.22(e) or (f);

    (6) A determination regarding an emergency certificate under § 806.34;

    (7) Enforcement orders issued under § 808.14;

    (8) A finding regarding a civil penalty under § 808.15(c);

    (9) A determination of grandfathered quantity under § 806.44;

    (10) A decision to modify, suspend or revoke a previously granted approval; and

    (11) A records access determination made pursuant to Commission policy.

    (b) The appeal shall identify the specific action or decision being appealed, the date of the action or decision, the interest of the person requesting the hearing in the subject matter of the appeal, and a statement setting forth the basis for objecting to or seeking review of the action or decision.

    (c) Any request not filed on or before the applicable deadline established in paragraph (a) of this section hereof will be deemed untimely and such request for a hearing shall be considered denied unless the Commission, upon written request and for good cause shown, grants leave to make such filing nunc pro tunc; the standard applicable to what constitutes good cause shown being the standard applicable in analogous cases under Federal law. Receipt of requests for hearings pursuant to this section, whether timely filed or not, shall be submitted by the Executive Director to the commissioners for their information.

    (d) Petitioners shall be limited to a single filing that shall set forth all matters and arguments in support thereof, including any ancillary motions or requests for relief. Issues not raised in this single filing shall be considered waived for purposes of the instant proceeding. Where the petitioner is appealing a final determination on a project application and is not the project sponsor, the petitioner shall serve a copy of the appeal upon the project sponsor within five days of its filing.

    (e) The Commission will determine the manner in which it will hear the appeal. If a hearing is granted, the Commission shall serve notice thereof upon the petitioner and project sponsor and shall publish such notice in the Federal Register. The hearing shall not be held less than 20 days after publication of such notice. Hearings may be conducted by one or more members of the Commission, or by such other hearing officer as the Commission may designate.

    (1) The petitioner may also request a stay of the action or decision giving rise to the appeal pending final disposition of the appeal, which stay may be granted or denied by the Executive Director after consultation with the Commission chair and the member from the affected member State. The decision of the Executive Director on the request for stay shall not be appealable to the Commission under this section and shall remain in full force and effect until the Commission acts on the appeal.

    (2) In addition to the contents of the request itself, the Executive Director, in granting or denying the request for stay, will consider the following factors:

    (i) Irreparable harm to the petitioner.

    (ii) The likelihood that the petitioner will prevail.

    (f) The Commission shall grant the hearing request pursuant to this section if it determines that an adequate record with regard to the action or decision is not available, or that the Commission has found that an administrative review is necessary or desirable. If the Commission denies any request for a hearing, the party seeking such hearing shall be limited to such remedies as may be provided by the compact or other applicable law or court rule. If a hearing is granted, the Commission shall refer the matter for hearing to be held in accordance with § 808.3, and appoint a hearing officer.

    (g) If a hearing is not granted, the Commission may set a briefing schedule and decide the appeal based on the record before it. The Commission may, in its discretion, schedule and hear oral argument on an appeal.

    (h)(1) A request for intervention may be filed with the Commission by persons other than the petitioner within 20 days of the publication of a notice of the granting of such hearing in the Federal Register. The request for intervention shall state the interest of the person filing such notice, and the specific grounds of objection to the action or decision or other grounds for appearance. The hearing officer(s) shall determine whether the person requesting intervention has standing in the matter that would justify their admission as an intervener to the proceedings in accordance with Federal case law.

    (2) Interveners shall have the right to be represented by counsel, to present evidence and to examine and cross-examine witnesses.

    (i) Where a request for an appeal is made, the 90-day appeal period set forth in section 3.10 (6) and Federal reservation (o) of the compact shall not commence until the Commission has either denied the request for or taken final action on an administrative appeal.

    19. Revise § 808.11 to read as follows:
    § 808.11 Duty to comply.

    It shall be the duty of any person to comply with any provision of the compact, or the Commission's rules, regulations, orders, approvals, docket conditions, staff directives or any other requirement of the Commission.

    20. Revise § 808.14 to read as follows:
    § 808.14 Orders.

    (a) Whether or not an NOV has been issued, the Executive Director may issue an order directing an alleged violator to cease and desist any action or activity to the extent such action or activity constitutes an alleged violation, or may issue any other order related to the prevention of further violations, or the abatement or remediation of harm caused by the action or activity.

    (b) If the project sponsor fails to comply with any term or condition of a docket or other approval, the commissioners or Executive Director may issue an order suspending, modifying or revoking approval of the docket. The commissioners may also, in their discretion, suspend, modify or revoke a docket approval if the project sponsor fails to obtain or maintain other federal, state or local approvals.

    (c) The commissioners or Executive Director may issue such other orders as may be necessary to enforce any provision of the compact, the Commission's rules or regulations, orders, approvals, docket conditions, or any other requirements of the Commission.

    (d) It shall be the duty of any person to proceed diligently to comply with any order issued pursuant to this section.

    (e) The Commission or Executive Director may enter into a Consent Order and Agreement with an alleged violator to resolve non-compliant operations and enforcement proceedings in conjunction with or separately from settlement agreements under § 808.18.

    21. Revise § 808.15 to read as follows:
    § 808.15 Show cause proceeding.

    (a) The Executive Director may issue an order requiring an alleged violator to show cause why a penalty should not be assessed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and section 15.17 of the compact. The order to the alleged violator shall:

    (1) Specify the nature and duration of violation(s) that is alleged to have occurred.

    (2) Set forth the date by which the alleged violator must provide a written response to the order.

    (3) Identify the civil penalty recommended by Commission staff.

    (b) The written response by the project sponsor should include the following:

    (1) A statement whether the project sponsor contests that the violations outlined in the Order occurred;

    (2) If the project sponsor contests the violations, then a statement of the relevant facts and/or law providing the basis for the project sponsor's position;

    (3) Any mitigating factors or explanation regarding the violations outlined in the Order; and

    (4) A statement explaining what the appropriate civil penalty, if any, should be utilizing the factors at § 808.16.

    (c) Based on the information presented and any relevant policies, guidelines or law, the Executive Director shall make a written finding affirming or modifying the civil penalty recommended by Commission staff.

    22. Amend § 808.16 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text and (a)(7), adding paragraph (a)(8), and revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 808.16 Civil penalty criteria.

    (a) In determining the amount of any civil penalty or any settlement of a violation, the Commission and Executive Director shall consider:

    (7) The length of time over which the violation occurred and the amount of water used, diverted or withdrawn during that time period.

    (8) The punitive effect of a civil penalty.

    (b) The Commission and/or Executive Director retains the right to waive any penalty or reduce the amount of the penalty recommended by the Commission staff under § 808.15(a)(3) should it be determined, after consideration of the factors in paragraph (a) of this section, that extenuating circumstances justify such action.

    23. Revise § 808.17 to read as follows:
    § 808.17 Enforcement of penalties, abatement or remedial orders.

    Any penalty imposed or abatement or remedial action ordered by the Commission or the Executive Director shall be paid or completed within such time period as shall be specified in the civil penalty assessment or order. The Executive Director and Commission counsel are authorized to take such additional action as may be necessary to assure compliance with this subpart. If a proceeding before a court becomes necessary, the penalty amount determined in accordance with this part shall constitute the penalty amount recommended by the Commission to be fixed by the court pursuant to section 15.17 of the compact.

    24. Revise § 808.18 to read as follows:
    § 808.18 Settlement by agreement.

    (a) An alleged violator may offer to settle an enforcement action by agreement. The Executive Director may enter into settlement agreements to resolve an enforcement action. The Commission may, by Resolution, require certain types of enforcement actions or settlements to be submitted to the Commission for action or approval.

    (b) In the event the violator fails to carry out any of the terms of the settlement agreement, the Commission or Executive Director may reinstitute a civil penalty action and any other applicable enforcement action against the alleged violator.

    Dated: June 21, 2017. Stephanie L. Richardson, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13324 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7040-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0531] Safety Zone; Southern California Annual Firework Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone. AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone for the San Diego, CA POPS Fireworks Display on the waters of San Diego Bay, CA on specific evenings from June 30, 2017 to September 3, 2017. This safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, spectators, official vessels of the events, and general users of the waterway. Our regulation for the Southern California Annual Firework Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone identifies the regulated area for the events. During the enforcement period, no spectators shall anchor, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of official patrol vessels in the regulated area without the approval of the Captain of the Port, or designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1123, Table 1, Item 1 will be enforced from 9 p.m. through 10 p.m. on June 30 through July 2, July 7 and July 8, July 14 and July 15, July 28, August 4 and August 5, August 18 and August 19, August 25 and August 26, and September 1 through September 3, 2017 for Item 1 in Table 1 of 33 CFR 165.1123.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this publication, call or email LT Robert Cole, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, CA; telephone 619-278-7656, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the regulations in 33 CFR 165.1123 for a safety zone on the waters of San Diego Bay, CA for the San Diego, CA POPS Fireworks Display in 33 CFR 165.1123, Table 1, Item 1 of that section, from 9 p.m. through 10 p.m. on specific evenings from June 30, 2017 to September 3, 2017. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the fireworks events. Our regulation for Southern California Annual Firework Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone identifies the regulated areas for the events. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1123, a vessel may not enter the regulated area, unless it receives permission from the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. Spectator vessels may safely transit outside the regulated area but may not anchor, block, loiter, or impede the transit of participants or official patrol vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1123 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this document in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and local advertising by the event sponsor.

    If the Captain of the Port or his designated representative determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated on this document, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners or other communications coordinated with the event sponsor to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: June 16, 2017. E.M. Cooper, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port San Diego.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13649 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0321] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone: San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones in the navigable waters of the San Francisco Bay near Aquatic Park in support of the San Francisco Fourth of July Fireworks Display on July 4, 2017. These safety zones are established to ensure the safety of participants and spectators from the dangers associated with pyrotechnics. Unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or remaining in the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port or their designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on from July 3 to July 4, 2017. This rule will be enforced from 9 a.m. on July 3, 2017 through 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2017-0321. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Christina Ramirez, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco; telephone (415) 399-2001 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Acronyms COTP U.S. Coast Guard Captain on the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rule Making PATCOM U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Commander APA Administrative Procedure Act NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration U.S.C. United States Code II. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

    We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM. Publishing an NPRM would be impractical because it must be in place by the date of the event, July 3, 2017.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For these same reasons, the Coast Guard finds good cause for implementing this rule less than thirty days before the effective date.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The legal basis for the proposed rule is 33 U.S.C 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish safety zones.

    San Francisco Travel Association will sponsor the San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display on July 4, 2017, near Aquatic Park in San Francisco, CA in approximate positions 37°48′49″ N., 122°24′46′ W. and 37°48′45″ N., 122°25′39″ W. (NAD83) as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18650.

    Loading of the pyrotechnics onto the fireworks barges is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. on July 3, 2017 until 5 p.m. on July 4, 2017, at Pier 50 in San Francisco, CA. The fireworks barges will remain at Pier 50 until their transit to the respective display locations. Towing of the barges from Pier 50 to the display locations is scheduled to take place from 7:30 p.m. until 8:15 p.m. on July 4, 2017 where they will remain until the conclusion of the fireworks display.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The Coast Guard will enforce the San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display safety zones from 9 a.m. on July 3, 2017 through 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    These safety zones establish temporary restricted areas on the navigable waters within 100 feet of the fireworks barges during the loading, transit, and arrival of the pyrotechnics from the loading site to the display launch locations and until 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the fireworks display. 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the fireworks display, the safety zones will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around the fireworks barges within a radius of 700 feet. The fireworks display is meant for entertainment purposes. These restricted areas around the fireworks barges are necessary to protect spectators, vessels, and other property from the hazards associated with pyrotechnics.

    During the loading, transit, and until 15 minutes prior to the start of the fireworks display, the safety zones apply to the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barges within a radius of 100 feet. At 9:15 p.m. on July 4, 2017, 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the 30-minute fireworks display, the safety zones will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barges within a radius of 700 feet and will be located off of Pier 39 in approximate position 37°48′49″ N., 122°24′46″ W. (NAD 83) and off Black Point in approximate position 37°48′45″ N., 122°25′39″ W. (NAD 83) for the San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display. The safety zones shall terminate at 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    The effect of the temporary safety zones will be to restrict navigation in the vicinity of the launch sites until the conclusion of the scheduled display. Except for persons or vessels authorized by the Coast Guard Patrol Commander, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the restricted areas. These regulations are needed to keep spectators and vessels away from the immediate vicinity of the launch sites to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and transiting vessels.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and executive orders.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O.s 12866 (“Regulatory Planning and Review”) and 13563 (“Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”) 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 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. Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”), directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs and provides that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it.

    As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

    We expect the economic impact of this rule will not rise to the level of necessitating a full Regulatory Evaluation. The safety zones are limited in duration, and are limited to a narrowly tailored geographic area. In addition, although this rule restricts access to the waters encompassed by the safety zones, the effect of this rule will not be significant because the local waterway users will be notified via public Broadcast Notice to Mariners to ensure the safety zones will result in minimum impact. The entities most likely to be affected are waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    This rule may affect owners and operators of waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities and sightseeing. These safety zones would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. These safety zones would be activated, and thus subject to enforcement, for a limited duration. When the safety zones are activated, vessel traffic could pass safely around the safety zones. The maritime public will be advised in advance of these safety zones via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    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 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    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 safety zones lasting in a limited duration that will prohibit entry within 700 feet of the pyrotechnic launch locations. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration for categorically excluded actions is 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, and Waterways.

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T11-850 to read as follows:
    § 165.T11-850 Safety Zone; San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CA.

    (a) Location. These temporary safety zones are established in the navigable waters of the San Francisco Bay near Aquatic Park in San Francisco, CA, as depicted in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chart 18650. From 9 a.m. on July 3, 2017 until 9:15 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the temporary safety zones apply to the nearest point of the fireworks barges within a radius of 100 feet during the loading, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barges from Pier 50 to the launch sites near Aquatic Park in approximate positions 37°48′49″ N., 122°24′46″ W. and 37°48′45″ N., 122°25′39″ W. (NAD83). From 9:15 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the temporary safety zones will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barges in approximate positions 37°48′49″ N., 122°24′46″ W. and 37°48′45″ N., 122°25′39″ W. (NAD83) within a radius of 700 feet.

    (b) Enforcement period. The zones described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced from 9 a.m. on July 3, 2017 until 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017. The Captain of the Port of San Francisco (COTP) will notify the maritime community of periods during which these zones will be enforced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7.

    (c) Definitions. As used in this section, “designated representative” means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer on a Coast Guard vessel or a Federal, State, or local officer designated by or assisting the COTP in the enforcement of the safety zones.

    (d) Regulations. (1) Under the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, entry into, transiting or anchoring within these safety zones is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (2) The safety zones are closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zones must contact the COTP or a designated representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zones must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative. Persons and vessels may request permission to enter the safety zones on VHF-23A or through the 24-hour Command Center at telephone (415) 399-3547.

    Dated: May 25, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13652 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0560] Safety Zones; Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display, Chequamegon Bay, Ashland, WI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display in Ashland, WI from 9:30 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017. This action is necessary to protect participants and spectators during the Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display. During the enforcement period, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Duluth or her designated on-scene representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.943(b) will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, for the Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display safety zone, § 165.943(a)(6).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this document, call or email LT John Mack, Chief of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (218) 725-3818, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the annual Ashland 4th of July Fireworks Display in 33 CFR 165.943(a)(6) from 9:30 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017 on all waters of Chequamegon Bay bounded by the arc of a circle with a 560-foot radius from the fireworks launch site with its center in position 46°35′50″ N., 090°52′59″ W.

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Duluth or her designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port's designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or telephone at (715) 779-5100.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.943 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of the enforcement of this safety zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Duluth or her on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or telephone at (715) 779-5100.

    Dated: June 22, 2017. E.E. Williams, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13576 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 2 [Docket No. PTO-T-2010-0016] RIN 0651-AC41 Revival of Abandoned Applications, Reinstatement of Abandoned Applications and Cancelled or Expired Registrations, and Petitions to the Director AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) amends its rules regarding petitions to revive an abandoned trademark application and petitions to the Director of the USPTO (Director) regarding other trademark matters and to codify USPTO practice regarding requests for reinstatement of abandoned trademark applications and cancelled or expired trademark registrations. The changes will permit the USPTO to provide more detailed procedures regarding the deadlines and requirements for requesting revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director. These rules will thereby ensure that the public has notice of the deadlines and requirements for making such requests, facilitate the efficient and consistent processing of such requests, and promote the integrity of application/registration information in the trademark electronic records system as an accurate reflection of the status of applications and registrations.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on July 8, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine Cain, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademarks Examination Policy, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (571) 272-8946.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose: The USPTO revises the rules in part 2 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations to provide more detailed procedures regarding the deadlines and requirements for petitions to revive an abandoned trademark application under 37 CFR 2.66 and petitions to the Director under 37 CFR 2.146. The changes also codify USPTO practice regarding requests for reinstatement of trademark applications that were abandoned and trademark registrations that were cancelled or expired, due to Office error. By providing more detailed procedures regarding requesting revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director, the rulemaking benefits applicants, registrants, and the public because it: (1) Promotes the integrity of application/registration information in the trademark electronic records system as an accurate reflection of the status of live applications and registrations; (2) clarifies the time periods in which applications or registrations can be revived or reinstated after abandonment or cancellation and specifies the related filing requirements; (3) clarifies the deadline for requesting that the Director take action regarding other matters; and (4) facilitates the efficient and consistent handling of such requests.

    The public relies on the trademark electronic records system to determine whether a chosen mark is available for use or registration. Applicants are encouraged to utilize the trademark electronic search system, which provides access to text and images of marks, to determine whether a mark in any pending application or current registration is similar to their mark and used on the same or related products or for the same or related services. The search system also indicates the status of an application or registration, that is, whether the application or registration is live or dead. A “live” status indicates the application or registration is active and may bar the registration of a similar mark in a new application. A “dead” status indicates the application has become abandoned or the registration is cancelled or expired and does not serve as a bar to registration of a similar mark in a new application unless it is restored to a live status pursuant to a corresponding rule.

    When a party's search discloses a potentially confusingly similar mark, that party may incur a variety of resulting costs and burdens, such as those associated with investigating the actual use of the disclosed mark to assess any conflict, proceedings to oppose the application or cancel the registration or of the disclosed mark, civil litigation to resolve a dispute over the mark, or changing plans to avoid use of the party's chosen mark. In order to determine whether to undertake one or more of these actions, the party would refer to the status of the conflicting application/registration and would need to consult the relevant rule to determine whether the application or registration is within the time period in which the applicant or registrant may request revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director. Thus, the effective notice provided by the USPTO's records plays a critical role in a party's decision-making by enabling the party to clearly distinguish between the dead marks that are no longer candidates for, or protected by, a federal registration and those that are still able to be restored to active status.

    If the trademark electronic records system indicates that an application or registration is dead because it is abandoned, cancelled, or expired, and there is any doubt as to whether the application or registration might be eligible for revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director, the costs and burdens discussed above may be incurred unnecessarily. By providing more detailed procedures as to the deadlines and requirements for requesting revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director, these rules will help the public avoid such needless costs and burdens and promote the efficient and consistent processing of such requests by the Office.

    Background

    Petition To Revive: The statutory period for responding to an examining attorney's Office action is six months from the Office action's date of issuance. 15 U.S.C. 1062(b); 37 CFR 2.62(a). If no response is received by the USPTO within the statutory period, and the Office action was sent to the correspondence address in the USPTO's records, the application is then abandoned in full or in part, as appropriate. 37 CFR 2.65(a); Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) § 718.06.

    The statutory period for filing a statement of use or a request for an extension of time to file a statement of use, in response to a notice of allowance issued under section 13(b)(2) of the Trademark Act (Act), is also six months. 15 U.S.C. 1051(d)(1), (2); 37 CFR 2.88(a), 2.89(a). Thus, an application is abandoned if the applicant fails to file a statement of use or request for an extension of time to file a statement of use within the statutory period or within a previously granted extension period. 37 CFR 2.65(c), 2.88(k); TMEP § 718.04.

    An application is considered to be abandoned as of the day after the date on which a response to an Office action or notice of allowance is due. TMEP § 718.06. However, to accommodate timely mailed paper submissions and to ensure that the required response was not received and placed in the record of another application (e.g., if the applicant enters the incorrect serial number on its response), the USPTO generally waits one month after the due date to update the trademark electronic records system to reflect the abandonment. When the trademark electronic records system is updated, the USPTO sends a computer-generated notice of abandonment to the correspondence address listed in the application. Id. If an application becomes abandoned for failure to respond to an Office action or notice of allowance within the statutory period, and the delay in responding was unintentional, the application may be revived upon proper submission of a petition under 37 CFR 2.66. Prior to this final rule, the deadlines for filing the petition were within two months after the date of issuance of the notice of abandonment or within two months of actual knowledge of the abandonment, if the applicant did not receive the notice of abandonment and the applicant was diligent in checking the status of the application every six months.

    Request for Reinstatement: If an applicant has proof that an application was inadvertently abandoned due to a USPTO error, an applicant may file a request to reinstate the application, instead of a petition to revive. TMEP § 1712.01. Prior to this final rule, an applicant was required to file a request for reinstatement within two months of the issuance date of the notice of abandonment. Id. If the applicant asserted that it did not receive a notice of abandonment, the applicant was required to file the request within two months of the date the applicant had actual knowledge that the application was abandoned, and the applicant must have been duly diligent in monitoring the status of the application every six months. Id.

    Similarly, a registrant could file a request to reinstate a cancelled or expired registration if the registrant had proof that a required document was timely filed and that USPTO error caused the registration to be cancelled or expired. TMEP § 1712.02. Prior to implementation of this rule, there was no deadline for filing a request to reinstate a cancelled/expired registration, and the USPTO generally did not invoke the requirement for due diligence when there was proof that a registration was cancelled or expired solely due to USPTO error. TMEP § 1712.02(a).

    Petition to the Director Under 37 CFR 2.146: Applicants, registrants, and parties to inter partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) who believe they have been injured by certain adverse actions of the USPTO, or who believe that they cannot comply with the requirements of the Trademark Rules of Practice (37 CFR parts 2, 3, 6, and 7) because of an extraordinary situation, may seek equitable relief by filing a petition under 37 CFR 2.146. A variety of issues may be reviewed on petition under this section. See TMEP § 1703. Generally, unless a specific deadline is specified elsewhere in the rules or within this section, such as the deadlines for petitions regarding actions of the TTAB under § 2.146(e), a petition must be filed within two months of the date of issuance of the action from which relief is requested and, prior to this final rule, no later than two months from the date when Office records were updated to show that a registration was cancelled or expired under § 2.146(d). If a petitioner sought to reactivate an application or registration that was abandoned, cancelled, or expired because documents not received by the Office were lost or mishandled, the petitioner was also required to be duly diligent in checking the status of the application or registration. The section was traditionally invoked when papers submitted pursuant to the mailing rules in § 2.197 and § 2.198 were lost. However, the occurrence of such incidents is minimal. Further, the USPTO believes that if an applicant or registrant has proof that documents mailed in accordance with the requirements of § 2.197 or § 2.198 were lost or mishandled by the USPTO, thereby causing the abandonment of an application or cancellation/expiration of a registration, the proper recourse is to seek relief under new § 2.64 for requesting reinstatement.

    Due-Diligence Requirement: The USPTO generally processes applications, responses, and other documents in the order in which they are received, and it is reasonable to expect some notice or acknowledgement from the USPTO regarding action on a pending matter within six months of the filing or receipt of a document. If an applicant or registrant does not receive a notice from the USPTO regarding the abandonment of its application, cancellation/expiration of its registration, or denial of some other request, but otherwise learns of the abandonment, cancellation/expiration, or denial, the applicant or registrant must have been duly diligent in tracking the status of its application or registration in order to be granted revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director. Being duly diligent means that a party who has not received a notice or acknowledgement from the USPTO within six months of the filing has the burden of inquiring as to the status of action on its filing and requesting in writing that corrective action be taken when necessary, to protect third parties who may be harmed by reliance on inaccurate information regarding the status of an application or registration in the trademark electronic records system. See TMEP § 1705.05. For example, a third party may have searched USPTO records and begun using a mark because the search showed that an earlier-filed application or prior registration for a conflicting mark had been abandoned or cancelled. In other cases, an examining attorney may have searched USPTO records and approved for publication a later-filed application for a conflicting mark because the earlier-filed application was shown as abandoned or a prior registration was shown as cancelled.

    When a party seeks to revive an application that was abandoned or reinstate a registration that was cancelled or expired, due either to the failure of the applicant or registrant to file a required document or to the loss or mishandling of documents sent to or from the USPTO, or asks the Director to take some other action, the USPTO may deny the request if the petitioner was not diligent in checking the status of the application or registration, even if the petitioner shows that the USPTO actually received documents or declares that a notice from the USPTO was never received by the petitioner.

    The due-diligence requirement means that any petition filed more than two months after the notice of abandonment or cancellation was issued or more than two months after Office records are updated is likely to be dismissed as untimely because the applicant or registrant will be unable to establish that it was duly diligent. For example, if an applicant files an application in July 1, 2016, and an Office action is issued on October 15, 2016, a response must be filed on or before April 15, 2017. If the applicant does not respond, the trademark electronic records system will be updated to show the application as abandoned and a notice of abandonment will be sent to the applicant on or about May 15, 2017. If the applicant does not receive the notice of abandonment, only checks the trademark electronic records system in August 2017 (i.e., more than two months after the issue date of the notice of abandonment and more than a year after filing), and thereafter files a petition to revive, that petition would be denied as untimely. Even if the applicant asserts that it only became aware of the issuance of the Office action and the notice of abandonment on, for example, July 18, 2017 (actual notice), the petition would be denied as untimely because the applicant could not prove that it was duly diligent in monitoring the status of the application by checking the status every six months.

    Moreover, in some situations when an applicant or owner of a registration asserts that it did not receive a notice of abandonment or cancellation, it is often difficult for the USPTO to determine when the party had actual notice of the abandonment/cancellation and whether the party was duly diligent in prosecuting the application or maintaining the registration. By effectively making applicants and registrants more clearly aware of the requirement to conduct the requisite status checks of Office records every six months from the filing of a document, whether an application or a submission requesting action by the Office, parties would have sufficient notice to timely respond to any issues regarding the acceptance or refusal of their submission in the vast majority of circumstances. For example, if a document is filed on January 2 and an Office action requiring a response within six months is issued on February 2, and if the submitting party is duly diligent and reviews the trademark electronic records system on July 2, it would learn of the issuance of the action, even if the party did not receive it. In that situation, the party would still have one month in which to respond timely.

    Discussion of Changes and Rulemaking Goals

    Establish Certainty Regarding Timeliness: The goals of the changes implemented herein are to harmonize the deadlines for requesting revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director and remove any uncertainty for applicants, registrants, third parties, and the Office as to whether a request is timely.

    In this rulemaking, the USPTO adds §§ 2.64(a)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(i) and amends §§ 2.66(a)(1) and 2.146(d)(1) to clarify that applicants and registrants who receive an official document from the USPTO, such as a notice of abandonment or cancellation or a denial of certification of an international registration, must file a petition to revive, request for reinstatement, or petition to the Director to take another action, by not later than two months after the issue date of the notice. The addition of §§ 2.64(a)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(i) codifies this deadline for parties seeking reinstatement of an application or registration abandoned or cancelled due to Office error and makes it consistent with the deadline in § 2.66(a)(1). The amendment to § 2.66(a) clarifies that the deadline applies to abandonments in full or in part. Finally, the change to § 2.146(d) deletes the requirement that a petition be filed no later than two months from the date when Office records are updated to show that a registration is cancelled or expired. As noted below, this deadline is extended to not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the registration is cancelled/expired, when the registrant declares that it did not receive the action or where no action was issued, to harmonize the deadlines across the relevant sections.

    To establish certainty and ensure consistency, the rule also adds §§ 2.64(a)(1)(ii) and (b)(1)(ii) to codify the deadline for all applicants and registrants who assert that they did not receive a notice of abandonment or cancellation/expiration from the Office and thereafter seek reinstatement. This deadline is identical to the deadlines implemented in §§ 2.66(a)(2) and 2.146(d)(2) for applicants and registrants who assert that they did not receive a notice from the Office and thereafter seek relief. Under §§ 2.64(a)(1)(ii) and (b)(1)(ii), if the applicant or registrant did not receive the notice, or no notice was issued, a petition must be filed by not later than two months of actual knowledge that a notice was issued or that an action was taken by the Office and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system is updated to indicate the action taken by the Office. Thus, the rule makes clear that applicants and registrants must check the status of their applications and registrations every six months after the filing of an application or other document and thereby removes any uncertainty in the Office's assessment of whether an applicant or registrant was duly diligent.

    Balance Duties of the USPTO to Registrants and Third Parties: Under this rule, the USPTO adds § 2.64(b)(1)(ii) and § 2.146(d)(2)(ii) to include the requirement for due diligence in tracking the status of a registration after the timely filing of an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under section 8 or 71 of the Act or a renewal application under section 9 of the Act. Registrants who have timely filed such documents and who seek reinstatement of a registration cancelled due to Office error, but who assert that they did not receive a notice of cancellation/expiration, or where no notice was issued, must file the request by not later than two months of actual knowledge of the cancellation and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the registration is cancelled/expired.

    As noted above, the USPTO has generally not invoked the requirement for due diligence when there is proof that a registration was cancelled or expired solely due to Office error. Although the USPTO has a duty to correct its errors, the USPTO has a concurrent duty toward third parties to ensure that the trademark electronic records system accurately reflects the status of applications and registrations, especially given that the USPTO encourages such third parties to search the trademark electronic records system prior to adopting or seeking to register a mark. Therefore, the USPTO must balance its duties to third parties who rely on the accuracy of the trademark electronic records system and to registrants whose registration may have been cancelled as a result of Office error. The USPTO believes that, in order to fulfill its duties to all parties, the requirement for due diligence should apply equally to registrants who timely filed an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under section 8 or 71 of the Act or a renewal application under section 9 of the Act, but did not receive a notice of cancellation/expiration, and who then request reinstatement of their registrations, as it does to all other applicants and registrants who do not receive notice of any other action taken by the Office. As noted above, it is reasonable to expect some notice or acknowledgement from the USPTO regarding action on a pending matter within six months of the filing of a document. A registrant who has timely filed a maintenance or renewal document, but has not received notification from the USPTO regarding the acceptance or refusal of the document within that time frame, has the burden of inquiring as to the status of the USPTO's action on the filing and requesting in writing that corrective action be taken when necessary, to protect third parties who may be harmed by reliance on inaccurate information regarding the status of its registration in the trademark electronic records system.

    Maintain Pendency: The USPTO herein changes § 2.66 to prevent applicants from utilizing the revival process to delay prosecution by repeatedly asserting non-receipt of an Office action or notice of allowance. Specifically, the regulations at § 2.66(b) are amended to clarify that a response to the outstanding Office action is required or, if the applicant asserts that the unintentional delay is based on non-receipt of an Office action or notification, the applicant may not assert non-receipt of the same Office action or notification in a subsequent petition. The USPTO also adds § 2.66(b)(3)(i)-(ii) to clarify the requirements for requesting revival when the abandonment occurred after a final Office action. The regulations at § 2.66(c) are amended to clarify that if the applicant asserts that the unintentional delay is based on non-receipt of a notice of allowance, the applicant may not assert non-receipt of the notice of allowance in a subsequent petition.

    In some situations, an application will become abandoned multiple times for failure to respond to an Office action or notice of allowance, and the applicant will assert that it did not receive the same Office action or the notice of allowance each time that it petitions to revive the application. Under the regulations implemented herein at § 2.66(b)(3) and § 2.66(c)(2)(iii), the Office limits the applicant's ability to assert more than once that the unintentional delay is based on non-receipt of the same Office action or the notice of allowance. When an applicant becomes aware that its application has been abandoned, either via receipt of a notice of abandonment or after checking the status of the application, the applicant is thereby on notice that the Office has taken action on the application. If the applicant then files a petition to revive an application held abandoned for failure to respond to an Office action, which states that the applicant did not receive the action, and the petition is granted, the USPTO will issue a new Office action, if there are additional issues that need to be raised since the original Office action was sent, and provide the applicant with a new six-month response period. If all issues previously raised remain the same, after reviving the application, the USPTO will send a notice to the applicant directing the applicant to view the previously issued Office action in the electronic file for the application available on the USPTO's Web site and provide the applicant with a new six-month response period. When a petition to revive an application for failure to respond to a notice of allowance states that the applicant did not receive the notice, and the petition is granted, the USPTO will cancel the original notice of allowance and issue a new notice, giving the applicant a new six-month period in which to file a statement of use or request for extension of time to file a statement of use.

    In either situation, the USPTO sends the new Office action (or notice directing the applicant to view the previously issued Office action in the electronic file) or notice of allowance to the correspondence address of record. In general, under the current regulations at 37 CFR 2.18, the owner of an application has a duty to maintain a current and accurate correspondence address with the USPTO, which may be either a physical or email address. If the correspondence address changes, the USPTO must be promptly notified in writing of the new address. If the correspondence address has not changed in the USPTO records since the filing of the application, the applicant is on notice that documents regarding its application are being sent to that address by virtue of its awareness of the abandonment of the application and its subsequent filing of the petition to revive.

    Allowing an applicant who is on notice that the Office has taken action in an application to continually assert non-receipt of the same Office action or notice of allowance significantly delays prosecution of the application. It also results in uncertainty for the public, which relies on the trademark electronic records system to determine whether a chosen mark is available for use or registration. Therefore, because the applicant is on notice that documents regarding its application are being sent to the address of record, this final rule limits an applicant to asserting only once that the unintentional delay is based on non-receipt of the same Office action or notice of allowance. If the correspondence address has changed since the filing of the application, the applicant is responsible for updating the address, as noted above, so that any further Office actions or notices will be sent to the correct address.

    Codify Requirements for Reinstatement: The USPTO hereby implements a new regulation at § 2.64 to codify the requirements for seeking reinstatement of an application that was abandoned or a registration that was cancelled or expired due to Office error. The regulation indicates that there is no fee for requesting reinstatement. It also sets out the deadlines for submitting such requests, as discussed under the heading “Establish Certainty Regarding Timeliness,” and the nature of proof necessary to support an allegation of Office error in the abandonment of the relevant application or cancellation/expiration of the relevant registration. Further, the regulation provides an avenue for requesting waiver of the requirements if the applicant or registrant is not entitled to reinstatement.

    The rationale for the changes to the deadline for requesting reinstatement of a registration when the registrant did not receive a notice of cancellation is discussed above. The TMEP currently sets out the deadlines for requesting reinstatement of an application or registration that was abandoned, cancelled, or expired due to Office error. TMEP §§ 1712.01, 1712.02(a). Other requirements, such as the nature of proof required to establish Office error, are also set out in the TMEP. However, although the TMEP sets out the deadlines and guidelines for submitting and handling requests for reinstatement, it does not have the force of law. Codifying the deadlines for filing a request for reinstatement in a separate rule that also lists the types of proof necessary to warrant such remedial action provides clear and definite standards regarding an applicant's or registrant's burden. It also furnishes the legal underpinnings of the Office's authority to grant or deny a request for reinstatement and provides applicants and owners of registrations with the benefit of an entitlement to relief when the standards of the rules are met.

    If an applicant or registrant is found not to be entitled to reinstatement, the rule also provides a possible avenue of relief in that the request may be construed as a petition to the Director under § 2.146 or a petition to revive under § 2.66, if appropriate. In addition, if the applicant or registrant is unable to meet the timeliness requirement for filing the request, the rule provides that the applicant or registrant may submit a petition to the Director under § 2.146(a)(5) to request a waiver of that requirement.

    Proposed Rule: Comments and Responses

    The USPTO published a proposed rule on October 28, 2016, at 81 FR 74997, soliciting comments on the proposed amendments. In response, the USPTO received comments from three organizations and one individual. The commenters generally supported the proposed rules as meeting the stated objectives while also raising specific issues. Those issues are summarized below, with similar comments grouped together, and are followed by the USPTO's responses. All comments are posted on the USPTO's Web site at https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/trademark-updates-and-announcements/comments-proposed-rulemaking-relating-revival.

    Comment: One commenter inquired as to the meaning of “abandonment” in the phrase “Two months after the date of actual knowledge of the abandonment” and whether the two-month period begins on the date of the missed deadline, if the party knows the deadline was missed, or on the date of the notice of abandonment.

    Response: As discussed above, an application is considered to be abandoned as of the day after the date on which a response to an Office action or notice of allowance is due. However, to accommodate timely mailed paper submissions and to ensure that the required response was not received and placed in the record of another application, the USPTO generally waits one month after the due date to update the trademark electronic records system to reflect the abandonment. When the trademark electronic records system is updated, the USPTO sends a computer-generated notice of abandonment to the correspondence address listed in the application. The provision for filing a petition or request for reinstatement within two months after the date of actual knowledge of an abandonment or cancellation/expiration, but not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned or the registration is cancelled/expired, applies specifically when an applicant declares that it did not receive a notice of abandonment, or a registrant declares that it did not receive a notice of cancellation/expiration or the Office did not issue such a notice. If the applicant or registrant did not receive a notice that was issued, the applicant or registrant would presumably not be aware of the date of the notice and the two-month time period would start running on the date the applicant or registrant had actual knowledge of the abandonment or cancellation/expiration.

    However, as also discussed above, if an applicant or registrant does not receive a notice from the USPTO regarding the abandonment of its application, cancellation/expiration of its registration, or denial of some other request, but otherwise learns of the abandonment, cancellation/expiration, or denial, the applicant or registrant must have been duly diligent in tracking the status of its application or registration in order to be granted revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director. To be considered duly diligent, an applicant must check the status of the application at least every six months between the filing date of the application and issuance of a registration. After filing an affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under section 8 or section 71 of the Act or a renewal application under section 9 of the Act, a registrant must check the status of the registration every six months until the registrant receives notice that the affidavit or renewal application has been accepted or refused. The provision for filing a petition or request for reinstatement when an applicant or registrant did not receive a notice of abandonment or of cancellation/expiration clarifies that, even if a petition is filed within two months of actual knowledge, it will not be considered timely if the date of filing is later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned or cancelled/expired, because the applicant or registrant was not duly diligent.

    Comment: One commenter requested that the USPTO explain why the deadlines refer to a notice of cancellation/expiration when the Office does not currently issue such a notice for the failure to file a timely § 8 affidavit or a § 9 renewal application. The commenter also asked the Office to begin issuing a notice of cancellation/expiration for any registration that is cancelled or expired for failure to file a timely § 8 affidavit and/or a § 9 renewal application.

    Response: The USPTO does not issue a notice of cancellation/expiration when a registrant fails to file a timely § 8 affidavit and/or a § 9 renewal application, nor does it plan to do so, because there is no remedy in such situations. Sections 8(a) and 71(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1058(a), 1141k(a), require an affidavit or declaration of use or excusable nonuse during the sixth year after the date of registration, at the end of each successive ten-year period following the date of registration, or within a six-month grace period after each required period. Section 9 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1059, provides that registrations resulting from applications based on section 1 or section 44 of the Trademark Act may be renewed for successive periods of ten years following the date of registration and that the application for renewal be filed within one year before the expiration of the ten-year period or within the six-month grace period after the expiration of the ten-year period. If the § 8 or § 71 affidavit is not filed within the statutory filing period (which includes the grace period), the registration shall be cancelled. If the § 9 renewal application is not filed within the statutory filing period (which includes the grace period), the registration expires. The duration of a registration and the time frames for filing the maintenance and renewal documents are statutory requirements, which the USPTO has no authority to waive, and filing after the expiration of the grace period is not a deficiency that can be cured. Therefore, the filing of a petition in response to a notice of cancellation/expiration would provide no remedy in such situations. The petition would be dismissed since the Director is without authority to provide any relief.

    The USPTO also notes that it sends a courtesy email reminder of maintenance filing deadlines to trademark owners who authorize email communication and maintain a current email address with the USPTO.

    Comment: Two commenters expressed support for the proposed rules, but were concerned that the proposed changes appear to require registrants to check the USPTO's electronic records every six months and do not make it clear that this requirement is linked to the pendency of a filed affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under § 8 or § 71 of the Trademark Act or a renewal application under § 9 of the Trademark Act. One of the commenters recommended a revision to the proposed revised rules and the comments to clarify that the requirement to check the status of a registration (as compared to an application) every six months is only applicable during the time that the registrant is waiting for the USPTO to take action on a filed affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under § 8 or § 71 or a renewal application under § 9.

    Response: The USPTO appreciates the commenters' support of the rule changes and concurs that the requirement to check the status of a registration every six months is only applicable during the time that the registrant is waiting for the USPTO to take action on a filed affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under § 8 or § 71 or a renewal application under § 9. To that end, §§ 2.64(b)(1)(ii) and 2.146(d)(2)(ii) have been revised to indicate that the deadlines recited therein apply where the registrant has timely filed an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under § 8 or § 71 or a renewal application under § 9.

    Costs and Benefits: This rulemaking is not considered to be economically significant under Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993).

    Discussion of Regulatory Changes

    The USPTO adds § 2.64 and amends §§ 2.66 and 2.146 to clarify the requirements for submitting petitions to revive an abandoned application and petitions to the Director regarding other matters, as described in the section-by-section analysis below.

    The USPTO adds § 2.64 to codify the requirements for requests to reinstate an application that was abandoned or a registration that was cancelled or expired, due to Office error. After internal review, the provisions in §§ 2.64(a)(2)(iv) and (b)(2)(iv) of the proposed rule regarding the correspondence address were further revised for enhanced clarity. In response to comments from stakeholders, § 2.64(b)(1)(ii) was revised to clarify that the deadlines apply where the registrant has timely filed an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under section 8 or 71 of the Act or a renewal application under section 9 of the Act.

    The USPTO amends the title of § 2.66 to “Revival of applications abandoned in full or in part due to unintentional delay.”

    The USPTO amends § 2.66(a) by adding the title “Deadline” and the wording “in full or in part” and “by not later than,” amends § 2.66(a)(1) by indicating that the deadline is not later than two months after the issue date of the notice of abandonment in full or in part, and amends § 2.66(a)(2) by revising the deadline if the applicant did not receive the notice of abandonment.

    The USPTO amends § 2.66(b) by adding the title “Petition to Revive Application Abandoned in Full or in Part for Failure to Respond to an Office Action” and rewords the paragraph for clarity and to add “in full or in part”; revises § 2.66(b)(3) to clarify that (1) if a response to the outstanding Office action is submitted, it must be properly signed, (2) non-receipt of the same Office action or notification can be asserted only once, and (3) if the abandonment is after a final Office action, the response is treated as a request for reconsideration; and adds § 2.66(b)(3)(i)-(ii) to set out the requirements for requesting revival when the abandonment occurs after a final Office action. After internal review, the provision in § 2.66(b)(3) contained in the proposed rule limiting an assertion of non-receipt of an Office action was further revised for enhanced clarity.

    The USPTO amends § 2.66(c) by adding the title “Petition to Revive Application Abandoned for Failure to Respond to a Notice of Allowance”; adds § 2.66(c)(2)(i)-(iv) to incorporate and further clarify requirements in current §§ 2.66(c)(4) and (5), to indicate that non-receipt of a notice of allowance can be asserted only once, and to set out requirements for a multiple-basis application; deletes current § 2.66(c)(3)-(4); and redesignates current § 2.66(c)(5) as § 2.66(c)(3) and deletes the wording prior to “the applicant must file.” After internal review, the provision in § 2.66(c)(2)(iii) contained in the proposed rule limiting an assertion of non-receipt of the notice of allowance was revised for enhanced clarity.

    The USPTO amends § 2.66(d) by adding the title “Statement of Use or Petition to Substitute a Basis May Not Be Filed More Than 36 Months After Issuance of the Notice of Allowance” and rewords the paragraph for clarity.

    The USPTO deletes current § 2.66(e).

    The USPTO redesignates current § 2.66(f) as § 2.66(e), adds the title “Request for Reconsideration,” rewords the paragraph for clarity, and revises paragraphs (1) and (2) to clarify the requirements for requesting reconsideration of a petition to revive that has been denied.

    The USPTO amends § 2.146(b) by deleting the wording “considered to be.”

    The USPTO amends § 2.146(d) by deleting the current paragraph and adding a sentence introducing new § 2.146(d)(1)-(2)(iii), which sets out the deadlines for filing a petition. In response to comments from stakeholders, § 2.146(d)(2)(ii) was revised to clarify that the deadlines apply where the registrant has timely filed an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under section 8 or 71 of the Act or a renewal application under section 9 of the Act.

    The USPTO amends § 2.146(e)(1) by changing the wording “within fifteen days from the date of issuance” and “within fifteen days from the date of service” to “by not later than fifteen days after the issue date” and “by not later than fifteen days after the date of service.” The USPTO amends § 2.146(e)(2) by changing the wording “within thirty days after the date of issuance” and “within fifteen days from the date of service” to “by not later than thirty days after the issue date” and “by not later than fifteen days after the date of service.”

    The USPTO deletes current § 2.146(i).

    The USPTO redesignates current § 2.146(j) as new § 2.146(i), deletes the wording “the petitioner,” and revises paragraphs (1) and (2) to clarify the requirements for requesting reconsideration of a petition to revive that has been denied.

    Rulemaking Considerations

    Administrative Procedure Act: The changes in this rulemaking involve rules of agency practice and procedure, and/or interpretive rules. See Perez v. Mortg. Bankers Ass'n, 135 S. Ct. 1199, 1204 (2015) (Interpretive rules “advise the public of the agency's construction of the statutes and rules which it administers.” (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)); Nat'l Org. of Veterans' Advocates v. Sec'y of Veterans Affairs, 260 F.3d 1365, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (Rule that clarifies interpretation of a statute is interpretive.); Bachow Commc'ns Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 690 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (Rules governing an application process are procedural under the Administrative Procedure Act.); Inova Alexandria Hosp. v. Shalala, 244 F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2001) (Rules for handling appeals were procedural where they did not change the substantive standard for reviewing claims.).

    Accordingly, prior notice and opportunity for public comment for the changes in this rulemaking are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or (c), or any other law. See Perez, 135 S. Ct. at 1206 (Notice-and-comment procedures are required neither when an agency “issue[s] an initial interpretive rule” nor “when it amends or repeals that interpretive rule.”); Cooper Techs. Co. v. Dudas, 536 F.3d 1330, 1336-37 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (stating that 5 U.S.C. 553, and thus 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(B), does not require notice and comment rulemaking for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice” (quoting 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A))). However, the Office chose to seek public comment before implementing the rule to benefit from the public's input.

    Similarly, the 30-day delay in effectiveness is not applicable because this rule is not a substantive rule as the changes herein have no impact on the standard for reviewing trademark applications. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). As discussed above, this rulemaking involves rules of agency practice and procedure, consisting of changes to the deadlines and requirements for requesting revival, reinstatement, or other action by the Director. These changes are procedural in nature and will have no substantive impact on the evaluation of a trademark application. Therefore, the requirement for a 30-day delay in effectiveness is not applicable.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act: The Deputy General Counsel for General Law of the USPTO has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    This rule amends the regulations to provide detailed deadlines and requirements for petitions to revive an abandoned application and petitions to the Director regarding other matters and to codify USPTO practice regarding requests for reinstatement of abandoned applications and cancelled or expired registrations. The rule will apply to all persons seeking a revival or reinstatement of an abandoned trademark application or registration or other equitable action by the Director. Applicants for a trademark are not industry specific and may consist of individuals, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and large corporations. The USPTO does not collect or maintain statistics on small- versus large-entity applicants, and this information would be required in order to determine the number of small entities that would be affected by the rule.

    The burdens to all entities, including small entities, imposed by these rule changes will be minor procedural requirements on parties submitting petitions to revive an abandoned application and petitions to the Director regarding other matters and those submitting requests for reinstatement of abandoned applications and cancelled or expired registrations. The changes do not impose any additional economic burden in connection with the changes as they merely clarify existing requirements or codify existing procedures.

    Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): This rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993).

    Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review): The USPTO has complied with Executive Order 13563 (Jan. 18, 2011). Specifically, the USPTO has, to the extent feasible and applicable: (1) Made a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs of the rule changes; (2) tailored the rules to impose the least burden on society consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; (3) selected a regulatory approach that maximizes net benefits; (4) specified performance objectives; (5) identified and assessed available alternatives; (6) provided the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the regulatory process, including soliciting the views of those likely affected prior to issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking, and provided online access to the rulemaking docket; (7) attempted to promote coordination, simplification, and harmonization across government agencies and identified goals designed to promote innovation; (8) considered approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public; and (9) ensured the objectivity of scientific and technological information and processes, to the extent applicable.

    Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs): Because this rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866, the requirements of Executive Order 13771 (Jan. 30, 2017) do not apply. See Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” at page 3 (OMB mem.) (April 5, 2017).

    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This rulemaking does not contain policies with federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment under Executive Order 13132 (Aug. 4, 1999).

    Congressional Review Act: Under the Congressional Review Act provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), prior to issuing any final rule, the USPTO will submit a report containing the final rule and other required information to the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office. The changes in this notice are not expected to result in an annual effect on the economy of 100 million dollars or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets. Therefore, this notice is not expected to result in a “major rule” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995: The changes in this rulemaking do not involve a Federal intergovernmental mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, or a Federal private sector mandate that will result in the expenditure by the private sector of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. See 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.

    Paperwork Reduction Act: This rulemaking involves information collection requirements that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The collection of information involved in this rule has been reviewed and previously approved by OMB under control numbers 0651-0051, 0651-0054, and 0651-0061.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Trademarks.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble and under the authority contained in 15 U.S.C. 1123 and 35 U.S.C. 2, as amended, the Office amends part 2 of title 37 as follows:

    PART 2—RULES OF PRACTICE IN TRADEMARK CASES 1. The authority citation for 37 CFR Part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 1113, 15 U.S.C. 1123, 35 U.S.C. 2, Section 10 of Public Law 112-29, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Add § 2.64 to read as follows:
    § 2.64 Reinstatement of applications and registrations abandoned, cancelled, or expired due to Office error.

    (a) Request for Reinstatement of an Abandoned Application. The applicant may file a written request to reinstate an application abandoned due to Office error. There is no fee for a request for reinstatement.

    (1) Deadline. The applicant must file the request by not later than:

    (i) Two months after the issue date of the notice of abandonment; or

    (ii) Two months after the date of actual knowledge of the abandonment and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned, where the applicant declares under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746 that it did not receive the notice of abandonment.

    (2) Requirements. A request to reinstate an application abandoned due to Office error must include:

    (i) Proof that a response to an Office action, a statement of use, or a request for extension of time to file a statement of use was timely filed and a copy of the relevant document;

    (ii) Proof of actual receipt by the Office of a response to an Office action, a statement of use, or a request for extension of time to file a statement of use and a copy of the relevant document;

    (iii) Proof that the Office processed a fee in connection with the filing at issue and a copy of the relevant document;

    (iv) Proof that the Office sent the Office action or notice of allowance to an address that is not the designated correspondence address; or

    (v) Other evidence, or factual information supported by a declaration under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746, demonstrating Office error in abandoning the application.

    (b) Request for Reinstatement of Cancelled or Expired Registration. The registrant may file a written request to reinstate a registration cancelled or expired due to Office error. There is no fee for the request for reinstatement.

    (1) Deadline. The registrant must file the request by not later than:

    (i) Two months after the issue date of the notice of cancellation/expiration; or

    (ii) Where the registrant has timely filed an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under section 8 or 71 of the Act, or a renewal application under section 9 of the Act, two months after the date of actual knowledge of the cancellation/expiration and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the registration is cancelled/expired, where the registrant declares under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746 that it did not receive the notice of cancellation/expiration or where the Office did not issue a notice.

    (2) Requirements. A request to reinstate a registration cancelled/expired due to Office error must include:

    (i) Proof that an affidavit or declaration of use or excusable nonuse, a renewal application, or a response to an Office action was timely filed and a copy of the relevant document;

    (ii) Proof of actual receipt by the Office of an affidavit or declaration of use or excusable nonuse, a renewal application, or a response to an Office action and a copy of the relevant document;

    (iii) Proof that the Office processed a fee in connection with the filing at issue and a copy of the relevant document;

    (iv) Proof that the Office sent the Office action to an address that is not the designated correspondence address; or

    (v) Other evidence, or factual information supported by a declaration under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746, demonstrating Office error in cancelling/expiring the registration.

    (c) Request for Reinstatement May be Construed as Petition. If an applicant or registrant is not entitled to reinstatement, a request for reinstatement may be construed as a petition to the Director under § 2.146 or a petition to revive under § 2.66, if appropriate. If the applicant or registrant is unable to meet the timeliness requirement under paragraphs (a)(1) or (b)(1) of this section for filing the request, the applicant or registrant may submit a petition to the Director under § 2.146(a)(5) to request a waiver of the rule.

    3. Revise § 2.66 to read as follows:
    § 2.66 Revival of applications abandoned in full or in part due to unintentional delay.

    (a) Deadline. The applicant may file a petition to revive an application abandoned in full or in part because the applicant did not timely respond to an Office action or notice of allowance, if the delay was unintentional. The applicant must file the petition by not later than:

    (1) Two months after the issue date of the notice of abandonment in full or in part; or

    (2) Two months after the date of actual knowledge of the abandonment and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned in full or in part, where the applicant declares under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746 that it did not receive the notice of abandonment.

    (b) Petition To Revive Application Abandoned in Full or in Part for Failure To Respond to an Office Action. A petition to revive an application abandoned in full or in part because the applicant did not timely respond to an Office action must include:

    (1) The petition fee required by § 2.6;

    (2) A statement, signed by someone with firsthand knowledge of the facts, that the delay in filing the response on or before the due date was unintentional; and

    (3) A response to the Office action, signed pursuant to § 2.193(e)(2), or a statement that the applicant did not receive the Office action or the notification that an Office action issued. If the applicant asserts that the unintentional delay is based on non-receipt of an Office action or notification, the applicant may not assert non-receipt of the same Office action or notification in a subsequent petition. When the abandonment is after a final Office action, the response is treated as a request for reconsideration under § 2.63(b)(3) and the applicant must also file:

    (i) A notice of appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board under § 2.141 or a petition to the Director under § 2.146, if permitted by § 2.63(b)(2)(iii); or

    (ii) A statement that no appeal or petition is being filed from the final refusal(s) or requirement(s).

    (c) Petition To Revive Application Abandoned for Failure To Respond to a Notice of Allowance. A petition to revive an application abandoned because the applicant did not timely respond to a notice of allowance must include:

    (1) The petition fee required by § 2.6;

    (2) A statement, signed by someone with firsthand knowledge of the facts, that the delay in filing the statement of use (or request for extension of time to file a statement of use) on or before the due date was unintentional; and one of the following:

    (i) A statement of use under § 2.88, signed pursuant to § 2.193(e)(1), and the required fees for the number of requests for extensions of time to file a statement of use that the applicant should have filed under § 2.89 if the application had never been abandoned;

    (ii) A request for an extension of time to file a statement of use under § 2.89, signed pursuant to § 2.193(e)(1), and the required fees for the number of requests for extensions of time to file a statement of use that the applicant should have filed under § 2.89 if the application had never been abandoned;

    (iii) A statement that the applicant did not receive the notice of allowance and a request to cancel said notice and issue a new notice. If the applicant asserts that the unintentional delay in responding is based on non-receipt of the notice of allowance, the applicant may not assert non-receipt of the notice of allowance in a subsequent petition; or

    (iv) In a multiple-basis application, an amendment, signed pursuant to § 2.193(e)(2), deleting the section 1(b) basis and seeking registration based on section 1(a) and/or section 44(e) of the Act.

    (3) The applicant must file any further requests for extensions of time to file a statement of use under § 2.89 that become due while the petition is pending, or file a statement of use under § 2.88.

    (d) Statement of Use or Petition To Substitute a Basis May Not Be Filed More Than 36 Months After Issuance of the Notice of Allowance. In an application under section 1(b) of the Act, the Director will not grant a petition under this section if doing so would permit an applicant to file a statement of use, or a petition under § 2.35(b) to substitute a basis, more than 36 months after the issue date of the notice of allowance under section 13(b)(2) of the Act.

    (e) Request for Reconsideration. If the Director denies a petition to revive under this section, the applicant may request reconsideration, if:

    (1) The applicant files the request by not later than:

    (i) Two months after the issue date of the decision denying the petition; or

    (ii) Two months after the date of actual knowledge of the decision denying the petition and not later than six months after the issue date of the decision where the applicant declares under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746 that it did not receive the decision; and

    (2) The applicant pays a second petition fee under § 2.6.

    4. Revise § 2.146 to read as follows:
    § 2.146 Petitions to the Director.

    (a) Petition may be taken to the Director:

    (1) From any repeated or final formal requirement of the examiner in the ex parte prosecution of an application if permitted by § 2.63(a) and (b);

    (2) In any case for which the Act of 1946, or Title 35 of the United States Code, or this Part of Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations specifies that the matter is to be determined directly or reviewed by the Director;

    (3) To invoke the supervisory authority of the Director in appropriate circumstances;

    (4) In any case not specifically defined and provided for by this Part of Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations; or

    (5) In an extraordinary situation, when justice requires and no other party is injured thereby, to request a suspension or waiver of any requirement of the rules not being a requirement of the Act of 1946.

    (b) Questions of substance arising during the ex parte prosecution of applications, including, but not limited to, questions arising under sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 23 of the Act of 1946, are not appropriate subject matter for petitions to the Director.

    (c) Every petition to the Director shall include a statement of the facts relevant to the petition, the points to be reviewed, the action or relief requested, and the fee required by § 2.6. Any brief in support of the petition shall be embodied in or accompany the petition. The petition must be signed by the petitioner, someone with legal authority to bind the petitioner (e.g., a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership), or a practitioner qualified to practice under § 11.14 of this chapter, in accordance with the requirements of § 2.193(e)(5). When facts are to be proved on petition, the petitioner must submit proof in the form of verified statements signed by someone with firsthand knowledge of the facts to be proved, and any exhibits.

    (d) Unless a different deadline is specified elsewhere in this chapter, a petition under this section must be filed by not later than:

    (1) Two months after the issue date of the action, or date of receipt of the filing, from which relief is requested; or

    (2) Where the applicant or registrant declares under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746 that it did not receive the action, or where no action was issued, the petition must be filed by not later than:

    (i) Two months of actual knowledge of the abandonment of an application and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned in full or in part;

    (ii) Where the registrant has timely filed an affidavit of use or excusable non-use under Section 8 or 71 of the Act, or a renewal application under Section 9 of the Act, two months after the date of actual knowledge of the cancellation/expiration of a registration and not later than six months after the date the trademark electronic records system indicates that the registration is cancelled/expired; or

    (iii) Two months after the date of actual knowledge of the denial of certification of an international application under § 7.13(b) and not later than six months after the trademark electronic records system indicates that certification is denied.

    (e)(1) A petition from the grant or denial of a request for an extension of time to file a notice of opposition must be filed by not later than fifteen days after the issue date of the grant or denial of the request. A petition from the grant of a request must be served on the attorney or other authorized representative of the potential opposer, if any, or on the potential opposer. A petition from the denial of a request must be served on the attorney or other authorized representative of the applicant, if any, or on the applicant. Proof of service of the petition must be made as provided by § 2.119. The potential opposer or the applicant, as the case may be, may file a response by not later than fifteen days after the date of service of the petition and must serve a copy of the response on the petitioner, with proof of service as provided by § 2.119. No further document relating to the petition may be filed.

    (2) A petition from an interlocutory order of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board must be filed by not later than thirty days after the issue date of the order from which relief is requested. Any brief in response to the petition must be filed, with any supporting exhibits, by not later than fifteen days after the date of service of the petition. Petitions and responses to petitions, and any documents accompanying a petition or response under this subsection, must be served on every adverse party pursuant to § 2.119.

    (f) An oral hearing will not be held on a petition except when considered necessary by the Director.

    (g) The mere filing of a petition to the Director will not act as a stay in any appeal or inter partes proceeding that is pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, nor stay the period for replying to an Office action in an application, except when a stay is specifically requested and is granted or when §§ 2.63(a) and (b) and 2.65(a) are applicable to an ex parte application.

    (h) Authority to act on petitions, or on any petition, may be delegated by the Director.

    (i) If the Director denies a petition, the petitioner may request reconsideration, if:

    (1) The petitioner files the request by not later than:

    (i) Two months after the issue date of the decision denying the petition; or

    (ii) Two months after the date of actual knowledge of the decision denying the petition and not later than six months after the issue date of the decision where the petitioner declares under § 2.20 or 28 U.S.C. 1746 that it did not receive the decision; and

    (2) The petitioner pays a second petition fee under § 2.6.

    Dated: June 22, 2017. Joseph D. Matal, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13519 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS U.S. Copyright Office 37 CFR Parts 201 and 202 [Docket No. 2016-8] Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals AGENCY:

    U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Copyright Office is modernizing its registration practices to increase the efficiency of the registration process for both the Office and copyright owners. To further these efforts, this final rule adopts modifications to the Office's procedures for group registration for contributions to periodicals. Specifically, the Office adopts a new requirement that applicants seeking copyright registrations for groups of contributions to periodicals must submit applications through the Office's electronic registration system; modifies the deposit requirement by requiring applicants to submit their contributions in a digital format and to upload those files through the electronic system; clarifies the eligibility requirements; and alters the administrative classes used for such registrations.

    DATES:

    Effective July 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice, or Erik Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice, by telephone at 202-707-8040, or Emma Raviv, Barbara A. Ringer Fellow, by telephone at 202-707-3246.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On December 1, 2016, the Copyright Office (the “Office”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) setting forth proposed regulatory amendments designed to make the procedure for group registration of contributions to periodicals (“GRCP”) more efficient. See 81 FR 86634 (Dec. 1, 2016). By statute, the Office is required to provide for “a single registration for a group of works by the same individual author, all first published as contributions to periodicals, including newspapers, within a twelve-month period, on the basis of a single deposit, application, and registration fee, under the following conditions—(A) if the deposit consists of one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first published; and (B) if the application identifies each work separately, including the periodical containing it and its date of first publication.” 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2); see also 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8).

    The NPRM encompassed—and explained in detail the rationale for—four major changes to the GRCP registration procedure. First, the NPRM proposed amending the regulations to require applicants to register their contributions through the Office's electronic registration system (instead of submitting a paper application). Second, it proposed modifying the deposit requirements for this option by requiring applicants to submit a digital copy of each contribution and to upload these copies through the electronic registration system (instead of submitting a physical copy of each contribution).1 Third, the NPRM proposed a modification requiring applicants to register their contributions either in Class TX or Class VA (but not Class PA), and to identify the date of publication for each contribution and the periodical where each contribution was first published. Fourth, the NPRM proposed modifying the eligibility criteria for the GRCP option by providing a more specific definition of the term “periodical,” and by specifically requiring the contributions to be owned by the same copyright claimant.

    1 Although the statute specifies the specific kinds of deposit the Office must accept for the group option for contributions to periodicals—i.e., “one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first published”—the NPRM also explained how, consistent with the overall statutory scheme, the Office may accept deposits other than those set forth in that provision. 81 FR at 86640. No commenter took issue with the Office's interpretation of its authority to expand the deposits that may be accepted under this group registration option.

    Authors Guild (“AG”) and National Writers Union (“NWU”) both submitted comments in response to the NPRM.2 The commenters took no issue with the Office's proposal to issue all GRCP registrations in either Class TX or Class VA,3 or the requirement that the contributions must be owned by the same claimant. Commenters did express some concerns regarding the shift to online-only registration, as well as some additional concerns regarding technical aspects of the proposed rules, which are addressed below. Having reviewed and carefully considered the comments received, bearing on the two other changes, the Office now issues a final rule that closely follows the proposed rule, with some alterations in response to the comments, as discussed below.4

    2 The comments received in response to the NPRM can be found on the Copyright Office's Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/grcp/.

    3 AG supported this proposal outright. AG Comments at 2.

    4 The final rule makes a few technical amendments to the rule as proposed: The rule will appear in § 202.4(g), rather than § 202.4(h) of the regulations, and the statutory definitions for “compilation” and “derivative work” have been incorporated by reference.

    II. Discussion of Comments A. Online Filing Requirement

    After this final rule goes into effect, GRCP applicants will be required to use an online application specifically designed for GRCP as a condition for using this group option. The Office will no longer accept groups of contributions that are submitted with a paper application on Form TX, Form VA, Form PA, or Form GR/CP.

    AG stated that it welcomed the introduction of an online application and predicted that it would “greatly increase the efficiency of the registration process,” create a more robust and easily-searchable public record, and for most authors will likely become the preferred mode for seeking a group registration. AG Comments at 1-2, 4. However, AG expressed concern that many authors are “well-accustomed” to the paper application or may not have access to broadband Internet service. AG Comments at 2. AG stated that the Office should gauge the demand for the paper application before issuing a final rule,5 and then gradually phase out the application after a specified period of time while providing adequate notice during the phase-out period. If the Office determined that a cognizable number of authors prefer to use the paper application, AG recommended that the Office continue to offer this form and offer “special dispensation” from the online filing requirement “on a case by case basis.” Id.

    5 Authors Guild filed comments on behalf of its 9,000 members but apparently did not poll these individuals to determine if they would prefer to use a paper application or if they have Internet access.

    NWU, too, opposed the online filing requirement and urged the Office to retain the paper application, contending that the proposed rule would increase the burden on writers who use the group option. NWU Comments at 4.

    The Office considered AG's and NWU's concerns, but has decided to implement the online application requirement and eliminate the paper application, with some exceptions and new resources in place to assist applicants. When the final rule goes into effect, applicants generally will be required to use the online application in order to seek a group registration for contributions to periodicals. Paper applications submitted on Form TX or VA with Form GR/CP will not be accepted.

    The Office recognizes, however, that authors are accustomed to using the paper application. To ease the transition to the online application, the Office is developing several new resources. The Office will revise chapters 1100 and 1400 of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition (hereinafter “Compendium”), which summarize the procedures for issuing registrations under this group option. The Office is also preparing a new circular which provides a general introduction to GRCP. The Office has added a notice to the instructions for Form GR/CP indicating that this form may not be used once the final rule goes into effect.

    In addition, a provision has been added to the final rule permitting the Office to waive the online filing requirement in “an exceptional case” and “subject to such conditions as the Associate Register and Director of the Office of Registration Policy and Practice may impose on the applicant.” Authors who do not have Internet access and are unable to use the online application may contact the Office, and the Office will review the specific details of their cases and determine their eligibility.

    The Office will then make accommodations for applicants who receive a waiver under this provision. One accommodation that the Office plans to implement will be to allow such applicants to contact the Public Information Office (“PIO”) by telephone for assistance in filling out the application. A member of the staff will ask the applicant to provide the information that is called for in the application, such as the titles of the works and the periodicals containing them, the volume or issue numbers and pages on which the contributions appeared, and the dates of first publication. PIO staff will enter this information into the electronic registration system. Then they will print a copy of the application and mail it to the applicant for his or her review. If the applicant approves the draft, he or she will sign the application and mail it back to the Office, along with a check to cover the filing fee. In providing this service, members of the PIO staff are not providing legal advice; their assistance is merely a service for convenience, and applicants remain responsible for providing accurate and complete information in their applications. Applicants should be aware that if they use this option, the effective date for their group registration will be based on the date that the signed application, the filing fee, and deposits are received. At this time, the Office does not intend to charge an additional fee for applicants who submit applications with the assistance of PIO. The Office will track the number of applicants who use this option and the amount of time needed to handle these requests. The Office will use this information in conducting its next fee study.

    B. Deposit Requirements

    The final rule states that applicants must submit a complete copy of each contribution that is included in the group, and may satisfy this requirement by submitting one copy of the entire issue of the periodical in which the contribution was first published, the entire section of a newspaper in which the contribution was first published, or just a copy of the contribution in the precise form in which it was first published in the periodical (i.e., a copy of the particular pages within the periodical where the contribution was first published). These submissions must be digital copies in Portable Document Format (“PDF”), JPEG format, or other electronic format specifically approved by the Office, and must be submitted through the electronic registration system.

    AG agreed that requiring applicants to upload a copy of their works in a digital format would increase the efficiency of the group registration option. AG Comments at 4. But AG expressed concern that this may be “overly burdensome” for authors “who have not made the complete transition from analog to digital.” Id.

    NWU also objected to this proposal. NWU contended that authors would need “PDF creation software and a flatbed scanner with a platen large enough to scan entire pages of a magazine or newspaper.” NWU Comments at 7. NWU contended that this type of equipment is expensive and that authors who live outside major metropolitan areas may not have access to a copy shop with a scanner large enough to create a PDF of an entire page from the newspaper. Id. To avoid this burden, NWU urged the Office to allow authors to submit their works in a hard copy form, or alternatively, to eliminate the deposit requirement altogether. Id. at 8-9.6

    6 NWU notes that many authors “create and submit their works to periodicals in word processor, text, or HTML file formats, not as the PDF files or page images required by the proposed rules,” but does not suggest that the version of a work as submitted to the publisher would suffice. See NWU Comments at 6. In many cases these works are further edited by the publisher after being received from the author. And as noted in the NPRM, a copy of the work in the precise form it was published provides better proof that the work was indeed published in a periodical. 81 FR at 86640.

    As a preliminary matter, the Office notes that many periodicals publish electronic replicas of their periodicals in downloadable or printable format.7 It may also be possible for authors to obtain a digital copy in the precise form it was published in the periodical from the periodical publisher directly. As for NWU's contention that special equipment would be needed to create a PDF copy of a contribution that appeared in a magazine or newspaper, the Office notes that even standard home office equipment will generate an acceptable deposit. Most magazines fit comfortably on a multi-function printer or scanner capable of copying a page sized 81/2 x 11″ or 11 x 17″—machines many applicants already possess, or can access at a local library or copy shop. And a newspaper could be scanned simply by folding the page in half and scanning the upper and lower portion of that page.

    7See, e.g., the Washington Post's e-Replica edition, at http://thewashingtonpost.pressreader.com/the-washington-post. With a subscription, a person can right-click on any article and print it; some browsers, including Google Chrome, will allow you to “print” the article as a PDF file.

    Even a scanner is not necessary to generate an acceptable file. The vast majority of the U.S. population owns a cell phone; as of 2016, Pew Research Center estimated that 77% of American adults owned a smartphone, and that number continues to rise.8 Most smartphones contain a camera that can be used to take a photograph and save that image as an electronic file; indeed, 95% of cameras sold in 2014 were smartphone cameras.9 In addition, there are many free apps that permit a smartphone camera to be used as a PDF scanner.10 Thus, even if an author does not have access to a household scanner, and does not have access to a local merchant or library that provides scanning services, he or she can take a digital photograph or scan of that excerpt and submit it as the deposit, so long as the work is legible.

    8See Aaron Smith, Record shares of Americans now own smartphones, have home broadband, Pew Research Center (Jan. 12, 2017), http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/.

    9 Tomi T. Ahonen, Camera Stats: World has 5.8B Cameras by 4B Unique Camera Owners: 89% of camera owners use a cameraphone to take pictures; This year first time 1 Trillion pictures are taken, Communities Dominate Brands Blog (Aug. 11, 2014), http://communitiesdominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/08/camera-stats-world-has-48b-cameras-by-4b-unique-camera-owners-88-of-them-use-cameraphone-to-take-pic.html.

    10 Sarah Mitroff, The best scanning apps for Android and iPhone, CNET (Sept. 8, 2015), https://www.cnet.com/how-to/best-scanning-apps-for-android-and-iphone/.

    To facilitate the use of these various options, the final rule clarifies that applicants may upload an electronic copy of their works in any of the formats listed on the Office's Web site. The list includes PDF as well as common formats used in digital photography such as .jpg and .tiff. See eCO Acceptable File Types, U.S. Copyright Office, https://www.copyright.gov/eco/help-file-types.html.

    The Office recognizes that there may be rare cases where an author does not have access to any of these resources. The Office also recognizes AG's concerns that some authors may not be comfortable using this type of technology even if it is readily available. The final rule addresses these concerns by clarifying, as mentioned in the NPRM, that applicants may request special relief under § 202.20(d) if they are unable to comply with the deposit requirements for this group option.

    The Office, however, is unable to eliminate the deposit requirement entirely, as NWU recommends. NWU Comments at 8. NWU notes that electronic works published in the United States and available only online have been exempted “from the general deposit requirement.” Id. at 13. NWU contends that the Register of Copyrights has similar authority to exempt online works from the deposit requirement for registration. Id. NWU appears to confuse mandatory deposit under section 407 with the deposit requirement for registration under section 408. The Register has the statutory authority under section 407(c) to exempt certain categories of works from mandatory deposit, and recently created a broad exemption for online works. The Register also has the authority under section 408(c)(1) to specify the nature of the copies or phonorecords to be submitted for registration. But the Register does not have the authority to waive the registration deposit requirement altogether. NWU also contends that the Office's application forms have not been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, citing 44 U.S.C. 3507. Id. at 7. These requirements do not apply to the Office; the Office is a component of the Library of Congress, which is not an agency “in the executive branch of the Government” under that statute. 44 U.S.C. 3502(1); see Ethnic Employees of the Library of Congress v. Boorstin, 751 F.2d 1405, 1416 n.15 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (noting that the Library of Congress is not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act or the Freedom of Information Act).11

    11 The Copyright Office is subject to the APA and FOIA only because there is a specific statutory provision in title 17 providing so, although it carves out certain actions from the scope of even those provisions. See 17 U.S.C. 701(e). There is no equivalent provision specifically rendering the Copyright Office subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    C. Definition of “Periodical”

    The NPRM proposed a definition of “periodical” consistent with the one that has appeared in in the Compendium since December 22, 2014. It states that a periodical is a collective work that is issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in successive issues that are intended to be continued indefinitely. It also recognizes that each issue of a periodical usually bears the same title, as well as numerical or chronological designations.12 See Compendium, section 1115.1; 37 CFR 202.3(b)(1)(v); 56 FR 7812, 7813 (Feb. 26, 1991). Contributions to an electronically printed (“ePrint”) publication may be registered under GRCP if that publication fits within the regulatory definition of a “periodical.” The NPRM clarified that a Web site would not be considered a periodical, since they may be updated on a continual basis rather than on an established schedule.

    12 The proposed rule provided examples of the types of publications that typically qualify as a periodical, such as newspapers, newsletters, magazines, annuals, and other similar works. 81 FR at 86643. To avoid confusion, the Office decided not to include these examples in the final rule, because those examples may not always qualify as “periodicals.” For instance, a weekly “newsletter” consisting of a single article written by a single author would not be a “collective work,” and thus would not qualify as a periodical.

    AG objects to this definition, calling the distinction between “ePrint” publications and Web sites “arbitrary.” AG Comments at 3. AG is concerned that the distinction “would have the effect of disqualifying a great number of electronically-published works from GRCP eligibility.” Id. Specifically, AG notes that nearly all news sites on the internet are updated “on a continual basis,” and as such, contributions to those would not be eligible for GRCP. Id. The Office has considered these concerns, but notes that at this time, GRCP is a group registration option intended for a specific class of copyrightable works—one that is specifically mandated by the Copyright Act. When developing its priorities for future upgrades to the electronic registration system, the Office will take these concerns into account.

    Finally, AG states that the Office should not “restrict the definition [of “periodical”] to works that bear the same `numerical or chronological designations.' ” Id. The rule here is not as restrictive as AG suggests. It offers only guidance that “in most cases,” periodicals will bear those designations. § 202.4(g)(4) (emphasis added). Where a periodical does not bear those designations, but otherwise bears the features of a periodical, the Office is likely to conclude that it falls within the definition.

    In a similar vein, NWU seeks a new group registration method for contributions to Web sites, as well as other categories of works. Specifically, NWU submitted a petition urging the Office to create additional group registration options for the following categories of works: “(a) Multiple works first distributed electronically on multiple dates, regardless of whether they constitute contributions to periodicals or a database and regardless of whether they might be deemed to have been, at the time of registration, published or unpublished, and (b) multiple works that would otherwise be eligible for group registration except that they were not first published as contributions to periodicals.” NWU Comments at 4, 11-12. The Office is considering the NWU's requests and will take them into account when developing its priorities for future upgrades to the electronic registration system.

    D. Additional Objections

    NWU raises an additional objection to the proposed rule. NWU contends that requiring authors to register their works in a timely manner and to deposit a copy of the work with the Office as a condition for filing an infringement action or seeking attorneys' fees or statutory damages constitutes an impermissible formality that is prohibited by the Berne Convention. They also contend that these statutory requirements deny authors an “effective remedy” for infringement, which is required by the WIPO Copyright Treaty. NWU Comments at 4-5. Although the Office does not agree that these requirements violate Berne or the WCT, this rulemaking is not the proper forum in which to address these concerns in detail. The statutory requirements that NWU complains of are part of the Copyright Act and the Office cannot create exceptions to them as part of this rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Parts 201 and 202

    Copyright.

    Final Regulations

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Copyright Office amends 37 CFR parts 201 and 202 as follows:

    PART 201—GENERAL PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for part 201 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    17 U.S.C. 702.

    2. In § 201.3, revise paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 201.3 Fees for registration, recordation, and related services, special services, and services performed by the Licensing Division.

    (c) * * *

    (2) Registration of a claim in a group of contributions to periodicals or a group of database updates 85
    3. Amend § 201.7 as follows: a. In the last sentence in paragraph (c)(4) introductory text, add the phrase “examples of” after the phrase “The following are”. b. In paragraph (c)(4)(i), remove the semicolon and add a period in its place. c. In paragraph (c)(4)(ii), remove “1989,” and add in its place “1989” and remove “notice;” and add in its place “notice.” . d. In paragraphs (c)(4)(iii) through (viii), remove the semicolon and add a period in its place. e. Remove paragraph (c)(4)(ix) and redesignate paragraphs (c)(4)(x) and (xi) as paragraphs (c)(4)(ix) and (x), respectively. f. In newly redesignated paragraph (c)(4)(ix), remove the term “; and ” and add a period in its place. g. Add new paragraph (c)(4)(xi).

    The addition reads as follows:

    § 201.7 Cancellation of completed registrations.

    (c) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (xi) The requirements for registering a group of related works under section 408(c) of title 17 of the United States Code have not been met.

    PART 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT 4. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702.

    5. Amend § 202.3 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (b)(4)(ii). b. Remove and reserve paragraph (b)(8). c. In paragraph (b)(11)(ii), redesignate footnote 4 as footnote 2. d. In paragraph (c)(2) introductory text, remove the reference to footnote “6” and add the phrase “or § 202.4, as applicable” at the end of the second sentence. e. In paragraph (c)(2)(iv), remove footnote 5. f. Designate the undesignated sentence following paragraph (c)(2)(iv) as paragraph (c)(3).

    The revision read as follows:

    § 202.3 Registration of copyright.

    (b) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (ii) In the case of an application for registration made under paragraphs (b)(4) through (10) of this section or under § 202.4, the “year of creation,” “year of completion,” or “year in which creation of this work was completed” means the latest year in which the creation of any copyrightable element was completed.

    6. Add § 202.4 to read as follows:
    § 202.4 Group registration.

    (a) General. This section prescribes conditions for issuing a registration for a group of related works under section 408(c) of title 17 of the United States Code.

    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the terms compilation, collective work, copy, derivative work, and work made for hire have the meanings set forth in section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code, and the terms claimant, Class TX, Class VA, and works of the visual arts have the meanings set forth in § 202.3(a)(3) and (b)(1)(i) and (iii).

    (c) [Reserved]

    (d) [Reserved]

    (e) [Reserved]

    (f) [Reserved]

    (g) Group registration of contributions to periodicals. Pursuant to the authority granted by 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2), the Register of Copyrights has determined that a group of contributions to periodicals may be registered in Class TX or Class VA with one application, one filing fee, and the required deposit, if the following conditions are met:

    (1) All the contributions in the group must be created by the same individual.

    (2) The copyright claimant must be the same person or organization for all the contributions.

    (3) The contributions must not be works made for hire.

    (4) Each work must be first published as a contribution to a periodical, and all the contributions must be first published within a twelve-month period (e.g., January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015; February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016). For purposes of this section, a periodical is a collective work that is issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in successive issues that are intended to be continued indefinitely. In most cases, each issue will bear the same title, as well as numerical or chronological designations.

    (5) If any of the contributions were first published before March 1, 1989, those works must bear a separate copyright notice, the notice must contain the copyright owner's name (or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation for the owner), and the name that appears in each notice must be the same.

    (6) The applicant must complete and submit the online application designated for a group of contributions to periodicals. The application must identify each contribution that is included in the group, including the date of publication for each contribution and the periodical in which it was first published. The application may be submitted by any of the parties listed in § 202.3(c)(1). The application should be filed in Class TX if a majority of the contributions predominantly consist of text, and the application should be filed in Class VA if a majority of the contributions predominantly consist of photographs, illustrations, artwork, or other works of the visual arts.

    (7) The appropriate filing fee, as required by § 201.3(c) of this chapter, must be included with the application or charged to an active deposit account.

    (8) The applicant must submit one copy of each contribution that is included in the group, either by submitting the entire issue of the periodical where the contribution was first published, the entire section of the newspaper where it was first published, or the specific page(s) from the periodical where the contribution was first published. The contributions must be contained in separate electronic files that comply with § 202.20(b)(2)(iii). The files must be submitted in a PDF, JPG, or other electronic format approved by the Office, and they must be uploaded to the electronic registration system, preferably in a .zip file containing all the files. The file size for each uploaded file must not exceed 500 megabytes; the files may be compressed to comply with this requirement.

    (9) In an exceptional case, the Copyright Office may waive the online filing requirement set forth in paragraph (g)(6) of this section or may grant special relief from the deposit requirement under § 202.20(d), subject to such conditions as the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of the Office of Registration Policy and Practice may impose on the applicant.

    (h) [Reserved]

    (i) [Reserved]

    (j) [Reserved]

    (k) Refusal to register. The Copyright Office may refuse registration if the applicant fails to satisfy the requirements for registering a group of related works under this section or § 202.3(b)(5) through (7), (9), or (10).

    (l) Cancellation. If the Copyright Office issues a registration for a group of related works and subsequently determines that the requirements for that group option have not been met, and if the claimant fails to cure the deficiency after being notified by the Office, the registration may be cancelled in accordance with § 201.7 of this chapter.

    (m) The scope of a group registration. When the Office issues a group registration under paragraph (g) of this section, the registration covers each work in the group and each work is registered as a separate work. For purposes of registration, the group as a whole is not considered a compilation, a collective work, or a derivative work under sections 101, 103(b), or 504(c)(1) of title 17 of the United States Code.

    § 202.20 [Amended]
    7. Amend § 202.20 as follows: a. In paragraph (d)(1)(i), remove “section;” and add in its place “section; or” . b. In paragraph (d)(1)(iii), remove “section; or” and add in its place “section or § 202.4; or” . c. In paragraph (d)(1)(iv), remove “§ 202.21.” and add in its place “§ 202.4 or § 202.21.”. Dated: May 31, 2017. Karyn Temple Claggett, Acting Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office.

    Approved by:

    Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13548 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-30-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0504; FRL-9964-09-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; GA and SC: Changes to Ambient Air Standards and Definitions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the Georgia State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), on August 30, 2010, and a portion of the SIP revision submitted on July 25, 2014; and portions of revisions to the South Carolina SIP, submitted by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) on December 15, 2014, August 12, 2015, and on November 4, 2016. The Georgia SIP revisions incorporate definitions relating to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and amend state rules to reflect the 2008 national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for lead. The South Carolina SIP revisions incorporate the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS, 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS, 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, 2015 ozone NAAQS, removes the revoked 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and remove the standard for gaseous fluorides from the SIP. This action is being taken pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective August 28, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by July 31, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0504 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9089 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Sections 108 and 109 of the CAA govern the establishment, review, and revision, as appropriate, of the NAAQS for the criteria air pollutants (CAPs) to protect public health and welfare. The CAA requires periodic review of the air quality criteria—the science upon which the standards are based—and the standards themselves. EPA's regulatory provisions that govern the NAAQS are found at 40 CFR part 50—National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards.

    A. Summary of Actions for Georgia SIP Revisions

    In this rulemaking, EPA is taking direct final action to approve the portion of Georgia's July 25, 2014, submission amending Georgia's regulations to incorporate the 2008 lead NAAQS, which is found at GA EPD Rule 391-3-1-.02(4), “Ambient Air Standards,” at regulation (f)1. EPA is also taking final action on Georgia's August 30, 2010, submittal incorporating definitions of PM2.5 and PM2.5 emissions.

    Through this rulemaking, the Agency is not acting on the following changes to Georgia's SIP included in the July 25, 2014, submittal: Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(a)—“General Provisions”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(e)—“Particulate Emissions from Manufacturing Processes”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(l)—“Conical Burners”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(o)—“Cupola Furnaces for Metallurgical Melting”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(p)—“Particulate Emissions from Kaolin and Fuller's Earth Processes”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(q)—“Particulate Emissions from Cotton Gins”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(gg)—“Kraft Pulp Mills”; changes to Rule 391-3-1-.02(6)(a)—“Specific Monitoring and Reporting Requirements for Specific Sources”; or 391-3-1-.03(8)—“Permit Requirements.” EPA will address these changes in a separate action. Changes made to Rule 391-3-1-.01(llll), “Volatile Organic Compounds,” in the July 25, 2014, submittal were approved by EPA on October 5, 2016. See 81 FR 68936. Changes made to Rule 391-3-1-.01(nnnn), “Procedures for Testing and Monitoring Sources of Air Pollution,” in the July 25, 2014, submittal were approved by EPA in a rulemaking published on January 5, 2017. See 82 FR 1206.

    B. Summary of Actions for South Carolina SIP Revisions

    EPA is taking direct final action to approve portions of the December 15, 2014, submittal, a portion of the August 12, 2015, submittal, and a portion of the November 4, 2016, submittal amending South Carolina's regulations to incorporate the updated 2010 SO2 NAAQS, 2010 NO2 NAAQS, 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, and 2015 ozone NAAQS, while removing the revoked 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and removing a non-CAP standard (gaseous fluorides) from the South Carolina rule.

    EPA is not acting on certain changes to South Carolina's SIP included in the December 15, 2014, submittal, which would have removed the annual SO2 standard of 0.03 parts per million (ppm) and the 24-hour standard of 0.14 ppm, because the State's request to remove these standards from the SIP was withdrawn from EPA consideration by the State in a letter dated December 20, 2016. In accordance with 40 CFR 50.4(e), the annual and 24-hour standards are still applicable in South Carolina because designations for the 2010 1-hour NAAQS have not been completed in the State. Once designations are completed in the State for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, the annual SO2 and 24-hour SO2 NAAQS will be revoked for the State one year after the effective date of the final designation. The December 20, 2016, withdrawal letter is included in the docket for this action.

    EPA is also not acting on the following changes to South Carolina's SIP included in the August 12, 2015, submittal at this time: Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 1—“Emissions from Fuel Burning Operations”; Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7—“Prevention of Significant Deterioration”; or Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1—“Nonattainment New Source Review (NSR).” EPA will address these changes in a separate action.

    The SIP submittals amending Georgia's and South Carolina's rules to incorporate the NAAQS and related provisions can be found in the docket for this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov and are summarized below.

    II. Analysis of State's Submittals A. GA EPD Rule 391-3-1-.02(4)—“Ambient Air Standards”

    On November 12, 2008 (73 FR 66964), EPA revised the primary lead NAAQS from 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) to 0.15 µg/m3 based on a rolling 3-month average for both the primary and secondary standards. Georgia revised Rule 391-3-1-.02(4)(f), “Lead,” via an August 30, 2010,1 SIP submission, to update the standard for lead from 1.5 µg/m3 to 0.15 µg/m3. EPA approved this revision in a May 16, 2013 (78 FR 28744), direct final rule, which became effective on July 15, 2013. However, the method of calculating the corresponding design value for the 2008 lead NAAQS was not updated in Georgia's SIP. The 2008 lead NAAQS revised the method of calculating the corresponding design value to a rolling 3-month average over a 3-year period, whereas the previous NAAQS used calendar quarter averages over a 3-year period. On July 25, 2014, GA EPD submitted another revision to 391-3-1-.02(4)(f) to revise the form of the standard (i.e., the method of calculating the design value) to match that of the 2008 lead NAAQS. This SIP revision also adds a statement that attainment will be determined in accordance with federal standards at 40 CFR 50.16 (“National primary and secondary ambient air quality standards for lead”). EPA has determined that this is consistent with federal standards and provisions related to the lead NAAQS and is therefore approving this portion of the July 25, 2014, SIP submittal revising the Georgia SIP. These changes became state effective on August 1, 2013.

    1 GA EPD submitted three separate SIP submittals to EPA dated August 30, 2010. The August 30, 2010, SIP submittal that EPA is acting on in this direct final action, related to definitions at Rule 391-3-1-.01 (see section II.B. below), is not the same submittal referred to here that originally revised the lead NAAQS.

    B. GA EPD Rule 391-3-1-.01—“Definitions”

    Georgia is adopting a definition for “ `PM2.5 ' or `Fine Particulate Matter' ” at Rule 391-3-.01(rrrr) and a definition for “PM2.5 emissions” at Rule 391-3-1-.01(ssss). GA EPD is adopting definitions related to PM2.5 to reflect federal definitions at 40 CFR 53.1 and 40 CFR 51.100. Specifically, PM2.5 is defined in the CFR as “particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 2.5 micrometers as measured by a reference method based on appendix L of part 50 of this chapter and designated in accordance with part 53 of this chapter, by an equivalent method designated in accordance with part 53 of this chapter.” Georgia's definition is consistent with the federal definition.

    “PM2.5 emissions” is not specifically written out in the CFR, but “PM10 emissions” is defined at 40 CFR 51.100(rr) as “finely divided solid or liquid material, with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 10 micrometers emitted to the ambient air as measured by an applicable reference method, or an equivalent or alternative method, specified in this chapter or by a test method specified in an approved State implementation plan.” Georgia's SIP definition for “PM2.5 emissions” is consistent with the form of the definition for “PM10 emissions” at 40 CFR 51.100(rr), substituting only that “PM2.5 emissions” correspond to an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers.

    EPA is approving the aforementioned changes to Rule 391-3-1-.01 into the SIP to provide consistency with the federal definitions related to CAPs. These rule changes became state effective on April 12, 2009.

    C. SC DHEC Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards” 1. SO2

    On June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520), EPA published a revision to the primary NAAQS for SO2, setting the standard at 75 parts per billion (ppb) and changing the form of the standard from 24-hour and annual to a 1-hour standard. Accordingly, in the December 15, 2014, SIP submission, South Carolina updated Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” to adopt the new primary 1-hour SO2 NAAQS to be consistent with EPA's June 22, 2010, final rule. EPA is approving South Carolina's update to 61-62.5 regarding only the incorporation of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS because this change is consistent with federal regulations. As explained in Section I, EPA is not acting on the removal of the annual or 24-hour SO2 NAAQS because these changes were withdrawn from EPA consideration in a letter dated December 20, 2016. This change to incorporate the new 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS became state effective on September 26, 2014.

    2. NO2

    On February 9, 2010 (75 FR 6474), EPA published a revision to the primary NAAQS for NO2, adding a 1-hour primary standard set at 100 ppb and retaining the existing annual standard set at 53 ppb. Accordingly, in the December 15, 2014, SIP submission, South Carolina updated Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” to adopt the new primary 1-hour NO2 NAAQS to be consistent with EPA's February 9, 2010, final rule. EPA is approving South Carolina's update to 61-62.5 regarding NO2 because this change is consistent with federal regulations. This change became state effective on September 26, 2014.

    3. PM2.5

    On December 14, 2012 (78 FR 3086), EPA published a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. In that action, EPA revised the primary annual PM2.5 standard, strengthening it from 15.0 μg/m3 to 12.0 μg/m3, and retained the existing primary 24-hour PM2.5 standard at 35 μg/m3. The December 14, 2012, final rule also retained the secondary 24-hour standard of 35 μg/m3 and the secondary annual standard of 15.0 μg/m3, revising only the form of the secondary annual standard to remove the option for spatial averaging, consistent with the form change to the primary annual PM2.5 standard. Accordingly, in the December 15, 2014, SIP submittal, South Carolina revised Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” to update the primary air quality standard for PM2.5 to be consistent with the NAAQS that were promulgated by EPA in 2012. South Carolina's December 15, 2014, SIP revision also retains the ambient air standards corresponding to the secondary annual and 24-hour NAAQS.2 EPA has reviewed these changes to South Carolina's rule for ambient air standards and has made the determination that this change is consistent with federal regulations. These changes became state effective on September 26, 2014.

    2 South Carolina's December 15, 2014, SIP revision appears to incorporate the 24-hour and annual secondary PM2.5 NAAQS for the first time. However, these secondary PM2.5 NAAQS were already approved into the SIP. The annual secondary PM2.5 NAAQS of 15 μg/m3 was adopted in a November 19, 2004, submittal and approved on August 22, 2007 (72 FR 46903). The 24-hour secondary NAAQS at 35 μg/m3 was adopted in a December 4, 2008, submittal and approved on April 3, 2013 (78 FR 19994).

    4. Ozone

    Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards.” EPA published a revised primary 8-hour ozone NAAQS on October 26, 2015 (80 FR 65292). In that action, EPA strengthened the ozone NAAQS from 0.075 parts per million (ppm), as promulgated in 2008, to 0.070 parts per million (ppm). Accordingly, South Carolina's November 4, 2016, SIP submittal adopts the 2015 NAAQS at Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards.” The submittal also removes the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS from the SIP. EPA revoked the 1997 8-hour ozone standard of 0.08 ppm with the March 6, 2015, final rule implementing the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 80 FR 12264. The March 6, 2015, final rule, including the revocation of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, became effective on April 6, 2015. EPA is approving the incorporation of the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS into the South Carolina SIP, and the removal of the revoked 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS from the South Carolina SIP, because the changes are consistent with federal regulations. These changes became state effective on September 23, 2016.

    5. Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

    South Carolina's August 12, 2015, SIP submittal removes the standards set for gaseous fluorides (as hydrogen fluoride) from Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards.” Hydrogen fluoride is a HAP, which SC DHEC regulates under its state rule at Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 8, “Toxic Air Pollutants,” rather than the SIP. EPA is approving the removal of these standards from the South Carolina SIP, as there are no primary or secondary NAAQS related to this pollutant and the revision therefore will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or reasonable further progress pursuant to CAA section 110(l). These changes became state effective on June 26, 2015.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of GA EPD Rule 391-3-1-.01, “Definitions,” adding definitions of “PM2.5” and “PM2.5 Emissions,” effective August 14, 2016 and Rule 391-3-1-.02(4), “Ambient Air Standards,” updating the incorporation of the lead NAAQS, effective October 14, 2014; 3 EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of SC DHEC Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, “Ambient Air Quality Standards,” effective September 23, 2016, adopting NAAQS for SO2, NO2, and PM2.5, while removing a HAP standard from the SIP. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.4 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    3 The effective date of the change to Rule 391-3-1-.01 made in Georgia's August 30, 2010, SIP revision is April 12, 2009. However, for purposes of the state effective date included at 40 CFR 52.570(c), that change to Georgia's rule is captured and superseded by Georgia's update in a November 29, 2016, SIP revision, state effective on August 14, 2016, which EPA previously approved on January 5, 2017. See 82 FR 1207. The effective date of the change to Rule 391-3-1-.01 made in Georgia's July 25, 2014, SIP revision is August 1, 2013. However, for purposes of the state effective date included at 40 CFR 52.570(c), that change to Georgia's rule is captured and superseded by Georgia's update in a November 12, 2014, SIP revision, state effective on October 14, 2014, which EPA previously approved on July 31, 2015. See 80 FR 45609.

    4 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving changes to the Georgia SIP at Rule 391-3-1-.01, submitted on August 30, 2010, and changes to Rule 391-3-1-02(4), submitted on July 25, 2014, because they are consistent with the CAA and federal regulations. EPA is also approving changes to the South Carolina SIP at Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, submitted on December 15, 2014, and subsequently August 12, 2015, because they are consistent with the CAA and federal regulations. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views these submittals as noncontroversial and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective August 28, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by July 31, 2017.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on August 28, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    EPA has determined that this direct final rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the determination does not have “substantial direct effects” on an Indian Tribe as a result of these actions. With respect to this direct final action as it relates to South Carolina, EPA notes that the Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the South Carolina and pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, S.C. Code Ann. 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” EPA notes these actions will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 28, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: June 13, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart L—Georgia 2. Section 52.570(c) is amended by revising the entries for “391-3-1-.01” and “391-3-1-.02(4)” to read as follows:
    § 52.570 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Georgia Regulations State citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    391-3-1-.01 Definitions 8/14/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 391-3-1-.02(4) Ambient Air Standards 10/14/2014 7/31/2015, 80 FR 45609 EPA approved changes to Rule 391-3-1-.02(4) with state effective date August 1, 2013 on June 29, 2017 [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Subpart PP—South Carolina 3. Section 52.2120(c), is amended by revising the entry under “Regulation No. 62.5” for “Standard No. 2” to read as follows:
    § 52.2120 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Air Pollution Control Regulations for South Carolina State citation Title/subject State

  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Federal Register
  • notice
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Standard No. 2 Ambient Air Quality Standards 9/23/2016 6/29/2017 [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-13543 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0113; FRL-9964-06-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Permit Exemptions and Definitions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving portions of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), on September 19, 2006, with a clarification submitted on November 6, 2006. This direct final action approves changes to existing minor source permitting exemptions and approves a definition related to minor source permitting exemptions. EPA is approving these portions of this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that they are consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective August 28, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by July 31, 2017. If EPA receives such comment, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0113 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9089 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On September 19, 2006, GA EPD submitted SIP revisions to EPA for review and approval into the Georgia SIP. GA EPD submitted a clarification on November 6, 2006, which fixed typographical errors in the original submission. The submission contains changes to a number of Georgia's air quality rules at Rule 391-3-1. EPA is approving the portions of the SIP revisions that modify Rule 391-3-1-.01—“Definitions,” and Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)—“Exemptions.” The changes requested by Georgia in the SIP revision are discussed below in Section II.

    EPA is not acting on the changes to the following rule sections proposed by Georgia because the rule sections are not incorporated into the SIP: Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(ppp)—“Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(8)—“New Source Performance Standards”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(9)—“Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants”; Rule 391-3-1-.03(9)—“Permit Fees”; and Rule 391-3-1-.03(10)—“Title V Operating Permits. EPA is not acting on changes to Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(ooo)—“Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Requirements,” included in the September 19, 2006, submittal because the changes were withdrawn from EPA consideration by the State in a letter dated January 25, 2016. EPA is not acting on changes to Rule 391-3-1-.02(6)—“Specific Monitoring and Reporting Requirements for Particular Sources—Emission Statements,” at paragraph (a)(4) because a subsequent revision to the rules, submitted on March 5, 2007, was approved on November 27, 2009, and supersedes the September 19, 2006, submittal. See 74 FR 62249. Accordingly, GA EPD withdrew this superseded revision to Rule 391-3-1-.02(6) from EPA consideration in a letter dated December 1, 2016.

    EPA has previously approved the majority of revisions to Georgia rules originally included in the September 19, 2006, submittal. The following revisions were previously approved on February 9, 2010 (75 FR 6309), as corrected on August 26, 2010 (75 FR 52470): Rule 391-3-1-.01—“Definitions” at paragraph (llll), “Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)” and at paragraph (nnnn), “Procedures for Testing and Monitoring Sources of Air Pollutants”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(d)—“Fuel Burning Equipment”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(tt)—“VOC Emissions From Major Sources”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(yy)—“Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides [NOX] From Major Sources”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(rrr)—“NOX Emissions from Small Fuel-Burning Equipment”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(4)—“Ambient Air Standards”; Rule 391-3-1-.02(5)—“Open Burning”; Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)—“Exemptions” at paragraph (b), “Combustion Equipment” and paragraph (j), ” Construction Permit Exemption for Pollution Control Projects”; Rule 391-3-1-.03(11)—“Permit by Rule”; and the repeal of Rule 391-3-1-.05—“Regulatory Exemptions.” The revisions to Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(zz)—“Gasoline Dispensing Facilities—Stage II,” were approved on December 1, 2010. See 75 FR 74624. The revisions to Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(mmm)—“NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines and Stationary Engines used to Generate Electricity,” were approved on August 1, 2015. See 80 FR 52627. EPA previously approved the revisions submitted to Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)—“Exemptions” at paragraph (i), “Other [sources]” on April 9, 2013. See 78 FR 21065. EPA also previously approved the revisions submitted to Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)—“Exemptions” at paragraph (j), “Construction Permit Exemption for Pollution Control Projects” on February 9, 2010. See 75 FR 6309. Finally, the change submitted to Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)—“Exemptions,” at paragraph (g), subparagraph 5, which revised applicability for an exemption for fuel burning operations at municipal solid waste landfills for NOX, was previously approved, as submitted on March 15, 2005, and therefore, is not before the EPA for consideration in this action. See 70 FR 24310 (May 9, 2005).

    II. Analysis of Georgia's Submittal A. Rule 391-3-1-.01—“Definitions”

    Georgia seeks to add a definition of “pollution control projects” to its SIP at Rule 391-3-1-.01(qqqq). This definition lists certain projects, described as “environmentally beneficial,” that are exempted from the minor new source review (NSR) construction permit requirements under Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)(j). The exemption does not apply to sources subject to major NSR requirements under either Rule 391-3-1-.02(7) (“Prevention of Significant Deterioration [PSD] of Air Quality”), or Rule 391-3-1-.03(8) “Permit Requirements” under paragraph (c), (Georgia's nonattainment new source review (NNSR)). The exemption for pollution control projects applies to minor sources only, limiting any emissions increases from the exempted projects to below the major source thresholds for all pollutants.

    EPA previously approved the exemption for pollution control projects for minor sources at Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)(j) on February 9, 2010. See 75 FR 6309. In this action, EPA is approving a definition of “pollution control projects” at Rule 391-3-1-.01(qqqq). Because this definition only applies to minor sources, it is not impacted by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision in New York v. EPA, 413 F.3d 3 (D.C. Cir.), in which the D.C. Circuit vacated an exemption for pollution control projects from the federal NSR regulations for major sources. Georgia's major NSR rules are consistent with federal rules and the D.C. Circuit decision on pollution control projects for major NSR.

    Section 110(l) of the CAA prevents EPA from approving a SIP revision that would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the Act. EPA has determined that the change to Rule 391-3-1-.01(qqqq) will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or any other applicable requirement of the CAA because the change clarifies a previously approved exemption from the construction permit requirements.

    B. Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)—“Exemptions”

    Georgia is revising existing exemptions from minor NSR permitting by adding language to clarify that these exemptions do not extend to sources that are subject to new source performance standards for stationary sources (NSPS) or national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAPs). Georgia's SIP at Rule 391-3-1-.03(6) currently provides exemptions from permitting requirements, so long as the exemption is not used to avoid any other “applicable requirement,” such as NSPS or NESHAPS. Rule 391-3-1.03(6)(g)1. currently exempts sanitary wastewater collection systems other than incineration equipment from obtaining minor source construction permits; Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)(g)2. exempts on site soil or groundwater decontamination units from obtaining these permits. The September 19, 2006, SIP revision changes these provisions to reiterate the condition that only systems and units in (g)1. and (g)2. that “are not subject to any standard, limitation or other requirement under section 111 or section 112 (excluding section 112(r))” of the CAA—corresponding to NSPS and NESHAPs, respectively—are exempted. These changes became state effective on July 13, 2006.

    EPA has determined that these changes will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or any other applicable requirement of the CAA and therefore satisfy section 110(l) of the CAA, because no substantive changes are made to the existing exemptions, and the clarifying amendments provide greater certainty to sources and the public about applicability of the Rule.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Rule 391-3-1-.01(qqqq), “Definitions,” effective August 14, 2016,1 and Rule 391-3-1-.03(6)(g) “Permits,” effective August 9, 2012.2 Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.3 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through https://www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    1 The effective date of the change to Rule 391-3-1-.01 made in Georgia's September 19, 2006, SIP revision is July 13, 2006. However, for purposes of the state effective date included at 40 CFR 52.570(c), that change to Georgia's rule is captured and superseded by Georgia's update in a November 29, 2016, SIP revision, state effective on August 14, 2016, which EPA previously approved on January 5, 2017. See 82 FR 1207 (January 5, 2017).

    2 The effective date of the change to Rule 391-3-1-.03 made in Georgia's September 19, 2006, SIP revision is July 13, 2006. However, for purposes of the state effective date included at 40 CFR 52.570(c), that change to Georgia's rule is captured and superseded by Georgia's update in a July 26, 2012, SIP revision, which EPA previously approved on April 9, 2013. See 78 FR 21065.

    3See 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving the aforementioned changes to the Georgia SIP at Rules 391-3-1-.01(qqqq) and 391-3-1-.03(6)(g) because they are consistent with the CAA. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective August 28, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by July 31, 2017.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on August 28, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249 (November 9, 2000)), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 28, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart L—Georgia 2. Amend § 52.570(c) by revising the entries for “391-3-1-.01” and “391-3-1-.03” to read as follows:
    § 52.570 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Georgia Regulations State citation Title/subject State
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    391-3-1-.01 Definitions 8/14/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 391-3-1-.03 Permits 8/9/2012 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-13536 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0615; FRL-9963-41-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County; New Source Review (NSR) Preconstruction Permitting Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving portions of revisions to the applicable New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. The EPA is approving the following: The establishment of a new Minor NSR general construction permitting program; changes to the Minor NSR Public Participation requirements; and the addition of exemptions from Minor NSR permitting for inconsequential emission sources and activities. Additionally, the EPA is conditionally approving the provisions establishing accelerated review and technical permit revisions.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0615. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aimee Wilson, 214-665-7596, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our March 10, 2017 proposal (82 FR 13270). In that document, we proposed to approve the revisions to the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Minor NSR permitting program submitted on July 26, 2013, as supplemented on April 21, 2016; July 5, 2016; September 19, 2016; and December 20, 2016, that update the regulations to be consistent with federal requirements for Minor NSR permitting, remove a provision that refers to obsolete ambient air standards that are unique to the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board, and remove the reference to the State of New Mexico non-methane hydrocarbon standard in 20.11.44 NMAC. We also proposed to conditionally approve severable provisions submitted on July 26, 2013, as supplemented on April 21, 2016; July 5, 2016; September 19, 2016; and December 20, 2016, which establish, and pertain to, the accelerated permitting procedures, conflict of interest, and technical permit revisions.

    II. Final Action

    We are approving revisions to the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Minor NSR permitting program submitted on July 26, 2013, as supplemented on April 21, 2016; July 5, 2016; September 19, 2016; and December 20, 2016. The revisions were adopted and submitted in accordance with the requirements of the CAA and the EPA's regulations regarding SIP development at 40 CFR part 51. Additionally, we have determined that the submitted revisions to the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Minor NSR program are consistent with the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.160-51.164 and the associated policy and guidance. Therefore, under section 110 of the Act, the EPA approves into the New Mexico SIP for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County the following revisions adopted on July 10, 2013, and submitted to the EPA on July 26, 2013:

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.1 NMAC, Issuing Agency;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.2 NMAC, Scope;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.3 NMAC, Statutory Authority;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.4 NMAC, Duration;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.5 NMAC, Effective Date;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.6 NMAC, Objective;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.7 NMAC, Definitions, with the exception of 20.11.41.7.J NMAC, 20.11.41.7.RR NMAC, and the reference to technical permit revisions in 20.11.41.7EE NMAC, as discussed below;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.8 NMAC, Variances;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.9 NMAC, Savings Clause;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.10 NMAC, Severability;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.11 NMAC, Documents;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.12 NMAC, Fees for Permit Application;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.13 NMAC, Application for Permit;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.14 NMAC, Public Participation;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.15 NMAC, Public Information Hearing;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.16 NMAC, Permit Decision and Air Board Hearing on the Merits;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.17 NMAC, Basis for Permit Denial, with the exception of 20.11.41.17.F NMAC, as discussed below;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.18 NMAC, Applicants' Additional Legal Responsibilities;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.19 NMAC, Permit Conditions;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.20 NMAC, Permit Cancellations, Suspension, or Revocation;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.21 NMAC, Permittee's Obligations to Inform the Department and Deliver an Annual Emissions Inventory;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.22 NMAC, Performance Testing;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.23 NMAC, Temporary Relocation of Portable Stationary Sources;

    • Revisions to remove 20.11.41.24 NMAC, Emergency Permits;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.25 NMAC, Nonattainment Area Requirements;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.26 NMAC, Compliance Certification;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.27 NMAC, Enforcement;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.28 NMAC, Administrative and Technical Permit Revisions, with the exception of provisions pertaining to Technical Permit Revisions, as discussed below;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.29 NMAC, Permit Modification;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.30 NMAC, Permit Reopening, Revision and Reissuance; and

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.31 NMAC, General Construction Permits.

    Additionally, the EPA is finalizing the conditional approval of the severable provisions submitted on July 26, 2013, as supplemented on April 21, 2016; July 5, 2016; September 19, 2016; and December 20, 2016, pertaining to the accelerated permitting procedures, technical permit revisions, and the definition of conflict of interest. In a letter dated December 22, 2016, the City of Albuquerque has committed to addressing the concerns identified in our proposed conditional approval within one year from the date of the EPA's final conditional approval. Based on this commitment and the authority provided under section 110(k)(4) of the Act, we have determined it is appropriate to conditionally approve into the New Mexico SIP for the City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County the following revisions adopted on July 10, 2013, and submitted to the EPA on July 26, 2013:

    • The definition of “Conflict of Interest” at 20.11.41.7.J NMAC;

    • The references to “technical permit revisions” in the definition for “Permit” at 20.11.41.7.EE NMAC;

    • The definition of “Technical permit revision or technical revision” at 20.11.41.7.RR NMAC;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.17.F NMAC for conflict of interest;

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.28 NMAC, pertaining to Technical Permit Revisions; and

    • Revisions to 20.11.41.32 NMAC, Accelerated Review of Application.

    The City of Albuquerque committed in a letter dated December 22, 2016, to adopt specific enforceable measures and to submit these provisions to the EPA for consideration as a SIP revision within one year from the date of the EPA's final conditional approval. If the EPA determines that the submitted revised enforceable measures are complete and approvable, the EPA will take a separate action to propose approval of the revisions. If the State does not meet its commitment within the specified time period by (1) not adopting and submitting measures by the date it committed to, (2) not submitting anything, or (3) EPA finds the submittal incomplete, the approval will be converted to a disapproval. The Regional Administrator would send a letter to the State finding that it did not meet its commitment or that the submittal is incomplete and that the SIP submittal was therefore disapproved. The 18-month clock for sanctions and the two-year clock for a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) would start as of the date of the letter. Subsequently, a notice to that effect would be published in the Federal Register, and appropriate language inserted in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are finalizing the incorporation by reference of the revisions to the New Mexico, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County regulations as described in the Final Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the 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 August 28, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: June 15, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart GG—New Mexico 2. Amend § 52.1620 by: A. In paragraph (c), the second table “EPA Approved Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, NM Regulations” is amended by revising the entry for “Part 41 (20.11.41 NMAC) Authority to Construct”. B. In paragraph (e), the second table titled “EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the New Mexico SIP” is amended by adding four entries at the end of the table.

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 52.1620 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, NM Regulations State citation Title/subject State approval/
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Part 41 (20.11.41 NMAC) Authority to Construct 7/10/2013 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] The following are conditionally approved 20.11.41.7.J NMAC, references to “technical permit revisions” in 20.11.41.EE NMAC, 20.11.41.RR NMAC, 20.11.41.17.F NMAC, 20.11.41.28 NMAC, and 20.11.41.32 NMAC. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the New Mexico SIP Name of SIP
  • Provisions
  • Applicable geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal/
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * City of Albuquerque Clarification Letter on Minor NSR SIP City of Albuquerque—Bernalillo County 4/21/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] City of Albuquerque Clarification Letter Providing Public Notices of Minor NSR to EPA City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County 6/5/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] City of Albuquerque Letter regarding Public Notice for Minor NSR City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County 9/19/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] City of Albuquerque Minor NSR Commitment Letter City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County 12/20/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2017-13449 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0790; FRL 9964-04-Region 7] Approval of Missouri's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees and Process Information AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule and correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve revisions to the Operating Permits Program for the State of Missouri submitted on March 16, 2015. These revisions update the emissions fee for permitted sources as set by Missouri Statute from $40 to $48 per ton of air pollution emitted annually, effective January 1, 2016. EPA is also responding to comments received on the proposed action published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016. In addition, EPA is making a correction to the previous direct final rule published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016. EPA inadvertently approved and codified this action under both part 52 (Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans) and part 70 (State Operating Permit Programs). This final rule removes the part 52 approval and codification and makes a clarification to the part 70 approval relating to the state effective date.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0790. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically at www.regulations.gov or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional information. For additional information and general guidance, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Algoe-Eakin, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at 913-551-7942, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

    I. What is being addressed in this document? II. EPA's Response to Comments. III. What action is EPA taking? I. What is being addressed in this document?

    EPA is taking final action to approve the state's Title V revision to 10 C.S.R. 10-6.110 “Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees, and Process Information”, submitted by the state of Missouri on March 16, 2015. This revision updates the emissions fee for permitted sources as set by Missouri Statute. Specifically, section (3)(A) revises the emission fees section, which is approved under the Operating Permits Program only, and updates the emissions fee for permitted sources as set by Missouri Statute from $40 to $48 per ton of air pollution emitted annually, effective January 1, 2016.

    In addition, EPA is making a correction to the previous direct final rule published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016 (81 FR 2090). In that action, EPA inadvertently approved and codified the state's submission relating to Missouri rule 10 CSR 6.110(3)(a) pursuant to 40 CFR part 52 (Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans) and part 70 (State Operating Permit Programs). This action corrects the error by recodifying table (c) of § 52.1320 back to its previously approved and codified entry (76 FR 77701, 12/14/11). EPA is only approving this action pursuant to 40 CFR part 70 per the state's submission request. Also, the January 15, 2016, direct final rule approved and added new paragraph (ee) to part 70 appendix A. The new paragraph (ee) erroneously listed the state effective date of November 20, 2014. The correct state effective date is March 30, 2015. This final action revises paragraph (ee) to read as set out in the regulatory text below.

    II. EPA's Response to Comments

    The public comment period on EPA's proposed rule (81 FR 2159, January 15, 2016) opened January 15, 2016, the date of its publication in the Federal Register, and closed on February 16, 2016. During this period, EPA received one comment.

    Comment: The commenter expressed concern with the intent to increase fees on pollutant emissions and the subsequent use of those fees once collected. The commenter understood that the fees were collected to fund the state's regulatory activities. However, the commenter questioned how those funds would be used by the state and expressed that the EPA “should insure the first result of spending any fees be protecting human health and the environment” and “unless strict rules are imposed and regular performance audits conducted in a transparent and open way, higher fees would be an incentive for regulators to allow greater pollutant loads with the simple objective of collecting more fees to support their staff and to increase staff size.”

    EPA Response: CAA section 502(b)(3)(A) 42 U.S.C. 7661a (b)(3)(A) requires the permitting authority to collect a fee sufficient to cover all reasonable direct and indirect costs required to develop and administer the Title V permit program, including enforcement. The CAA and agency regulation 40 CFR 70.9 require permitting authorities to submit a fee demonstration with their Title V operating permits program. EPA has approved Missouri's Title V permit program fee and determined it meets the requirements of the CAA and EPA guidance regarding the fee demonstration. The fees also include costs associated with all aspects of the Title V permit program (reviewing applications, emissions, ambient monitoring, preparing regulations, modeling).

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    Upon review and consideration of comments received, EPA is taking final action to approve the state's Title V revision to 10 C.S.R. 10-6.110 “Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees, and Process Information”, submitted by the state of Missouri on March 16, 2015. Based upon review of the state's revision and relevant requirements of the CAA, EPA believes that this revision meets applicable requirements and does not adversely impact air quality in Missouri.

    EPA is also making a correction which will remove approval of the state's submission from 40 CFR part 52, specifically § 52.1320(c), EPA-Approved Missouri Regulations and revert to the previously codified table (76 FR 77701, 12/14/11). This action also revises paragraph (ee) part 70, appendix A to correct the state effective date.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Missouri amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully Federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.1 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 7 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. section of this preamble for more information).

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 28, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    40 CFR Part 70

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Operating permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: June 12, 2017. Edward H. Chu, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR parts 52 and 70 as set forth below:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. In § 52.1320, paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entry for 10-6.110 to read as follows:
    § 52.1320 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Missouri Regulations Missouri
  • citation
  • Title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval
  • date
  • Explanation
    Missouri Department of Natural Resources *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 6—Air Quality Standards, Definitions, Sampling and Reference Methods, and Air Pollution Control Regulations for the State of Missouri *         *         *         *         *         *         * 10-6.110 Submission of Emission Data, Emission Fees, and Process Information 9/30/10 12/14/11, 76 FR 77701 Section (3)(A), Emissions Fees, has not been approved as part of the SIP. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 70—STATE OPERATING PERMIT PROGRAMS 3. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    4. Appendix A to part 70 is amended by revising paragraph (ee) under Missouri to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 70—Approval Status of State and Local Operating Permits Programs Missouri

    (ee) The Missouri Department of Natural Resources submitted revisions to Missouri rule 10 CSR 10-6.110, “Reporting Emission Data, Emission Fees, and Process Information” on March 16, 2015. The state effective date is March 30, 2015. This revision is effective July 31, 2017.

    [FR Doc. 2017-13547 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0750; 9963-47-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Redesignation of the Collin County Area to Attainment the 2008 Lead Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to determine the Collin County Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) Nonattainment Area (NAA) has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS and to approve a redesignation request for the area. In directly approving the redesignation request, EPA is also taking direct final action to approve as revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) a maintenance plan for the 2008 Pb NAAQS in the NAA submitted November 2, 2016, an attainment demonstration for the 2008 Pb NAAQS submitted October 10, 2012, and a second 10-year maintenance plan for the 1978 Pb NAAQS submitted September 15, 2009.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on September 27, 2017 without further notice, unless the EPA receives relevant adverse comment by July 31, 2017. If the EPA receives such comment, the EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0750, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Mr. Robert M. Todd, (214) 665-2156, [email protected] For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert M. Todd, (214) 665-2156, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please contact Mr. Todd or Mr. Bill Deese (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. What actions is EPA taking? II. What is the background for these actions? III. What are the criteria for evaluation of the State's redesignation request and SIP revision requests? IV. What is EPA's analysis of the State's three requests? V. What are the effects of EPA's actions? VI. Final Action VII. Incorporation by Reference VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What actions is EPA taking?

    EPA is taking several actions related to the redesignation of the Collin County, Texas area to attainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS. EPA is taking direct final action to:

    (1) Determine the Collin County Pb NAA (comprising the part of Collin County bounded to the north by latitude 33.153 North, to the east by longitude 96.822 West, to the south by latitude 33.131 North, and to the West by longitude 96.837 West, which surrounds the Exide Technologies property), has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS;

    (2) Find that the requirements are met for redesignation of the Collin County NAA to attainment of the 2008 lead NAAQS under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA and redesignate the NAA to attainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS;

    (3) Approve Texas' first 10-year Maintenance Plan for continued maintenance of the 2008 Pb NAAQS in the area as a revision to the Texas SIP;

    (4) Approve Texas' October 10, 2012 attainment demonstration plan, to comply with the 2008 Pb NAAQS; and,

    (5) Approve Texas' September 15, 2009 second 10-year Maintenance Plan for continued maintenance of the 1978 lead NAAQS.

    Our analysis for these actions are discussed in detail in the technical support document (TSD) for this action and in summary in Section IV of this action.

    II. What is the background for these actions?

    Section 110 of the CAA requires states to develop and submit to the EPA a SIP to ensure that state air quality meets NAAQSs. These ambient standards currently address six criteria pollutants: Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, lead, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. Each federally-approved SIP protects air quality primarily by addressing air pollution at its point of origin through air pollution regulations and control strategies. The EPA approved SIP regulations and control strategies are federally enforceable.

    Lead is a metal found naturally in the environment as well as in manufactured products. The major sources of lead emissions have historically been from fuels used in on-road motor vehicles (such as cars and trucks) and industrial sources. As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts to remove lead from on-road motor vehicle gasoline, emissions of lead from the transportation sector dramatically declined by 95 percent between 1980 and 1999, and levels of lead in the air decreased by 94 percent between 1980 and 1999. Today, the highest levels of lead in the air are usually found near lead smelters. The major sources of lead emissions to the air today are ore and metals processing facilities and piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded aviation gasoline.

    On November 12, 2008 (73 FR 66964), EPA established the 2008 primary and secondary lead NAAQS at 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) based on a maximum arithmetic 3- month mean concentration for a 3-year period. See 40 CFR 50.16. On November 22, 2010 (75 FR 71033), EPA published its initial air quality designations and classifications for the 2008 lead NAAQS based upon air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2007-2009. These designations became effective on December 31, 2010. See 40 CFR 81.344.

    In 2012, Exide ceased operations as a lead smelter and the entire production area of the facility was dismantled. There are no longer smelting operations at the site and no longer any point source emissions. Exide is in the process of doing site remediation under its RCRA permit. The smelting operation's lead emissions were the cause of the area's nonattainment of the lead NAAQS. Any future point source of Pb emissions in the area would be required to obtain a new source review permit. In order to obtain a new source review permit, a new facility would be required to install best available control technology to limit Pb emissions and demonstrate a violation of the Pb NAAQS would not result from construction or operation.

    On November 2, 2016, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) submitted a request that the EPA redesignate the Collin County Pb NAA as attainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS. The November 02, 2016 submittal from the state includes a demonstration that the area monitors as attainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS, an approvable SIP meeting the requirements of Section 110 and Part D of the CAA, an attainment emissions inventory, a maintenance plan, a monitoring plan and contingency measures to assure compliance.

    On October 10, 2012, TCEQ submitted a SIP revision with an attainment demonstration plan to comply with the 2008 Pb NAAQS as required by the CAA. The submittal contained the demonstration plan, monitoring plan, contingency measures to bring the area into compliance if an exceedance were detected, a Pb emission inventory, a demonstration the state employs a Pb nonattainment New Source Review program, a Pb Reasonably Available Control Measure (RACM) analysis, a Reasonably Achievable Control Technology (RACT) analysis and a Pb Reasonable Further Progress demonstration. A full review of this submittal can be found in the TSD for this action which is located in the docket at EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0750. This attainment plan stipulates controls and actions the Exide facility must implement to bring the area into attainment. However, since the facility's operations have ceased since this plan was submitted, the controls specified are no longer necessary as the controls included in the plan apply to a facility that no longer operates.

    On September 15, 2009, TCEQ submitted a second 10-year maintenance plan to demonstrate compliance with the 1978 Pb NAAQS as required by the CAA. The 1978 Pb NAAQS set the standard at 1.5 μg/m3, averaged over a calendar year. EPA did not take action on that submittal at the time due to the 2008 revision of the Pb NAAQS which significantly lowered the 1978 Pb standard. Efforts by the EPA and TCEQ were focused on bringing the NAA into compliance with the more stringent 2008 standard rather than processing that submittal.

    III. What are the criteria for evaluation of the State's redesignation request and SIP revision requests? A. The 2016 Request To Redesignate the Collin County Pb NAA to Attainment

    The CAA sets forth the requirements for redesignation of a NAA to attainment. Specifically, section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA allows for redesignation provided that: (1) The Administrator determines that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS based on current air quality data; (2) the Administrator has fully approved an applicable SIP for the area under section 110(k) of the CAA; (3) the Administrator determines that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions resulting from implementation of the applicable SIP, Federal air pollution control regulations, or other permanent and enforceable emission reductions; (4) the state containing the area has met all requirements applicable to the area for purposes of redesignation under section 110 and part D of the CAA; and (5) the Administrator has fully approved a maintenance plan for the area meeting the requirements of section 175A of the CAA.

    B. The 2012 Attainment Plan for the 2008 Pb NAAQS

    Section 172 of the CAA, along with implementation guidance published by EPA for the 2008 Pb standard,1 requires the state to submit a SIP revision containing an analysis of reasonably available control measures and reasonably available control technology; a demonstration of attainment through air dispersion modeling; a control strategy demonstration; an emissions inventory; a demonstration of reasonable further progress and, contingency measures to be undertaken if the area fails to make reasonable further progress or attain the NAAQS by the attainment deadline.

    1 See 73 FR 66964, November 12, 2008.

    C. The 2009 Second 10-Year Maintenance Plan for the 1978 Pb NAAQS

    Texas submitted and requested our approval of a second 10-year maintenance plan. This plan is required by Section 175A(b) of the CAA which states that a state must submit a SIP revision for maintenance of the Primary NAAQS for a second 10-year period following expiration of the first 10-year maintenance plan. The maintenance plan must contain a commitment to monitor ambient air quality to determine whether air quality meets the NAAQS and a requirement to implement one or more contingency measures if a quarterly average exceeds the 1978 Pb NAAQS of 1.5 μg/m3.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of the State's three requests? A. Analysis of the 2016 Request To Redesignate the Collin County Pb NAA To Attainment

    EPA can approve a redesignation request when five conditions are met. We have determined all five conditions are met and we are approving the state's redesignation request. The basis for this analysis follows our established procedures.2 A complete and thorough analysis of how the Texas meets the requirements for redesignation can be found in the TSD to this notice. A brief discussion of how these conditions are met is presented below.

    2 See “Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment” Memorandum from John Calcagni, September 4, 1992. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-03/documents/calcagni_memo_-_procedures_for_processing_requests_to_redesignate_areas_to_attainment_090492.pdf.

    1. The Area Has Attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS

    Monitoring data for the area shows that the 2008 Pb NAAQS was attained. As demonstrated in Table 1, below, the 2013-2015 “design value” for the area was 0.08 μg/m 3, well below the 2008 Pb standard of 0.15 μg/m 3. Design values are used to determine whether the NAAQS is met (see page 4 of the accompanying TSD). For convenience, we are detailing the observed monitoring data showing the area is in attainment of the standard in Table 1 below;

    Table 1—Monitored Lead Design Values for the Collin County Lead Nonattainment Area Site
  • identification
  • No.
  • Site name Site address * 2013 Annual
  • maximum
  • rolling three
  • month
  • average **
  • 2014 Annual
  • maximum
  • rolling three
  • month
  • average **
  • 2015 Annual
  • maximum
  • rolling three
  • month
  • average **
  • Design value
  • 2013-2015 **
  • 480850003 Frisco 5th Street 7471 South 5th Street 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.05 480850007 Frisco 7 6931 Ash Street 0.02 0.02 0.00 0.02 480850009 Frisco Eubanks 6601 Eubanks 0.08 0.02 0.01 0.08 480850029 Frisco Stonebrook 7202 Stonebrook Parkway 0.07 0.01 0.01 0.07 * All locations in Frisco, Texas. ** μg/m 3.
    2. The Area Has a Fully Approved SIP

    Section 110(k) of the CAA requires the state meet all criteria for completeness. This means all deadlines for action; criteria for full, partial, or conditional approval; and provisions for SIP revisions and corrections must have been met been met before we can approve the state's request for redesignation from nonattainment to attainment under the 2008 Pb NAAQS. With our approval of the attainment demonstration SIP revision the area has a fully approved SIP to address the 2008 Pb NAAQS (see page 5 of the TSD);

    3. The Improvement in Air Quality Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Emission Reductions

    With the state's demonstration that the Exide facility has been permanently shut down and that any future sources of Pb emissions in the area will be required to demonstrate compliance with the 2008 Pb NAAQS, we find the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions and applicable Federal air pollution control regulations (see page 5 of the TSD);

    4. The Area Has a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan

    The state has provided an appropriate maintenance plan to assure on-going attainment with the 2008 Pb NAAQS as required by Section 175A of the CAA. The maintenance plan submitted as part of the redesignation request demonstrates continued attainment of the 2008 Pb NAAQS for at least ten years by establishing an emission inventory baseline and committing to maintaining the Pb emission in the area below the level at which the area reached attainment. The state also provided a commitment to revise the maintenance plan for a second ten-year period as required by Section 175A of the CAA to assure compliance with the 2008 Pb NAAQS is maintained (see page 8 of the TSD).

    As demonstrated in Table 1, above, the annual maximum rolling three-month average at any of the four monitors in the NAA was 0.08 μg/m 3 well below the 2008 Pb standard of 0.15 μg/m 3. Therefore, the area has attained the NAAQS and the State has demonstrated that the area will maintain attainment of the standard; and,

    5. The Section 110 and Part D Requirements for the 2008 Pb SIP Are Met

    We reviewed the Texas SIP submittals and concluded they meet the general SIP requirements under section 110 and the specific Part D Nonattainment Area requirements. The general requirements under section 110 include SIP adoption after reasonable public notice. The Part D requirements include the attainment demonstration being approved (see pages 9-10 of the TSD).

    B. The 2012 Request To Approve the State's Attainment Demonstration for the 2008 Pb NAAQS

    Section 172 of the CAA, along with implementation guidance published by EPA for the 2008 Pb standard,3 requires the state to submit a SIP revision containing an analysis of reasonably available control measures and reasonably available control technology; a demonstration of attainment through air dispersion modeling; a control strategy demonstration; an emissions inventory; a demonstration of reasonable further progress, and contingency measures.

    3 See 73 FR 66964, November 12, 2008.

    On October 17, 2012, TCEQ submitted a request to revise the Texas SIP for control of Pb emission in the Collin County NAA. The request addressed the six necessary elements described in Section III. B. above. A complete and thorough analysis of the state's October 17, 2012 submittal can be found in the TSD to this action. As a result of our analysis we are taking direct final action to approve the state's request for approval to the SIP to include their plan to demonstrate attainment with the 2008 Pb NAAQS. The TCEQ appropriately addressed all of the required elements and provided adequate public notice of changes to state rules to bring about compliance with the 2008 Pb NAAQS, conducted a public hearing and provided an opportunity for public comment.

    As part of the submittal the state provided an enforceable commitment from Exide in the form of an agreed order that proscribed technical improvements to the capture and control of Pb particulate emissions caused by the Exide lead acid recycling operation. Before the new control measures were to go into effect at the facility, however, Exide decided to cease operations. The entire production area of the facility was dismantled. There are no longer smelting operations at the site and no longer any point source emissions, therefore we do not expect these control options to be implemented. Exide is in the process of doing site remediation under its RCRA permit.

    C. The 2009 Request To Approve the Second 10-Year Maintenance Plan for the 1978 Pb NAAQS

    Section 175A(b) of the CAA requires a state submit a SIP revision for maintenance of the Primary NAAQS for a second 10-year period following expiration of the first 10-year maintenance plan. As described in Section III. C. above, the maintenance plan must contain a commitment to assure the ambient air quality meets the NAAQS and a requirement to implement one or more contingency measures if a quarterly monitored average ambient Pb value exceeds the 1978 Pb NAAQS of 1.5 μg/m3.

    On September 23, 2009, TCEQ submitted a SIP revision for the Collin County area to include a second 10-year maintenance plan for the 1978 Pb NAAQS. The EPA had earlier found the Collin County area to be in compliance with the 1978 Pb NAAQS on December 13, 1999.4 The second 10-year maintenance plan included: (1) An Agreed Order with Exide assuring the measures included in the maintenance plant were legally enforceable; (2) monitoring plans, to assure continued compliance with the 1978 Pb standard; and (3) action and contingency plans to deal with measured exceedance of the standard. We are taking direct final action to approve the state's revision to the SIP. A complete analysis of the plan and our rationale for approval is included in the TSD to this action.

    4 See 64 FR 60930.

    V. What are the effects of EPA's actions?

    This action approves the Texas' redesignation request and changes the legal designation of the portion of Collin County, Texas in the vicinity of the former Exide facility NAA from nonattainment to attainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS, found at 40 CFR part 81. This action approves the maintenance plan SIP revision and incorporates it into the EPA approved Texas SIP a plan for maintaining the 2008 Pb NAAQS. This action approves the SIP revisions for the 2008 Pb NAAQS attainment demonstration and the second 10-year maintenance plan for the 1978 Pb NAAQS and will incorporate these revisions into the EPA approved Texas SIP.

    VI. Final Action

    We are approving a request from the State of Texas to redesignate the Collin County Pb NAA to attainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS. We determined that the Collin County Pb NAA has attained the 2008 Pb NAAQS, based on complete, quality-assured, and certified ambient air quality monitoring data for 2013-2015. In approving the redesignation request, we also approve as a revision to the Texas SIP, a maintenance plan for the 2008 Pb NAAQS in the NAA. We are also approving as revisions to the Texas SIP an attainment demonstration for the 2008 Pb NAAQS, which includes an Agreed Order for the Exide facility, and a second 10-year maintenance plan for the 1978 Pb NAAQS.

    The EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipate no relevant adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse comments are received. This rule will be effective on September 27, 2017 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse comment by July 31, 2017. If we receive relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so now. Please note that if we receive relevant adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    VII. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are finalizing the incorporation by reference the Agreed Order for Exide Technologies as described in the Final Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 28, 2017. 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).)

    Samuel Coleman was designated the Acting Regional Administrator on June 14, 2017 through the order of succession outlined in Regional Order R6-1110.13, a copy of which is included in the docket for this action.

    List of Subjects 40 CFR 52

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

    40 CFR 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are 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 SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270: a. In paragraph (d), the table titled “EPA Approved Texas Source-Specific Requirements” is amended by adding an entry for “Exide Technologies” at the end of the table. b. In paragraph (e), the second table titled “EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP” is amended by adding entries for “Second 10-year Lead maintenance plan for 1978 Lead NAAQS”, “Lead Attainment Demonstration for 2008 Lead NAAQS”, and “Maintenance Plan for 2008 Lead NAAQS” at the end of the table.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 52.2270 Identification of plan.

    (d) * * *

    EPA Approved Texas Source-Specific Requirements Name of source Permit or order No. State effective date EPA approval date Comments *         *         *         *         *         *         * Exide Technologies Agreed Order No. 2011-0521-MIS 8/14/2012 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation]

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State
  • Submittal/
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Second 10-year Lead maintenance plan for 1978 Lead NAAQS Collin County, TX 9/15/2009 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] Lead Attainment Demonstration for 2008 Lead NAAQS Collin County, TX 10/10/2012 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] Maintenance Plan for 2008 Lead NAAQS Collin County, TX 11/02/2016 6/29/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    PART 81—DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 3. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    4. In § 81.344, the table titled “Texas-2008 Lead NAAQS” is amended by revising the entry for Frisco, TX to read as follows:
    § 81.344 Texas. Texas—2008 Lead NAAQS Designated area Designation for the 2008 NAAQS a Date 1 Type *         *         *         *         *         *         * Frisco, TX 9/27/2017 Attainment Collin County (part) The area immediately surrounding the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Frisco, bounded to the north by latitude 33.153 North, to the east by longitude 96.822 West, to the south by latitude 33.131 North, and to the west by longitude 96.837 West *         *                   *                   *                   *                   *         * a Includes Indian County located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified. 1 December 31, 2011 unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13479 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0209; FRL-9964-32-Region 4] Approval of Section 112(l) Authority for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Equivalency by Permit Provisions; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Plating and Polishing Operations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 12, 2016, pursuant to section 112(l) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) requested approval to implement and enforce State permit terms and conditions that substitute for the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from Plating and Polishing Operations with respect to the operation of the Ellison Surface Technologies, Inc., facility in Morgan County, Tennessee (Ellison). The Environmental Protection Agency is approving this request, and thus, granting TDEC the authority to implement and enforce alternative requirements in the form of title V permit terms and conditions after the EPA has approved the State's alternative requirements.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is August 28, 2017 without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comment by July 31, 2017. If the EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0209 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Copies of all comments must also be sent concurrently to TDEC either via hard copy to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Floor 15, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1102, attention: Michelle Walker; or via electronic mail to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lee Page, South Air Enforcement and Toxics Section, Air Enforcement and Toxics Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Page can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9131 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Pursuant to section 112 of the CAA, EPA promulgates NESHAPs for various categories of air pollution sources. On July 1, 2008, the EPA promulgated the NESHAP for Plating and Polishing Operations (see 73 FR 37741) which is codified in 40 CFR part 63, subpart WWWWWW, “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Area Source Standards for Plating and Polishing Operations.” Ellison performs plating and polishing operations and is subject to subpart WWWWWW.

    Under CAA section 112(l), the EPA may approve state or local rules or programs to be implemented and enforced in place of certain otherwise applicable CAA section 112 Federal rules, emission standards, or requirements. The Federal regulations governing EPA's approval of state and local rules or programs under section 112(l) are located at 40 CFR part 63, subpart E (see 65 FR 55810, dated September 14, 2000). Under these regulations, a state or local air pollution control agency has the option to request the EPA's approval to substitute alternative requirements and authorities that take the form of title V permit terms and conditions instead of source category regulations. This option is referred to as the equivalency by permit (EBP) option. To receive the EPA approval of an EBP program, the requirements of 40 CFR 63.91 and 63.94 must be met.

    The EBP process comprises three steps. The first step (see 40 CFR 63.94(a) and (b)) is the “up-front approval” of the state EBP program. The second step (see 40 CFR 63.94(c) and (d)) is the EPA review and approval of the state alternative section 112 requirements in the form of pre-draft permit terms and conditions. The third step (see 40 CFR 63.94(e)) is incorporation of the approved pre-draft permit terms and conditions into a specific title V permit and the title V permit issuance process itself. The final approval of the state alternative requirements that substitute for the Federal standard does not occur for purposes of the Act, section 112(l)(5), until the completion of step three.

    The purpose of step one, the “up-front approval” of the EBP program, is three fold: (1) It ensures that the State meets the criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d) for up-front approval common to all approval options; (2) it provides a legal foundation for the State to replace the otherwise applicable Federal section 112 requirements that will be reflected in final title V permit terms and conditions; and (3) it delineates the specific sources and Federal emission standards for which the State will be accepting delegation under the EBP option.

    On December 12, 2016, TDEC requested delegation of authority to implement and enforce title V permit terms and requirements for Ellison as an alternative to those of subpart WWWWWW. As part of its request to implement and enforce alternative terms and conditions in place of the otherwise applicable Federal section 112 standard, TDEC submitted information intended to satisfy the requirements necessary for “up front approval” of the EBP program.

    II. Analysis of State's Submittal

    The EPA has reviewed TDEC's submittal and has concluded that the State meets the requirements for “up-front approval” of its EBP program which are specified at 40 CFR 63.94(b) and 63.91(d). The requirements a State or local agency must meet can be summarized as follows: (1) Identify the source(s) for which the State seeks authority to implement and enforce alternative requirements; (2) request delegation (or have delegation) for any remaining sources that are in the same category as the source(s) for which it wishes to establish alternative requirements; (3) identify all existing and future CAA section 112 emission standards for which the State is seeking authority to implement and enforce alternative requirements; (4) demonstrate that the State has an approved CAA title V operating permits program that permits the affected source(s); and (5) demonstrate that the State meets the general approval criteria set forth at 40 CFR 63.91(d). The EPA lists each requirement below and after each requirement explains its reasons for concluding that TDEQ meets the requirement:

    A. Identify the Source(s) for Which the State Is Seeking Authority To Implement and Enforce Alternative Requirements

    TDEC identified Ellison as the source for which it is seeking authority to implement and enforce alternative requirements.

    B. Request or Have Delegation for Any Remaining Sources That Are in the Same Category as the Source(s) for Which the State Seeks To Establish Alternative Requirements

    Tennessee has an approved 40 CFR part 63 delegation mechanism commonly described as “automatic delegation” in which formal delegation of the Federal rules occurs without the need for completing specific state rulemaking actions and is automatically completed upon the promulgation date of each part 63 regulation. See 61 FR 9661, 9668 (March 11, 1996); 61 FR 39335, 39342 (July 29,1996); 74 FR 22437, 22438 (May 13, 2009). Therefore, the State has delegated authority to implement and enforce subpart WWWWWW.

    C. Identify All Existing and Future Federal Section 112 Rules for Which the State Is Seeking Authority To Implement and Enforce Alternative Requirements

    In its submittal, TDEC requested only the authority to implement and enforce State permit requirements for Ellison as alternatives to the Federal requirements applicable to that source under subpart WWWWWW.

    D. Demonstrate That the State Has an Approved Title V Permits Program and That the Program Permits the Affected Source(s)

    The EPA granted final interim approval to Tennessee's CAA title V operating permits program on July 29, 1996 (61 FR 39342) and final approval on November 14, 2001 (66 FR 56996). Under this approved program, TDEC has the authority to issue title V permits to all major and area stationary NESHAP sources. In its submittal, TDEC confirmed that Ellison will obtain a Title V operating permit.

    E. General Approval Criteria Found at 40 CFR Section 63.91(d)

    The provisions of 40 CFR 63.91(d)(3) specify that “[i]nterim or final title V program approval will satisfy the criteria set forth in § 63.91(d), up-front approval criteria.” As discussed above, the EPA has fully approved Tennessee's title V operating permits program.

    III. Final Action

    The EPA is granting TDEC “up-front” approval of an EBP program under which TDEC may establish and enforce alternative State requirements for Ellison in lieu of those of the NESHAP for Plating and Polishing Operations found at 40 CFR part 63, subpart WWWWWW. TDEC may only establish alternative requirements for Ellison that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements. TDEC must, in order to establish alternative requirements for Ellison under its EPA-approved EBP program: (1) Submit to the EPA for review pre-draft title V permit terms specifying alternative requirements that meet the criteria of 40 CFR 63.94(d), including the criterion that the alternative requirements are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements, (2) obtain the EPA's written approval of the alternative pre-draft title V permit requirements, and (3) issue a title V permit for Ellison that contains the approved alternative requirements. Until the EPA has approved the alternative permit terms and conditions and TDEC has issued a final title V permit incorporating them, Ellison will remain subject to the Federal NESHAP requirements found at 40 CFR part 63, subpart WWWWWW.

    The EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, the EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve TDEC's request to implement and enforce alternative requirements in the form of title V permit terms and conditions should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective August 28, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by July 3, 2017.

    If the EPA receives such comments, then the EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All adverse comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on August 28, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

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

    Executive Order 12866 gives the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the authority to review regulatory actions that are categorized as “significant” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. This action is not a “significant regulatory action” and was therefore not submitted to OMB for review. This action provides “up-front” approval of an EBP program under which TDEC may establish and enforce alternative requirements for one facility in the State that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). A “collection of information” under the PRA means “the obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to an agency, third parties or the public of information by or for an agency by means of identical questions posed to, or identical reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, whether such collection of information is mandatory, voluntary, or required to obtain or retain a benefit.” Because this action applies to only one facility, the PRA does not apply.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, 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 unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because it only affects one facility and because approvals under 40 CFR 63.94 do not create any new requirements but simply allow the State to establish and enforce alternative requirements that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. This rule does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action allows the State to establish and enforce alternative requirements that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements, and imposes no new requirements.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism requires the EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” 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. This action allows the State to establish and enforce alternative requirements that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act.

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

    Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” requires the EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175 because it will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it allows the State to establish and enforce alternative requirements that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12 of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs the EPA to consider and use “voluntary consensus standards” in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    Executive Order 12898 directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 because it allows the State to establish and enforce alternative requirements that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements.

    K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. 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).

    IV. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 28, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 63

    Administrative practice and procedure, air pollution control, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, hazardous air pollutants.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 63 is amended as follows:

    PART 63—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart E—Approval of State Program and Delegation of Federal Authorities 2. Section 63.99 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(43) to read as follows:
    § 63.99 Delegated Federal authorities.

    (a) * * *

    (43) Tennessee. (i) The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has “up-front” approval to implement an Equivalency by Permit (EBP) program under which TDEC may establish and enforce alternative requirements for the Ellison Surface Technologies, Inc. facility located in Morgan County, Tennessee (Ellison) in lieu of those of the National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Plating and Polishing Operations at 40 CFR part 63, subpart WWWWWW, “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Area Source Standards for Plating and Polishing Operations.” TDEC may only establish alternative requirements for Ellison that are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements. TDEC must, in order to establish alternative requirements for Ellison under its EPA-approved EBP program: submit to the EPA for review pre-draft title V permit terms specifying alternative requirements that meet the criteria of 40 CFR 63.94(d), including the criterion that the alternative requirements are at least as stringent as the otherwise applicable Federal requirements; obtain the EPA's written approval of the alternative pre-draft title V permit requirements; and issue a title V permit for Ellison that contains the approved alternative requirements. Until the EPA has approved the alternative permit terms and conditions and TDEC has issued a final title V permit incorporating them, Ellison will remain subject to the Federal NESHAP requirements found at 40 CFR part 63, subpart WWWWWW.

    (ii) Reserved.

    [FR Doc. 2017-13665 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2017-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8487] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule identifies communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within this rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receives documentation that the community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in this rule, the suspension will not occur and a notice of this will be provided by publication in the Federal Register on a subsequent date. Also, information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book (CSB). The CSB is available at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book.

    DATES:

    The effective date of each community's scheduled suspension is the third date (“Susp.”) listed in the third column of the following tables.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you want to determine whether a particular community was suspended on the suspension date or for further information, contact Patricia Suber, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NFIP enables property owners to purchase Federal flood insurance that is not otherwise generally available from private insurers. In return, communities agree to adopt and administer local floodplain management measures aimed at protecting lives and new construction from future flooding. Section 1315 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits the sale of NFIP flood insurance unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed in this document no longer meet that statutory requirement for compliance with program regulations, 44 CFR part 59. Accordingly, the communities will be suspended on the effective date in the third column. As of that date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the community. We recognize that some of these communities may adopt and submit the required documentation of legally enforceable floodplain management measures after this rule is published but prior to the actual suspension date. These communities will not be suspended and will continue to be eligible for the sale of NFIP flood insurance. A notice withdrawing the suspension of such communities will be published in the Federal Register.

    In addition, FEMA publishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that identifies the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in these communities. The date of the FIRM, if one has been published, is indicated in the fourth column of the table. No direct Federal financial assistance (except assistance pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act not in connection with a flood) may be provided for construction or acquisition of buildings in identified SFHAs for communities not participating in the NFIP and identified for more than a year on FEMA's initial FIRM for the community as having flood-prone areas (section 202(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4106(a), as amended). This prohibition against certain types of Federal assistance becomes effective for the communities listed on the date shown in the last column. The Administrator finds that notice and public comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), are impracticable and unnecessary because communities listed in this final rule have been adequately notified.

    Each community receives 6-month, 90-day, and 30-day notification letters addressed to the Chief Executive Officer stating that the community will be suspended unless the required floodplain management measures are met prior to the effective suspension date. Since these notifications were made, this final rule may take effect within less than 30 days.

    National Environmental Policy Act. FEMA has determined that the community suspension(s) included in this rule is a non-discretionary action and therefore the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) does not apply.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Administrator has determined that this rule is exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, Section 1315, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits flood insurance coverage unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed no longer comply with the statutory requirements, and after the effective date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the communities unless remedial action takes place.

    Regulatory Classification. This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under the criteria of section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism. This rule involves no policies that have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule meets the applicable standards of Executive Order 12988.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule does not involve any collection of information for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

    PART 64—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for Part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp.; p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp.; p. 376.

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community No. Effective date authorization/cancellation of sale of flood insurance in community Current effective map date Date Certain Federal
  • assistance
  • no longer
  • available in
  • SFHAs
  • Region I Maine: Alexander, Town of, Washington County 230303 March 2, 1978, Emerg; September 4, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp July 18, 2017 July 18, 2017 Baring Plantation, Washington County 230468 March 19, 1974, Emerg; March 15, 1982, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -*do- -do- Brookton, Township of, Washington County 230470 March 19, 1974, Emerg; November 1, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Calais, City of, Washington County 230134 July 31, 1975, Emerg; August 3, 1994, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Charlotte, Town of, Washington County 230437 May 1, 2000, Emerg; August 1, 2008, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Cherryfield, Town of, Washington County 230135 July 23, 1975, Emerg; May 4, 1988, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Columbia, Town of, Washington County 230307 June 24, 2010, Emerg; April 1, 2011, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Danforth, Town of, Washington County 230136 April 14, 1975, Emerg; September 18, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Dennysville, Town of, Washington County 230312 July 23, 1975, Emerg; August 19, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- East Machias, Town of, Washington County 230313 April 8, 1983, Emerg; September 4, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Eastport, City of, Washington County 230137 June 11, 1975, Emerg; December 3, 1987, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Edmunds, Township of, Washington County 230471 March 19, 1975, Emerg; August 19, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Grand Lake Stream Plantation, Washington County 230469 March 19, 1975, Emerg; August 5, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Jonesboro, Town of, Washington County 230315 February 27, 2006, Emerg; August 1, 2008, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Lambert Lake, Township of, Washington County 230472 March 19, 1975, Emerg; January 17, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Machias, Town of, Washington County 230140 April 24, 1975, Emerg; November 18, 1988, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Milbridge, Town of, Washington County 230142 May 14, 1975, Emerg; May 3, 1990, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Pembroke, Town of, Washington County 230143 June 9, 1999, Emerg; April 1, 2009, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Perry, Town of, Washington County 230319 July 30, 1975, Emerg; September 4, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Princeton, Town of, Washington County 230320 June 11, 1975, Emerg; August 19, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Robbinston, Town of, Washington County 230321 July 23, 1975, Emerg; August 19, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Roque Bluffs, Town of, Washington County 230322 July 16, 1975, Emerg; September 18, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Topsfield, Town of, Washington County 230324 June 22, 2010, Emerg; March 1, 2011, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Trescott, Township of, Washington County 230473 March 19, 1975, Emerg; August 5, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Wesley, Town of, Washington County 230327 April 1, 1976, Emerg; September 18, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Whitneyville, Town of, Washington County 230329 N/A, Emerg; February 8, 2001, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Region III Pennsylvania: Belle Vernon, Borough of, Fayette County 420457 July 19, 1974, Emerg; July 16, 1981, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Brownsville, Borough of, Fayette County 420458 July 9, 1975, Emerg; September 16, 1981, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Bullskin, Township of, Fayette County 421622 March 23, 1976, Emerg; April 16, 1991, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Connellsville, City of, Fayette County 420459 July 23, 1973, Emerg; March 1, 1978, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Connellsville, Township of, Fayette County 421623 March 3, 1977, Emerg; July 16, 1991, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Dunbar, Borough of, Fayette County 420461 June 20, 1974, Emerg; July 4, 1988, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Fairchance, Borough of, Fayette County 420463 November 14, 1975, Emerg; April 16, 1991, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Lower Tyrone, Township of, Fayette County 421630 March 16, 1977, Emerg; March 4, 1988, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Markleysburg, Borough of, Fayette County 422606 January 18, 1985, Emerg; June 19, 1985, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Menallen, Township of, Fayette County 421632 July 18, 1974, Emerg; April 16, 1991, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Newell, Borough of, Fayette County 420465 February 20, 1975, Emerg; April 15, 1981, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Ohiopyle, Borough of, Fayette County 421615 March 8, 1985, Emerg; December 1, 1986, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Springhill, Township of, Fayette County 421639 June 15, 1976, Emerg; March 18, 1991, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Uniontown, City of, Fayette County 420466 May 4, 1973, Emerg; May 1, 1978, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Wharton, Township of, Fayette County 421642 November 19, 1975, Emerg; January 1, 1987, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Region IV South Carolina: Reevesville, Town of, Dorchester County 450218 August 11, 2006, Emerg; N/A, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Summerville, Town of, Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties 450073 November 5, 1973, Emerg; June 15, 1981, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Region IX California: Mendocino County, Unincorporated Areas 060183 December 17, 1974, Emerg; June 1, 1983, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- Point Arena, City of, Mendocino County 060185 June 28, 1976, Emerg; August 3, 1984, Reg; July 18, 2017, Susp -do- -do- -*do- = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg. —Emergency; Reg. —Regular; Susp. —Suspension.
    Dated: June 20, 2017. Michael M. Grimm, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13565 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 73 and 76 [MB Docket No. 16-161; FCC 17-3] Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements—Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, some of the information collections associated with the Commission's decision, in Report and Order, Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements—Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location. Specifically, OMB has approved the Commission's decision to eliminate two public inspection file requirements: the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public; and the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system's principal headend. This document is consistent with the Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of these rule changes.

    DATES:

    The amendments to 47 CFR 73.3526; 76.5(pp)(2); 76.1700; and 76.1708, published at 82 FR 11406 on February 23, 2017 are effective June 29, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on March 24, 2017 and May 25, 2017, OMB approved some of the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 17-3, published at 82 FR 11406, February 23, 2017. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0214, 3060-0316, and 3060-0649. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective date of the rules. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Numbers, 3060-1207, 3060-0214, and 3060-0316, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the Internet if you send them to [email protected]

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

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval, on March 24, 2017 and May 25, 2017, for the new information collection requirements contained in the Commission's rules at 47 CFR 73.3526; 76.5(pp)(2); 76.1700; and 76.1708. Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0214, 3060-0316, and 3060-0649.

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

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

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0214.

    OMB Approval Date: May 25, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: May 31, 2020.

    Title: Sections 73.3526 and 73.3527, Local Public Inspection File, §§ 73.1212, 76.1701 and 73.1943, Political Files.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 41,695 respondents; 63,364 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1-52 hours per response.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement, Recordkeeping requirement, Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 151, 152, 154(i), 303, 307, and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 2,073,048 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $3,667,339.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: On January 31, 2017, the Commission adopted a Report and Order (“Public Inspection File R&O”) in MB Docket No. 16-161, FCC 17-3, eliminating the requirement in §§ 73.1202 and 73.3526(e)(9) of its rules that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public. The Commission concluded that this component of its public inspection file rules involves documents that do not need to be made available to the general public and that eliminating this requirement would reduce the burden of maintaining the public inspection file on commercial broadcasters. The Commission's goal is also to permit commercial television and radio broadcasters to cease maintaining a local public inspection file if they post all public file material to the online public file database and provide online access via their own Web site to back-up political file material. The Commission has previously adopted this option for other entities subject to our online public inspection file requirements. Because the correspondence file cannot be made available online for privacy reasons, removing this requirement would permit commercial broadcasters to elect to make their entire public inspection file available online and cease maintaining a local public file, thereby further reducing overall regulatory burdens on these entities.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0316.

    OMB Approval Date: March 24, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: March 31, 2020.

    Title: Section 76.5, Definitions, § 76.1700, Records To Be Maintained Locally by Cable System Operators; § 76.1702, Equal Employment Opportunity; § 76.1703, Commercial Records on Children's Programs; § 76.1707, Leased Access; § 76.1711, Emergency Alert System (EAS) Tests and Activation.

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 3,000 respondents; 3,000 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 18 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 151, 152, 153, 154, 301, 302, 302a, 303, 303a, 307, 308, 309, 312, 315, 317, 325, 339, 340, 341, 503, 521, 522, 531, 532, 534, 535, 536, 537, 543, 544, 544a, 545, 548, 549, 552, 554, 556, 558, 560, 561, 571, 572, 573 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 54,000 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $591,840.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: On January 31, 2017, the Commission adopted a Report and Order (“Public Inspection File R&O”) in MB Docket No. 16-161, FCC 17-3, eliminating the requirement in §§ 76.5(pp) and 76.1700(a)(6) of its rules that cable systems retain the location and designation of the principal headend in their public file. This action reduces public inspection file requirements for these entities. However, because principal headend location information must be accessible to the Commission, broadcast television stations, and franchisors, cable systems will be required to provide principal headend location information to these entities upon request. In lieu of responding to individual requests for such information, operators may alternatively elect voluntarily to provide this information to the Commission for inclusion in the Commission's online public inspection file (“OPIF”) database and may elect to make the information publicly available there.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0649.

    OMB Approval Date: May 25, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: May 31, 2020.

    Title: Section 76.1601, Deletion or Repositioning of Broadcast Signals; § 76.1617, Initial Must-Carry Notice; § 76.1607, Principal Headend.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

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

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 3,300 respondents; 3,950 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement, Third party disclosure requirement, Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 2,050 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: On January 31, 2017, the Commission adopted a Report and Order (“Public Inspection File R&O”) in MB Docket No. 16-161, FCC 17-3, eliminating the requirement in Section 76.1708 of its rules requiring the operators of cable television systems to maintain for public inspection the designation and location of its principal headend. If an operator changed the designation of its principal headend, that new designation was also required to be included in its public file. The R&O removed and reserved this rule section (47 CFR 76.1708).

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13623 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    82 124 Thursday, June 29, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0624; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-135-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a runway excursion due to an unexpected thrust increase leading to an unstable approach performed using the current flight management and guidance computer (FMGC) standard. This proposed AD would require identification of potentially affected FMGCs, replacement of any affected FMGC, and applicable concurrent actions. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 14, 2017.

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

    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-2017-0624; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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-2017-0624; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-135-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0122, dated June 21, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Following an instrument landing system (ILS) approach, during night, in rainy condition, an A321 aeroplane experienced a longitudinal runway excursion. Investigation revealed that the approach was not stabilized with an overspeed of 19 knots (kts) over the runway threshold, followed by a long flare (18 seconds) with touchdown far behind the touchdown zone. The aeroplane exited the runway at 75 kts and came to rest around 300 meters beyond the end of the runway. During the final approach, at 150 feet Radio Altimeter (RA) altitude, the corrected airspeed of the aeroplane was 165 kts (24 kts overspeed). Auto thrust (ATHR) commanded a transient N1 increase up to 70% due to the ATHR speed Mach control law.

    The ATHR system on A320 family aeroplane was designed to maintain accurately the aircraft speed/Mach to speed/Mach target by commanding the thrust, featuring also a trade-off at low altitude between thrust corrections to maintain speed equal to speed target and too large thrust corrections destabilizing the aircraft trajectory near the ground. The conclusions of the investigations were that the main contributor to this runway excursion was a non-stabilized approach not followed by a go-around. ATHR misbehaviour in case of large overspeed led to an unexpected thrust increase, which is considered as a contributor to the long flare.

    This ATHR characteristic, reported as “Spurious thrust increase during approach,” was initially found in 1996 and a modification was developed and introduced in Flight Guidance (FG) 2G standard “C8 or I8” (C for CFM engines and I for IAE engines) in 2001.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus introduced a programme to encourage operators to replace the FMGC Legacy with the FMGC equipped with Flight Management System type 2 (FMS2) and FG standard, which introduces additional operational capabilities, including Runway Overrun Protection System/Runway Overrun Warning (ROPS/ROW) and Autopilot/Traffic Collision Avoidance System (AP/TCAS). It was determined that the ROPS, in a scenario similar to the one described above, would have triggered a “RUNWAY TOO SHORT” aural alert before touchdown. Information was made available through Airbus Service Information Letter (SIL) 22-039 (later superseded by Word In Service Experience (WISE) In Service Information 22.83.00003), and EASA published Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2013-19, recommending the FMGC upgrade.

    Since EASA SIB was published, it was determined that many operators have chosen not to implement the optional upgrade that improves the ATHR behaviour.

    More recently, prompted by a recommendation from the BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile) of France, to reduce the risk of further runway excursions due to uninterrupted unstable approaches performed with the legacy FMGC standard, EASA decided to require installation of at least the first version of the FMS2 and associated FG for legacy aeroplanes.

    DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD 1999-411-140(B)R1 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2000-12-13, Amendment 39-11791 (65 FR 37845, June 19, 2000) (“AD 2000-12-13”)] and AD 1998-226-119(B)R1 [which corresponds to FAA AD 98-19-08, Amendment 39-10750 (63 FR 50503, September 22, 1998)] to address different unsafe conditions, requiring to install a certain previous FMGC standard that may be susceptible to the “Spurious thrust increase during approach”.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD * * * requires replacement of the affected FMGC units with upgraded units [and applicable concurrent actions].

    Concurrent actions include the installation of certain FMGCs, wiring, display management computers, wiring associated with pin programming, and applicable operational program configuration disks. 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-2017-0624.

    Other Related Rulemaking

    On September 2, 1998, we issued AD 98-19-08, Amendment 39-10750 (63 FR 50503, September 22, 1998) (“AD 98-19-08”), for certain Airbus Model A321 series airplanes. AD 98-19-08 was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. AD 98-19-08 requires revising the airplane flight manual to prohibit automatic landings and Category III operations on runways with a magnetic orientation of 170 through 190 degrees inclusive. We issued AD 98-19-08 to prevent the use of erroneous automatic roll-out guidance generated by the FMGC, which could result in the airplane departing the runway upon landing.

    On June 9, 2000, we issued AD 2000-12-13, Amendment 39-11791 (65 FR 37845, June 19, 2000) (“AD 2000-12-13”), for certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. AD 2000-12-13 was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. AD 2000-12-13 requires modification or replacement of all existing FMGC's, as applicable. We issued AD 2000-12-13 to prevent erroneous navigational calculations, which could result in an increased risk of collision with terrain or other airplanes.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information, which describes procedures for replacement of any affected FMGC with a serviceable FMGC. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane configurations.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1090, Revision 11, dated July 20, 2004.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1103, Revision 04, dated March 12, 2004.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1116, Revision 04, dated March 29, 2004.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1152, Revision 03, dated February 18, 2005.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1243, Revision 05, dated May 31, 2010.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1519, Revision 02, dated December 21, 2015.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    The MCAI supersedes two DGAC ADs, which correspond to FAA AD 98-19-08 and AD 2000-12-13. The MCAI does not retain the requirements of the DGAC ADs. This proposed AD is a stand-alone AD that specifies accomplishing the actions required by this proposed AD would terminate all requirements of AD 2000-12-13. We have determined that the actions specified in AD 2000-12-13 must continue to be required until the actions of the proposed AD are accomplished.

    This proposed AD does not terminate the actions specified in AD 98-19-08 because it addresses a different unsafe condition relative to installing a certain previous FMGC standard, as stated in EASA AD 2016-0122.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1,032 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 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $87,720

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements 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 replacements.

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 $30,000 $30,765
    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-2017-0624; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-135-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2000-12-13, Amendment 39-11791 (65 FR 37845, June 19, 2000) (“AD 2000-12-13”).

    (c) Applicability

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

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

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

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

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 22, Auto Flight.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a runway excursion due to an unexpected thrust increase leading to an unstable approach performed using the current flight management and guidance computer (FMGC) standard. We are issuing this AD to prevent unstable approaches due to an unexpected thrust increase, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane and runway excursions.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Replacement of Affected FMGC

    (1) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Inspect the FMGC to determine if any FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD is installed. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of inspecting the FMGC, provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose and the part number of the FMGC can be conclusively identified from that review.

    (2) If any affected FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD is found during any inspection or review required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the FMGC with a serviceable FMGC having a part number that is not identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions and paragraph 1.B. (concurrent actions) of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) through (g)(2)(vi) of this AD, or using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). Refer to Figure 2 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD and Figure 3 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD for the lists of approved eligible FMGCs certified as of the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1090, Revision 11, dated July 20, 2004 (installation of FMGC part number (P/N) C13042BA01).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1103, Revision 04, dated March 12, 2004 (installation of FMGC P/N C13043AA01).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1116, Revision 04, dated March 29, 2004 (installation of FMGC P/N C13043BA01).

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1152, Revision 03, dated February 18, 2005 (installation of FMGC P/N C13043AA02).

    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1243, Revision 05, dated May 31, 2010 (installation of FMGC P/N C13043BA04).

    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1519, Revision 02, dated December 21, 2015 (installation of FMGC P/N C13207CA00).

    Figure 1 to Paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of This AD—Affected FMGCs Airplanes FMGC No. A319-111 B398AAM0303 B398AAM0304 B398AAM0405 B398AAM0406 A319-112 B398AAM0407 B398AAM0408 B398AAM0409 B398AAM0410 A319-113 B398AAM0411 B398AAM0412 B398BAM0101 B398BAM0202 A319-114 B398BAM0203 B398BAM0204 B398BAM0205 B398BAM0206 A319-115 B398BAM0207 B398BAM0208 B398BAM0209 B546BAM0101 A320-211 B546BAM0202 B546BAM0203 B546BAM0204 B546BAM0205 A320-212 B546BAM0206 B546CAM0101 B546CAM0102 B546CAM0103 A320-214 B546CAM0104 A321-111 A321-112 A321-211 A321-212 and A321-213 (all CFM56) A319-131 B398BCM0101 B398BCM0102 B398BCM0103 B398BCM0104 A319-132 B398BCM0105 B398BCM0106 B398BCM0107 B398BCM0108 A319-133 B398BCM0109 B546BCM0101 B546BCM0102 B546BCM0203 A320-231 B546BCM0204 B546BCM0205 B546CCM0101 B546CCM0102 A320-232 B546CCM0103 B546CCM0104 B546CCM0105 B546CCM0106 A320-233 A321-131 A321-231 and A321-232 (all V2500) Figure 2 to Paragraph (g)(2) of This AD—List of Approved Eligible FMGCs Certified as of the Effective Date of This AD Airplanes FMGC part No. A319-111 C13042AA01 A319-112 C13042AA02 A319-113 C13042AA03 A319-114 C13042AA04 A319-115 C13042AA05 A320-211 C13042AA06 A320-212 C13042AA07 A320-214 C13043AA01 A321-111 C13043AA02 A321-112 C13043AA03 A321-211 C13043AA04 A321-212 and C13043AA05 A321-213 (all CFM56) C13043AA06 FMGC hardware Flight Guidance
  • (FG) software
  • C13207AA00 G2858AAA01 C13207CA00 G2858AAA02 C13207CA00 G2858AAA03 C13208AA00 G2858AAA01 C13208AA00 G2858AAA02 C13208AA00 G2858AAA03
    Figure 3 to Paragraph (g)(2) of This AD—List of Approved Eligible FMGCs Certified as of the Effective Date of This AD Airplanes FMGC part No. A319-131 C13042BA01 A319-132 C13042BA02 A319-133 C13042BA03 A320-231 C13042BA04 A320-232 C13042BA05 A320-233 C13042BA06 A321-131 C13042BA07 A321-231 and C13042BA08 A321-232 (all V2500) C13043BA01 C13043BA02 C13043BA03 C13043BA04 C13043BA05 C13043BA06 C13043BA07 C13043BA08 FMGC hardware (FG) software C13207BA00 G2859AAA01 C13207DA00 G2859AAA02 C13207DA00 G2859AAA03 C13207DA00 G2859AAA04 C13208BA00 G2859AAA01 C13208BA00 G2859AAA02 C13208BA00 G2859AAA03 C13208BA00 G2859AAA04 (h) Unaffected Airplanes

    (1) An airplane on which Airbus Modification 31896 or Airbus Modification 31897 has been embodied in production is not affected by the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it is conclusively determined that no FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD has been installed on that airplane since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the original export certificate of airworthiness. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose and the part number of the FMGC can be conclusively identified from that review.

    (2) An airplane on which the actions specified in paragraph (g)(2) have been done before the effective date of this AD is not affected by the requirements in paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it is conclusively determined that no FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD has been installed on that airplane since accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose and the part number of the FMGC can be conclusively identified from that review.

    (i) Parts Installation Limitation

    Installation of an FMGC standard approved after the effective date of this AD on any airplane, is acceptable for compliance with the actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, provided the conditions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD are accomplished.

    (1) The software and hardware standard, as applicable, must be approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (2) The installation must be accomplished using airplane modification instructions approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (j) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane an FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in Figure 4 to paragraph (k) of this AD.

    Figure 4 to Paragraph (k) of this AD—Service Information Acceptable for Credit for Actions in Paragraph (g)(2) of This AD FMGC/FG install Airbus service bulletin Revision Date C13042BA01 A320-22-1090 00 March 5, 2002. 01 April 15, 2002. 02 June 14, 2002. 03 October 1, 2002. 04 November 26, 2002. 05 January 13, 2003. 06 March 3, 2003. 07 June 26, 2003. 08 October 15, 2003. 09 November 7, 2003. 10 January 22, 2004. C13043AA01 A320-22-1103 00 October 8, 2002. 01 April 1, 2003. 02 August 28, 2003. 03 October 15, 2003. C13043BA01 A320-22-1116 00 January 31, 2003. 01 August 4, 2003. 02 October 17, 2003. 03 February 25, 2004. C13043AA02 A320-22-1152 00 May 5, 2004. 01 July 6, 2004. 02 October 15, 2004. C13043BA04 A320-22-1243 00 October 16, 2007. 01 April 1, 2008. 02 September 10, 2008. 03 February 17, 2009. 04 March 3, 2010. C13207CA00 A320-22-1519 00 June 26, 2015. 01 August 26, 2015. (l) Terminating Action for Other ADs

    Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, and, as applicable, paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, terminates all requirements of AD 2000-12-13.

    (m) 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 the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. 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.

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

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0122, dated June 21, 2016, 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-2017-0624.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227 1405; fax 425-227 1149.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 16, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13406 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0648; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-012-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Model P-180 airplanes. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as disbonding of the upper and lower metal skin from the honeycomb core on the elevator assembly and other flight control surfaces. We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A—Continued Airworthiness, Via Pionieri e Aviatori d'Italia snc—16154 Genova, Italy; Telephone: +39 010 0998046; Fax: None; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.piaggioaerospace.it/en/customer-support#care. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    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-2017-0648; 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:

    Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; fax: (816) 329-4090; 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-2017-0648; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-012-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://regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD No.: 2017-0045, dated March 9, 2017 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    During a post flight inspection of a right hand (RH) elevator assembly, disbonding was detected on the upper and lower metal skin from the honeycomb core. Subsequent investigation identified that a manufacturing deficiency caused the detected disbonding and that other flight control surfaces could potentially be affected by the same deficiency.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural stiffness of the flight control surface and downgrade its aerodynamic characteristics, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Piaggio Aero Industries (PAI) issued Service Bulletin (SB) 80-0455 to provide inspection instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive inspections of the affected flight control assemblies and, depending on findings, repair or replacement. This [EASA] AD also requires reporting of the inspection result to PAI.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0648.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A has issued Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin N.: 80-0455, dated: January 13, 2017. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections to verify the structural integrity of the flight control assemblies. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 103 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take 9 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of the proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

    Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $78,795, or $765 per product.

    The scope of damage found in the required inspections could vary significantly from airplane to airplane. We have no way of determining how much damage may be found on each airplane or the cost to repair damaged parts on each airplane.

    In addition, we have no way of knowing how many products may need replacement as a result of the required inspections. The following cost estimates were obtained directly from the manufacturer and we estimate that any necessary follow-on replacement actions would cost as follows:

    (i) Control surface repair: 10 work-hours for a cost of $850 per product.

    (ii) Left Hand (LH) Forward Wing Flap Replacement: 4 work-hours and require parts costing $30,079, for a total cost of $30,419.

    (iii) Right Hand (RH) Forward Wing Flap Replacement: 4 work-hours and require parts costing $30,079, for a total cost of $30,419.

    (iv) LH Aileron Assembly: 7 work-hours and require parts costing $40,715, for a total cost of $41,310.

    (v) RH Aileron Assembly: 7 work-hours and require parts costing $86,050, for a total cost of $86,645.

    (vi) Main Wing LH Inboard Flap Assembly: 4 work-hours and require parts costing $22,699, for a total cost of $23,039.

    (vii) Main Wing RH Inboard Flap Assembly: 4 work-hours and require parts costing $22,699, for a total cost of $23,039.

    (viii) LH Elevator Assembly: 8 work-hours and require parts costing $59,917, for a total cost of $60,597.

    (ix) RH Elevator Assembly: 8 work-hours and require parts costing $59,917, for a total cost of $60,597.

    There is an additional 10 work-hours that may be required for post-repair or post-installation replacment of flight control surface adjustments and testing, for a total cost of $850.

    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 AD: Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A.: Docket No. FAA-2017-0648; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-012-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. P-180 airplanes, serial numbers 1002, 1004 through 1220, that are:

    (1) Equipped with flight control surfaces part numbers (P/Ns) and serial numbers (S/Ns) not listed in table 1 of Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin N.: 80-0455, dated: January 13, 2017; and

    (2) certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 27: Flight Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as disbonding of the upper and lower metal skin from the honeycomb core on the elevator assembly and other flight control surfaces. We are issuing this proposed AD to prevent structural stiffness of the flight control surface and the downgrade of its aerodynamic characteristics, resulting in reduced control.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (8) of this AD. The parts affected by this AD are all left hand (LH) forward flaps, right hand (RH) forward flaps, main wing LH inboard flaps, main wing RH inboard flaps, LH ailerons, RH ailerons, LH elevators, and RH elevators, hereafter referred to as “affected control surface” in this AD.

    (1) Within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD or within the next 200 hours TIS after the last coin tapping inspection of the affected control surface following PAI Non-Destructive Test Manual (NDTM) 180-MAN-0300-01107, Chapter 51-00-01; whichever occurs later, do a coin tapping inspection of each affected control surface. Repetitively thereafter inspect at the intervals specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (ii). Follow Part B of the Accomplishment Instructions in Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017 (PAI SB No. 80-0455).

    (i) Do two repetitive inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 hours TIS; and

    (ii) Repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS.

    (2) If damage is found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, repair or replace as necessary each damaged affected control surface following Part B and/or C of the Accomplishment Instructions in Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017.

    (3) Within 50 hours TIS after the repair of an affected control surface as required by paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, do a coin tapping inspection of that repaired affected control surface. Repetitively thereafter inspect at the intervals specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (ii) of this AD. Follow the instructions in Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017.

    (i) Do two repetitive inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 hours TIS; and

    (ii) Repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS.

    (4) If damage is found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(3) of this AD, before further flight, repair or replace as necessary each damaged affected control surface following the instructions in Part B and/or C of the Accomplishment Instructions in Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017.

    (5) Repair of an affected control surface, as required by paragraph (f)(2) or (4) of this AD, does not constitute terminating action for repetitive inspections as required by this AD for that affected control surface, unless the FAA-approved repair instructions specify otherwise.

    (6) Replacement of the affected part on an airplane with a part listed in Table 1 of Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by this AD for that part.

    (7) You may incorporate the actions of Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017, into your FAA-approved Airplane Inspection Program (AIP) or maintenance program (instructions for continued airworthiness) to ensure the continuing airworthiness of each operated airplane.

    (8) After the effective date of this AD, you may install on an airplane an affected control surface not listed in table 1 of Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin N.: 80-0455, dated: January 13, 2017, provided that before further flight after installation, the affected control surface has been inspected as specified in this AD and found airworthy.

    (g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

    (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

    (3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, a federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (h) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2017-0045, dated March 9, 2017; and Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (SB) No.: 80-0455, dated January 13, 2017; for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0648. For service information related to this AD, contact Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A—Continued Airworthiness, Via Pionieri e Aviatori d'Italia snc—16154 Genova, Italy; Telephone: +39 010 0998046; Fax: None; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.piaggioaerospace.it/en/customer-support#care. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 21, 2017. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13498 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0208; FRL-9964-10-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Alabama: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the December 9, 2015, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), for inclusion into the Alabama SIP. This proposal pertains to the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2012 annual particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP.” ADEM certified that the Alabama SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Alabama. EPA is proposing to determine that Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission provided to EPA on December 9, 2015, satisfies certain required infrastructure elements for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0208 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tiereny Bell, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bell can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9088 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Overview

    On December 14, 2012 (78 FR 3086, January 15, 2013), EPA promulgated a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The standard was strengthened from 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12.0 μg/m3. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS to EPA no later than December 14, 2015.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions States generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the term “ADEM Administrative Code (Admin. Code r).” indicates that the cited regulation has either been approved, or submitted for approval into Alabama's federally-approved SIP. The term “Alabama Code” (Ala. Code) indicates cited Alabama state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    This action is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP 2 submission for the applicable requirements of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, with the exception of the interstate transport provisions pertaining to contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) and visibility of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4), and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). With respect to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) and visibility of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4), and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA will address these in separate rulemaking actions.

    2 Alabama's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission dated December 9, 2015, is referred to as “Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission” in this action.

    II. What elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements of section 110(a)(2) are summarized below and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).3

    3 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D, title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, title I of the CAA. This proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System • 110(a)2(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP Revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned above, this element is not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Visibility Protection • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Alabama that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    5 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations. On March 17, 2016, EPA released a memorandum titled, “Information on the Interstate Transport `Good Neighbor' Provision for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)” to provide guidance to states for interstate transport requirements specific to the PM2.5 NAAQS.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and new source review (NSR) pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs). By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 annual particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's implementation plan meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, among other things, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's implementation plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Alabama addressed the elements of the section 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A) Emission Limits and Other Control Measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. Several regulations within Alabama's SIP are relevant to air quality control regulations. The regulations described below have been federally approved in the Alabama SIP and include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.03—Ambient Air Quality Standards, authorizes ADEM to adopt rules for the control of air pollution in order to comply with NAAQS, including those necessary to obtain EPA approval under section 110 of the CAA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.06—Compliance Schedule, sets the schedule for compliance with the State's Air Pollution Control rules and regulations to be consistent with the requirements of the CAA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.05—Sampling and Testing Methods, details the authority and means with which ADEM can require testing and emissions verification. Also, the following ADEM Administrative Code rules address this element: 335-3-14-.03(2)—Stack Heights, subparagraphs (d) and (e), 335-3-15-.02(9)—Stack Heights, subparagraphs (d) and (e), and 335-3-16-.02(10)—General Provisions, subparagraphs (d) and (e). EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP satisfies Section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.18

    18 On June 12, 2015, EPA published a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” See 80 FR 33840.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to: (i) Monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04—Monitoring, Records, and Reporting, requires sources to submit emissions monitoring reports as prescribed by the Director of ADEM. Pursuant to this regulation, these sources collect air monitoring data, quality assure the results, and report the data to EPA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.05—Sampling and Testing Methods, details the authority and means through which ADEM can require testing and emissions verification. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.04—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in Clean Air: Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting (PSD), describes the State's use of ambient air quality monitoring data for purposes of permitting new facilities and assessing major modifications to existing facilities. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, and includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 On July 22, 2015, Alabama submitted its plan to EPA. On November 19, 2015, EPA approved Alabama's monitoring network plan. Alabama's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0208. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    19 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: This element consists of three sub-elements: Enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources, and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). ADEM's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission cited a number of SIP provisions to address these requirements. Specifically, the submission cited ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.01—General Provisions, 335-3-14-.02,—Permit Procedure, 335-3-14-.03—Standards for Granting Permits, 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting and 335-3-14-.05—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or Near Nonattainment Areas. Collectively, these provisions of Alabama's SIP cover enforcement, and permitting of new and modified major and minor sources.

    Enforcement: ADEM's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of PM2.5 emission limits and control measures through construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources. Note also that ADEM has authority to issue enforcement orders and assess penalties (see Ala. Code sections 22-22A-5, 22-28-10 and 22-28-22).

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

    For the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, Alabama's authority to regulate new and modified sources to assist in the protection of air quality in Alabama is established in the Alabama Administrative Code Chapters 335-3-14-.01—General Provisions, 335-3-14-.02—Permit Procedure, 335-3-14-.03—Standards for Granting Permits, 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting, and 335-3-14-.05—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or Near Nonattainment Areas. Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission demonstrates that new major sources and major modifications in areas of the State designated attainment or unclassifiable for the specified NAAQS are subject to a federally-approved PSD permitting program meeting current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA to satisfy the infrastructure SIP PSD elements.20

    20 For more information on the structural PSD program requirements that are relevant to EPA's review of Alabama's infrastructure SIP in connection with the current PSD-related infrastructure requirements, see the Technical Support Document in the docket for today's rulemaking.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.01 General Provisions, 335-3-14-.02 Permit Procedure, and 335-3-14-.03—Standards for Granting Permits govern the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP is adequate for enforcement of control measures, the PSD element, and regulation of minor stationary sources and minor modifications of major stationary sources related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components: 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components has two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2). EPA will take action on 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) in a separate rulemaking.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the PSD element, referred to as prong 3, this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to: A PSD program meeting current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, or (if the state contains a nonattainment area that has the potential to impact PSD in another state) a NNSR program. As discussed in more detail above under section 110(a)(2)(C), Alabama's SIP contains a PSD program that reflect the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy prong 3 at 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting and a NNSR program at 335-3-14-.05—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or Near Nonattainment Areas. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP is adequate for interstate transport for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to visibility protection of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider these requirements in relation to Alabama's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate and International Transport Provisions: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting describes how Alabama notifies neighboring states of potential emission impacts from new or modified sources applying for PSD permits. This regulation requires ADEM to provide an opportunity for a public hearing to the public, which includes state or local air pollution control agencies, “whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification.” Additionally, Alabama does not have any pending obligation under sections 115 and 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide: (i) Necessary assurances that the state will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the state comply with the requirements respecting state boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the state has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii). With respect to sub-element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) (regarding state boards), EPA will address this sub-element in a separate action from today. EPA's rationale respecting each sub-element for which EPA is proposing action on today is described below.

    In support of EPA's proposal to approve sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), ADEM's infrastructure submission demonstrates that it is responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for the NAAQS, emissions standards, general policies, a system of permits, fee schedules for the review of plans, and other planning needs as authorized at Ala. Code section 22-28-11 and section 22-28-9. As evidence of the adequacy of ADEM's resources with respect to sub-elements (i) and (iii), EPA submitted a letter to Alabama on April 19, 2016, outlining 105 grant commitments and current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2015. The letter EPA submitted to Alabama can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0208-2014-0431. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. There were no outstanding issues in relation to the SIP for fiscal year 2015, therefore, Alabama's grants were finalized and closed out. Alabama's funding is also met through the state's title V fee program at ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-7—Air Division Operating Permit Fees21 and ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-6—Application Fees. 22 For 110(a)(2)(E)(iii), requirements dictating the roles of local or regional governments are derived from Ala. Code section 22-28-23, which do not allow local programs to be less strict than the Alabama SIP and allows for oversight from the Alabama Environmental Commission. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama has adequate authority and resources for implementation of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    21 Title V program regulations are federally-approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    22 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing: (i) The installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission describes the establishment of requirements for compliance testing by emissions sampling and analysis, and for emissions and operation monitoring to ensure the quality of data in the State. The Alabama infrastructure SIP submission also describes how the major source and minor source emission inventory programs collect emission data throughout the State and ensure the quality of such data. Alabama meets these requirements through ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04—Monitoring, Records, and Reporting, and 335-3-12—Continuous Monitoring Requirements for Existing Sources. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04, details how sources are required as appropriate to establish and maintain records; make reports; install, use, and maintain such monitoring equipment or methods; and provide periodic emission reports as the regulation requires. Additionally, ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-12-.02 requires owners and operators of emissions sources to “install, calibrate, operate and maintain all monitoring equipment necessary for continuously monitoring the pollutants.” 23 ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.13—Credible Evidence, makes allowances for owners and/or operators to utilize “any credible evidence or information relevant” to demonstrate compliance with applicable requirements if the appropriate performance or compliance test had been performed, for the purpose of submitting compliance certification and can be used to establish whether or not an owner or operator has violated or is in violation of any rule or standard. Accordingly, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Alabama SIP.

    23 ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-12-.02 establishes that data reporting requirements for sources required to conduct continuous monitoring in the state should comply with data reporting requirements set forth at 40 CFR part 51, Appendix P. Section 40 CFR part 51, Appendix P includes that the averaging period used for data reporting should be established by the state to correspond to the averaging period specified in the emission test method used to determine compliance with an emission standard for the pollutant/source category in question.

    Additionally, Alabama is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Alabama made its latest update to the 2014 NEI on July 8, 2016 and the network plan addendum on October 28, 2016. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: This section requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Ala. Code sections 22-28-22, 22-28-14 and 22-28-21 grant ADEM authority to adopt regulations for the purpose of protecting human health, welfare and the environment as required by section 303 of the CAA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-2,—Air Pollution Emergency, provides for the identification of air pollution emergency episodes, episode criteria, and emissions reduction plans. Alabama's compliance with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority is also met by Ala. Code section 22-28-21 Air Pollution Emergencies. Ala. Code Section 22-28-21 provides ADEM the authority to order the “person or persons responsible for the operation or operations of one or more air contaminants sources” causing “imminent danger to human health or safety in question to reduce or discontinue emissions immediately.” The order triggers a hearing no later than 24-hours after issuance before the Environmental Management Commission which can affirm, modify or set aside the Director's order. Additionally, the Governor can, by proclamation, declare, as to all or any part of said area, that an air pollution emergency exists and exercise certain powers in whole or in part, by the issuance of an order or orders to protect the public health. Under Ala. Code sections 22-28-3(a) and 22-28-10(2), ADEM also has the authority to issue such orders as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of the Alabama Pollution Control Act, which includes achieving and maintaining such levels of air quality as will protect human health and safety and, to the greatest degree practicable, prevent injury to plant and animal life and property, foster the comfort and convenience of the people, promote the social development of this state and facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attractions of the state. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP, state laws and practices are adequate to satisfy the infrastructure SIP obligations for emergency powers related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP Revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan: (i) As may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. As previously discussed, ADEM is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS. Alabama has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-1-.03—Organization and Duties of the Commission, 24 provides the Alabama Environmental Management Commission with the authority to establish, adopt, promulgate, modify, repeal and suspend rules, regulations, or environmental standards which may be applicable to Alabama or “any of its geographic parts.” Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.03—Ambient Air Quality Standards, incorporates NAAQS, as amended or revised, and provides that the NAAQS apply throughout the State. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama adequately demonstrates a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H).

    24 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, and PSD and visibility protection: EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, PSD and visibility protection. EPA's rationale for each sub-element is described below.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.03—Ambient Air Quality Standards, as well as its Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for continued consultation with appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLMs), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. In addition, Alabama adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development. Required partners covered by Alabama's consultation procedures include federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary.

    Public notification (127 public notification): ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.01(7)—Public Participation, and 335-3-14-.05(13)—Public Participation, and Ala. Code section 22-28-21—Air Pollution Emergencies, provide for public notification when air pollution episodes occur. Furthermore, ADEM has several public notice mechanisms in place to notify the public of ozone and PM2.5 forecasting. Alabama maintains a public Web site on which daily air quality index forecasts are posted for the Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile areas. This Web site can be accessed at: http://adem.alabama.gov/programs/air/airquality.cnt. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    PSD: With regard to the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J), this requirement is met by the state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that it has a complete PSD program meeting current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA. As discussed in more detail above under the section discussing 110(a)(2)(C), Alabama's SIP contains a PSD program that reflects the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP is adequate for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J).

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. ADEM referenced its regional haze program as germane to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals so ADEM does not need to rely on its regional haze program to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's submission is approvable for the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) and that Alabama does not need to rely on its regional haze program to address this element.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting, specifically sub-paragraph (11)—Air Quality Models, specifies that required air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models”. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04—Monitoring, Records, and Reporting details how sources are required as appropriate to establish and maintain records; make reports; install, use, and maintain such monitoring equipment or methods; and provide periodic emission reports as the regulation requires. These reports and records are required to be compiled, and submitted on forms furnished by the State. These regulations also demonstrate that Alabama has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Additionally, Alabama participates in a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, for the southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Alabama's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that ADEM has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any pollutant for which a NAAQS has been promulgated, and to provide such information to the EPA Administrator upon request. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting Fees: This section requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover (i) the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-6—Application Fees25 requires ADEM to charge permit-specific fees to the applicant/source as authorized by Ala. Code section 22-22A-5. ADEM relies on these State requirements to demonstrate that its permitting fee structure is sufficient for the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon PSD and NNSR permits. Additionally, Alabama has a fully-approved title V operating permit program—ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-7—Air Division Operating Permit Fees26 —that covers the cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's state rules and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

    25 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    26 Title V program regulations are federally approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) of the Act requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. ADEM coordinates with local governments affected by the SIP. ADEM Administrative Code 335-3-17-.01—Transportation Conformity is one way that Alabama provides for consultation with affected local entities. More specifically, Alabama adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development and the requirements that link transportation planning and air quality planning in nonattainment and maintenance areas. Required partners covered by Alabama's consultation procedures include federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. Furthermore, ADEM has worked with the Federal Land Managers as a requirement of the regional haze rule. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) and visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4), and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's April 23, 2013, SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. The interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1, 2 and 4) and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) will be addressed by EPA in other actions.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13671 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2013-0558; FRL-9964-30-Region 8] Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; North Dakota AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from the State of North Dakota to demonstrate the State meets infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA) for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) promulgated for sulfur dioxide (SO2) on June 2, 2010 (40 CFR 50.17) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on January 15, 2013 (78 FR 3086). Section 110(a) of the CAA requires that each state submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by the EPA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2013-0558 at www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kate Gregory, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6175, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information What should I consider as I prepare my comments for the EPA?

    1. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI). Do not submit CBI to the EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register volume, date, and page number);

    • Follow directions and organize your comments;

    • Explain why you agree or disagree;

    • Suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes;

    • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used;

    • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced;

    • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives;

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats; and,

    • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Background

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA promulgated a new NAAQS for SO2, establishing a new one-hour SO2 standard at a level of 75 parts per billion (ppb) based on the three-year average of the 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. Additionally, the EPA revoked both the existing 24-hour and annual primary SO2 standards (75 FR 35520, June 22, 2010). Subsequently, on January 15, 2013, the EPA promulgated a new NAAQS for PM2.5, revising the annual PM2.5 NAAQS by lowering the level to 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). Additionally, the EPA retained the 24-hour PM2.5 standard at a level of 35 μg/m3 and is revising the Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM2.5 to be consistent with the revised primary PM2.5 standards (78 FR 3086, January 15, 2013).

    Under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA, states are required to submit infrastructure SIPs to ensure their SIPs provide for implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the NAAQS. These submissions must contain any revisions needed for meeting the applicable SIP requirements of section 110(a)(2), or certifications that their existing SIPs for PM2.5, ozone, Pb, NO2, and SO2 already meet those requirements. The EPA highlighted this statutory requirement in an October 2, 2007, guidance document entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (2007 Memo). On September 25, 2009, the EPA issued an additional guidance document pertaining to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS entitled “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2009 Memo), followed by the October 14, 2011, “Guidance on Infrastructure SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (2011 Memo). Most recently, the EPA issued “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)” on September 13, 2013 (2013 Memo).

    III. What is the scope of this rulemaking?

    The EPA is acting upon the SIP submissions from North Dakota that address the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within three years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon the EPA taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    The EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, the EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA; “regional haze SIP” submissions required by the EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A; and nonattainment new source review (NSR) permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.1 The EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, the EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    1 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    Examples of some of these ambiguities and the context in which the EPA interprets the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) are discussed at length in our notice of proposed rulemaking: Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; South Dakota (79 FR 71040, Dec. 1, 2014) under “III. What is the Scope of this Rulemaking?”

    With respect to certain other issues, the EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction (SSM) that may be contrary to the CAA and the EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by the EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of the EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186, Dec. 31, 2002, as amended by 72 FR 32526, June 13, 2007 (“NSR Reform”).

    As discussed below, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) covers elements 1 and 2 of “interstate transport,” while 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) covers interstate transport elements 3 and 4. The EPA is not addressing 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) elements 1 and 2 for either the 2010 SO2 or 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS as part of this action. These elements will be addressed in a separate action.

    IV. What infrastructure elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    CAA section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIP submissions after a new or revised NAAQS is promulgated. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements the SIP must contain or satisfy. These infrastructure elements include requirements such as modeling, monitoring and emissions inventories, which are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The elements that are the subject of this action are listed below.

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures.

    • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient air quality monitoring/data system.

    • 110(a)(2)(C): Program for enforcement of control measures.

    • 110(a)(2)(D): Interstate transport.

    • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate resources and authority, conflict of interest, and oversight of local governments and regional agencies.

    • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary source monitoring and reporting.

    • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency powers.

    • 110(a)(2)(H): Future SIP revisions.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with government officials; public notification; and PSD and visibility protection.

    • 110(a)(2)(K): Air quality modeling/data.

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees.

    • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation/participation by affected local entities.

    A detailed discussion of each of these elements is contained in the next section.

    Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) and are therefore not addressed in this action. These elements relate to part D of Title I of the CAA, and submissions to satisfy them are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather are due at the same time nonattainment area plan requirements are due under section 172. The two elements are: (1) Section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent it refers to permit programs (known as “nonattainment NSR”) required under part D, and (2) section 110(a)(2)(I), pertaining to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D. As a result, this action does not address infrastructure elements related to the nonattainment NSR portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) or related to 110(a)(2)(I). Furthermore, the EPA interprets the CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) provision on visibility as not being triggered by a new NAAQS because the visibility requirements in part C, title 1 of the CAA are not changed by a new NAAQS.

    V. How did North Dakota address the infrastructure elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    The North Dakota Department of Health (the Department) submitted certifications of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS on March 7, 2013 and for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS on August 23, 2015. Infrastructure SIPs were taken out for public notice and North Dakota provided an opportunity for public hearing, as indicated in each certification (available within this docket). North Dakota's infrastructure certifications demonstrate how the State, where applicable, has plans in place that meet the requirements of section 110 for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. These plans reference the North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) and the North Dakota Air Pollution Control Rules (NDAC). These submittals are available within the electronic docket for today's proposed action at www.regulations.gov. The NDCC and NDAC referenced in the submittals are publicly available at http://www.legis.nd.gov/general-information/north-dakota-century-code and http://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t23c25.html. Air pollution control regulations and statutes that have been previously approved by the EPA and incorporated into the North Dakota SIP can be found at 40 CFR 52.1820.

    VI. Analysis of the State Submittals

    1. Emission limits and other control measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of this Act.

    Multiple SIP approved State air quality regulations within the NDAC and cited in North Dakota's certifications provide enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means of techniques, schedules for compliance, and other related matters necessary to meet the requirements of the CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, subject to the following clarifications.

    First, the EPA does not consider SIP requirements triggered by the nonattainment area mandates in part D of Title I of the CAA to be governed by the submission deadline of section 110(a)(1). Furthermore, North Dakota has no areas designated as nonattainment for the 2010 SO2 or 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. North Dakota's certifications (contained within this docket) generally listed provisions within its SIP which regulate pollutants through various programs, including major and minor source permit programs. This suffices, in the case of North Dakota, to meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Second, as previously discussed, the EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. A number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109, Nov. 24, 1987), and the agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, the EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    Finally, in this action, the EPA is also not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provision with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at a facility. A number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance 2 and the agency is addressing such state regulations separately (80 FR 33840, June 12, 2015).

    2 Steven Herman, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and Robert Perciasepe, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Memorandum to the EPA Air Division Directors, “State Implementation Plans (SIPs): Policy Regarding Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown.” (September 20, 1999).

    Therefore, the EPA is proposing to approve North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(A) to include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques to meet the applicable requirements of this element.

    2. Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to “provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary” to “(i) monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator.”

    The State's submissions cite regulatory documents included in Chapters 23-25-03, 23-25-03.2 and 23-25-03.10 of the NDCC. Provisions contained in 23-25-03 of the NDCC provide the legal authority and framework for the Department to require that permit applicants submit adequate monitoring data. Additionally, 23-25-03.10 of the NDCC enables the Department to impose reasonable conditions upon an approval to construct, modify, or operate, including ambient air quality monitoring. Additionally, the State of North Dakota submits data to the EPA's Air Quality System database in accordance with 40 CFR 58.16. Finally, North Dakota's 2016 Annual Monitoring Network Plan was approved through a letter dated December 5, 2016 (available within the docket). The State provides the EPA with prior notification when changes to its monitoring network or plan are being considered.

    We find that North Dakota's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements and therefore propose to approve the infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for this element.

    3. Program for enforcement of control measures: Section 110(a)(2)(C) requires SIPs to “include a program to provide for the enforcement of the measures described in subparagraph (A), and regulation of the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the plan as necessary to assure that [NAAQS] are achieved, including a permit program as required in parts C and D.”

    To generally meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C), the State is required to have SIP-approved PSD, nonattainment NSR, and minor NSR permitting programs that are adequate to implement the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. As explained elsewhere in this action, the EPA is not evaluating nonattainment related provisions, such as the nonattainment NSR program required by part D of the Act. The EPA is evaluating the State's PSD program as required by part C of the Act, and the State's minor NSR program as required by section 110(a)(2)(C).

    Enforcement of Control Measures Requirement

    NDCC 23-25-10 and NDAC 33-15-01-17 allow the State to enforce applicable laws, regulations, and standards; to seek injunctive relief; and to provide authority to prevent construction, modification, or operation of any stationary source at any location where emissions from such source will prevent the attainment or maintenance of a national standard or interfere with prevention of significant deterioration requirements.

    PSD Requirements

    With respect to Elements (C) and (J), the EPA interprets the CAA to require each state to make an infrastructure SIP submission for a new or revised NAAQS demonstrating that the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program meeting the current requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. The requirements of Element D(i)(II) prong 3 may also be satisfied by demonstrating the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program that applies to all regulated NSR pollutants. North Dakota has shown that it currently has a PSD program in place that covers all regulated NSR pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs).

    North Dakota implements the PSD program by, for the most part, incorporating by reference the federal PSD program as it existed on a specific date. The State periodically updates the PSD program by revising the date of incorporation by reference and submitting the change as a SIP revision. As a result, the SIP revisions generally reflect changes to PSD requirements that the EPA has promulgated prior to the revised date of incorporation by reference.

    On June 3, 2010 (75 FR 31291), we approved a North Dakota SIP revision that revised the date of incorporation by reference of the federal PSD program to August 1, 2007. That revision addressed the PSD requirements of the Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule promulgated in 2005 (70 FR 71612). As a result, the approved North Dakota PSD program meets current requirements for ozone.

    Similarly, on October 23, 2012 (77 FR 64736), we approved a North Dakota SIP revision that revised the date of incorporation by reference of the federal PSD program to July 2, 2010. As explained in the notice for that action, that revision addressed the PSD requirements related to GHGs provided in EPA's June 3, 2010 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule” (75 FR 31514). The approved North Dakota PSD program thus also meets current requirements for GHGs.

    On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court addressed the application of PSD permitting requirements to GHG emissions. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427 (2014). The Supreme Court held that the EPA may not treat GHGs as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source required to obtain a PSD permit. The Court also held that the EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs, (anyway sources) contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT).

    In accordance with the Supreme Court decision, on April 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C. Circuit) in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, 606 F. App'x. 6, at *7-8 (D.C. Cir. April 10, 2015), issued an amended judgment vacating the regulations that implemented Step 2 of the EPA's PSD and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule, but not the regulations that implement Step 1 of that rule. Step 1 of the Tailoring Rule covers sources that are required to obtain a PSD permit based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs. Step 2 applied to sources that emitted only GHGs above the thresholds triggering the requirement to obtain a PSD permit. The amended judgment preserves, without the need for additional rulemaking by the EPA, the application of the BACT requirement to GHG emissions from Step 1 or “anyway sources.” 3 With respect to Step 2 sources, the D.C. Circuit's amended judgment vacated the regulations at issue in the litigation, including 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v), “to the extent they require a stationary source to obtain a PSD permit if greenhouse gases are the only pollutant (i) that the source emits or has the potential to emit above the applicable major source thresholds, or (ii) for which there is a significant emission increase from a modification.”

    3See 77 FR 41066 (July 12, 2012) (rulemaking for definition of “anyway” sources).

    The EPA is planning to take additional steps to revise the federal PSD rules in light of the Supreme Court and subsequent D.C. Circuit opinion. Some states have begun to revise their existing SIP-approved PSD programs in light of these court decisions, and some states may prefer not to initiate this process until they have more information about the planned revisions to the EPA's PSD regulations. The EPA is not expecting states to have revised their PSD programs in anticipation of the EPA's planned actions to revise its PSD program rules in response to the court decisions.

    At present, the EPA has determined that North Dakota's SIP is sufficient to satisfy elements (C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3, and (J) with respect to GHGs because the PSD permitting program previously approved by the EPA into the SIP continues to require that PSD permits (otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs) contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of BACT. Although the approved North Dakota PSD permitting program may currently contain provisions that are no longer necessary in light of the Supreme Court decision, this does not render the infrastructure SIP submission inadequate to satisfy elements (C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3, and (J). The SIP contains the necessary PSD requirements at this time, and the application of those requirements is not impeded by the presence of other previously-approved provisions regarding the permitting of sources of GHGs that the EPA does not consider necessary at this time in light of the Supreme Court decision. Accordingly, the Supreme Court decision does not affect the EPA's proposed approval of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP as to the requirements of elements (C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3, and (J). Finally, we evaluate the PSD program with respect to current requirements for PM2.5. In particular, on May 16, 2008, the EPA promulgated the rule, “Implementation of the New Source Review Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)” (73 FR 28321) (2008 Implementation Rule). On October 20, 2010 the EPA promulgated the rule, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC)” (75 FR 64864). The EPA regards adoption of these PM2.5 rules as a necessary requirement when assessing a PSD program for the purposes of Element (C).

    On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 706 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir. 2013), issued a judgment that remanded the EPA's 2007 and 2008 rules implementing the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The court ordered the EPA to “repromulgate these rules pursuant to Subpart 4 consistent with this opinion.” Id. at 437. Subpart 4 of part D, Title 1 of the CAA establishes additional provisions for particulate matter nonattainment areas.

    The 2008 Implementation Rule addressed by Natural Resources Defense Council, “Implementation of New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5),” (73 FR 28321, May 16, 2008), promulgated NSR requirements for implementation of PM2.5 in nonattainment areas (nonattainment NSR) and attainment/unclassifiable areas (PSD). As the requirements of Subpart 4 only pertain to nonattainment areas, the EPA does not consider the portions of the 2008 Implementation Rule that address requirements for PM2.5 attainment and unclassifiable areas to be affected by the court's opinion. Moreover, the EPA does not anticipate the need to revise any PSD requirements promulgated in the 2008 Implementation Rule in order to comply with the court's decision. Accordingly, the EPA's proposed approval of North Dakota's infrastructure SIP as to Elements (C), (D)(i)(II) prong 3, and (J) with respect to the PSD requirements promulgated by the 2008 Ozone Implementation rule does not conflict with the court's opinion.

    The court's decision with respect to the nonattainment NSR requirements promulgated by the 2008 Implementation Rule also does not affect the EPA's action on the present infrastructure action. The EPA interprets the Act to exclude nonattainment area requirements, including requirements associated with a nonattainment NSR program, from infrastructure SIP submissions due three years after adoption or revision of a NAAQS. Instead, these elements are typically referred to as nonattainment SIP or attainment plan elements, which would be due by the dates statutorily prescribed under subpart 2 through 5 under part D, extending as far as 10 years following designations for some elements.

    The second PSD requirement for PM2.5 is contained in the EPA's October 20, 2010 rule, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC)” (75 FR 64864). The EPA regards adoption of the PM2.5 increments as a necessary requirement when assessing a PSD program for the purposes of Element (C).

    As mentioned above, EPA previously approved a North Dakota SIP revision that revised the date of incorporation by reference of the federal PSD program to July 2, 2010 (77 FR 64736, Oct. 23, 2012). This SIP revision also addressed the requirements of the 2008 PM2.5 NSR Implementation Rule. On January 1, 2012, the State submitted revisions to chapter 33-15-15-01.2, Scope, of the NDAC that adopted all elements of the 2010 PM2.5 Increment Rule by incorporating by reference the federal PSD program at 40 CFR part 52, section 21, as it existed on January 1, 2012. The submitted revisions make North Dakota's PSD program up to date with respect to current requirements for PM2.5. EPA approved the necessary portions of North Dakota's January 24, 2013 submission which incorporate the requirements of the 2010 PM2.5 Increment Rule on July 30, 2013 (78 FR 45866). North Dakota's SIP-approved PSD program meets current requirements for PM2.5.

    Therefore, the EPA is proposing to approve North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a PSD permitting program in the SIP that covers the requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants as required by part C of the Act.

    Minor NSR

    The State has a SIP-approved minor NSR program, adopted under section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act. The minor NSR program was originally approved by the EPA on August 21, 1995 (60 FR 43401). Since approval of the minor NSR program, the State and the EPA have relied on the program to assure that new and modified sources not captured by the major NSR permitting programs do not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS.

    The EPA is proposing to approve North Dakota's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that regulates the enforcement, modification and construction of any stationary source as necessary to assure that the NAAQS are achieved.

    4. Interstate Transport: The interstate transport provisions in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) (also called “good neighbor” provisions) require each state to submit a SIP that prohibits emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) identifies four distinct elements related to the impacts of air pollutants transported across state lines. The two prongs under 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) require SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will contribute significantly to nonattainment in any other state with respect to any national primary or secondary NAAQS (prong 1), or interfere with maintenance by any other state with respect to the same NAAQS (prong 2). The two elements under 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) require SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will interfere with measures required to be included in the applicable implementation plan for any other state under part C to prevent significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3) or to protect visibility (prong 4). In this action, the EPA is only addressing prongs 3 and 4 of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). We will address prongs 1 and 2 for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in a separate rulemaking.

    A. Evaluation of Interference with Measures To Prevent Significant Deterioration (PSD)

    With regard to the PSD portion of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3), this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to a comprehensive EPA-approved PSD permitting program in the SIP that applies to all regulated NSR pollutants and that satisfies the requirements of the EPA's PSD implementation rules.4 As discussed in section VI.3 of this proposed action, North Dakota has such a PSD-permitting program.

    4See 2013 Guidance.

    As stated in the 2013 Guidance, in-state sources not subject to PSD for any one or more of the pollutants subject to regulation under the CAA because they are in a nonattainment area for a NAAQS related to those particular pollutants may also have the potential to interfere with PSD in an attainment or unclassifiable area of another state. North Dakota does not contain any nonattainment areas. The consideration of nonattainment NSR for prong 3 is therefore not relevant as all major sources locating in the State are subject to PSD. As North Dakota's SIP meets structural PSD requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants, and North Dakota does not have any nonattainment areas, the EPA is proposing to approve the infrastructure SIP submission as meeting the applicable requirements of prong 3 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    B. Evaluation of Interference With Measures To Protect Visibility

    The 2013 Guidance states that section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)'s prong 4 requirements can be satisfied by approved SIP provisions that the EPA has found to adequately address a state's contribution to visibility impairment in other states. The EPA interprets prong 4 to be pollutant-specific, such that the infrastructure SIP submission need only address the potential for interference with protection of visibility caused by the pollutant (including precursors) to which the new or revised NAAQS applies. See 2013 Guidance at 33.

    The 2013 Guidance lays out two ways in which a state's infrastructure SIP submittal may satisfy prong 4. One way is through a state's confirmation in its infrastructure SIP submittal that it has an EPA-approved regional haze SIP in place that fully meets the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308 or 309. Alternatively, in the absence of a fully approved regional haze SIP, a state can make a demonstration in its infrastructure SIP submittal that emissions within its jurisdiction do not interfere with other states' plans to protect visibility. Such a submittal should point to measures in the SIP that limit visibility-impairing pollutants and ensure that the resulting reductions conform to any mutually agreed emission reductions under the relevant regional haze regional planning organization (RPO) process.5

    5See 2013 Guidance at 34, and also 76 FR 22036 (April 20, 2011) containing EPA's approval of the visibility requirement of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) based on a demonstration by Colorado that did not rely on the Colorado Regional Haze SIP.

    Because of the often significant impacts on visibility from the interstate transport of pollutants, we interpret the provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) described above as requiring states to include in their SIPs measures to prohibit emissions that would interfere with the reasonable progress goals set under 40 CFR 51.308 or 309 to protect Class I areas in other states. States working together through state-to-state consultations or a regional planning process are required to include in their regional haze SIPs all agreed upon measures or measures that will provide equivalent visibility improvement in the Class I areas of their neighbors. 40 CFR 51.308(f)(2)(ii)(A). Given these requirements in the regional haze program we have concluded that a fully approved regional haze SIP satisfies the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to visibility.

    States worked through regional planning organizations (RPOs), such as the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) in the case of North Dakota, to develop strategies to address regional haze. To help states in establishing reasonable progress goals, the RPOs modeled future visibility conditions. The modeling assumed emissions reductions from each state, based on extensive consultation among the states as to appropriate strategies for addressing haze. In setting reasonable progress goals, states generally relied on this modeling. As a result, we generally consider a SIP that ensures emission reductions commensurate with the assumptions underlying the reasonable progress goals to meet the visibility requirement of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    In its 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 infrastructure certifications, the State points to existing portions in the North Dakota SIP, specifically referencing the North Dakota Regional Haze SIP (NDAC 33-15-25), to certify that the State meets the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). The State also references the PSD (NDAC 33-15-15) and Visibility Protection (NDAC 33-15-19) portions of its SIP, as well as the EPA's Regional Haze Federal implementation plan (FIP).6 For the 2012 PM2.5 certification, the State also points to its five-year Progress Report for Regional Haze, submitted to the EPA in January 2015, which (per the State) “indicates that the reasonable progress goals established in the SIP have been met (TRNP) or will likely be met (LWA),” and that “the emissions reductions at EGUs required by the SIP. . . will be achieved or exceeded.” 7

    6 The EPA's final action including a partial approval, partial disapproval and FIP of the North Dakota Regional Haze SIP was published in the Federal Register April 6, 2012 (77 FR 20894).

    7 The EPA notes that Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) and Lostwood Wilderness Area (LWA) are both located within North Dakota, and are therefore would not be included in a prong 4 transport analysis. To date, the EPA has not taken any action on North Dakota's January 2015 Progress Report.

    In this action, we are proposing to find that the emissions reductions approved into North Dakota's Regional Haze SIP are sufficient to ensure that emissions from sources within the State do not interfere with the reasonable progress goals of Class I areas in nearby states. North Dakota participated in a regional planning process with the WRAP. In the regional planning process, North Dakota accepted and incorporated the WRAP-developed visibility modeling into its Regional Haze SIP, and the SIP included the controls and associated emission reductions assumed in the modeling.

    However, the EPA did not fully approve the North Dakota Regional Haze SIP, as we partially disapproved, among other elements, the State's selection of NOX Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) controls for Great River Energy's Coal Creek Station. 77 FR 20894 (April 6, 2012). As a result of our partial disapproval, North Dakota's SIP does not ensure the NOX emission reductions from Coal Creek Station that were assumed in the WRAP's visibility modeling, which nearby states relied on in setting their reasonable progress goals.8 This is relevant to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, as NOX is a precursor for PM2.5. We note, however, that the North Dakota Regional Haze SIP also adopted reasonable progress NOX controls that were not included in the WRAP's modeling for Otter Tail Power Company's Coyote Station,9 as these controls were added as an amendment to the SIP over a year after the original SIP was submitted. See 77 FR 20944 (April 6, 2012). The EPA approved these controls into the North Dakota Regional Haze SIP as part of our April 6, 2012 final action. This SIP provision will reduce NOX emissions at Coyote Station by approximately 4,213 tons per year, a larger decrease in emissions than the assumed NOX BART reductions for Coal Creek Station of approximately 3,214 tons per year. See 76 FR 58603 and 58628 (September 21, 2011). As the Coal Creek and Coyote stations are roughly 32 miles apart, and the Coyote Station is about 15-20 miles closer than Coal Creek to the nearest out of state Class I areas, the visibility impacts from NOX emission reductions at Coyote on out-of-state Class I areas would be similar and potentially greater than those from Coal Creek.10 The State can rely on the Coyote reasonable progress reductions to demonstrate that emissions within the jurisdiction conform to the mutually-agreed regional haze reductions and associated reasonable progress goals because they are approved into the SIP.

    8 The EPA notes that we also disapproved and promulgated a FIP for the State's reasonable progress determination for Basin Electric's Antelope Valley Station.

    9http://www.wrapair.org/forums/ssjf/pivot.html.

    10 Medicine Lake Wilderness, in Montana, is roughly 144 miles from Coyote and roughly 164 miles from Coal Creek. The Badlands/Sage Creek Wilderness in South Dakota is roughly 230 miles from Coyote and roughly 245 miles from Coal Creek.

    Because the reductions in North Dakota's approved Regional Haze SIP are greater than those assumed by the WRAP modeling, and it is reasonable to find that the emission reductions provide the agreed upon visibility improvements in affected Class I areas, the EPA is proposing to find that North Dakota's SIP includes controls sufficient to address the relevant requirements related to impacts on Class I areas in other states for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    With regard to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, it is appropriate for the State to rely on the Regional Haze SIP approval for the purposes of prong 4, as the EPA approved all of the State's SO2 BART and reasonable progress determinations. The EPA is therefore proposing to find that North Dakota's SIP includes controls sufficient to address the relevant requirements related to impacts on Class I areas in other states for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    5. Interstate and International transport provisions: CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements of CAA sections 126 and 115 (relating to interstate and international pollution abatement). Specifically, CAA section 126(a) requires new or modified major sources to notify neighboring states of potential impacts from the source.

    Section 126(a) of the CAA requires notification to affected, nearby states of major proposed new (or modified) sources. Sections 126(b) and (c) pertain to petitions by affected states to the Administrator of the EPA (Administrator) regarding sources violating the “interstate transport” provisions of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). Section 115 of the CAA similarly pertains to international transport of air pollution.

    With regard to section 126(a), North Dakota's SIP-approved PSD program requires notice of proposed new sources or modifications to states whose lands may be significantly affected by emissions from the source or modification (see NDAC 33-15-15-01.2(q)(2)(d)). This provision satisfies the notice requirement of section 126(a).

    North Dakota has no pending obligations under sections 126(c) or 115(b); therefore, its SIP currently meets the requirements of those sections. In summary, the SIP meets the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    6. Adequate resources: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) requires states to provide “necessary assurances that the state [. . .] will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under State law to carry out [the SIP] (and is not prohibited by any provision of Federal or State law from carrying out the SIP or portion thereof).” Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) also requires each state to “comply with the requirements respecting state boards” under CAA section 128. Section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii) requires states to provide “necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any [SIP] provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such [SIP] provision.”

    a. Sub-Elements (i) and (iii): Adequate Personnel, Funding, and Legal Authority Under State Law To Carry Out Its SIP, and Related Issues

    NDCC 23-25-03 provides adequate authority for the State of North Dakota and the Department to carry out its SIP obligations with respect to the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. The State receives section 103 and 105 grant funds through its Performance Partnership Grant from the EPA along with required state matching funds to provide funding necessary to carry out North Dakota's SIP requirements. North Dakota's resources meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(E).

    With respect to section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii), the regulations cited by North Dakota in their certifications and verified through additional communication 11 (NDCC 23-25-02(01), 33-15-04-02, 23-01-05(02), 23-25-03(5), and 23-25-10) and contained within this docket also provide the necessary assurances that the State has responsibility for adequate implementation of SIP provisions. Therefore, we propose to approve North Dakota's SIP as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (E)(iii) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    11See Email from Tom Bachman “Request for Clarifications_ND iSIP 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAAQS” April 13, 2015, available within docket.

    b. Sub-Element (ii): State Boards

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires each state's SIP to contain provisions that comply with the requirements of section 128 of the CAA. That provision contains two explicit requirements: (i) That any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under the CAA shall have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive a significant portion of their income from persons subject to such permits and enforcement orders; and (ii) that any potential conflicts of interest by members of such board or body or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed.

    On July 30, 2013 (78 FR 45866) the EPA approved revised language in North Dakota's SIP, chapter 2, section 15, Respecting Boards to include provisions for addressing conflict of interest requirements. Details on how this portion of chapter 2, section 15 rules meet the requirements of section 128 are provided in our May 13, 2013 proposal notice (78 FR 27898). North Dakota's SIP continues to meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), and we propose to approve the infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS for this element.

    7. Stationary source monitoring system: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires: (i) “the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources; (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources; and (iii) correlation of such reports by the State agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to [the Act], which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection.”

    Furthermore, North Dakota is required to submit emissions data to the EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is the EPA's central repository for air emissions data. The EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar-year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through the EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and their associated precursors—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. North Dakota made its latest update to the NEI on January 10 2017. The EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories.

    Based on the analysis above, we propose to approve the North Dakota SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(F) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    8. Emergency powers: Section 110(a)(2)(G) of the CAA requires infrastructure SIPs to “provide for authority comparable to that in [CAA section 303] and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority.”

    Under CAA section 303, the EPA Administrator has authority to bring suit to immediately restrain an air pollution source that presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment.12 If such action may not practicably assure prompt protection, then the Administrator has authority to issue temporary administrative orders to protect the public health or welfare, or the environment, and such orders can be extended if the EPA subsequently files a civil suit.

    12 A discussion of the requirements for meeting CAA section 303 is provided in our notice of proposed rulemaking: Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5, 2008 Lead, 2008 Ozone, and 2010 NO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; South Dakota (79 FR 71040, Dec. 1, 2014) under “VI. Analysis of State Submittals, 8. Emergency powers.”

    Chapter 23-25 of the NDCC provides relevant language and authority for “Air Pollution Control.” The purpose of this chapter is “to achieve and maintain the best air quality possible” and to “protect human health, welfare and property, [and] prevent injury to plant and animal life” (NDCC 23-25-01(2)). NDCC 23-25-01 defines “air pollution” as “the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities and duration as is or may be injurious to human health, welfare, or property, animal or plant life, or which unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or property.” As such, the chapter aims to protect all three areas required by section 303; human health, welfare, and environment. The “Air Pollution Control” chapter provides general grants of authority to maintain actions in certain situations. We find these grants provide comparable authority to that provided in Section 303. Furthermore, the NDAC 33-15-01-15(1) makes it unlawful to “permit or cause air pollution” as defined in NDCC 23-25-01. A person causing or contributing to emissions that endanger public health, welfare, or the environment, would be causing “air pollution” within the meaning of North Dakota law, and would therefore be in violation of NDAC 33-15-01-15(1). This could occur in either an emergency or non-emergency situation.13

    13See Email from Tom Bachman “Request for Clarifications_ND iSIP 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAAQS” April 13, 2015, available within docket.

    NDCC 23-25-10(5) provides that “the department has the authority to maintain an action in the name of the state against any person to enjoin any threatened or continuing violation of any provision of this chapter or any permit condition, rule, order, limitation, or other applicable requirement implementing this chapter.” Under NDCC 23-25-10(5), the Department has the authority to bring an action to enjoin a violation of NDCC 23-25 or its rules. The Department may seek a court order to restrain a source from causing or contributing to emissions that endanger public health, welfare, or the environment. In an emergency, this may take the form of an injunction or temporary restraining order (see NDCC 32-06-02).14 Therefore, the NDDH has the authority to seek judicial actions during emergency situations.

    14See Email from Tom Bachman “Request for Clarifications_ND iSIP 2008 ozone, 2008 Pb, and 2010 NO2 NAAAQS” April 13, 2015, available within docket.

    North Dakota's statutes also provide the NDDH with the authority to issue administrative orders and emergency rules to protect the public health, welfare, and the environment under certain circumstances. NDCC 23-25-08, as cited in North Dakota's SIP submittals, authorizes that in the event of “an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health and safety,” the NDDH has the authority to “issue an order reciting the existence of such emergency and requiring that such action be taken as is necessary” to meet the emergency. The emergency order is effective immediately. Any person who violates the order is subject to enforcement, penalties, and injunctions under NDCC 23-25-10.

    Furthermore, as cited in North Dakota's SIP submittals, the NDDH has the authority to “use an emergency adjudicative proceeding, in its discretion, in an emergency situation involving imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare” (NDCC 28-32-32). Accordingly, “in an emergency, the administrative agency may take action pursuant to a specific statute as is necessary to prevent or avoid imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare” (NDCC-28-32-32.1). In the absence of a specific statute requiring other administrative action, “the administrative agency shall issue an order” (NDCC 28-32-32(4)).

    Further supplemental authority is found in a broad provision, cited by the State in their SIP submittals, granting additional authority to the NDDH. The NDDH has the authority to “[i]ssue such orders as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes” of the “Air Pollution Control” chapter NDCC 23-25-03.5. These orders can be enforced “by all appropriate administrative and judicial procedures” (NDCC 23-25-03.5). Thus, this broad grant of authority includes the authority to issue administrative orders during air pollution emergencies which would disrupt protection of human health, welfare, and animal and plant life.

    The combination of NDCC and NDAC provisions discussed above provide for authority comparable to section 303 to immediately bring suit to restrain, issue emergency orders against, and use special rule adoption procedures for applicable emergencies to take prompt administrative action against, any person causing or contributing to air pollution that presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare, or the environment. We propose that they are sufficient to meet the authority requirement of CAA section 110(a)(2)(G).

    States must also have adequate contingency plans adopted into their SIP to implement the air agency's emergency episode authority (as discussed above). This can be done by submitting a plan that meets the applicable requirements of 40 CFR part 51, subpart H for the relevant NAAQS if the NAAQS is covered by those regulations.

    Subpart H of 40 CFR part 51 requires states to classify regions and to develop contingency plans (also known as emergency episode plans) after ambient concentrations of certain criteria pollutants in an area have exceeded specified levels. For example, if ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in an area have exceeded 0.06 ppm (annual arithmetic mean), then the area is classified as a Priority I region, and the state must develop a contingency plan that meets the requirements of sections 51.151 and 51.152. North Dakota has not monitored any values above the priority cut point for PM2.5.

    Prevention of air pollution emergency episodes is addressed in Section 5 of North Dakota's SIP and was approved on May 31, 1972 (37 FR 10842). We find that North Dakota's air pollution emergency provisions establish stages of episode criteria (Section 5.2), provide for public announcement whenever any episode stage has been determined to exist (Section 5.3), and specify emission control actions to be taken at each episode stage (Section 5.5) consistent with the EPA emergency episode SIP requirements set forth at 40 CFR part 51, subpart H (prevention of air pollution emergency episode).

    Based on the above analysis, we propose approval of North Dakota's SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    9. Future SIP revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H) requires that SIPs provide for revision of such plan: (i) “[f]rom time to time as may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard[;] and (ii) except as provided in paragraph (3)(C), whenever the Administrator finds on the basis of information available to the Administrator that the [SIP] is substantially inadequate to attain the [NAAQS] which it implements or to otherwise comply with any additional requirements under this [Act].”

    Chapters 23-25-03.8 and 23-25-03.12 of the NDCC and section 1.14 of the North Dakota SIP, give the Department sufficient authority to meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(H). Therefore, we propose to approve North Dakota's SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(H).

    10. Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: Section 110(a)(2)(J) requires that each SIP “meet the applicable requirements of section 121 of this title (relating to consultation), section 127 of this title (relating to public notification), and part C of this subchapter (relating to PSD of air quality and visibility protection).”

    The State has demonstrated it has the authority and rules in place through its certifications (contained within this docket) to provide a process of consultation with general purpose local governments, designated organizations of elected officials of local governments and any Federal Land Manager having authority over federal land to which the SIP applies, consistent with the requirements of CAA section 121. Furthermore, the EPA previously addressed the requirements of CAA section 127 for the North Dakota SIP and determined public notification requirements are appropriate (45 FR 53475, Aug. 12, 1980).

    As discussed above, the State has a SIP-approved PSD program that incorporates by reference the Federal program at 40 CFR 52.21. The EPA has further evaluated North Dakota's SIP approved PSD program in this proposed action under element (C) and determined the State has satisfied the requirements of element 110(a)(2)(C), as noted above. Therefore, the State has also satisfied the requirements of element 110(a)(2)(J).

    Finally, with regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection, the EPA recognizes states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act. In the event of the establishment of a new NAAQS, however, the visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C do not change. Thus, we find that there are no applicable visibility requirements under section 110(a)(2)(J) when a new NAAQS becomes effective.

    Based on the above analysis, we propose to approve the North Dakota SIP as meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    11. Air quality and modeling/data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) requires each SIP to provide for: (i) “the performance of such air quality modeling as the Administrator may prescribe for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any air pollutant for which the Administrator has established a [NAAQS]; and (ii) the submission, upon request, of data related to such air quality modeling to the Administrator.”

    North Dakota's PSD program requires estimates of ambient air concentrations be based on applicable air quality models specified in Appendix W of 40 CFR part 51, and incorporates by reference the provisions at 40 CFR 52.21(I)(2) requiring that modification or substitution of a model specified in Appendix W must be approved by the Administrator (see NDAC 33-15-14-02.4 and NDAC 33-15-15-01.2). Section 7.7, Air Quality Modeling, of North Dakota's SIP commits the Department to performing air quality modeling to predict the impact of a source on air quality, and providing data to the EPA upon request. As a result, the SIP provides for such air quality modeling as the Administrator has prescribed. Therefore, we propose to approve the North Dakota SIP as meeting CAA section 110(a)(2)(K) for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    12. Permitting fees: Section 110(a)(2)(L) requires “the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under this [Act], a fee sufficient to cover[:] (i) The reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit[;] and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under [title] V.”

    NDAC 33-15-23 and NDCC 23-25-04.2, require applicants of construction permits to pay the costs for the Department to review and act on the permit applications. We also note that fees collected under North Dakota's approved title V permit program (64 FR 32433, Aug. 16, 1999) are sufficient to implement and enforce the program. Therefore, we propose to approve the submissions as submitted by the State for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    13. Consultation/participation by affected local entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) requires states to “provide for consultation and participation [in SIP development] by local political subdivisions affected by [the SIP].”

    The nonregulatory provision in Chapter 10 of North Dakota's SIP, Intergovernmental Cooperation, meets the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(M). We propose to approve North Dakota's SIP as meeting these requirements for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    VII. What action is the EPA taking?

    In this action, the EPA is proposing to approve infrastructure elements for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS from the State's certifications as shown in Table 1. Elements we propose no action on are reflected in Table 2.

    Table 1—List of North Dakota Infrastructure Elements and Revisions That the EPA Is Proposing To Approve Proposed for approval March 7, 2013 submittal—2010 SO2 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) prongs 3 and 4, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L) and (M). August 23, 2015 submittal—2012 PM2.5 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) prongs 3 and 4, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L) and (M). Table 2—List of North Dakota Infrastructure Elements and Revisions That the EPA Is Proposing To Take No Action On Proposed for no action
  • (Revision to be made in separate rulemaking action)
  • March 7, 2013 submittal—2010 SO2 NAAQS: (D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2. August 23, 2015 submittal—2012 PM2.5 NAAQS: (D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2.
    VIII. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Greenhouse gases, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13667 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0504; FRL-9964-08-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; GA and SC: Changes to Ambient Air Standards and Definitions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of revisions to the Georgia State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, on August 30, 2010, and on July 25, 2014; and portions of revisions to the South Carolina SIP, submitted by the Department of Health and Environmental Control on December 15, 2014, August 12, 2015, and November 4, 2016. The Georgia SIP revisions incorporate definitions relating to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and amend state rules to reflect the 2008 national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for lead. The South Carolina SIP revisions incorporates the 2010 sulfur dioxide NAAQS, 2010 nitrogen dioxide NAAQS, 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS, removes the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and removes the standard for gaseous fluorides from the SIP. This action is being proposed because Georgia and South Carolina have demonstrated that these changes are consistent with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0504 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9089 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the SIP revisions for Georgia and South Carolina as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views these as noncontroversial submittals and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: June 13, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13546 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0004; FRL-9964-07-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Kentucky; Revisions to Jefferson County Emissions Monitoring and Reporting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 22, 2011, and April 20, 2011, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (KDAQ), submitted revisions to the Kentucky State Implementation Plan (SIP) on behalf of the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (District). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the April 20, 2011, submittal and the portions of the March 22, 2011, submittal concerning revisions to the District's stationary source emissions monitoring and reporting requirements because the Commonwealth has demonstrated that these changes are consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0004 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Wong, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Wong can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-8726 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to approve only certain changes related to the District's stationary source emissions monitoring and reporting requirements in Regulation 1.06 1 in the March 22, 2011, and April 20, 2011, SIP revisions. This regulation provides the District with the authority to require emissions monitoring at stationary sources and requires certain sources to maintain emissions records and provide annual emissions statements to the District. It does not impose any emissions limits or control requirements on any emissions source. The March 22, 2011, submission also included changes to Jefferson County Regulation 1.02—Definitions; Regulation 3.01—Ambient Air Quality Standards; Regulation 3.02—Applicability of Ambient Air Quality Standards; Regulation 3.03—Definitions; Regulation 3.04—Ambient Air Quality Standards; and Regulation 3.05—Methods of Measurement. EPA approved these changes, with the exception of the requested addition of certain definitions in Regulation 1.02, on December 6, 2016 (81 FR 87815).2 In addition, the March 22, 2011, submission also included changes to Regulation 1.07—Emissions During Startups, Shutdowns, Malfunctions and Emergencies. EPA approved the change to Regulation 1.07 on June 10, 2014 (79 FR 33101). The April 20, 2011, submission revises only Regulation 1.06.

    1 In 2003, the City of Louisville and Jefferson County governments merged and the “Jefferson County Air Pollution Control District” was renamed the “Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.” However, each of the regulations in the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP still has the subheading “Air Pollution Control District of Jefferson County.” Thus, to be consistent with the terminology used in the SIP, EPA refers throughout this notice to regulations contained in Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP as the “Jefferson County” regulations.

    2 EPA did not approve the addition of definitions for the terms “acute noncancer effect,” “cancer,” “carcinogen,” and “chronic noncancer effect,” because these definitions are not related to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). See 81 FR 87815.

    II. EPA's Analysis of Kentucky's SIP Revisions A. March 22, 2011, Submittal

    The March 22, 2011, SIP submission contains a version of Regulation 1.06 adopted by the District on June 21, 2005 (referred to as “Version 7” by the District) and a version of Regulation 1.06 adopted by the District on September 21, 2005 (referred to as “Version 8”). The version currently incorporated into the SIP is referred to as “Version 6” (District effective on December 15, 1993). See 65 FR 53660 (October 23, 2001). Collectively, Versions 7 and 8 change the heading of Regulation 1.06 to “Stationary Source Self-Monitoring, Emissions Inventory Development, and Reporting,” and change aspects of Section 1—“In Stack Self-Monitoring and Reporting” (including a change in the title to “In-Stack Self-Monitoring and Reporting); Section 2—“Ambient Air Monitoring”; and Section 3—“Emissions and Related Data Reporting” (including a change in the title to “Provisions for Section 4 and Section 5 Emissions Data”). The submission adds four new sections: Section 4—“Emissions Data for Criteria Pollutants, HAPs, and Ammonia”; Section 5—“Enhanced Emissions Data for Toxic Air Contaminants”; Section 6—“Certification by a Responsible Official”; and Section 7—“Confidentiality and Open Records Requirements.” The changes to the heading of Regulation 1.06, the changes to Sections 1 and 2, and the addition of Sections 6 and 7 are administrative in nature. The changes to Section 3 modify and add provisions regarding emissions reporting data requirements, methods of emissions calculations, and stationary source emissions statements, and remove outdated reporting dates; the addition of Section 4 details requirements for submitting emissions statements on an annual basis for particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, ozone precursor emissions of volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen, ammonia, and hazardous air pollutants; and Section 5 contains requirements for enhanced emissions statements for listed “toxic air contaminants.” Because the reporting of toxic air contaminants is not related to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the criteria pollutants, EPA is not proposing to act on Section 5.3 EPA is proposing to approve the changes to Regulation 1.06 contained in the March 22, 2011, SIP revision, with the exception of Section 5 and references to Section 5 located in Section 3, to the extent that these changes are not superseded by the changes in the April 20, 2011, submittal discussed below.

    3 The criteria pollutants are particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, and ground-level ozone.

    B. April 20, 2011, Submittal

    The April 20, 2011, SIP submission contains a version of Regulation 1.06 adopted by the District on January 19, 2011 (referred to as “Version 9” by the District). After acknowledging that the District had sent Versions 7 and 8 to Kentucky for submittal to EPA, the District requests that EPA incorporate Version 9 into the SIP and identifies changes in Regulation 1.06 between Version 8 and Version 9. Version 9 revises Version 8 by changing aspects of Section 1 (including a change in the title to “Stack Monitoring and Reporting”); Section 2 (including a change in title to “Ambient Air Monitoring and Reporting”); Section 3 (including a change in the title to “Requirements for Section 4 and Section 5 Emissions Statements”); Section 4 (including a change in the title to “Emissions Statements for Criteria Pollutants, HAPs, and Ammonia”); Section 5 (including a change to the title to “Emissions Statements for Toxic Air Contaminants”); and Section 6. Version 9 also eliminates Section 7. The submitted changes clarify and streamline the monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for stationary sources by deleting and combining redundant and outdated provisions. The changes to Section 4 also modify the emissions threshold for sources to submit annual emissions statements to the District. For the reasons discussed above, EPA is not proposing to act on Section 5 or on the references to Section 5 located in Section 3.

    EPA has reviewed the changes to Regulation 1.06 in the March 22, 2011, and April 20, 2011, SIP submissions, and has made the preliminary determination that the changes that EPA proposes to incorporate into the SIP are consistent with the CAA. EPA has preliminarily determined that these changes will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or any other applicable requirement of the CAA, and therefore satisfy section 110(l), because they are either administrative or modify requirements that do not have an air quality impact such that removal will interfere with attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS. If EPA's proposed approval of changes to Regulation 1.06 is finalized, the text of the regulation in the SIP will reflect Version 9, with the exception of Section 5 and any references to Section 5 located in Section 3.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District Regulation 1.06—Stationary Source Self-Monitoring, Emissions Inventory Development, and Reporting, District effective on January 19, 2011, with the exception of Section 5 and any references to Section 5 located in Section 3. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Kentucky's March 22, 2011, and April 20, 2011, SIP revisions as discussed in section II, above. If this proposal is finalized, the text of Jefferson County Regulation 1.06 in the SIP will reflect the version of the rule effective on January 19, 2011 (Version 9) with the exception of Section 5 and any references to Section 5 located in Section 3. EPA is not proposing to act on Section 5 for the reasons discussed above.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13670 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0113; FRL-9964-05-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Permit Exemptions and Definitions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Environmental Protection Division, on September 19, 2006, with a clarifying revision submitted on November 6, 2006. This proposed action seeks to approve changes to existing minor source permitting exemptions and to approve a definition related to minor source permitting exemptions. EPA is approving this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0113 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9089 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13537 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0750; FRL-9963-46-Region-6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Redesignation of the Collin County Area to Attainment the 2008 Lead Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to determine the Collin County Lead (Pb) Nonattainment Area (comprising the part of Collin County bounded to the north by latitude 33.153 North, to the east by longitude 96.822 West, to the south by latitude 33.131 North, and to the West by longitude 96.837 West, which surrounds the Exide Technologies property), hereinafter referenced to as Non-Attainment Area or NAA, as attainment for the 2008 Pb NAAQS. We are also proposing to approve two SIP revision requests made by the TCEQ in 2009 and 2012. These two requests include one made in 2009 requesting approval of the state's second 10-year maintenance plan for the 1978 Pb National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and one made in 2012 to approve the state's plan to demonstrate compliance with the 2008 Pb NAAQS. These two revisions represent a change in the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) for Pb. The details of all three proposals, and our complete analysis of the requirements for each and how the state's submission meets those requirements can be found in the accompanying direct final notice and technical support document (TSD) to this proposal. The TSD is available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0750.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2009-0750, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] For additional information on how to submit comments see the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert M. Todd, (214) 665-2156, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, the EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action no further activity is contemplated. If the EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13478 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0209; FRL-9964-31-Region 4] Approval of Section 112(l) Authority for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Equivalency by Permit Provisions; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Plating and Polishing Operations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 12, 2016, pursuant to section 112(l) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) requested approval to implement and enforce State permit terms and conditions that substitute for the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from Plating and Polishing Operations with respect to the operation of the Ellison Surface Technologies, Inc. facility in Morgan County, Tennessee (Ellison). The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to approve this request, and thus, proposing to grant TDEC the authority to implement and enforce alternative requirements in the form of title V permit terms and conditions after the EPA has approved the State's alternative requirements.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0209 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Copies of all comments should also be sent to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Floor 15, Nashville, Tennessee, 37243-1102. Copies of electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lee Page, South Air Enforcement and Toxics Section, Air Enforcement Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Page can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9131 or via electronic mail at pag[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this issue of the Federal Register, the EPA is approving the State's program revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule and incorporated herein by reference. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If the EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all adverse comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: June 14, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13668 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 170301213-7213-01] RIN 0648-BG70 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; State Waters Exemption AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes regulations to allow an exemption to enable vessels with Federal Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permits from the State of Maine and Commonwealth of Massachusetts to continue fishing in their respective state waters once NMFS has announced that the Federal Northern Gulf of Maine total allowable catch has been fully harvested in a given year. Additionally, Massachusetts has requested that Federal Limited Access General Category Northern Gulf of Maine permits also be included in its exemption. Both states have requested this exemption as part of the Scallop State Water Exemption Program. This proposed rule is necessary to solicit comments on the state requests and to inform the public that NMFS is considering granting the requests.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by 5 p.m., local time, on July 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents supporting this action, including the State of Maine's and Commonwealth of Massachusetts' requests for the exemption and Framework Adjustment 28 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) are available upon request from John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS- 2017-0042, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0042, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on Maine and Massachusetts State Waters Exemption Program.”

    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).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shannah Jaburek, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-282-8456.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Scallop State Waters Exemption Program has been in place as an element of the Scallop FMP since 1994 (Amendment 4 to the FMP, Final Rule published January 19, 1994, 59 FR 2757). At that time, the purpose of the program was to allow Federal permit holders to fish in the state waters fishery (where Federal and state laws are inconsistent) and alongside state-only permitted vessels. The program specifies that a state with a scallop fishery may be eligible for state waters exemptions if it has a scallop conservation program that does not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the FMP. Amendment 11 to the FMP (April 14, 2008, 73 FR 20089) and Framework 26 to the FMP (April 21, 2015, 80 FR 22119) expanded the program to include the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) measures. If we find that a state is eligible for the Program, we can exempt federally permitted scallop vessels fishing in state waters from a limited number of Federal scallop regulations as follows: Limited access scallop vessels may fish in state waters outside of scallop days-at-sea; limited access and limited access general category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) vessels may be exempt from Federal gear and possession limit restrictions; and vessels with selected scallop permit types may be exempted from regulations pertaining to the NGOM management area.

    Originally, we authorized exemptions for Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts under Amendment 4 to the Scallop FMP. When we implemented Amendment 11 to the FMP in 2008, we suspended the original exemptions pending additional information from the states regarding their state waters fisheries. Maine was the only state to request a new exemption, and has received the state waters exemptions from gear and effort control restrictions for vessels issued Federal scallop permits and fishing exclusively in Maine waters since August of 2009.

    Framework 26 to the FMP specifically added the exemption that would enable some scallop vessels to continue to fish in state waters within the NGOM management area after the Federal NGOM total allowable catch (TAC) is reached. Any state interested in applying for this new exemption must identify the scallop-permitted vessels to which this would apply (i.e., limited access, LAGC IFQ, LAGC incidental, or LAGC NGOM). Vessels would still not be able to fish for scallops in the Federal portion of the NGOM once the TAC is harvested. Maine subsequently revised its exemption in 2015 to allow NGOM vessels to fish in state waters after the NGOM closes. This exemption was issued in November 2015, and will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Maine has requested an additional exemption for the upcoming season. Massachusetts has requested its first state waters exemption since we suspended it with the implementation of Amendment 11.

    We received a request from Maine on December 9, 2016, to expand its current exemption to allow the four IFQ-permitted vessels with Maine state-waters permits to fish in the Maine state-waters portion of the NGOM management area. Maine's scallop fishery restrictions have not changed from 2015; therefore, they remain either equally or more restrictive than Federal scallop fishing regulations and would still limit mortality and effort.

    Massachusetts also sent a request on November 10, 2016, to exempt LAGC IFQ federally permitted vessels that also hold a state permit. Massachusetts also requested that NGOM federally permitted vessels be exempt as well; this is the same exemption that was granted to Maine in 2015. Only the northern portion of Massachusetts state waters, approximately Boston and north, fall within the NGOM management area. The fishery in this area has traditionally been split between a handful of state-only vessels and 12 vessels with both Federal and state permits to fish for scallops. Of these vessels with dual permits, six traditionally fish in both Federal and state waters while the other six only fish in Federal waters.

    After reviewing Massachusetts's request, we required some additional information, which we received on December 19, 2016. After further review, we determined that Massachusetts has a robust management program with controls in place that are equal to or more restrictive than Federal regulations when fishing for scallops in state waters. Massachusetts restricts scallop fishing activity in its waters with limited entry by requiring the state Coastal Access Permit, for which there is currently a moratorium and is only transferrable with the State Director of Marine Fisheries approval. Therefore, increased fishing effort in the future is not a significant concern. Vessels fishing for scallops in Massachusetts state waters also have a daily scallop possession limit of 200 lb (90.7kg). This possession limit is equivalent to the NGOM management area, but more restrictive than the 600-lb (272.1-kg) Federal possession limit for IFQ vessels south of the NGOM area in Federal waters.

    Scallop effort has increased in the NGOM in recent years as the stock has improved in both state and Federal waters. In 2016, the NGOM management area TAC was fully harvested and was closed for the first time since the management area was created in 2008. In 2017, the area was closed on March 23, just over three weeks into the new fishing year and approximately two months earlier than in 2016. State-only permitted scallop vessels are able to fish in state waters after the Federal closure, and this provision would allow those vessels with the requested Federal permit to continue to fish in state waters along with vessels without Federal permits. Based on the information Maine and Massachusetts have submitted regarding their scallop conservation programs, NMFS has preliminarily determined that Massachusetts qualifies for the NGOM state waters exemptions under the Scallop FMP as requested and Maine qualifies for the expansion of the state waters exemption for Maine waters. As required by the scallop fishery regulations, exemptions can only be granted if the state's scallop fishery would not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the FMP.

    Allowing for this NGOM exemption would have no impact on the effectiveness of Federal management measures for the scallop fishery overall or within the NGOM management area because the NGOM Federal TAC is set based only on the Federal portion of the resource. Maine and Massachusetts are the only states that have requested a NGOM closure exemption, and only for state permit holders that also hold a Federal LAGC IFQ or NGOM scallop permit. As such, all other federally permitted scallop vessels would be prohibited from retaining, possessing, and landing scallops from within the NGOM management area, in both Federal and state waters, once the NGOM hard TAC is fully harvested.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The ability for states with territorial waters located within the NGOM management area to apply for this specific exemption was included into the Scallop FMP through Framework 26, which was implemented in May 2015.

    Entities that own vessels with Federal LAGC NGOM and IFQ permits are the business entities affected by this action. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business in shellfish fishery as a firm that is independently owned and operated with receipts of less than $11 million annually (see NMFS final rule revising the small business size standard for commercial fishing, 80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). NMFS issued 217 LAGC IFQ permits in 2015, and 119 of these vessels actively fished for scallops that year. Of the 217 vessels issued LAGC IFQ permits, 88 are homeported in Massachusetts and 6 are homeported in Maine. NMFS issued 99 LAGC NGOM permits in 2015, and 24 of these vessels actively fished. However, out of the 99 LAGC NGOM permitted vessels, 44 are homeported in Massachusetts and 40 are homeported in Maine. NMFS has determined that all 84 LAGC NGOM permitted vessels and 94 LAGC IFQ permitted vessels from both states could benefit from this action. Fishing year 2015 data were used for this certification because these data are the most recent complete data set for a fishing year. Although any of these 119 LAGC IFQ and 44 LAGC NGOM vessels could be impacted, Maine and Massachusetts estimated that the action would impact 4 Maine vessels and 12 Massachusetts vessels. The discussion therefore focuses on the impacts to these 16 vessels, but the impacts described below would increase with additional vessels.

    Individually-permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different fishery management plans, even beyond those impacted by the proposed action. Furthermore, multiple permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities with various personal and business affiliations. For the purposes of this certification, “ownership entities” are defined as those entities with common ownership as listed on the permit application. Only permits with identical ownership are categorized as an “ownership entity.” For example, if five permits have the same seven persons listed as co-owners on their permit applications, those seven persons would form one “ownership entity,” that holds those five permits. If two of those seven owners also co-own additional vessels, that ownership arrangement would be considered a separate “ownership entity” for the purpose of this certification.

    On June 1 of each year, ownership entities are identified based on a list of all permits for the most recent complete calendar year. Matching the potentially impacted 2015 fishing year LAGC IFQ permits to calendar year 2015 ownership data results in 87 distinct ownership entities for the LAGC IFQ fleet. Of these, and based on the SBA guidelines, 84 of the LAGC IFQ entities are categorized as small. The remaining 3 entities were determined to be large businesses classified as a shellfish business. Based on available information for LAGC NGOM permits, NMFS has determined that all 44 NGOM permitted vessels from Massachusetts that would be impacted by this rule are small entities under the SBA guidelines.

    If vessels harvest the full NGOM TAC before the end of a given fishing year, this exemption allowing vessels to continue to fish in their state's respective waters would positively impact 4 LAGC IFQ-permitted vessels home ported in Maine, and up to 12 vessels home ported in Massachusetts that have either an LAGC IFQ or NGOM Federal permit. When Framework 26 added the exemption in 2015, using fishing year 2013 data the average landings value was determined to be $240,159 per LAGC IFQ permit and $39,693 per LAGC NGOM permit. These values include scallops that were landed in state waters because both LAGC IFQ and NGOM vessels have the option to fish in state waters when the NGOM management area is open. When the NGOM TAC is reached and the area closes, the LAGC NGOM permitted vessels can no longer fish and the LAGC IFQ vessels must travel further from home in order to harvest scallops; therefore, the vessel's individual income is affected. Massachusetts estimates that with this exemption, vessels could harvest up to an additional 100,000 lb worth an estimated $1.23 million dollars at a 2015 average price of $12.26/lb. Maine estimates that with this exemption, the four vessels would save on fuel, food, and maintenance costs associated with steaming to fishing grounds outside of the NGOM management area by fishing closer to individual homeports. These cost savings would vary by individual vessel, but would have an overall positive economic benefit. If additional vessels take advantage of the proposed exemption (e.g., more of the potentially impacted small business entities as described above), the positive impacts would only increase. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.54, paragraph (a)(4) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.54 State waters exemption.

    (a) * * *

    (4) The Regional Administrator has determined that the State of Maine and Commonwealth of Massachusetts both have a scallop fishery conservation program for its scallop fishery that does not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the Scallop FMP. A vessel fishing in State of Maine waters may fish under the State of Maine state waters exemption, subject to the exemptions specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, provided the vessel is in compliance with paragraphs (e) through (g) of this section. In addition, a vessel issued a Federal Northern Gulf of Maine or Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permit fishing in State of Maine or Commonwealth of Massachusetts waters may fish under their respective state waters exemption specified in paragraph (d) of this section, provided the vessel is in compliance with paragraphs (e) through (g) of this section.

    [FR Doc. 2017-13579 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 124 Thursday, June 29, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 26, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. Comments are requested regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by July 31, 2017. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0093.

    Summary of Collection: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has the responsibility for implementing and overseeing programs for a variety of commodities including beef, blueberries, cotton, dairy, eggs, fluid milk, Hass avocados, honey, lamb, mangos, mushrooms, paper and paper-based packaging, peanuts, popcorn, pork, potatoes, softwood lumber, sorghum, soybeans, and watermelons. Various Acts authorizes these programs to carry out projects relating to research, consumer information, advertising, sales promotion, producer information, market development and product research to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, and utilization of their respective commodities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has the responsibility to appoint board members and approve the boards' budgets, plans, and projects and for foreign projects, the Foreign Agricultural Service. AMS' objective in carrying out this responsibility is to assure the following: (1) Collection of funds are properly accounted for; (2) expenditures of all funds are for the purposes authorized by enabling legislation; and (3) the board's administration of the programs conforms to USDA policy.

    Need and Use of the Information: The boards administer the various programs using a variety of forms to carry out their responsibilities. Only authorized employees of the various boards and USDA employees will use the information collected. Were the data collected less frequently, (1) it would hinder data needed to collect and refund assessments in a timely manner and result in delayed or even lost revenue; (2) boards would be unable to carry out the responsibilities of their respective Acts; and (3) requiring reports less frequently than monthly would impose additional record keeping requirements.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for profit, Farms.

    Number of Respondents: 162,231.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion, Weekly, Monthly, Semi-annually, Annually; Recordkeeping.

    Total Burden Hours: 150,918.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13607 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 26, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by July 31, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Third Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study Series (APEC III).

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0530.

    Summary of Collection: The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP), administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are authorized under sections 10 and 4, respectively, of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1766). The Improper Payment Information Act (IPIA) of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-300), the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-204), the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (IPERIA) of 2012 (Pub. L.112-248), and Executive Order 13520—Reducing Improper Payments set forth the priority, mandate, and requirements for FNS to identify, estimate, and reduce erroneous payments in these programs, including both underpayments and overpayments. The APEC III study will provide FNS with the information needed to reduce improper payments in the school meals programs.

    Need and Use of the Information: This study will survey a nationally representative sample of School Food Authorities (SFAs) in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia, a stratified sample of schools within each SFA, and a random sample of students within each sampled school that applied for free and reduced-price meals, were categorically eligible for free meals or were directly certified for free meals. FNS will use the data to develop national estimates of the annual error rates and erroneous payments for the NSLP and SBP in school year 2017-2018, to identify characteristics that may be related to the error rates, and to identify strategies and guidance for reducing these errors.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government; Individuals and Households.

    Number of Respondents: 9,452.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 13,042.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13605 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Repayment Demand and Program Disqualification AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on proposed information collections. This collection is a revision of currently approved information collection requirements associated with initiating collection actions against households who have received an overissuance in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before August 28, 2017 to be assured consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: Jane Duffield, Chief, State Administration Branch, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 822, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via email to [email protected], or through the federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 822, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Ralph Badette at 703-457-7717.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Repayment Demand and Program Disqualification.

    OMB Number: 0584-0492.

    Form Number: None.

    Expiration Date: August 31, 2017.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: Section 13(b) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (7 U.S.C. 2022(b)), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations at 7 CFR 273.18 require State agencies to initiate collection action against households that have been overissued benefits. To initiate collection action, State agencies must provide an affected household with written notification informing the household of the claim and demanding repayment. This process is automated in most State agencies. Note that for overissuance claims, this information collection only covers the activities associated with initiating collection. The burden associated with reporting collections and other claims management information on the FNS-209 form is covered under currently approved under the Food Program Reporting System OMB number 0584-0594, expiration date 6/30/2019. The burden associated with referring delinquent claims and receiving collections through the Treasury Offset Program is covered under currently approved OMB number 0584-0446, expiration date 9/30/2019.

    SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.16(e)(3) require State agencies to investigate any case of suspected fraud and, where applicable, make an intentional Program violation (IPV) determination either administratively or judicially. Notifications and activities involved in the IPV process include:

    • The State agency providing written notification informing an individual suspected of committing an IPV of an impending administrative disqualification hearing or court action;

    • An individual opting to accept the disqualification and waiving the right to an administrative disqualification hearing or court action by signing either a waiver to an administrative disqualification hearing or a disqualification consent agreement in cases of deferred adjudication and returning it to the State agency; and

    • Once a determination is made regarding an IPV, the State agency sending notification to the affected individual of the action taken on the administrative disqualification hearing or court decision.

    SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.16 require State agencies to use disqualified recipient data to ascertain the correct penalty for IPVs, based on prior disqualifications. State agencies determine this by accessing and reviewing records located in the Electronic Disqualified Recipient System (eDRS). eDRS is an automated system developed by FNS that contains records of disqualifications in every State. State agencies are also responsible for updating the system, as required at 7 CFR 237.16, which includes reporting disqualifications in eDRS as they occur and updating eDRS when records are no longer accurate, relevant, or complete.

    Summary of Estimated Burden

    The burden consists of two major components: The initiation of overissuance collection and actions associated with IPV determinations. The estimated total annual burden for this collection is 203, 079.82 hours (139,052.851 SA reporting hours + 32,372.096 SA recordkeeping hours + 31,654.835 household reporting hours). The net aggregate change to this collection is a decrease of 4,753.18 total burden hours from the currently approved burden of 207,833 hours. The estimated total annual responses for this collection is 3,046,653.32 responses (1,083,671.320 SA reporting total annual response + 971,260.00 SA recordkeeping total annual records + 991,722.00 household reporting total annual responses). The burden hours associated with overissuance collection initiation have increased due to an increase in the amount of claims established in fiscal year (FY) 2015. The burden hours associated with IPV activity have decreased slightly as a result of a decreased number of SNAP households that States initiated IPV activity against in FY2015.

    Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal government (SA); Individual/Households (I/H).

    Respondent Type: SNAP participants.

    SA Reporting Burden

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 53.

    Estimate Total Number of Responses per Respondent: 38,772.289.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 2, 054,931.32.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.08342.

    Estimated Total Annual Reporting Burden: 203, 079.82.

    Initiation of Overissuance Collection CFR 273.18 (a)(2)

    For activities related to initiating collection on an overissuance, the estimated annual burden for State agency reporting is decreased by 4,406.557 hours (117,932.518−122,339.075 = 4,406.557).

    IPV Determinations CFR 273.16(i)(2)(i)

    The State agencies' annual reporting burden for activities related to IPV hearing and disqualification notices decreased by 679.513 hours (7,752.488−7,072.975 = 679.513), and activities associated with accessing and updating eDRS increased by 1251.95 hours (4,788.225−3,536.275 = 1251.95).

    SA Recordkeeping Burden

    Estimated Number of Recordkeepers: 53.

    Estimated Total Records per Recordkeeper: 16,688.98.

    Estimated Total Annual Records: 971,260.

    Estimated Average # of Hours per Response: 0.03333.

    Estimated Total Recordkeeping Hours: 32,372.096.

    Initiation of Overissuance Collection CFR 272.1(f)

    For activities related to initiating collection on an overissuance, we are increasing the estimated annual burden for State agency recordkeeping by 6,550.414 hours (29,480.918−22,930.504 = 6,550.414).

    IPV Determinations CFR 272.1(f)

    States' annual recordkeeping burden for the IPV related activities decreased by −504.52 burden hours (2,891.178−3,395.699 = −504.52).

    I/H Reporting Burden

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 917,566.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.0.

    Total Number of Annual Responses: 991,722.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.03192.

    Estimated Total Annual Reporting Burden: 31,654.835.

    Initiation of Overissuance Collection CFR 273.18(a)(2).

    For activities related to initiating collection on an overissuance, we are increasing the household reporting burden by 7,652 hours (29,480.918−22,930.504 = 6,550.414).

    IPV Hearing Notices and Disqualifications CFR 273.16(e)(9)

    The household annual reporting burden for the activities related to IPV disqualifications has also decreased by −420 hours (707.281−836.297 = −129.016).

    Grand Total Burden Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden: 203, 079.782 and the total annual responses 3,046,653.320.

    Title CFR section of
  • regulations
  • Estimated number
  • respondents
  • Responses per respondent Total annual responses
  • (Col. D × E)
  • Estimated avg. number of hours per response Estimated total hours
  • (Col. F × G)
  • Previously
  • approved
  • Due to
  • program change
  • Due to an adjustment Total
  • difference
  • STATE AGENCY Reporting Burden Demand Letter for Overissuance 273.18(a)(2) 53 17,312.57 884,516.000 0.13333 117,932.518 122,339.075 0.000 −4,406.557 −4,406.557 Notice for Hearing or Prosecution 273.16(e)(3) 53 825.34 40,230.000 0.13333 5,363.866 5,832.540 0.000 −468.674 −468.674 Action Taken on Hearing or Court Decision: For IPV Findings 273.16(e)(9) 53 800.70 46,514.000 0.16667 7,752.488 7,072.975 0.000 679.513 679.513 Action Taken on Hearing or Court Decision: For No IPV Findings 273.16(e)(9) 53 24.64 1,541.000 0.08333 128.412 108.829 0.000 19.583 19.583 Electronic Disqualified Recipient System Breakout: For eDRS Reporting 273.16(i)(2)(i) 53 800.70 57,461.000 0.08333 4,788.225 3,536.275 0.000 1,251.950 1,251.950 Electronic Disqualified Recipient System Breakout: For Editing and Resubmission 272.1(f)(3) 53 96.08 6,895.320 0.16667 1,149.243 848.684 0.000 300.559 300.559 Electronic Disqualified Recipient System Breakout: For Penalty Checks using Mainframe 273.16(i)(4) 53 800.70 46,514.000 0.04167 1,938.099 1,768.222 0.000 169.877 169.877 Total State Agency Reporting Burden 53 20,660.730 1,083,671.320 0.12832 139,052.851 19,167,239.00 0.000 −2,453.749 −2,453.749
    Title Estimated number recordkeepers Records per recordkeeper Annual records Estimated avg.
  • number of hours per records
  • Estimated total
  • annual records
  • Previously approved Due to program change Due to an adjustment Total
  • difference
  • Recordkeeping Recordkeeping Breakout: For initiating Collection Action 272.1(f) 53 16,688.98 884,516.000 0.03333 29,480.918 22,930.504 0.000 6,550.414 6,550.414 Recordkeeping Breakout: For IPVs 272.1(f) 53 1,626.04 86,744.000 0.03333 2,891.178 3,395.699 0.000 −504.521 −504.521 Total State Agency Recordkeeping Burden 53 18,315.021 971,260.000 0.03333 32,372.096 26,326.203 0.000 6,045.893 6,045.893
    CFR section of
  • regulations
  • Estimated number respondents Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Estimated avg. number of hours per pesponse Estimated total hours Previously approved Due to program change Due to an adjustment Total
  • difference
  • Total state agency burden 53 38,772.289 2,054,931.32 0.08342 171,424.947 19,193,565.20 0.000 3,592.144 3,592.144
    Title Estimated number
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses
  • (Col. D × E)
  • Estimated avg. number of hours per response Estimated total hours
  • (Col. F × G)
  • Previously
  • approved
  • Due to
  • program change
  • Due to an adjustment Total
  • difference
  • HOUSEHOLD Reporting Burden Demand Letter for Overissuance 273.18(a)(2) 917,566.00 1.00 884,516.000 0.03333 29,480.918 22,930.504 0.000 6,550.414 6,550.414 Notice for Hearing or Prosecution 273.16(e)(3) 43,743.00 1.00 40,230.000 0.016667 670.513 861.532 0.000 −191.019 −191.019 Administrative Disqualification Hearing Waiver 273.16(i)(2) 18,112.00 1.00 20,320.000 0.03333 677.266 711.062 0.000 −33.796 −33.796 Disqualification Consent Agreement 273.16(i)(2) 6,849.00 1.00 2,913.000 0.03333 97.090 275.706 0.000 −178.616 −178.616 Action Taken on Hearing or Court Decision: For IPV Findings 273.16(e)(9) 42,437.00 1.00 42,437.000 0.016667 707.281 836.297 0.000 −129.016 −129.016 Action Taken on Hearing or Court Decision: For No IPV Findings 273.16(e)(9) 1,306.00 1.00 1,306.000 0.016667 21.767 25.266 0.000 −3.499 −3.499 Total Household Reporting Burden 917,566 1.08082 991,722.000 0.03192 31,654.835 25,640.367 0.000 6,014.468 6,014.468 SUMMARY OF BURDEN State Agency Level 53 2,054,931.320 171,424.947 19,193,565.20 0.000 3,592.144 3,592.144 Household 917,566 991,722.000 31,654.835 25,640.367 0.000 6,014.468 6,014.468 Total Burden This Collection 917,619 3.32017 3,046,653.320 0.06666 203,079.782 19,219,205.57 0.000 9,606.612 9,606.612
    Dated: June 15, 2017. Jessica Shahin, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13574 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    ARCTIC RESEARCH COMMISSION Notice of 107th Commission Meeting

    A notice by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission on 07/17/2017.

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 107th meeting in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2017. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 8:30 a.m. at the Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    The Agenda items include:

    (1) Call to order and approval of the agenda (2) Approval of the minutes from the 106th meeting (3) Commissioners and staff reports (4) Discussion and presentations concerning Arctic research activities

    The meeting will focus on reports and updates relating to programs and research projects affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic.

    The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (Title I Pub. L. 98-373) and the Presidential Executive Order on Arctic Research (Executive Order 12501) dated January 28, 1985, established the United States Arctic Research Commission.

    If you plan to attend this meeting, please notify us via the contact information below. Any person planning to attend who requires special accessibility features and/or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters, must inform the Commission of those needs in advance of the meeting.

    Contact person for further information: Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, 703-525-0111 or TDD 703-306-0090.

    Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13578 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Oregon Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Oregon Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Tuesday, August 1, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to review a proposal on human trafficking in Oregon.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

    PUBLIC CALL INFORMATION:

    Dial: 888-576-4397.

    Conference ID: 1815025.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-576-4397, conference ID number: 1815025. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=270.

    Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda: I. Introductions II. Review of Proposal on Human Trafficking III. Public Comment IV. Next Steps V. Adjournment Dated: June 26, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13653 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 03-3A008] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of Application to Amend the Export Trade Certificate of Review Issued to California Pistachio Export Council, Application Number 03-3A008.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA) of the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, has received an application to amend an Export Trade Certificate of Review (Certificate). This notice summarizes the proposed amendment and requests comments relevant to whether the amended Certificate should be issued.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) (the Act) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. Section 302(b)(1) of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 and 15 CFR 325.6(a) require the Secretary to publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying the applicant and summarizing its application.

    Request for Public Comments

    Interested parties may submit written comments relevant to the determination whether an amended Certificate should be issued. If the comments include any privileged or confidential business information, it must be clearly marked and a nonconfidential version of the comments (identified as such) should be included. Any comments not marked as privileged or confidential business information will be deemed to be nonconfidential.

    An original and five (5) copies, plus two (2) copies of the nonconfidential version, should be submitted no later than 20 days after the date of this notice to: Export Trading Company Affairs, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 21028, Washington, DC 20230.

    Information submitted by any person is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). However, nonconfidential versions of the comments will be made available to the applicant if necessary for determining whether or not to issue the amended Certificate. Comments should refer to this application as “Export Trade Certificate of Review, application number 03-3A008.”

    Summary of the Application

    Applicant: CPEC, 512 C. St. NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    Contact: Robert Schramm, Telephone: (202) 543-4455.

    Application No.: 03-3A008.

    Date Deemed Submitted: June 15, 2017.

    Proposed Amendment: CPEC seeks to amend its Certificate as follows:

    • Remove Horizon Marketing Agency in Common Cooperative Inc. as a Member

    • Add the following new Members:

    ○ Arizona Nut Company, LLC (controlling entity A&P Ranch, L.P.)

    ○ Horizon Growers Cooperative, Inc.

    CPEC's proposed amendment of its Certificate would result in the following Members list:

    Arizona Nut Company, LLC ARO Pistachios, Inc. Horizon Growers Cooperative, Inc. Keenan Farms, Inc. Monarch Nut Company Nichols Pistachio Primex Farms, LLC Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. Zymex Industries, Inc. Dated: June 23, 2017. Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13577 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-872] Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From India: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of finished carbon steel flanges (flanges) from India. The period of investigation is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective June 29, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Maloof or Davina Friedmann, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5649, or (202) 482-0698, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 29, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register.1

    1See Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 81 FR 85928 (November 29, 2016) (Preliminary Determination) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (PDM).

    A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document, and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    2See Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination: Countervailing Duty Investigation of Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India,” dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the Preliminary Determination, the Department set aside a period of time for parties to address scope issues in case briefs or other written comments on scope issues.3 In the Preliminary Determination, we did not modify the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. 4 No interested party submitted scope comments in case or rebuttal briefs. However, the scope description that was published in the Initiation Notice and in the Preliminary Determination contained typographical errors, which have been corrected in the scope description provided in Appendix I of this notice.5 Other than the correction of typographical errors, the scope of this investigation remains unchanged for this final determination.

    3See Preliminary Determination and PDM at “Scope Comments.”

    4Id.; see also, Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 81 FR 49625 (July 28, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    5 Specifically, the Department incorrectly referenced the ASME specifications as “ASME 816.5 or ASME 816.47 series A or series B.” The corrected scope description properly references these specifications at “ASME B16.5 or ASME B16.47 series A or series B.”

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are finished carbon steel flanges from India. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The subsidy programs under investigation, and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs submitted by the parties, are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice at Appendix II.

    Verification

    The Department conducted verification of the questionnaire responses submitted by the Government of India, USK Group, and RNG between January 30, and February 10, 2017.6

    6See Memoranda, “Verification Report of Norma (India) Ltd., Uma Shanker Khandelwal & Co., USK Exports Private Limited, and Bansidhar Chiranjilal,” dated March 29, 2017 (USK Group Verification Report); “Verification Report of R.N. Gupta & Co., Ltd.,” dated March 29, 2017 (RNG Verification Report); and “Verification Report of the Government of India,” dated March 29, 2017 (Government of India Verification Report).

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    If necessary information is not available on the record, or an interested party withholds information, fails to provide requested information in a timely manner, significantly impedes a proceeding by not providing information, or information provided cannot be verified, the Department will apply facts available, pursuant to section 776(a)(1) & (2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For purposes of this final determination, the Department relied, in part, on facts available. For USK Group Ltd. (Norma) 7 and R.N. Gupta & Co. (RNG), we are basing certain countervailing duty rates on facts otherwise available. Further, because USK Group and RNG did not act to the best of their ability in this investigation by not providing necessary information requested by the Department, we determine that an adverse inference in selecting from the facts available is warranted with respect to certain countervailable subsidy programs, pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act. The Department has, therefore, relied, in part, on adverse facts available (AFA) in calculating the subsidy rates for both mandatory respondents.

    7 Norma (India) Limited includes its cross-owned affiliates USK Exports Private Limited (USK), UMA Shanker Khandelwal & Co. (UMA), and Bansidhar Chiranjilal (BDCL) (collectively, USK Group). For further discussion, see the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Regarding USK Group, we determine that application of AFA is warranted with regard to one lending program for importing capital equipment.8 Concerning RNG, we determine that the application of AFA is warranted with regard to two programs, i.e., capital equipment purchases and export financing. Because the Government of India did not provide the requested information, as AFA, we find that each of the programs meet the financial contribution and specificity criteria outlined under sections 771(5)(D) and 771(5A) of the Act, respectively.9 As AFA, we also find that these subsidy programs confer a benefit under section 771(5)(E) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.519.

    8 For further discussion, see USK Group's Final Calculation Memorandum.

    9See, e.g., Supercalendered Paper from Canada: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 80 FR 63535 (October 20, 2015), and accompanying IDM at 17-20, 153-154.

    For further information on the Department's application of AFA, as summarized above, see the section titled, “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences,” in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received from parties and the minor corrections presented, as well as additional items discovered at verification, we made certain changes to the respondent's subsidy rate calculations set forth in the Preliminary Determination. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and the Final Calculation Memoranda.10

    10See Issues and Decision Memorandum; see also Memorandum, “Final Determination Calculations for Norma (India) Ltd.,” dated June 23, 2017 (Norma's Final Calculation Memorandum); see also Memorandum, “Final Determination Calculation Memorandum of RNG,” dated June 23, 2017 (RNG's Final Calculation Memorandum).

    Final Determination

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a rate for each exporter/producer of the subject merchandise individually investigated, i.e., Norma (India), Ltd. and R.N. Gupta & Co. In accordance with section 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weighting the subsidy rates of the individual companies selected as mandatory respondents by those companies' exports of the subject merchandise to the United States. Under section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the “all-others” rate excludes zero and de minimis rates calculated for the exporters and producers individually investigated as well as rates based entirely on facts otherwise available. Where the rates for the individually investigated companies are all zero or de minimis, or determined entirely using facts otherwise available, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act instructs the Department to establish an “all-others” rate using “any reasonable method.” Where the countervailable subsidy rates for all of the individually investigated respondents are zero or de minimis or are based on total AFA, the Department's practice, pursuant to 705(c)(5)(A)(ii), is to calculate the all others rate based on a simple average of the zero or de minimis margins and the margins based on total AFA.

    Pursuant to section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, we have calculated the “all-others” rate using the subsidy rates of the two individually investigated respondents. However, we have not calculated the “all-others” rate by weight-averaging the rates because doing so risks disclosure of proprietary information. Therefore, consistent with the Department's practice,11 for the “all others” rate, we calculated a simple average of the two mandatory respondents' subsidy rates.

    11See e.g., Countervailing Duty Investigations of Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, 82 FR 8405 (January 25, 2016).

    The final subsidy rates are as follows:

    12 As discussed in the Preliminary Determination, the Department found the following companies to be cross-owned with Norma (India), Ltd.: Uma Shanker Khandelwal & Co. (UMA), USK Exports Private Limited (USK), and Bansidhar Chiranjilal (BDCL).

    Exporter/producer Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Norma (India), Ltd 12 5.66 R.N. Gupta & Co 9.11 All-Others 7.39
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of the date of publication of this notice to parties in this proceeding in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination, and pursuant to section 703(d) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of any entries of merchandise under consideration from India that were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after November 29, 2016, which is the publication date in the Federal Register of the Preliminary Determination. Therefore, in accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we issued instructions to CBP to suspend liquidation of all entries of steel flanges from India that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after November 29, 2017 through March 28, 2017. Additionally, we instructed CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for countervailing duty purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after March 29, 2017 in accordance with section 703(d)(3) of the Act.

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a countervailing duty order, instruct CBP to reinstate suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act, and will require a cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties for such entries of subject merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    U.S. International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210.

    Dated: June 23, 2017 Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance . Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation covers finished carbon steel flanges. Finished carbon steel flanges differ from unfinished carbon steel flanges (also known as carbon steel flange forgings) in that they have undergone further processing after forging, including, but not limited to, beveling, bore threading, center or step boring, face machining, taper boring, machining ends or surfaces, drilling bolt holes, and/or deburring or shot blasting. Any one of these post-forging processes suffices to render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of this investigation. However, mere heat treatment of a carbon steel flange forging (without any other further processing after forging) does not render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of this investigation.

    While these finished carbon steel flanges are generally manufactured to specification ASME B16.5 or ASME B16.47 series A or series B, the scope is not limited to flanges produced under those specifications. All types of finished carbon steel flanges are included in the scope regardless of pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure class (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 150, 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500, 2500, etc.), type of face (e.g., flat face, full face, raised face, etc.), configuration (e.g., weld neck, slip on, socket weld, lap joint, threaded, etc.), wall thickness (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in inches), normalization, or whether or not heat treated. These carbon steel flanges either meet or exceed the requirements of the ASTM A105, ASTM A694, ASTM A181, ASTM A350 and ASTM A707 standards (or comparable foreign specifications). The scope includes any flanges produced to the above-referenced ASTM standards as currently stated or as may be amended. The term “carbon steel” under this scope is steel in which: (a) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements: (b) The carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (c) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, as indicated:

    (i) 0.87 percent of aluminum;

    (ii) 0.0105 percent of boron;

    (iii) 10.10 percent of chromium;

    (iv) 1.55 percent of columbium;

    (v) 3.10 percent of copper;

    (vi) 0.38 percent of lead;

    (vii) 3.04 percent of manganese;

    (viii) 2.05 percent of molybdenum;

    (ix) 20.15 percent of nickel;

    (x) 1.55 percent of niobium;

    (xi) 0.20 percent of nitrogen;

    (xii) 0.21 percent of phosphorus;

    (xiii) 3.10 percent of silicon;

    (xiv) 0.21 percent of sulfur;

    (xv) 1.05 percent of titanium;

    (xvi) 4.06 percent of tungsten;

    (xvii) 0.53 percent of vanadium; or

    (xviii) 0.015 percent of zirconium.

    Finished carbon steel flanges are currently classified under subheadings 7307.91.5010 and 7307.91.5050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). They may also be entered under HTSUS subheadings 7307.91.5030 and 7307.91.5070. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope Comments V. Scope of the Investigation VI. Subsidies Valuation Information VII. Benchmarks and Interest Rates VIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences IX. Analysis of Programs A. Programs Determined to be Countervailable B. Programs Determined to be Not Used X. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Whether the Department Should Have Rejected the Government of India's Supplemental Questionnaire Response Comment 2: Whether the Duty Drawback (DDB) Program Provides a Countervailable Subsidy Comment 3: Whether R.N. Gupta & Co., Ltd. (RNG) and USK Group Should Report Duty Export Pass Book (DEPB) Licenses During the Average Useful Life (AUL) Period Prior to the Period of Investigation (POI) Comment 4: Whether USK Group and RNG Received Benefits from Certain Government of India Majority-Owned Banks Comment 5: Whether the Export Promotion of Capital Goods Scheme (EPCGS) Provides a Countervailable Subsidy and Whether the EPCGS Used the Correct Denominator for the Benefit Calculation of Respondents Comment 6: Whether to Apply Adverse Facts Available (AFA) to Norma's AUL Sales Data Comment 7: Whether to Apply AFA to RNG's Unaffiliated Indian Suppliers of Subject Merchandise Comment 8: Whether to Countervail Funds Received by RNG Under the Focus Product Scheme (FPS) During the POI XI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-13628 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-475-835] Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From Italy: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) determines that imports of finished carbon steel flanges (flanges) from Italy are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The final estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the section entitled “Final Determination.” The period of investigation is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective June 29, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Moses Song or Edythe Artman, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5041, or (202) 482-3931, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 8, 2017, the Department published the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register.1 In the Preliminary Determination, we postponed the final determination until no later than 135 days after the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination, in accordance with section 735(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2

    1See Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from Italy: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 9711 (February 8, 2017) (Preliminary Determination), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (PDM).

    2See Preliminary Determination, 82 FR at 9713.

    The petitioners in this investigation are Weldbend Corporation and Boltex Manufacturing Co., L.P. The two mandatory respondents in this investigation are: (1) Metalfar Prodotti Industriali S.p.A. (Metalfar); and (2) Officine Ambrogio Melesi & C. S.r.l. (Melesi)/ASFO S.p.A. (ASFO) (collectively, Melesi/ASFO).

    A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.3 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document, and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See Memorandum, “Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from Italy: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value,” dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are finished carbon steel flanges from Italy. The Department did not receive any scope comments and has not updated the scope of the investigation since the Preliminary Determination. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I of this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs that were submitted by interested parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached to this notice at Appendix II.

    Verification

    Because the mandatory respondents in this investigation did not provide the information requested, the Department did not conduct verification.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination and Use of Adverse Facts Available

    The Department has made no changes to the Preliminary Determination. As stated in the Preliminary Determination, we found that the application of facts available with an adverse inference with respect to both mandatory respondents in this investigation, Metalfar and Melesi/ASFO, was warranted, in accordance with sections 776(a)(1), 776(a)(2)(A)-(C), and 776(b) of the Act.4

    4See Preliminary Determination, 82 FR at 9712 and PDM at 4-9.

    All-Others Rate

    As discussed in the Preliminary Determination, the Department based the selection of the all-others rate on the simple average of the three dumping margins calculated for subject merchandise from Italy alleged in the petition,5 in accordance with section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act, and determined a rate of 79.17 percent. We made no changes to the all-others rate for this final determination.6

    5See Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India, Italy and Spain and Countervailing Duties on Imports from India, dated June 30, 2016 (the Petition) at Volume III; see also Letter from Petitioners to the Department, regarding “Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from Italy: Second Supplemental Questionnaire Response,” dated July 13, 2016; see also Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from Italy, dated July 20, 2016.

    6See Preliminary Determination, 82 FR at 9712.

    Final Determination

    The final estimated weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • Metalfar Prodotti Industriali S.p.A 204.53 Officine Ambrogio Melesi & C. S.r.l./ASFO S.p.A 204.53 All Other Producers and Exporters 79.17
    Disclosure

    The estimated weighted-average dumping margins assigned to the mandatory respondents in this investigation in the Preliminary Determination were based on adverse facts available and the Department described the method it used to determine the adverse facts available rate in the Preliminary Determination. As we made no changes to this margin since the Preliminary Determination, no additional disclosure of calculations is necessary for this final determination.

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of flanges from Italy, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 8, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination. Furthermore, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise. Pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, CBP shall require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as follows: (1) For Metalfar and Melesi/ASFO, the cash deposit rates will be equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin which the Department determined in this final determination; (2) if the exporter is not a firm identified in this investigation but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for the producer of the subject merchandise; (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and exporters will be 79.17 percent, as discussed in the “All-Others Rate” section and as listed in the chart, above.

    The instructions suspending liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    U.S. International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) of our final determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation of finished carbon steel flanges from Italy no later than 45 days after this final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation, as discussed above in the “Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation” section.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice will serve as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APOs) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation covers finished carbon steel flanges. Finished carbon steel flanges differ from unfinished carbon steel flanges (also known as carbon steel flange forgings) in that they have undergone further processing after forging, including, but not limited to, beveling, bore threading, center or step boring, face machining, taper boring, machining ends or surfaces, drilling bolt holes, and/or de-burring or shot blasting. Any one of these post-forging processes suffices to render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of this investigation. However, mere heat treatment of a carbon steel flange forging (without any other further processing after forging) does not render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of this investigation.

    While these finished carbon steel flanges are generally manufactured to specification ASME B16.5 or ASME B16.47 series A or series B, the scope is not limited to flanges produced under those specifications. All types of finished carbon steel flanges are included in the scope regardless of pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure class (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 150, 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500, 2500, etc.), type of face (e.g., flat face, full face, raised face, etc.), configuration (e.g., weld neck, slip on, socket weld, lap joint, threaded, etc.), wall thickness (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in inches), normalization, or whether or not heat treated. These carbon steel flanges either meet or exceed the requirements of the ASTM A105, ASTM A694, ASTM A181, ASTM A350 and ASTM A707 standards (or comparable foreign specifications). The scope includes any flanges produced to the above-referenced ASTM standards as currently stated or as may be amended. The term “carbon steel” under this scope is steel in which:

    (a) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements:

    (b) The carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and

    (c) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, as indicated:

    (i) 0.87 percent of aluminum;

    (ii) 0.0105 percent of boron;

    (iii) 10.10 percent of chromium;

    (iv) 1.55 percent of columbium;

    (v) 3.10 percent of copper;

    (vi) 0.38 percent of lead;

    (vii) 3.04 percent of manganese;

    (viii) 2.05 percent of molybdenum;

    (ix) 20.15 percent of nickel;

    (x) 1.55 percent of niobium;

    (xi) 0.20 percent of nitrogen;

    (xii) 0.21 percent of phosphorus;

    (xiii) 3.10 percent of silicon;

    (xiv) 0.21 percent of sulfur;

    (xv) 1.05 percent of titanium;

    (xvi) 4.06 percent of tungsten;

    (xvii) 0.53 percent of vanadium; or

    (xviii) 0.015 percent of zirconium.

    Finished carbon steel flanges are currently classified under subheadings 7307.91.5010 and 7307.91.5050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). They may also be entered under HTSUS subheadings 7307.91.5030 and 7307.91.5070. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Discussion of the Issues: Comment 1: Collapsing of Melesi and ASFO Comment 2: Application of Total AFA to Melesi/ASFO Comment 3: Use of the Highest Petition Rate as the Total AFA Rate for Melesi/ASFO Comment 4: Verification of Melesi/ASFO VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-13629 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-871] Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From India: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) determines that imports of finished carbon steel flanges (flanges) from India are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The final estimated weighted-average dumping margins of sales at LTFV are listed below in the section entitled “Final Determination.” The period of investigation is April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective June 29, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Baker or Mark Flessner, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2924, or (202) 482-6312, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 8, 2017, the Department published the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register.1 In the Preliminary Determination, we postponed the final determination until no later than 135 days after the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination, in accordance with section 735(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2

    1See Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 82 FR 9719 (February 8, 2017) (Preliminary Determination), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (PDM).

    2See Preliminary Determination, 82 FR at 9721.

    The petitioners in this investigation are Weldbend Corporation and Boltex Manufacturing Co., L.P. The two mandatory respondents in this investigation are: R. N. Gupta & Co., Ltd. (Gupta); and Norma (India) Limited (Norma).

    A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.3 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document, and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See Memorandum, “Finished Carbon Steel Flanges from India: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value,” dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are finished carbon steel flanges from India. The Department did not receive any scope comments, and has not updated the scope of the investigation since the Preliminary Determination. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I of this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs that were submitted by interested parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached to this notice at Appendix II.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in February 2017, we conducted sales and cost verifications of the questionnaire responses submitted by Gupta and Norma. We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, as well as original source documents provided by both respondents.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the dumping margin calculations for each respondent, Gupta and Norma. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Sections 735(c)(1)(B)(i)(II) and 735(c)(5) of the Act provide that in the final determination the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually investigated. Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act states that, generally, the estimated rate for all others shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. In this investigation, we calculated weighted-average dumping margins for both mandatory respondents that are above de minimis and which are not based on section 776 of the Act. However, because there are only two weighted-average dumping margins for this final determination, using a weighted-average of these two rates risks disclosure of business proprietary data. Therefore, the Department assigned a margin to the all-others rate companies based on the simple average of the two mandatory respondents' rates.4

    4 We calculated a simple average because the record does not contain usable publicly ranged data for both respondents.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines, as provided in section 735 of the Act, the following weighted-average dumping margins for the period April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016:

    Exporter/producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit adjusted for subsidy offset
  • (percent)
  • Norma (India) Limited/USK Exports Private Limited/Uma Shanker Khandelwal & Co./Bansidhar Chiranjilal 11.32 8.56 R. N. Gupta & Co., Ltd 12.58 9.27 All-Others 11.95 8.91
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to interested parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of announcement, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of flanges from India, as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 8, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination. Furthermore, the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise. The Department normally adjusts cash deposits for estimated antidumping duties by the amount of export subsidies countervailed in a companion countervailing duty (CVD) proceeding, when CVD provisional measures are in effect. Accordingly, where the Department made an affirmative determination for countervailable export subsidies, the Department has offset the estimated weighted-average dumping margin by the appropriate CVD rate.5 Any such adjusted cash deposit rate may be found in the “Final Determination” section, above. Pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, CBP shall require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as follows: (1) For Gupta and Norma, the cash deposit rates will be the cash deposit rates adjusted for export subsidies listed above; (2) if the exporter is not a firm identified in this investigation but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the adjusted cash deposit rate established for the producer of the subject merchandise; (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will be 8.91 percent, as discussed in the “All-Others Rate” section and as listed in the chart, above.

    5See Memorandum, “Analysis for the Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Finished Carbon Steel Flanges (Flanges) from Turkey: R. N. Gupta & Co., Ltd. (Gupta)” dated June 23, 2017; see also Memorandum, “Analysis for the Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Finished Carbon Steel Flanges (Flanges) from Turkey: Norma (India) Limited (Norma),” dated June 23, 2017.

    U.S. International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) of our final determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation of finished carbon steel flanges from India no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all cash deposits will be refunded. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation, as discussed above in the “Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation” section.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice will serve as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APOs) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation covers finished carbon steel flanges. Finished carbon steel flanges differ from unfinished carbon steel flanges (also known as carbon steel flange forgings) in that they have undergone further processing after forging, including, but not limited to, beveling, bore threading, center or step boring, face machining, taper boring, machining ends or surfaces, drilling bolt holes, and/or de-burring or shot blasting. Any one of these post-forging processes suffices to render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of this investigation. However, mere heat treatment of a carbon steel flange forging (without any other further processing after forging) does not render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of this investigation.

    While these finished carbon steel flanges are generally manufactured to specification ASME B16.5 or ASME B16.47 series A or series B, the scope is not limited to flanges produced under those specifications. All types of finished carbon steel flanges are included in the scope regardless of pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure class (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 150, 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500, 2500, etc.), type of face (e.g., flat face, full face, raised face, etc.), configuration (e.g., weld neck, slip on, socket weld, lap joint, threaded, etc.), wall thickness (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in inches), normalization, or whether or not heat treated. These carbon steel flanges either meet or exceed the requirements of the ASTM A105, ASTM A694, ASTM A181, ASTM A350 and ASTM A707 standards (or comparable foreign specifications). The scope includes any flanges produced to the above-referenced ASTM standards as currently stated or as may be amended. The term “carbon steel” under this scope is steel in which:

    (a) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements:

    (b) The carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and

    (c) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, as indicated:

    (i) 0.87 percent of aluminum;

    (ii) 0.0105 percent of boron;

    (iii) 10.10 percent of chromium;

    (iv) 1.55 percent of columbium;

    (v) 3.10 percent of copper;

    (vi) 0.38 percent of lead;

    (vii) 3.04 percent of manganese;

    (viii) 2.05 percent of molybdenum;

    (ix) 20.15 percent of nickel;

    (x) 1.55 percent of niobium;

    (xi) 0.20 percent of nitrogen;

    (xii) 0.21 percent of phosphorus;

    (xiii) 3.10 percent of silicon;

    (xiv) 0.21 percent of sulfur;

    (xv) 1.05 percent of titanium;

    (xvi) 4.06 percent of tungsten;

    (xvii) 0.53 percent of vanadium; or

    (xviii) 0.015 percent of zirconium.

    Finished carbon steel flanges are currently classified under subheadings 7307.91.5010 and 7307.91.5050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). They may also be entered under HTSUS subheadings 7307.91.5030 and 7307.91.5070. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. List of Issues III. Background IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Discussion of the Issues: Comment 1: Excess Cash Deposits Comment 2: Adverse Facts Available for Norma's Cost Data Comment 3: Offset to Costs for Miscellaneous Income Comment 4: Currency Conversion Comment 5: Gupta's Reported Scrap Offset Claim Comment 6: Adjustment of Gupta's Reported Costs Due to an Alleged Understatement of Costs Comment 7: Adjustment of Gupta's General and Administrative Expenses for Costs Incurred by an Affiliate Comment 8: Adjustment of Gupta's General and Administrative Expenses for Unreported Costs Comment 9: Gupta's Reported Financial Expenses Comment 10: Differential Pricing Test VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-13627 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF504 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Boulevard, Taunton, MA 02780: (508) 823-0430.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda

    The Research Steering Committee will discuss how recently set priorities may be accomplished and potential improvements to the priority setting process. The Committee will receive an update on recent Northeast Cooperative Research Program (NCRP) activities, discuss the recent programmatic review and develop recommendations for how the program may help address Council research priorities and other improvements. They will also receive a presentation on creating a vision for the future of stock assessment using technologies currently in development as well as review completed research projects on the topics of recreational discard mortality, the commercial redfish fishery, and fishing gear conservation engineering. The Committee will discuss the NCRP network approach to funding research and develop recommendations. The Committee will also address other business as necessary.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final 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 Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. This meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13620 Filed 6-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF457 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility Project AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to construction activities as part of its Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility project. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting public comment on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to WETA to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment only, during the specified activity. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on this proposal should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.html without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura McCue, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the applications and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The MMPA states that the term “take” means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    National Environmental Policy Act

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action (i.e., the issuance of an incidental harassment authorization) with respect to environmental consequences on the human environment.

    This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. Accordingly, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the issuance of the proposed IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review.

    We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA process or making a final decision on the IHA request.

    Summary of Request

    On May 3, 2017, NMFS received a request from WETA for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal in association with the Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility Project (Project) in Alameda, California. WETA's request is for take of seven species by Level A and Level B harassment. Neither WETA nor NMFS expect mortality to result from this activity and, therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

    This is the second year of a 2-year project. In-water work associated with the second year of construction is expected to be completed within 22 days. This proposed IHA is for the second phase of construction activities (August 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017). WETA received authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to these same activities for the first phase of construction in 2016 (80 FR 10060; February 25, 2015). In addition, similar construction and pile driving activities in San Francisco Bay have been authorized by NMFS in the past. These projects include construction activities at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal (81 FR 43993, July 6, 2016); Exploratorium (75 FR 66065, October 27, 2010); Pier 36 (77 FR 20361, April 4, 2012); and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (71 FR 26750, May 8, 2006; 72 FR 25748, August 9, 2007; 74 FR 41684, August 18, 2009; 76 FR 7156, February 9, 2011; 78 FR 2371, January 11, 2013; 79 FR 2421, January 14, 2014; and 80 FR 43710, July 23, 2015). This IHA would be valid from August 1, 2017, through July 31, 2018.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    WETA is constructing a Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility to serve as the central San Francisco Bay base for WETA's ferry fleet, Operations Control Center (OCC), and Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Project will provide maintenance services such as fueling, engine oil changes, concession supply, and light repair work for WETA ferry boats operating in the central San Francisco Bay. In addition, the project will be the location for operational activities of WETA, including day-to-day management and oversight of services, crew, and facilities. In the event of a regional disaster, the facility will also function as an EOC, serving passengers and sustaining water transit service for emergency response and recovery.

    The first year of the Project included construction to the landside facility, marine facility, berthing floats, gangway, fueling facility, utilities, stormwater drainage, and site access. Construction occurred over 4 months in 2016 and included seawall construction and floating marina pile removal.

    Dates and Duration

    The total project is expected to require a maximum of 22 days of in-water pile driving. In-water activities are limited to occurring between August 1 and November 30 of any year to minimize impacts to special-status and commercially important fish species, as established in WETA's Long-Term Management Strategy. This proposed authorization would be effective from August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018.

    Specific Geographic Region

    The Central Bay operations and maintenance facility is located at Alameda Point in San Francisco Bay, Alameda, CA (see Figure 1 of WETA's application). The project site is bounded on the east by the Bay Trail and an undeveloped park; and on the north by a paved open area and West Hornet Avenue (presently not a public right-of-way), which is defined by curbs and pavement stripes. Pier 3 lies to the west of the site, along with the USS Hornet, a functioning museum and designated national historic landmark. The United States Department of Transportation Maritime Administration leases the property west and north of the site, including a landside building and several piers from the City of Alameda. A concrete seawall delineates the southern edge of the landside portion; the seawall is tilted and cracked, and riprap and broken concrete span the area between the seawall and the water. Ambient sound levels are not available near Alameda Point; however, in this industrial area, ambient sound levels may exceed 120 dB RMS as a result of the nearly continuous noise from recreational and commercial boat traffic.

    Detailed Description of Activities

    The second phase of the project includes construction of berthing slips and a system of platforms and access ramps. In 2017, the project activities will include both the removal and installation of steel piles as summarized in Table 1. Demolition and construction could be completed within 22 days. Structural piles in the water will be driven in place by a diesel impact hammer or with a vibratory hammer. Vibratory driving is the preferred method and will be used unless a pile encounters harder substrate that requires the use of an impact hammer to complete installation. Vibratory driving would require 200 to 320 seconds of driving per pile. For impact driving, each pile will require approximately 450 to 600 hammer strikes to put each pile in place. It is estimated that two to three piles will be driven per day during in-water pile-driving operations. Temporary template piles will be installed to guide pile installation. These template piles will consist of steel H-piles and would be installed and extracted using vibratory methods.

    A total of 29 steel pipe piles, ranging from 24 inches to 42 inches in diameter, will be driven in 2017; 20 (14-inch) H-piles will temporarily be installed and then removed in 2017 (Table 1).

    Table 1—Summary of Pile Removal and Installation for 2017 Activities Project element Pile diameter Pile type Method Total number of piles/days Float Guide Pile Installation 42 inches Steel Pipe Impact Driver, 600 blows/pile OR Vibratory Driver, 320 seconds/pile 15 piles/8 days (2 piles per day). Donut Pile Installation 36 inches Steel Pipe Impact Driver, 600 blows/pile OR Vibratory Driver, 300 seconds/pile 6 piles/3 days (2 piles per day). Dolphin Pile Installation 24 inches Steel Pipe Impact Driver, 450 blows/pile OR Vibratory Driver, 205 seconds/pile 8 piles/3 days (3 piles per day). Template Pile Installation and Extraction 14 inches Steel H-piles Vibratory Driver, 120 seconds/pile 20 piles/days (5 piles per day, installation and extraction).

    Proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures are described in detail later in this document (please see Proposed Mitigation and Proposed Monitoring and Reporting).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    There are seven marine mammal species that may inhabit or may likely transit through the waters nearby the project area, and are expected to potentially be taken by the specified activity. These include the Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Multiple additional marine mammal species may occasionally enter the activity area in San Francisco Bay but would not be expected to occur in shallow nearshore waters of the action area. Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi) generally do not occur in San Francisco Bay, however, there have been recent sightings of this species due to an El Niño event. Only single individuals of this species have occasionally been sighted inside San Francisco Bay, and their presence near the action area is considered unlikely. No takes are requested for this species, and a shutdown zone will be in effect for this species if observed approaching the Level B harassment zone. Although it is possible that a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) may enter San Francisco Bay and find its way into the project area during construction activities, their occurrence is unlikely, since humpback whales very rarely enter the San Francisco Bay area. No takes are requested for this species, and a delay and shutdown procedure will be in effect for this species if observed approaching the Level B harassment zone.

    Sections 4 and 5 of WETA's application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/) and more general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/).

    Table 2 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in San Francisco Bay near Alameda Point and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2016). PBR is defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats.

    Species that could potentially occur in the proposed survey areas, but are not expected to have reasonable potential to be harassed by in-water construction, are described briefly but omitted from further analysis. These include extralimital species, which are species that do not normally occur in a given area but for which there are one or more occurrence records that are considered beyond the normal range of the species (e.g. humpback whales and Guadalupe fur seal). For status of species, we provide information regarding U.S. regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA.

    Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study area. NMFS's stock abundance estimates for most species represent the total estimate of individuals within the geographic area, if known, that comprises that stock. For some species, this geographic area may extend beyond U.S. waters. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's draft U.S. Pacific SARs (e.g., NMFS 2016). All values presented in Table 2 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the draft 2016 SARs (NMFS 2016).

    Table 2—Marine Mammals Potentially Present in the Vicinity of Alameda Point Species Stock ESA/MMPA status; Strategic (Y/N) 1 Stock abundance (CV, Nmin, most recent abundance survey) 2 PBR 3 Relative occurrence in San Francisco Bay; season of
  • occurrence
  • Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Phocoenidae (porpoises): Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) San Francisco-Russian River -; N 9,886 (0.51; 6,625; 2011) 66 Common. Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae (dolphins): Bottlenose dolphin 4 (Tursiops truncatus) California coastal -; N 453 (0.06; 346; 2011) 2.4 Rare. Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Eschrichtiidae: Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) Eastern N. Pacific -; N 20,990 (0.05; 20,125; 2011) 624 Rare. Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Balaenopteridae: Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) California/Oregon/Washington stock T 5; S 1,918 (0.05; 1,876; 2014) 11 Unlikely. Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions): California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) U.S. -; N 296,750 (n/a; 153,337; 2011) 9,200 Common. Guadalupe fur seal 5 (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi) Mexico to California T; S 20,000 (n/a; 15,830; 2010) 91 Unlikely. Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) California stock -; N 14,050 (n/a; 7,524; 2013) 451 Unlikely. Family Phocidae (earless seals): Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) California -; N 30,968 (n/a; 27,348; 2012) 1,641 Common; Year-round resident. Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) California breeding stock -; N 179,000 (n/a; 81,368; 2010) 4,882 Rare. 1 ESA status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR (see footnote 3) or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable. For certain stocks, abundance estimates are actual counts of animals and there is no associated CV. The most recent abundance survey that is reflected in the abundance estimate is presented; there may be more recent surveys that have not yet been incorporated into the estimate. 3 Potential biological removal, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population size (OSP). 4 Abundance estimates for these stocks are greater than eight years old and are, therefore, not considered current. PBR is considered undetermined for these stocks, as there is no current minimum abundance estimate for use in calculation. We nevertheless present the most recent abundance estimates and PBR values, as these represent the best available information for use in this document. 5 The humpback whales considered under the MMPA to be part of this stock could be from any of three different DPSs. In CA, it would be expected to primarily be whales from the Mexico DPS but could also be whales from the Central America DPS.

    Below, for those species that are likely to be taken by the activities described, we offer a brief introduction to the species and relevant stock. We also provide information regarding population trends and threats, and describe any information regarding local occurrence.

    Harbor Seal

    The Pacific harbor seal is one of five subspecies of Phoca vitulina, or the common harbor seal. There are five species of harbor seal in the Pacific EEZ: (1) California stock; (2) Oregon/Washington coast stock; (3) Washington Northern inland waters stock; (4) Southern Puget Sound stock; and (5) Hood Canal stock. Only the California stock occurs in the action area and is analyzed in this document. The current abundance estimate for this stock is 30,968. This stock is not considered strategic or designated as depleted under the MMPA and is not listed under the ESA. PBR is 1,641 animals per year. The average annual rate of incidental commercial fishery mortality (30 animals) is less than 10 percent of the calculated PBR (1,641 animals); therefore, fishery mortality is considered insignificant (Carretta et al., 2016).

    Although generally solitary in the water, harbor seals congregate at haulouts to rest, socialize, breed, and molt. Habitats used as haul-out sites include tidal rocks, bayflats, sandbars, and sandy beaches (Zeiner et al., 1990). Haul-out sites are relatively consistent from year-to-year (Kopec and Harvey 1995), and females have been recorded returning to their own natal haul-out when breeding (Cunningham et al., 2009).

    Long-term monitoring studies have been conducted at the largest harbor seal colonies in Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1976. Castro Rocks and other haulouts in San Francisco Bay are part of the regional survey area for this study and have been included in annual survey efforts. Between 2007 and 2012, the average number of adults observed ranged from 126 to 166 during the breeding season (March through May), and from 92 to 129 during the molting season (June through July) (Truchinski et al., 2008; Flynn et al., 2009; Codde et al., 2010; Codde et al., 2011; Codde et al., 2012; Codde and Allen 2015). Marine mammal monitoring at multiple locations inside San Francisco Bay was conducted by Caltrans from May 1998 to February 2002, and determined that at least 500 harbor seals populate San Francisco Bay (Green et al., 2002). This estimate is consistent with previous seal counts in the San Francisco Bay, which ranged from 524 to 641 seals from 1987 to 1999 (Goals Project 2000). Although harbor seals haul-out at approximately 20 locations in San Francisco Bay, there are three locations that serve as primary locations: Mowry Slough in the south Bay, Corte Madera Marsh and Castro Rocks in the north Bay, and Yerba Buena Island in the central Bay (Grigg 2008; Gibble 2011). The main pupping areas in the San Francisco Bay are at Mowry Slough and Castro Rocks (Caltrans 2012). Pupping season for harbor seals in San Francisco Bay spans from approximately March 15 through May 31, with pup numbers generally peaking in late April or May (Carretta et al., 2016). Births of harbor seals have not been observed at Corte Madera Marsh and Yerba Buena Island, but a few pups have been seen at these sites.

    Harbor seals occasionally use the westernmost tip of Breakwater Island as a haul‐out site and forage in the Breakwater Gap area. The tip is approximately one mile west of the project site. Aerial surveys of seal haul‐outs conducted in 1995-97 and incidental counts made during summer tern foraging studies conducted in 1984-93 usually counted fewer than 10 seals present at any one time. There is some evidence that more harbor seals have been using the westernmost tip of Breakwater Island in recent years, or that it is more important as a winter haul‐out. Seventy‐three seals were counted on Breakwater Island in January 1997, and 20 were observed hauled‐out on April 4, 1998. A small pup was observed during May 1997; however, site characteristics are not ideal for the island to be a major pupping area (USFWS, 1998). Recent observations indicate that as many as 32 harbor seals irregularly haul out on Breakwater Island (Klein 2017).

    WETA constructed a floating haul-out platform to replace the deteriorating dock that hosted hauled out harbor seals since 2010, which was removed at the project site. This new platform is approximately 1,000 feet (305 meters (m)) southwest of the project site and was constructed in June 2016. Use of the platform by seals has increased steadily since its installation, with as many as 70 seals observed on the platform at once (Bay Nature 2017). Volunteer monitoring of harbor seal use of the haul-out platform has been conducted since its installation. The average number of animals hauled out from June 2016 to April 2017 is 15 seals. Monitoring during pile driving work in September 2016 found that approximately 0.5 harbor seal per day were observed within 130 meters of the point source. During dredging monitoring in November 2016, approximately 1.6 harbor seals per day were observed within 130 meters of the source (i.e., the dredge bucket). The increase in seal observations may be due to seasonal changes, or may be due to increased visitation of the platform as more seals became aware and familiar with the structure that was installed in June of 2016. Using the higher (November 2016) average, it is estimated that up to 18 harbor seals (1.6 seals per day on 11 anticipated days of impact driving) may enter the 130 meter Level A zone during impact pile driving of the 42- and 36-in steel piles.

    The nearest harbor seal pupping location is Yerba Buena Island, approximately 4.5 miles from the project vicinity. Harbor seals use Yerba Buena Island year-round, with the largest numbers seen during winter months, when Pacific Herring spawn (Grigg 2008). During marine mammal monitoring for construction of the new Bay Bridge, harbor seal counts at Yerba Buena Island ranged from zero to a maximum of 188 individuals (Caltrans 2012). Higher numbers also occur during molting and breeding seasons. Foraging areas in the vicinity are concentrated between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island, and an area southeast of Yerba Buena Island (Caltrans 2015b).

    California Sea Lion

    California sea lions range all along the western border of North America. The breeding areas of the California sea lion are on islands located in southern California, western Baja California, and the Gulf of California (Allen and Angliss 2015). Although California sea lions forage and conduct many activities in the water, they also use haul-outs. California sea lions breed in Southern California and along the Channel Islands during the spring. The current population estimate for California sea lions is 296,750 animals. This species is not considered strategic under the MMPA, and is not designated as depleted. This species is also not listed under the ESA. PBR is 9,200 (Carretta et al., 2016). Interactions with fisheries, boat collisions, human interactions, and entanglement are the main threats to this species (Carretta et al., 2016).

    El Niño affects California sea lion populations, with increased observations and strandings of this species in the area. Current observations of this species in CA have increased significantly over the past few years. Additionally, as a result of the large numbers of sea lion strandings in 2013, NOAA declared an unusual mortality event (UME). Although the exact causes of this UME are unknown, two hypotheses meriting further study include nutritional stress of pups resulting from a lack of forage fish available to lactating mothers and unknown disease agents during that time period.

    In San Francisco Bay, sea lions haul out primarily on floating K docks at Pier 39 in the Fisherman's Wharf area of the San Francisco Marina. The Pier 39 haul out is approximately 6.5 miles from the project vicinity. The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) in Sausalito, California has performed monitoring surveys at this location since 1991. A maximum of 1,706 sea lions was seen hauled out during one survey effort in 2009 (TMMC 2015). Winter numbers are generally over 500 animals (Goals Project 2000). In August to September, counts average from 350 to 850 (NMFS 2004). Of the California sea lions observed, approximately 85 percent were male. No pupping activity has been observed at this site or at other locations in the San Francisco Bay (Caltrans 2012). The California sea lions usually frequent Pier 39 in August after returning from the Channel Islands (Caltrans 2013). In addition to the Pier 39 haul-out, California sea lions haul out on buoys and similar structures throughout San Francisco Bay. They mainly are seen swimming off the San Francisco and Marin shorelines within San Francisco Bay, but may occasionally enter the project area to forage.

    California sea lions have not been documented using the Alameda breakwater or haul-out platform, though it is anticipated that they may occasionally use the structures in Alameda Harbor that are known to be used by harbor seals.

    Although there is little information regarding the foraging behavior of the California sea lion in the San Francisco Bay, they have been observed foraging on a regular basis in the shipping channel south of Yerba Buena Island. Foraging grounds have also been identified for pinnipeds, including sea lions, between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island, as well as off the Tiburon Peninsula (Caltrans 2001).

    Northern Elephant Seal

    Northern elephant seals breed and give birth in California (U.S.) and Baja California (Mexico), primarily on offshore islands (Stewart et al., 1994), from December to March (Stewart and Huber 1993). Although movement and genetic exchange continues between rookeries, most elephant seals return to natal rookeries when they start breeding (Huber et al., 1991). The California breeding population is now demographically isolated from the Baja California population, and is the only stock to occur near the action area. The current abundance estimate for this stock is 179,000 animals, with PBR at 4,882 animals (Carretta et al., 2016). The population is reported to have grown at 3.8 percent annually since 1988 (Lowry et al., 2014). Fishery interactions and marine debris entanglement are the biggest threats to this species (Carretta et al., 2016). Northern elephant seals are not listed under the Endangered Species Act, nor are they designated as depleted, or considered strategic under the MMPA.

    Northern elephant seals are common on California coastal mainland and island sites where they pup, breed, rest, and molt. The largest rookeries are on San Nicolas and San Miguel islands in the Northern Channel Islands. In the vicinity of San Francisco Bay, elephant seals breed, molt, and haul out at Año Nuevo Island, the Farallon Islands, and Point Reyes National Seashore (Lowry et al., 2014). Adults reside in offshore pelagic waters when not breeding or molting. Northern elephant seals haul out to give birth and breed from December through March, and pups remain onshore or in adjacent shallow water through May, when they may occasionally make brief stops in San Francisco Bay (Caltrans 2015b). The most recent sighting was in 2012 on the beach at Clipper Cove on Treasure Island, when a healthy yearling elephant seal hauled out for approximately one day. Approximately 100 juvenile northern elephant seals strand in San Francisco Bay each year, including individual strandings at Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island (fewer than 10 strandings per year) (Caltrans 2015b). When pups of the year return in the late summer and fall to haul out at rookery sites, they may also occasionally make brief stops in San Francisco Bay.

    Northern Fur Seal

    Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) occur from southern California north to the Bering Sea and west to the Okhotsk Sea and Honshu Island, Japan. During the breeding season, approximately 74 percent of the worldwide population is found on the Pribilof Islands in the southern Bering Sea, with the remaining animals spread throughout the North Pacific Ocean (Lander and Kajimura 1982). Of the seals in U.S. waters outside of the Pribilofs, approximately one percent of the population is found on Bogoslof Island in the southern Bering Sea, San Miguel Island off southern California (NMFS 2007), and the Farallon Islands off central California. Two separate stocks of northern fur seals are recognized within U.S. waters: an Eastern Pacific stock and a California stock (including San Miguel Island and the Farallon Islands). Only the California breeding stock is considered here since it is the only stock to occur near the action area. The current abundance estimate for this stock is 14,050 and PBR is set at 451 animals (Carretta et al., 2015). This stock has grown exponentially during the past several years. Interaction with fisheries remains the top threat to this species (Carretta et al., 2015). This stock is not considered depleted or classified as strategic under the MMPA, and is not listed under the ESA.

    Harbor Porpoise

    In the Pacific, harbor porpoise are found in coastal and inland waters from Point Conception, California to Alaska and across to Kamchatka and Japan (Gaskin 1984). Harbor porpoise appear to have more restricted movements along the western coast of the continental U.S. than along the eastern coast. Regional differences in pollutant residues in harbor porpoise indicate that they do not move extensively between California, Oregon, and Washington (Calambokidis and Barlow 1991). That study also showed some regional differences within California (Allen and Angliss 2014). Of the 10 stocks of Pacific harbor porpoise, only the San Francisco-Russian River stock is considered here since it is the only stock to occur near the action area. This current abundance estimate for this stock is 9,886 animals, with a PBR of 66 animals (Carretta et al., 2015). Current population trends are not available for this stock. The main threats to this stock include fishery interactions. This stock is not designated as strategic or considered depleted under the MMPA, and is not listed under the ESA.

    In recent years, however, there have been increasingly common observations of harbor porpoises in central, north, and south San Francisco Bay. According to observations by the Golden Gate Cetacean Research team as part of their multi-year assessment, more than 100 porpoises may be seen at one time entering San Francisco Bay; and more than 600 individual animals are documented in a photo-ID database. Porpoise activity inside San Francisco Bay is thought to be related to foraging and mating behaviors (Keener 2011; Duffy 2015). Sightings are concentrated in the vicinity of the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island, with lesser numbers sighted south of Alcatraz and west of Treasure Island (Keener 2011) and near the project area.

    Gray Whale

    Once common throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the gray whale was extinct in the Atlantic by the early 1700s. Gray whales are now only commonly found in the North Pacific. Genetic comparisons indicate there are distinct “Eastern North Pacific” (ENP) and “Western North Pacific” (WNP) population stocks, with differentiation in both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype and microsatellite allele frequencies (LeDuc et al., 2002; Lang et al., 2011a; Weller et al., 2013). Only the ENP stock occurs in the action area and is considered in this document. The current population estimate for this stock is 20,990 animals, with PBR at 624 animals (Carretta et al., 2015). The population size of the ENP gray whale stock has increased over several decades despite an UME in 1999 and 2000 and has been relatively stable since the mid-1990s. Interactions with fisheries, ship strikes, entanglement in marine debris, and habitat degradation are the main concerns for the gray whale population (Carretta et al., 2015). This stock is not listed under the ESA, and is not considered a strategic stock or designated as depleted under the MMPA.

    Marine Mammal Monitors (MMO) with the Caltrans Richmond-San Rafael Bridge project recorded 12 living and two dead gray whales in the surveys performed in 2012. All sightings were in either the central or north Bay; and all but two sightings occurred during the months of April and May. One gray whale was sighted in June, and one in October (the specific years were unreported). The Oceanic Society has tracked gray whale sightings since they began returning to San Francisco Bay regularly in the late 1990s. The Oceanic Society data show that all age classes of gray whales are entering San Francisco Bay, and that they enter as singles or in groups of as many as five individuals. However, the data do not distinguish between sightings of gray whales and number of individual whales (Winning, 2008). It is estimated that two to six gray whales enter San Francisco Bay in any given year.

    Bottlenose Dolphin

    Bottlenose dolphins are distributed worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate waters. In many regions, including California, separate coastal and offshore populations are known (Walker 1981; Ross and Cockcroft 1990; Van Waerebeek et al., 1990). The California coastal stock is distinct from the offshore stock based on significant differences in cranial morphology and genetics, where the two stocks only share one of 56 haplotypes (Carretta et al., 2016). California coastal bottlenose dolphins are found within about one kilometer of shore (Hansen 1990; Carretta et al., 1998; Defran and Weller 1999) from central California south into Mexican waters, at least as far south as San Quintin, Mexico, and the area between Ensenada and San Quintin, Mexico may represent a southern boundary for the California coastal population (Carretta et al., 2016). Oceanographic events appear to influence the distribution of animals along the coasts of California and Baja California, Mexico, as indicated by El Niño events. There are seven stocks of bottlenose dolphins in the Pacific; however, only the California coastal stock may occur in the action area, and is analyzed in this proposed IHA. The current stock abundance estimate for the California coastal stock is 453 animals, with PBR at 3.3 animals (Carretta et al., 2016). Pollutant levels in California are a threat to this species, and this stock may be vulnerable to disease outbreaks, particularly morbillivirus (Carretta et al., 2008). This stock is not listed under the ESA, and is not considered strategic or designated as depleted under the MMPA.

    Since the 1982-83 El Niño, which increased water temperatures off California, bottlenose dolphins have been consistently sighted along the central California coast (NMFS 2008). The northern limit of their regular range is currently the Pacific coast off San Francisco and Marin County, and they occasionally enter San Francisco Bay, sometimes foraging for fish in Fort Point Cove, just east of the Golden Gate Bridge, but are most often seen just within the Golden Gate when they are present (GGCR, 2016).

    In the summer of 2015, a lone bottlenose dolphin was seen swimming in the Oyster Point area of South San Francisco (GGCR 2016) and west of Breakwater Island near a navigational buoy (Perlman 2017). It is believed that this is the same individual that regularly frequents the area (Perlman 2017). Such behavior may be considered abnormal as bottlenose dolphins almost always live in social groups.

    Members of the California Coastal Stock are transient and make movements up and down the coast, and into some estuaries, throughout the year. This stock is highly transitory in nature, and is generally not expected to spend extended periods of time in San Francisco Bay. Incidental take of this species is being requested in the rare event they are present in San Francisco Bay during pile driving.

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity (e.g., sound produced by pile driving and removal) may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The Negligible Impact Analysis section will consider the content of this section, the Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment section and the Proposed Mitigation section, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and how those impacts on individuals are likely to impact marine mammal species or stocks.

    Description of Sound Sources

    Sound travels in waves, the basic components of which are frequency, wavelength, velocity, and amplitude. Frequency is the number of pressure waves that pass by a reference point per unit of time and is measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. Wavelength is the distance between two peaks of a sound wave; lower frequency sounds have longer wavelengths than higher frequency sounds. Amplitude is the height of the sound pressure wave or the `loudness' of a sound and is typically measured using the decibel (dB) scale. A dB is the ratio between a measured pressure (with sound) and a reference pressure (sound at a constant pressure, established by scientific standards). It is a logarithmic unit that accounts for large variations in amplitude; therefore, relatively small changes in dB ratings correspond to large changes in sound pressure. When referring to sound pressure levels (SPLs; the sound force per unit area), sound is referenced in the context of underwater sound pressure to 1 microPascal (μPa). One pascal is the pressure resulting from a force of one newton exerted over an area of one square meter. The source level (SL) represents the sound level at a distance of 1 m from the source (referenced to 1 μPa). The received level is the sound level at the listener's position. Note that all underwater sound levels in this document are referenced to a pressure of 1 μPa and all airborne sound levels in this document are referenced to a pressure of 20 μPa.

    Root mean square (rms) is the quadratic mean sound pressure over the duration of an impulse. Rms is calculated by squaring all of the sound amplitudes, averaging the squares, and then taking the square root of the average (Urick 1983). Rms accounts for both positive and negative values; squaring the pressures makes all values positive so that they may be accounted for in the summation of pressure levels (Hastings and Popper 2005). This measurement is often used in the context of discussing behavioral effects, in part because behavioral effects, which often result from auditory cues, may be better expressed through averaged units than by peak pressures.

    When underwater objects vibrate or activity occurs, sound-pressure waves are created. These waves alternately compress and decompress the water as the sound wave travels. Underwater sound waves radiate in all directions away from the source (similar to ripples on the surface of a pond), except in cases where the source is directional. The compressions and decompressions associated with sound waves are detected as changes in pressure by aquatic life and man-made sound receptors such as hydrophones.

    Even in the absence of sound from the specified activity, the underwater environment is typically loud due to ambient sound. Ambient sound is defined as environmental background sound levels lacking a single source or point (Richardson et al., 1995), and the sound level of a region is defined by the total acoustical energy being generated by known and unknown sources. These sources may include physical (e.g., waves, earthquakes, ice, atmospheric sound), biological (e.g., sounds produced by marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates), and anthropogenic sound (e.g., vessels, dredging, aircraft, construction). A number of sources contribute to ambient sound, including the following (Richardson et al., 1995):

    Wind and waves: The complex interactions between wind and water surface, including processes such as breaking waves and wave-induced bubble oscillations and cavitation, are a main source of naturally occurring ambient noise for frequencies between 200 Hz and 50 kHz (Mitson 1995). In general, ambient sound levels tend to increase with increasing wind speed and wave height. Surf noise becomes important near shore, with measurements coll